What? You’re confused? Welcome to the party! There has never been a more confusing time in the health insurance industry. Here are some facts:
- If you are on a C.A.R. group medical plan with Kaiser or Anthem, your policy is not in danger of canceling on 12/31/13. The C.A.R. group insurance contracts are annual contracts with the insurers. These contracts renewed June 1, 2013 and are good until May 31, 2014. On June 1, 2014, the C.A.R. group plans will renew into the new 2014 plans that comply with the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This will mean a change of benefits (deductibles, out of pocket maximums, co-pays, etc.) so that the new plans comply. It will also mean rate changes effective June 1, 2014. The overriding goal of C.A.R. and RealCare is to maintain a choice of carriers for members that includes both Kaiser and a non-Kaiser option. When we receive the renewal information in the Spring, we will consult with C.A.R., review the market options and notify members of any changes.
- If you are covered under an individual plan that was purchased after March 2010, then your health plan will need to transition to a new ACA compliant plan on January 1st 2014. Most carriers have notified members of the termination of the old plan and the automatic enrollment into the new plan as of January. Deductibles, out of pocket maximums, copays and premiums are changing, as well as many provider networks and prescription drug formularies.
- LATEST NEWS: As of Thursday 11/14/13, the President has asked State Insurance Commissioners to consider working with insurance carriers in their states to stall the transition of individual policies to the new ACA compliant plans. We don’t yet know what effect this will have on California policyholders. We expect to know more by the end of next week.
- Covered Californa, the new state insurance marketplace, is still a viable option for people who may qualify for a tax credit (premium assistance) or other help. RealCare can help you determine your eligibility. Call us today (800) 939-8088.
- Under the Affordable Care Act you will be required to obtain insurance or pay a penalty in 2014. Because of the problems with the HealthCare.gov website and the inability of people to get coverage through the insurance exchanges, the federal government has stated that it will not enforce the penalty on those who apply for coverage by March 31st (the last day of Open Enrollment for Individual and Exchange plans.) NOTE: If you apply for coverage in March, your coverage will not be effective until April or May (or possibly later, depending on how long it takes the plan to process the application.) Covered California is currently advising a 30-45 day processing time for applications.