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CoveredCA announces plans, rates and carriers for 2015 health insurance exchange August 7, 2014

Posted by QUOTEBROKER in ACA, California Health Insurance, Health Care Reform, Health Insurance, Individual Health Insurance.
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Late last week CoveredCA, California’s state-based health insurance exchange, announced its 2015 rate increase and carriers via press release on their homepage.  You as the consumer likely have many questions. Is my health insurance rate increasing? Are we getting any new carriers on the CoveredCA exchange? In short, not much will change in 2015. First, the carriers. In 2015, the carriers that will be offered through the CoveredCA exchange will be:

  • Anthem Blue Cross of California.
  • Blue Shield of California.
  • Chinese Community Health Plan.
  •  Health Net.
  • Kaiser Permanente.
  • L.A. Care Health Plan.
  • Molina Healthcare.
  • Sharp Health Plan.
  • Valley Health Plan.
  • Western Health Advantage.

The most noticeable thing about the list is that it is exactly the same as last year’s list, with the exception of Contra Costa Health Plan which has removed itself. The action was mutually agreed upon by both carrier and exchange.  Of the remaining carriers, the vast majority of the business went to the top 4- Anthem Blue Cross, Blue Shield of California, Health Net, and Kaiser Permanente.  The remaining carriers are regionally based without a statewide offering, often limited to HMO networks. The report of the rate increase was given as a statewide weighted average of 4.2%.  This is described by CoveredCA as “a blended rate that considers both the increase or decrease in rate and the number of consumers who will receive that rate change.”  Each carrier  therefore has its own average increase, and each policy within each plan within each rating region will reflect a different increase (or decrease) percentage.  Because of this, shopping your current plan is extremely important.  While your plan may have experienced a certain increase, there’s a decent chance you may be able to do better elsewhere. Keep in mind this is the increase in the overall plan cost, not necessarily what a consumer will actually pay.  Over 85 percent of exchange members receive some kind of subsidy, and based on how subsidies are determined there is a good chance that even if your premium goes up your subsidy may also rise to compensate for the increased premium.  It’s important to recalculate what your actual paid portion is going to be rather than just what the overall premium- to which CoveredCA contributes a percentage-  for 2015 is going to look like. In the same release, CoveredCA stressed that customer feedback has caused some carriers to reconsider their networks and add physicians to broaden their appeal and service more patients in a better fashion. 2015 open enrollment begins November 15th, 2014, however you can already compare plans and rates right now. Contact us at Quotebroker at 800-783-0802 or info@quotebroker.com for a free five minute quote.

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California governor signs legislation allowing small groups to keep health benefits through 2015 July 14, 2014

Posted by QUOTEBROKER in ACA, California Health Insurance, Employee Benefits, Group Health Insurance, Health Insurance, small group.
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California businesses with small group health insurance got some good news last week when Governor Jerry Brown signed SB 1446 into law. The legislation allows so-called “grandmothered plans”- plans from before the 2014 ACA changeover that are not ACA compliant but were allowed to be kept anyway- to be renewed for another year and kept through 2015.

This is a win for small business owners concerned about the rising costs of health insurance due to ACA mandates in place that would force them from their older plans onto a newer block of programs that account for the changes mandated by the ACA. In many cases, business owners are saving double digit percentages on what they would be paying had they switched to an ACA compliant plan when they were first released on 1/1/14.

This law only applies to existing groups with coverage already in force. New groups or companies that want to switch their coverage must still access care via the new ACA compliant plans. This can be done either traditionally direct with a carrier like Blue Cross, Blue Shield, etc. or it can be done through the newly created SHOP program run by the state of California. SHOP allows businesses to simply choose one tier of plan and let their employees shop across multiple carriers, while signing up traditionally allows only one carrier but multiple plan tiers, if desired.

Further information can be found at http://www.quotebroker.com or via the toll free hotline 800-783-0802

President Obama allows individuals to keep their insurance plans through 2014 November 14, 2013

Posted by QUOTEBROKER in ACA, Affordable Health Insurance, California Health Insurance, Health Care Reform, Individual Health Insurance, Insurance, Obamacare, QuoteBroker.
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November 14, 2013– This morning, President Obama made an important announcement allowing individuals to keep their current healthcare policy in 2014, even if they do not meet the Affordable Care Act standards of coverage.

The bigger issue is how California will respond.  The State of California DOI Commissioner, California Exchange (Covered California) and Companies offering coverage will need to decide whether or not to follow Washington’s lead and if so, how? The President’s announcement still gives leeway for the California Insurance Commissioner and Insurance Carriers option to reinstate older policies or not. Additionally Aetna and United Healthcare have already decided that they will exit the individual marketplace 2014, a decision that will not be rescinded.

At this time Open Enrollment continues. You can select a new private health plan or coverage offered through the California State Exchange – Covered California, with or without a subsidy.  Open enrollment means that you can apply for coverage without being turned down or charged extra. The “Obamacare Subsidy” is also still available to help help pay your increased premium cost – if you qualify. We have created a link for you to pre-qualify for your potential subsidy amount and expert plan advice to guide you through the new healthcare maze that seems to change daily.

Are you confused yet? If so you are not alone. More changes will certainly come as each State responds to the Presidents morning message. Our office employs experts in the Affordable Care Act law and we are Covered California Exchange Certified. We can help you and your families navigate through this ever changing law by simply calling (800) 783-0802.

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