Qualifying Life Events For Health Insurance Changes

Now that the annual health insurance open enrollment period has closed you can not change your health plan unless you have a qualifying life event. There is a list of 12 total qualifying life events, but many of them occur very infrequently. Of the remainder, some are more common, and we’ll show how you can use these to create a special enrollment period that allows you to change or get new health insurance coverage. The 3 easiest qualifying events to use are: Involuntary loss of Minimum Essential Coverage New resident of California due to permanent move, or a resident moving to a location where newRead More →

cigna health insurance california 2015

  In 2013, Cigna Health Insurance enabled you to sign up for their non-Obamacare plans and avoid having to sign up for a Health Care Reform health insurance plan until 2015. This was a great strategy to keep your health insurance costs lower in 2014. Unfortunately, we are nearing the end of 2014, and your Cigna health insurance plan is ending December 31. Here’s the best alternative health plans to replace your Cigna coverage. Where do you go to get answers? How do you make the decision? Which is the right plan for you? The answer to those questions are based on three specific things.Read More →

Open Enrollment In California Lasts until Feb 15 2015

As most of you are probably aware, this year the California open enrollment period started on November 15th, and to get a January 1st start date, the deadline was December 15th, or yesterday. Well, not a whole lot of surprise, but Covered California announced yesterday that they were going to extend the deadline from December 15th out to December 21st. So for everybody that was a little bit late, or couldn’t quite get to it by the 15th, there’s a little bit more time. However, the caveat to that is the only way to sign up now and get a January 1st start for yourRead More →

Anthem Blue Cross logo - Open Enrollment 2015

By now, you’ve received your letters from Anthem Blue Cross telling you what your 2015 rates are going to be. Depending on your experience this year, and the rate change you got, you may be asking yourself, “is there a better plan for me?” We’ll show you what steps to take to make sure you get through the California open enrollment period with the least amount of hassle. As a starting point, some of the information in the letters was incorrect. The subsidy income qualification levels should have been, “modified adjusted gross income of $16,105 to $46,680 or $32,913 to $95,400 for a family ofRead More →

Don't Be Puzzled By The 2015 Open Enrollment Period

The next open enrollment period begins on November 15th and ends on February 15th, 2015. During this period you can choose to stay on your current plan, move to another plan, or enroll in health insurance for the first time. For the 2015 Open Enrollment Period in California there are many changes taking place, and you need to be aware of the following: Changes to health plans. a. Health plan benefit changes. b. Standardization of all health plan names. c. Health plans that are going away. d. Rate Changes. Timeline for open enrollment changes. Covered California renewal process. a. Required income verification authorization. b. RequiredRead More →

There are a great number of people that believe they can sign up for health insurance whenever they need to because of health care reform. Polls have shown that 55% of Americans don’t know that the open enrollment period ends on March 31st. Media outlets (aka newspapers, and magazine sites) are not helping, and are sometimes a source of horrible mis-information. There are only a few qualifying events that will allow you to get health insurance after open enrollment. We’ll show you what those are, and how you can make use of them to sign up for coverage. You Can’t Enroll To Get Health InsuranceRead More →

Your new Obamacare health insurance plan is now in place, congratulations. Do you know if you choose a good plan? Are your prescriptions covered? Does your doctor take your plan? Now is the time to find out, because you won’t be able to change your plan after March 31, 2014. Make Sure Your Doctor Takes Your Obamacare Plan The simplest way to test your Health Care Reform insurance plan is to get an annual physical and refill an existing prescription. The annual checkup will require setting an appointment to see your physician, so you will be able to determine if the doctor is in yourRead More →

Covered CA Cancelled Your Policy

  By now, everyone in California has received a letter telling them that their health insurance plan is being cancelled on December 31st. However, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) does not say that all these plans have to be cancelled at the end of December. Why then is your health insurance plan being stopped? President Obama has said many times, “If you like the plan you currently have, you can keep it.” After the cancellation letters arrived, the administration changed the story and justified the cancellations because the cancelled plans offered “poor coverage.” In many states this may be true, but in California our healthRead More →

Covered CA Exchange Home Page

  On Tuesday October 1st, the Obamacare enrollment period began. Health insurance exchanges across the US opened their doors and begin accepting applications for coverage to start on January 1st, 2014. In California, the exchange, called Covered CA, has spent $80 million promoting itself for the last month and encouraging consumers to enroll once it opens. Is it really going to be that easy? Probably not. There are a number of key things that are missing on day one of health care reform. Some are critical for the success of Obamacare. The missing pieces are: Only a limited number of insurance company plans have beenRead More →

