Less than two weeks ago, I wrote a blog post that predicted that fireworks would hit California’s small group health insurance market with UHC’s new Association Health Plans. Well, sparks flew. Yesterday, UnitedHealth Care announced that because of “regulatory inquiries over the past couple of weeks” UHC has suspended [...]
Need health insurance outside of the open enrollment period – consider the California Major Risk Plan (MRMIP)
If you didn't sign up for individual health insurance in California during the open enrollment period, you're not stuck. A little known state program, Major Risk Medical Insurance Plan (MRMIP), may be your saving grace. While no insurance company will offer you coverage outside of the open enrollment period unless [...]
Group Health Insurance vs Individual Coverage: Compare After-Tax Cost, Provider Networks & Plan Benefits
Perhaps a company could give employees a salary bonus or "taxable discretionary wellness stipend" so that employees can buy their own individual medical coverage. If you’re considering a salary bonus or "wellness stipend" for employees to purchase their own individual medical insurance you should consider the following... Tax and worker’s comp savings are THE major reasons that companies sponsor group health insurance plans rather than offering a taxable stipend or salary bonus...A salary bonus or taxable wellness stipend for health insurance is extremely tax inefficient and forces employees to purchase inferior health insurance plans in the individual market.
Should a company reimburse employees’ INDIVIDUAL health insurance cost rather than sponsor a GROUP medical plan?
With the high cost of health insurance many companies are considering alternative financing arrangements to group health plans. The Affordable Care Act (i.e., ACA, Obama Care, Health Care Reform) created exchanges to help individuals purchase their own coverage. Also, the ACA forbids insurance companies from asking questions about preexisting [...]
Covered California, the new health insurance exchange in California has begun agent training. Kudos to them because they have accomplished a lot in a very short period of time. With this blog post I hope to give some first hand info and feed back on the training process and on the enrollment procedures and processes.
We've prepared easy-to-understand videos that explain the new health care reform law (Affordable Care Ace, ACA, Obama Care). Topics include how to complete the required notices (Exchange, SBC & Glossary); an overview of individual and family coverage including Covered California; and problems of the current system that the ACA solves.
Given the rates SHOP released and the new rules for rating individual and small group health insurance, I am led to the conclusion that some small groups (and individuals) will likely pay much more than they currently do - while some may pay less.
Today, May 23, 2013, the California Health Benefit Exchange, Covered California, released the 2014 individual health plan rates for 25 and 40 year olds. As they said in their press release, “it is impossible to make a direct comparison of these rates to existing premiums in the commercial market.” Still, at first glance the rates don’t look too high – but there..
Much is in flux with the ACA and we should accept that many good questions do not have answers – yet. Michael Lujan, Director of Sales and Marketing for Covered California advised us to “get the facts.” We should be comfortable saying: “here is what we know now and here is what has not been determined. We don’t have the information to answer all of the questions… at this time. ”
On April 8th, 2013 Covered California/exchange/HBEX held a webinar for agents to describe their online enrollment process. Buried at the end of the presentation, slide 37 of 39 slides, was a screenshot of the page someone will see when he/she goes online to select a health insurance plan through Covered California. Bad [...]