Category Archives: Health Care Reform Act

Important Deadlines

2016 Health Insurance Open Enrollment

Here are some important dates for the 2016 health insurance open enrollment dates:

  • November 1, 2015: Open Enrollment begins — This is the 1st day you can enroll in a 2016 health insurance plan
  • January 1, 2016: This is when the coverage will start if you enroll by December 15th.
  • January 31, 2016: Last day to enroll for 2016 coverage.

January 31, 2016 – FINAL DAY TO ENROLL

If you don’t enroll in a health insurance plan for 2016 by January 31, 2016, you CAN’T enroll in a plan for 2016 unless you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period.

Penalty for not having coverage in 2016

If you don’t get coverage, or choose to go without coverage in 2016, you may have to pay a fee. The fee is higher than it was in previous years. The fee for not having health coverage in 2016 ….

Shop for a 2016 health insurance plan now

Need a plan now, shop for a 2015 plan

April 30 2015 Special Tax Enrollment Deadline

April 30 Deadline Montgomery Tx Special Tax Enrollment

April 30th is the Deadline if you need health insurance coverage in Montgomery Texas.  This deadline is because of a Special Tax Enrollment Period Extension for Coverage by CMS and IRS.

CMS announced that Eligible consumers have until April 30 to enroll in coverage, using this special enrollment period (SEP).  This special tax enrollment period is designed to allow  those individuals and families who were unaware or didn’t understand the implications of this new requirement the opportunity to get covered for the remainder of the year and avoid additional fees for 2015.

For those people who are eligible, CMS will provide consumers with an opportunity to purchase health insurance coverage from March 15 to April 30. If consumers do not purchase coverage for 2015 during this special tax enrollment period, they may have to pay a fee when they file their 2015 income taxes.

Those eligible for this special tax enrollment period live in states with a Federally-facilitated Marketplace and:

  • Currently are not enrolled in coverage through the FFM for 2015
  • Attest that when they filed their 2014 tax return they paid the fee for not having health coverage in 2014, and
  • Attest that they first became aware of, or understood the implications of, the Shared Responsibility Payment after the end of open enrollment (February 15, 2015) in connection with preparing their 2014 taxes.

The special tax enrollment period will begin on March 15, 2015 and end at 11:59 pm E.S.T. on April 30, 2015. If a consumer enrolls in coverage before the 15th of the month, coverage will be effective on the first day of the following month.

This year’s tax season is the first time individuals and families will be asked to provide basic information regarding their health coverage on their tax returns. Individuals who could not afford coverage or met other conditions may be eligible to receive an exemption for 2014.

Most taxpayers,  will only need to check a box when they file their taxes to indicate that they had health coverage in 2014 through their employer.  Other forms of “minimum essential coverage” are Medicare, Medicaid, veterans care or other qualified health coverage like individual coverage.  About one-quarter of the taxpayers or 10% – 20% will take different steps. It is expected that those taxpayers were uninsured for all or part of 2014 and will qualify for an exemption from the requirement to have coverage.   A small fraction, CMS estimates 2% – 4% of those will pay a fee because they made a choice to not obtain coverage and are not eligible for an exemption.

If you do not qualify for an exemption, but went without coverage for 2014 click here to see what your estimated fee would be.

If you need coverage and you are not in Montgomery Texas  click here.

how to pay bcbs online

How To Pay BCBS of Texas

Need to know How to pay BCBS of Texas Insurance?

They now have four very convenient ways to make your payment now.  You choose which one works best for you.

Regardless of what method you choose, each month you will receive a bill for your premium. You must make a payment in order to use your insurance. If your payment is not current, your coverage may be denied at the doctor.  Your first premium must be paid before you can start using your benefits.

Check/Money Order

Pay your premium by mail with a personal check, cashier’s check or money order. To do so, be sure you:

  • Make the check payable to Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas.
  • Write your account/member ID number on your check, cashier’s check or money order.
  • Include the payment coupon that was sent to you with your bill.
  • Send your payment at least 5 business days in advance of the payment due date to ensure timely posting to your account.
  • Mail your payment to the address on your bill.