United HealthGroup Leaves California

  The second domino in a linked chain has tipped over. Two weeks ago Aetna announced its departure from California’s individual and family health insurance market, and yesterday UnitedHealth Group, Inc (parent of UnitedHealthcare) announced that UnitedHealthcare (UHC) is leaving California. With UnitedHealthcare leaving California, about 8,000 members will need to get new health insurance before December 31st, when their UHC coverage ends. In this article, we’ll show you the best replacement health insurance plans from the remaining California insurance companies. In California, UHC provided individual health insurance through their Golden Rule subsidiary using the brand name UnitedHealthOne. Golden Rule was created by UHC overRead More →

Health Care Reform Is Confusing

  In the last few months we’ve seen a lot of Health Care Reform rules and regulations being introduced by the Health and Human Services Department. Every time that happens, the media gets hold of it and all kinds of articles are written in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and the TV network news programs talk about it. All the analysts start talking about the pros and cons, and what it means to businesses and individuals. The problem with this is, many times one writer looked at the regulation, and wrote a piece about it. Then other writers start using pieces fromRead More →

Barry asks about grandfathered health insurance plans

Recently we’ve been speaking to a number of you that have old health insurance plans that you’ve stayed with for ten or more years.  These older plans are known as “GrandFathered Health Plans” by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and have special exemptions with respect to ObamaCare.   The dilemma you are currently facing is what to do about the large price increases you’re about to experience.  Should you stick with the grandfathered health plan or change to a lower cost health insurance plan?  We’ll cover the tradeoffs between staying or switching plans, review the changes that have occurred, and give you our recommendations inRead More →

Health Plan Rate Increases Due To Health Care Reform

  The First Wave Of Increases Rolls In Were you stunned when you opened the letter from your health insurance company and saw what your plan is going to cost in 2013. You probably thought to yourself, “Wasn’t Healthcare Reform supposed to prevent health insurance rate increases like this?” The truth, unfortunately for you and many people, is in the details about how the federal government regulates healthcare through ObamaCare, and the management of healthcare programs at the state level.  We’ll cover these details along with SOLUTIONS you can use to escape the rate increase you face. In the NBC Nightly News video below, LisaRead More →

Tweet Most Californians will probably see higher prices for their health insurance.  Whether it be through their company insurance plan, or their own individual and family health insurance plans.  The price increases come in the form of a letter received just before a birthday, and potentially every quarter.  California health insurance premiums go up each year, just like the sun rises each morning.   Insurance Costs Rise, But More Slowly   Annual family health insurance premiums rose about 4 percent to $15,745 in 2012, according to the latest survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation and Health Research and Educational Trust Now that's a fairly modest increase by historical standards, andRead More →

There’s so much to like about the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and there’s so much to dislike it for.  As a type I diabetic I applaud the idea of enabling everyone to buy regular health insurance without the fear of rejection.  I eagerly await the ability to buy the same insurance plan as someone who is healthy.  But as a citizen of the USA, I worry that we’ve bitten off way more than we can chew on, and we’re hiding the true enormity of that bite under a tablecloth (a napkin seemed too small for this analogy). So here’s my take on the worse partsRead More →

Health Care Reform got a big lift from the Federal Supreme Court ruling that the individual mandate could be considered a tax, and therefore, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) could remain intact. This means that the reform plan will continue to roll out, with a January 1st, 2014 start date. Many provisions have already been phased in, but the removal of health condition underwriting, allowing people with existing health conditions to enroll in regular health insurance plans, starts in 2014. Even though this reform bill has flaws, there are plenty of good things and positive changes that it contains.     Here Are The TopRead More →

If you were a business owner, and knew that you could save a lot of money by dropping your company health insurance plan and put your employees into the health insurance exchange where they could get similar coverage, would you do it? That’s the question that the House Ways and Means Committee was trying to answer in a new report they released recently. Their analysis showed that businesses could save $28 billion in the first year of health care reform (2014) by dropping the company benefit plan and paying a small penalty for ending the employee coverage. From a company perspective, the employees will stillRead More →

