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Covered California hosts “Ask Me Anything” Reddit chat April 11, 2013

Posted by QUOTEBROKER in California Health Insurance, Health Care Reform, Individual Health Insurance, Insurance Quotes, Obamacare.
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Peter Lee, executive director of California health exchange Covered California, took some time today to field questions from Reddit users.  Topics were wide ranging, and Mr. Lee answered the majority of questions put before him, including several follow up questions.  Some highlights:

On Guaranteed Issue health insurance:

One of the BIG DEAL changes to health insurance that starts 1/1/14 is that health insurance companies need to accept everyone — regardless of health history or status — and they cannot charge differently based on health status. This means that many who have been denied coverage or priced out of coverage will now have guaranteed coverage. It also means that the millions who have employer-based coverage (which is not changed) now know that they will be able to get coverage in the future if they leave their job.

On California health coverage for those currently unsinsured, and the penalty for not having health insurance:

California has about 5 million uninsured; about 2.6 million will be eligible for finanical help to pick a private plan through CoveredCA — in addition 1.4 million will be eligible for expanded Medi-Cal. We want ALL of them to be enrolled, but know that we won’t get everyone…over the first few years, we think about 70% of those eligible will actually enroll. This means that a few years in we will still have a few million uninsured. All Californians who can afford coverage and do not buy it (meaning — the rest of us are insuring them) will pay a penalty to the the IRS. The penalty (for not having health insurance) starts small — $95 or 1% of income; growing in

future years.

On the California SHOP exchange:

Correct! The “SHOP” is the Small Employer Health Options Program — which is Covered California’s program to help small businesses both get access to federal tax subsidies (available to smaller businesses that have have lower income workers) AND provide a way for all small businesses (up to 50 people) to provide their employees the choice of plans usually only available to those who work in large businesses. The employer will be able to pick the “metal level” (how rich the coverage is) and then the employee can pick any plan. The employer only has to write one check to Covered California and can pick the amount of financial support to her/his employees.

We’re glad to see Mr. Lee step up to take questions in an open forum, and encourage this discourse to continue over the coming months.  Information is at a premium these days- the more you know, the better off you will be during Open Enrollment, when it’s time to enroll in health benefits through the California health exchange, Covered California.  As always, you can contact us at Quotebroker with any questions you may have on the ACA, Covered California, healthcare reform or healthcare in general.

Anthem Blue Cross releases website to help members understand health care reform April 3, 2013

Posted by QUOTEBROKER in California Health Insurance, Group Health Insurance, Health Care Reform, Health Insurance, Individual Health Insurance, Obamacare, QuoteBroker.
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Anthem Blue Cross, one of California’s largest insurance carriers for the Individual and Family Plan (IFP) market, today sent their members their inaugural newsletter, entitled “Inside My Plan.”  Inside this newsletter is a link to their site healthcarereform4you.com .   Healthcarereform4you.com is Anthem’s resource to dissemination health care reform and Affordable Care Act information, detailing the timeline for implementation of the Affordable Care Act, what health care reform means to you, and a comprehensive list of reform laws.   What we found particularly interesting was their decision tree, which allows the user to answer 3 basic questions about themselves, after which Anthem generates a personalized page describing how health care reform applies to you specifically.

At Quotebroker, we think it’s extremely important to educate yourself on the coming Affordable Care Act.  It’s great to have another resource on healthcare reform, especially from one of California’s leading health insurance carriers.  Add them to your list of trusted resources, along with:

  • healthcare.gov – the official government Affordable Care Act site.  Great for authoritative news straight from the horse’s mouth.
  • healthreform.kff.org – the Kaiser Family Foundation’s health care reform site. Not to be confused with Kaiser Permanente the health carrier, the Kaiser Family Foundation is an excellent resource for those who want simple, basic explanations of the complex law
  • Your broker’s office – While the large national sites are great, they can be difficult to manage alone.  Nothing replaces the personal touch of your health insurance broker.  Let a qualified, licensed professional do the work for you.  Quotebroker currently represents individuals in California , Arizona, Nevada and Texas, but we’d be happy to refer you to a trusted professional if you’re outside of our service area.
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