Deadline approaching…

There are just five days left to renew your health insurance for 2015 if you want it effective on January 1, 2015. 

In both Covered CA and the private marketplace, you have through December 15, 2014 to explore your options and make any changes to your health insurance for a January 1, 2015 effective date. Please read the specifics below to understand your options based on the market in which you obtained your current health insurance.

For COVERED CALIFORNIA

CoveredCA is the public marketplace where one can enroll in reform-compliant coverage and receive financial assistance, if qualified. If you have insurance through CoveredCA, your plan must be renewed before the start of each new calendar year. By now, you will have received a number of mailings from CoveredCA pertaining to your renewal.  Please read these notices carefully as they contain important information about your coverage and options.

OnlyHealthInsurance does not work in the CoveredCA market.  For assistance with your renewal please contact CoveredCA directly at 800-300-1506 or visit their website at www.coveredca.com.  The website also includes a link to obtain personal assistance near you.

  • If you have not completed your renewal, please do so before the December 15th deadline. If your plan is eligible for auto-renew (passive renewal) and you want to stay with the same carrier and plan, you need only make your first payment by December 26, 2014.
  • If you have already completed your renewal, please know that you must also pay the first premium by December 26th. If you have renewed, but have not received a bill from the carrier or made a payment, please contact your carrier to make your first payment by phone or online as payment by mail may not arrive in time.

Note: Kaiser and Anthem Blue Cross allow first payments to be made online at CoveredCA’s website.  For faster service, visit your carrier’s websites to make a payment. Please see the carrier contact information below.

If you fail to make a payment in time, your coverage may be terminated and you will be required to re-enroll. 

For PRIVATE MARKET INSURANCE

The private market does not offer subsidies, but it does include more carriers and plan options in each benefit category. OnlyHealthInsurance works in the private market. If you are enrolled in a private market plan or are interested in obtaining a plan in the private market, you also have until December 15th to renew or enroll for a January 1, 2015 effective date.  If you wish to stay with the same carrier and plan for next year, you need do nothing further other than continue making payments.

If you are considering enrolling in a private plan, or changing your existing plan, we hope you will contact us for assistance. Note: In the private market there are some new carriers available with larger provider networks.  If you are struggling to find coverage that includes your providers, we can help you find a plan that gives you the best opportunity and provider access to meet your needs.

Phil Dougherty
OnlyHealthInsurance

Health Plans Contact Info

Open Enrollment is here!

The first annual open enrollment period since the implementation of health care reform has started and it’s time to evaluate plan options for 2015.  For those who have existing individual or family coverage and want to consider a change, are enrolled in group or COBRA insurance and want to compare their current plan with 2015 marketplace plans, or are without health insurance and entering the market for the first time, now is the time to consider a change. Continue reading

Commissioner Jones: Superhero or Opportunist?

BAM! POW! WHAM! Insurance Companies take cover. CA Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones has changed into his spandex and cape! (Play superhero theme music.)  And, with the help of his sidekick (Proposition 45), he’s ready to challenge his arch nemesis (aka insurance companies) and protect the good people of Gotham (California) from their tentacles and stinging rate increases. (Aside: Isn’t anyone concerned that there are no more phone booths for Superman to change in?) Continue reading

It’s not just what’s on the ballot that matters; it’s when the vote is held.

There is no better example of this than the upcoming November election.

Originally set for October 15 – December 7, this year’s annual open enrollment period, when consumers can enroll in ACA compliant coverage for the first time or change plans for the next plan year, was pushed out to November 15 – February 15.  CoveredCA, California’s version of ObamaCare, has followed suit and will match the new open enrollment schedule.

Continue reading

How to Choose a Carrier.

Health Care Reform has leveled the playing field as far as coverage benefits and eligibility goes. Plans are standardized and fall into four distinct benefit levels (Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum) and must be actuarially equivalent. Pre- existing conditions no longer restrict your access to coverage or result in higher premiums. By removing these two critical elements, what’s left to compare? Plenty!

Continue reading

Next Open Enrollment Period Uncorked…

In addition to sizing up a turkey or sniffing a yam, you might add squeezing a health plan or two into your Thanksgiving shopping list. This year’s open enrollment period was moved from October 15 – December 7 to November 15 – February 15, 2015, and if you want to ring in the New Year with a “fresh” plan, you’ll have a shorter amount of time to act this year.  Let’s look a little closer to see what this enrollment period date change really means. Continue reading

Employers & Employees Beware.

Popular among small employers was an arrangement by which they would pay the employee’s individual insurance plan premiums on a pre-tax basis. Market reforms within our new healthcare law now prohibit this.

Starting January 1, 2014, employers who reimburse or pay premiums directly to a carrier for any employee’s individual or family health insurance policy will no longer be able to do so tax-free. This may adversely affect both employer and employee. Continue reading

Short Term Insurance still has a place.

Our new health care reform law has made it possible now for virtually anyone to obtain health insurance. Those with a pre-existing condition(s) cannot be denied insurance, charged a higher premium or have coverage restricted in any way. This is a huge step forward in our health care system and the ramifications of this step are being played out as I write this message.

But there has been another significant change that was less publicized. There are only certain times of the year when you can enroll in or change coverage, called Open Enrollment. What! Did we fix one problem in our system just to create another?

Continue reading

Special Open Enrollment Period (limited to certain life change events).

With open enrollment now over, obtaining individual or family health insurance before the next open enrollment (currently scheduled for October 15 – December 7, 2014) is only possible with certain “life change” events.  Some of these events must result in a loss of minimum essential coverage such as a divorce or legal separation, a move out of state or service area, change in employment status (i.e., reduction in hours), loss of employer coverage, or the death of a parent or spouse.  Proof of a loss in minimum essential coverage is required. 

Continue reading

Tax day is also the last day to enroll in coverage.

Presentation3It appears no more delays or postponements are in the works.  April 15 is the last day to enroll in a plan for individuals and families.  In the private marketplace (not CoveredCA) several carriers (Anthem Blue Cross, HealthNet, and Blue Shield) have kept their doors open for those who have not yet enrolled in coverage and do not have a qualified alternative (group insurance or a grandfathered plan, for example).

You can obtain a quote and enroll online on our website: www.onlyhealthinsurance.com

The next open enrollment is October 15 – December 7, 2014 for a January 1, 2015 effective date.

Phil Dougherty
www.onlyhealthinsurance.com