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.
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.
We recently helped one of our customers keep his Grandfathered Individual Health Insurance Policy. His family has done business with our company for years, and when he went out on his own, he kept a Policy with our company. He had recently changed bank accounts, and this caused his bank draft payment to be returned. As often happens with young adults, he had moved a couple of times, and his contact information hadn’t been updated. One of the services our agency provides is to track customer payments, and help notify the member if they get behind. When we saw that this policy was in a potential lapse situation, we were able to get in touch with the member through his family. Then we were able to help him make payment arrangements, to keep his policy active. This was important, because he would not have been able to purchase a new policy at even close to his current premium. While he would have been able to qualify for a new policy at a higher rate, we have helped many people keep coverage that they wouldn’t have been able to re-qualify for, due to pre-existing conditions. I can remember several cases where the customer was even in the hospital when the bills got behind. The fact that we actually care, and do our best to help each customer in any way we can, is one of the things that sets Freedom Benefit Solutions apart from the competition. If you need help with your Individual Health Insurance or Medicare Supplement, give us a call at 877-740-8683.
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 .
For years we have beleived that Plan F was “the choice” for a Medicare Supplement, or Medigap, plan. There have been several changes in recent years, though, that have made the Plan G Medigap policy more attractive. When Modernized Medicare Supplement plans were introduced in June 2010, that made the coverage gap narrower between the Plan F and Plan G. Now, the only difference between the two plans is that with Plan G you are responsible for your Part B Deductible. In 2012, the Part B Deductible was $140, and in 2013 it is $147. It really makes sense to choose Plan G, if there is ever an annual price difference that is greater than the Part B Deductible. Another factor that is becoming more important is Guaranteed Issue. In a Guaranteed Issue situation, an unhealthy person, with pre-existing conditions, can purchase a Plan F Medicare Supplement, but would have to qualify for a Plan G. That means there are potentially more sick people, with higher claims, enrolled in the Plan F. That has caused many carriers to have steep rate increases for their Plan F policies, while keeping the Plan G premiums more stable. The Affordable Care Act also spawned a recent move to either impose cost sharing on plans that have 1st dollar coverage, like the Plan F, or to place a surcharge on these plans. While these changes haven’t happened yet, we have encouraged our current Plan F customers, to look at changing to a Plan G. If you have a current Plan F Medicare Supplement, and are in good health, you owe it to yourself to take a look at the Plan G. We consider it the wave of the future.
For more information, or a free, no obligation quote, please visit www.emedigap411.com , or call 877-740-8683, to speak to a licensed agent.