Tag Archives: penalties


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.

Don’t Delay Health Insurance

2014 Coverage Deadline

If you will need Health Insurance in 2014, don’t put off your purchase until the last minute. The absolute deadline for Enrollment in a Plan for 2014 is March 31st. The Marketplace website is again experiencing glitches, down times and waits. If you think you would be eligible for a subsidy, please call 877-740-8683, today to start the process. There will be more backlogs in the final days of the Open Enrollment, so secure your place in line now. You can also visit www.healthreformenrollmentcenter.com for additional resources. If you miss the Open Enrollment period, you will not be able to purchase a Qualified Health Plan for the remainder of 2014, unless you have a Special Enrollment Period due to a specific major life change, and you may be subject to a tax penalty.

Health Insurance Deadline in Texas

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.

Medicare Part B and COBRA

Over the years we have found there is a lot of confusion concerning Medicare Part B and COBRA. Many people think that as long as they have COBRA, they don’t need Medicare Part B. Unfortunately, the special rule for delaying Part B is based on current employment(either you or your spouse). COBRA is not considered current employment coverage. Most people are able to delay enrolling in Part B, as long as they are still working. Once the employment ends, however, the clock starts ticking. You will have 8 months to sign up for Part B without a penalty. If you wait for COBRA to end, or go past the 8 months, you can be subject to a penalty of 10% of your Part B premium for each year that you were not enrolled. And that penalty stays with you as long as you have Medicare. Even more important, if you miss that deadline, you would have to wait until the next General Enrollment Period(from January 1st until March 31st each year), and your Part B coverage wouldn’t start until July 1st. This could have devastating consequences if a serious illness were to strike during that time. Another important thing to remember is that your Medigap Open Enrollment Period begins when you are both 65 and enrolled in Part B. This is a one time opportunity to purchase a Medicare Supplement policy, regardless of your health conditions. Some people go back to work, or get on a spouse’s current employment coverage, after enrolling in Part B. At this time, you may be able to disenroll from Part B, and enroll at a later time(such as when that employment ends), without a penalty. This can sometimes be a good strategy, but it is important to remember that your Medigap Open Enrollment doesn’t re-start. With more people working longer, delaying Social Security, or Part B, it more important now than ever to have good advice on your Medicare choices and deadlines. Please call at 877-740-8683, for a personal review of your situation.

Paying Insurance Premiums by Bank Draft

How we pay our Insurance premiums is something that most consumers rarely think about. If you have any kind of Individual Insurance, that is outside of an Employer Group, you have to select a payment mode. Some carriers will accept payments by mail, on a monthly, quarterly, or semi-annual basis. A lot of people will choose one of these options, when they are available, because they don’t like “bank drafts”. Unfortunately, while this sounds like a good idea, it may not always work out for you. When illness or injury occur, it is not always easy to stay on top of sending in a payment. When you miss a payment, depending on the type of Insurance, you may have a Grace Period, but if that runs out, you can lose your Insurance at the worst possible time. We just talked to one of our customers today that had this happen to them. They have been going through some health issues this year, and travelling and had missed the payment on their Medicare Prescription Drug Plan. This caused the plan to terminate due to non-payment. For this type of coverage, it will require an appeal to Medicare, due to medical hardship, to request re-instatement of the plan. Hopefully we caught this in time, and can help this member keep their coverage. If Medicare denies the appeal, the member will have to wait until next year, and will be assessed a penalty for the time they went without coverage. Do yourself a favor, and give bank draft a try. If you have questions  on any of your Individual Health, Life, or Disability Insurance, please give us a call at 877-740-8683, or visit us online at www.freedomfreequote.com .