A new study, by Medicare Trustee Charles Blahous, shows that the original projections by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and the Medicare Trustees compared the Affordable Care Act (ACA) cost and savings projections to a baseline scenario that is different from what we actually face. This new analysis caused a great deal of criticism, but some experts argue that the report projects a distressingly accurate snapshot of the effects from the ACA. Over the first 10 years of the ACA, government spending would be increased by over $1.15 Trillion, and this initial increase in federal deficit spending was hinted at by the CBO during theRead More →

Consumer Watchdog, a special interest group with strong ties to trial lawyers, is gathering signatures to put a health insurance rate regulation measure on the November 2012 ballot. The measure seeks to create a new bureaucracy, funded by insurance companies, to create a new layer of regulations on top of existing state and federal regulations to control health insurance rates. Physician groups, hospitals, doctors, and small businesses announced the launch of Californians Against Higher Health Care Costs (CAHHCC) to combat the Consumer Watchdog efforts. C. Duane Dauner, president/CEO of the California Hospital Association says that “Consumer Watchdog’s ballot measure is full of false promises andRead More →

According to the California Endowment, a private foundation concentrating on health issues, the average California family pays an additional $1400 in yearly premiums in order to cover the costs of uninsured Californians. And because the Federal Supreme Court may throw out the mandate provision of the Affordable Care Act, the state of California is preparing to go it alone on some parts of health care reform. The new child health insurance laws and the required California maternity insurance coverage mandate will stay in place, while work on the California Health Benefit Exchange — a website to help consumers find and purchase health insurance once 2014Read More →

The initial arguments in the Supreme Court hearings about the individual mandate seem to indicate that the mandate will not be accepted. The general tone of the discussions had the 4 liberal Justices supporting the mandate, and the 4 conservative Justices against the mandate. Judge Clarence Thomas sat quietly and listened to the proceedings but did not ask any questions or make any comments. It is believed that Judge Thomas will not support the mandate, thus giving a 5 to 4 advantage to overturning the mandate. The next step is to determine if the individual mandate can be severed from the remainder of the AffordableRead More →

Yesterday the legal boxing began with the first round being about the Anti-Injunction Act (AIA) of 1867, and whether or not the court could actually hear arguments about the health care reform individual mandate if no penalties (paid to the IRS) had been paid yet. The AIA is the legal basis of all tax collections, and says that you have to pay the tax before you can challenge the tax in court. From the sounds of the arguments in the Supreme Court hearing yesterday, it appears the AIA is a non issue for the rest of the week’s health care reform arguments. Today the SupremeRead More →

Hospitals all across America are struggling to find ways to reduce costs and eliminate duplication of efforts. These cost cutting measures are part of the hospitals preparation to survive once health care reform fully begins in 2014. In California, hospitals are trying to figure out how to make due with fewer patients, because the amount hospitals will be paid for providing medical services will be based upon keeping patients from returning to the hospital. This is a whole new world for hospital administrators, and on top of that they face significant cuts to Medicare and Medicaid, which make up over 50% of California hospital revenues.Read More →

A new report by the actuarial firm Millman Inc. says that a new tax on health insurers’ premium revenues will be passed on to consumers, and will cause problems for state Medicaid programs. The health care reform premium tax, which starts in 2014, was intended to help pay for coverage of the 32 million uninsured Americans, and will be paid by all health insurance companies. But under federal law, the state and federal governments have to pay the tab for their Medicaid programs. States typically pay about 36% of the Medicaid costs, and this new tax will be paid out of each States’ already strainedRead More →

In the search to find good maternity insurance California mothers have found fewer options to choose from over the last few years. However, new mandates in 2012 will require that all health insurance plans in California provide maternity health coverage. Both the Individual/Family plans as well as the Group plans will be affected by these new rules, which take effect on July 1st, 2012. Senate Bill SB222 by state Senator Noreen Evans, and Assembly Bill AB210 by Assemblyman Roger Hernandez, were both signed by Governor Jerry Brown on Oct 6th. These two bills require that every health insurance plan offered in California must provide maternityRead More →

A recent tracking poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation shows that almost half the population believes that the new health care reform laws might have been repealed.  22 percent of Americans believe the health care reform law has been repealed, while 26 percent aren’t sure about the status of repeal. Media stories about the Republican bill to repeal health care reform in the house of representatives, and subsequent amendments to the continuing resolution bill, which would block spending federal funds to implement the health care reform law, have made people uncertain regarding the actual status of the health care reform laws. Currently the democrats inRead More →