C.A.R. Health Plans Open Enrollment begins November 1st
Individual Plans and Covered CA Open Enrollment Begins 10/15/19
Beginning in 2020, the State of California will require residents to maintain minimum essential coverage (MEC) for themselves and their dependents throughout the year. Those who don’t maintain minimum essential coverage will pay a tax penalty. The tax penalty is fairly complicated and is tied to several factors, including the cost of a bronze plan in your area, your household size and income.
Remember, you can only enroll in a medical plan during a medical open enrollment period or after experiencing a qualifying event. As the exclusive broker for the California Association of REALTORS’®, we offer members access to three different markets to find a plan to meet their needs. Only RealCare can offer the C.A.R. group plans which feature a variety of HMO and PPO options including access to a large statewide PPO network, and Kaiser group plans. In addition, we can help you compare options with Individual and Family plans, or Covered California. Finding the right fit has never been more important because the choice you make now may be locked in for an entire year! Trust RealCare to help you find the right plan for you and your family.
Open Enrollment Dates
C.A.R. Group MEDICAL Plans – Closed to current C.A.R. members until November 1, 2019. New C.A.R. members can enroll within their first 60 days of membership.
Individual health plans and Covered California – October 15, 2019 to January 15, 2020
*(Currently only for new C.A.R. members or those with a Qualifying Event)
If you are a member of the California Association of REALTORS® you are eligible for coverage under the C.A.R. group health plans. C.A.R. offers group medical, dental, vision, life, and AD&D coverage for members, their families, and their full time W2 employees. The C.A.R. group medical plans are offered through Kaiser and Anthem Blue Cross. Here are some key features of the medical plans:
All guaranteed issue plans with no pre-existing condition limitations
Kaiser group medical rates are often lower than individual plans
C.A.R.’s Kaiser portfolio includes additional plan options and plans with lower deductibles
C.A.R. Anthem PPO plans are available statewide and are often lower cost than individual plans
C.A.R. Anthem plans use the full Prudent Buyer PPO and CaliforniaCare networks giving you access to more doctors and hospitals than you can get with individual plans
OPTION 2: Individual and Family Plans
As mentioned above, the Open Enrollment for Individual and Family Plans (IFP) starts October 15th. You can’t purchase an IFP plan outside of their Open Enrollment period unless you experience a Qualifying Event such as a loss of other coverage, birth, adoption, marriage, or divorce.
All IFP plans are guaranteed issue – no one can be turned down due to medical conditions or history, and there is no waiting period for pre-existing conditions.
We offer IFP plans from a variety of insurers including Kaiser, Anthem Blue Cross, Blue Shield of California, Sutter Health Plus, Health Net, OSCAR, Sharp Health Plan, and Western Health Advantage. Individual plans may or may not offer lower rates than group health plans. The rates depend on many factors including network access, plan design, zip code and age. We encourage everyone to compare their IFP and group options – whether through C.A.R. or another group. Often you will find that IFP plans are less expensive, but provider access is significantly restricted to small provider lists.
“It is extremely important that consumers do their homework to research provider access, availability of medication, and overall out of pocket costs before making a change. We do our best to provide the tools consumers need to select the right plan for them.” -Pat O’Brien, Vice President
The Open Enrollment period for Covered California coincides with that for IFP plans and starts October 15th.
Some consumers will qualify for assistance with health insurance costs under the Affordable Care Act. Those who meet certain income and family size guidelines may qualify for the Advance Premium Tax Credit (APTC) and/or Cost Sharing Reduction (CSR). In addition, starting in 2020, the State of California begins offering a state tax credit for those who qualify. The only way to get the federal Advance Premium Tax Credit or State tax credit is to apply for coverage through Covered California. The tax credits can reduce your premiums significantly. We encourage every consumer to check their eligibility for the tax credits. If you do qualify, then you must apply through Covered California to get assistance.
To find out if you may qualify for the tax credit or cost sharing, call us. We will need to know:
Determine your best estimate of what your household Adjusted Gross Income will be for 2020.
Look up the number of people in your family (the number you claim on your tax return) and find the income closest to your estimate. If your income falls within certain federal guidelines, you may qualify for a tax credit and potentially cost sharing reduction.