Thursday, August 15, 2013

CA Health Care Reform Update

The new Covered California Health Insurance Exchange is on target to begin enrollment on October 1, 2013.  Insurance plans will be offered through the state exchange and outside of the exchange.  The primary reason for buying through the exchage is that income relative premium subsidies may be available to those who qualify.  Following are some important points to note about the changes forthcoming relative to healthcare reform:

  • Those who currently possess a health plan from an insurance company participating in the exchage will have to change to a health care reform compatible plan by 12/31/2013 or be moved to the closest available plan by the insurance company.  In Orange County, the companies participating in the exchange include Anthem Blue Cross, Blue Shield, Health Net and Kaiser.  For other counties, you can visit the Covered California website to determine the participants.  The exception to this is that if you have a "grandfathered" plan issued prior to 3/23/2010, you will have to do nothing.
  • Open enrollment for 2014 individual health plans runs from 10/1/2013 through 3/31/2014.  You will not be able to enroll in a new plan after 3/31/2014.
  • Covered  California will be hiring enrollers and facilitators as well as utilizing independent brokers to assist in enrollment.  However, enrollers and facilitators are non-licensed personnel and cannot assist in comparing plans and helping you decide which plan is best for you and your family.  Only licensed insurance brokers and personnel can assist in comparing plans.
  • There will be an analysis tool available for us to use in helping you determine whether you are available for a subsidy and to compare available health plans.

Brokers must beciome certified to represent the Covered California Exchange just as we are
certified and appointed to represent individual insurance companies.  This certification is set to
begin in early September.  I will be certifying myself and additional personnel to assist you in procuring the best plan value for you and your family.  We should be able to start the analysis process around October 1.  We will be reaching out to our clients, however it will be very helpful if you can contact us after mid-September to set up either a telephone or personal appointment to review options.

Small Group Health Plans and Covered California


We do not anticipate major change in the small group marketplace during the end of 2013 and
the first half of 2014.  Covered California will offer small group plans, however the only companies participating in L.A. and Orange Counties are Blue Shield, Health Net and Kaiser
Permanente.  Most companies are allowing an early renewal 12//1/2013 at current December rates to lock in the rate through 11/30/2014.  Please contact us for more information on the early renewal program.  We do not foresee much rate instability in the small group market for year 2014.



There will be much advertising and propaganda directed at consumers through the end of the
year promoting the Covered CA Health Insurance Exchange.  This source may work well for some but not so well for others.  I have taken the philosophy of trying to assist and maintain my current client base as opposed to hiring telephone solicitors to pursue new business.  I hope to work as your partner in assisting you in maneuvering through this new Health Insurance Maze and obtaining the most value and cost effectiveness in your health insurance policy.  Once we have accomplished this, I will appreciate your serving as my sales force and referring me to your friends, neighbors and business associates who need assistance. Please call or email me if you have questions.