Bank Draft

  • Call the OrbiPay®* payment line toll-free at 844-642-9414. Please have your member ID number, bank routing number and bank account number ready.
  • Make a one-time payment by bank draft through the OrbiPay’s secure website .
  • Set up recurring electronic funds transfer (EFT) by calling Customer Service toll free at 888-697-0683.

Cash

Credit or Debit Card

  • Make a one-time payment over the phone by calling the BillMatrix Automated Payment Center at 866-654-8569 and enter the necessary information when prompted to make your payment. You will need your 9-digit Member ID number found on your ID card.
  • Log in to your Blue Access for Members account and look for the Billing and Payments section. Click the Pay with Credit Card button to be redirected to a secure website for submitting payment by card.

* Orbipay is the secure payment processing system offered by Alacriti Payments, LLC. BCBSTX has contracted with Alacriti to process ACH/electronic check payments.

† BillMatrix is the secure payment processing system offered by Fiserv. BCBSTX has contracted with Fiserv to process payments with debit, credit and pre-paid debit cards.

**NOTE:  If you have already enrolled for coverage beginning January 1, 2016, you have until January 31, 2016 to make your first payment before your policy is cancelled.  You will not be able to use your coverage until your first payment is posted.

2015 Texas healthcare open enrollment dates

Texas Healthcare Open Enrollment Dates

Texas are you ready?  It is almost that time of year again, the healthcare Open Enrollment period.  Since the Affordable Health Care Act (ACA) was passed, how you buy health insurance has changed and got lot of people confused.  The open enrollment period for the health insurance is the only time when you can apply for a new policy.  Because of this small window, we have provided some key dates so you don’t miss out on these important deadlines.

Texas Healthcare Open Enrollment 4 Key Dates:

November 15, 2014 — Open Enrollment begins.

You can apply for a new plan at this time, keep your old plan or change your coverage.

December 15, 2014 — Enroll by the 15th for January 1 coverage.

If you want new coverage that begins on January 1, 2015, you have until December 15th to make your choice.  If your plan is changing or you want to change plans, enroll by the 15th to avoid a lapse in coverage.

December 31, 2014 — Coverage ends for 2014 plans.

If you didn’t enroll by December 31st, you can still enroll up until February 15th, however your coverage may not start on January 1st.

February 15, 2015 — Last day to apply for 2015 coverage

If you do not apply by February 15, 2015 — before end of Open Enrollment, you won’t have another opportunity to enroll in an ACA plan unless you qualify for a special enrollment period.  This may result in penalties.

DON’T FORGET:

You do  have to apply during the healthcare open enrollment but you DO NOT have to apply on the marketplace or at healthcare.gov.  You CAN use an agent/agency to help you with the process and it doesn’t cost any extra to get advice from an agent.

You can always call us at 877-740-8683.

We are PPACA certified and premier agents with BCBS, Humana, Cigna, Aetna, Assurant, UHC, and many others.  We are also licensed in 28 states.

EV-D68 VIRUS

Rare Children’s Respiratory Virus

We received a call this week from a mom that was concerned about her child being uninsured. She had been seeing the recent news reports about the EV-D68 virus that has recently affected thousands of children across several US states. It is a rare and non-treatable virus that has resulted in hundreds of hospital stays, ER visits, and ICU confinements. While her child did not qualify for a Special Enrollment Period, we were able to assist her in getting the child covered on a Short Term insurance policy that started the next day. While Short Term insurance doesn’t cover pre-existing conditions, or avoid the ACA tax penalty, it does provide coverage for a new diagnosis during the term of coverage. While having health insurance doesn’t keep your child from getting sick, it does provide peace of mind in knowing that you won’t be stuck with tens of thousands of dollars in medical bills. If you or someone you know needs coverage, call 877-740-8683, to see if you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period, or Short Term coverage. This is also a good time to remind everyone to get their flu shot early this year. Flu shots are covered as preventive care at no out of pocket expense under most new ACA health insurance.