We wanted to remind everyone that the last date to purchase Health Insurance for 2014 will be March 31st. After that date, the Open Enrollment will be closed for the rest of the year. A lot of people are under the impression that the deadline only applies to Marteplace, or Exchange, Plans, but the deadline will apply to all Individual Health Insurance. After March 31st, the only Plans that will be available from any carrier will be Short Term Plans. Short Term Plans do not cover pre-existing conditions, are not Guaranteed Issue, and do not qualify as Minimum Essential Coverage. So, if someone is covered by a Short Term Plan, they will still be subject to the Tax Penalty this year. If you or someone you know needs Health Insurance, please call 877-740-8683, as soon as possible, to explore your options. Even if you have a current plan, you will not be able to change to a new plan after the deadline. So if you think you think you may want to change plans before 2015, please visit www.freedomfreequote.com , to request a personalized quote. Don’t get caught without Health Insurance, or get stuck in a plan you aren’t happy with. You may even qualify for a subsidy to help with costs. You can also visit www.healthreformenrollmentcenter.com for additional resources.
The Obama administration announced late today that they are delaying the Employer Mandate until 2015. The reason stated was due to reporting requirements. As we have known all along, there were going to be changes and tweaks in implementing the Affordable Care Act. This could be a significant change. Since employers are not required to report, they will also not be responsible for the shared responsibility payments. While the Treasury Department “strongly encourages” employers to maintain or expand Group coverage, they will not be required to do so until 2015. This could drive more uninsured into the Individual Health Insurance market. If the Individual Mandate were delayed, but other aspects of Health Care Reform were not, such as Guaranteed Issue, this could have serious consequences. We have recently seen both United Health Care and Aetna withdraw from the California Individual market. No matter where you stand on Health Care Reform, with change, there are consequences. This reminds me of one of the earliest “unintended consequences” of Reform. When children could no longer be denied Health Insurance due to pre-existing conditions, many Insurance Companies were forced to either stop offering Child Only policies, or make a limited plan selection available during a limited Open Enrollment. There are more rules and regulations being released on almost a weekly basis at this point. To stay informed, be sure to visit www.freedomfreequote.com .
As previously published, Universal Health Care plans in Texas terminated 5-1-2013. For those members that were enrolled in one of these plans, there is an important deadline approaching. These members have until 6-30-2013, to have a Special Election Period to enroll in another Medicare Advantage plan, or have a Guranteed Issue opportunity to purchase a Medicare Supplement, or Medigap plan. If you or someone you know was enrolled in one of these plans, please call 877-740-8683, to discuss your options before the deadline.
While we as an agency have been gravitating toward Plan G for our Medicare Supplement (or Medigap) customers, there is still a strong case to be made for the Plan F. For years the Plan F has been the most popular choice among seniors, for good reason. With Original Medicare and a Plan F Medicare Supplement, you have virtually no out-of-pocket costs for Medicare Services. There are no deductibles, no co-pays, and no co-insurance. It is a great feeling to know you can go to the doctor and walk out without paying a cent. You don’t even have to ask if the doctor accepts Assignment. As long as he accepts Medicare, you are good to go. There are also times that a Plan F Medigap policy is the best choice for a Guaranteed Issue situation. If you are the kind of person that really likes convenience, the Plan F may be the way to. To find out if you have the best price for your current Medicare Supplement, please give us a call at 877-740-8683, or visit www.emedigap411.com , for a no obligation comparison.
We published an article last month, Medigap Guaranteed Issue-Plan Termination, that had valuable information for anyone who was affected by the Universal Health Care plan terminations in FL, and several other states. At the time, the Universal Health Care HMO plans in TX and NV were not included in the plan termination. Since then those entities have terminated their contract with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services(CMS), by “mutual consent”. In addition, the Texas HMO has also been placed in receivership. The members that were enrolled in these plans lost their coverage on 5-1-2013, and were returned to Original Medicare. The good news for these members is that they will have a Special Enrollment Period until June 30th 2013. During this time, they will be able to choose a new Medicare Advantage plan that is available in their service area. More importantly, this will trigger a Guaranteed Issue opportunity for these members to purchase a Medicare Supplement, also known as a Medigap policy, without having to answer any health questions. A lot of these people have had health conditions that would have made them unable to purchase a Medigap policy in the past, so it is very important to know the options, and deadlines, so they don’t miss this opportunity. If you or someone you know has been affected by any of these plan terminations, Please call 877-740-8683, or visit www.emedigap411.com for more information.
Reminder: Anyone that was involved in the earlier plan termination on 4-1-2013, will have a deadline of May 31st 2013.