The following is an update on what to expect in the next few months before the end of the year.
Individuals and Families
If you purchased a plan on the exchange, please be sure to respond to all requests from the IRS, healthcare.gov, or Covered California-your subsdity may depend on it. If your income has changed more than 10%, then you should contact the exchange to increase your income so you don’t have to pay back any subsidy when you file taxes next year.
If you have an off exchange plan, there will be many options to consider for 2016. Open enrollment for individual and family plans starts November 1st. We want to discuss your options before then. You can contact us to set an appointment or we will be contacting you in October to review your situation and discuss the options for next year. By then we should know what the plans and pricing will be.
Trending now is ancillary coverages to reduce deductibles and pay for critical illnesses, in addition to dental and life insurance benefits. Ask me for details.
Everyone over 65 with a Prescription Drug Plan (PDP) should be aware that open enrollment is October 15th to December 7th. Open enrollment is not for Medicare Supplement policies. However, California residents have an open enrollment of their birthday month every year.
One of the best resources for the prescription drug options is found at www.medicare.gov. You can input your medications and find the best plan for you.
If you want to discuss your Medicare Supplement, Contact me and we can schedule a time.
Many businesses will be renewing their group benefit plan in the 4th quarter or first of the year. I will be contacting you to review and make sure the plan is still working for you and your employees.
Trending now is HR and Admin support to deal with the increase in Department of Labor regulations. Worksite benefits are also more popular due to the shift in higher deductibles. Ask me for details.
Healthcare Reform Review
We are wrapping up the second full year of full implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or Obamacare. Depending on what you believe, the change has been a success or failure. I believe it depends on your own personal situation.
Many people who could not get insurance coverage are now insured. Many who could not afford coverage now have a plan that is affordable. But then there are others who have lost the plans they liked and area having to pay more. Health and Human Services will continue to run the program in the red because they cannot get the income as outlined in the law that was passed.
No substantial changes are expected to the law unless there is a change in the White House. The executive branch controls the administrative departments where much of the law is interpreted and rules are made. Congress can only defund part or all of the administrative departments, and current Republican leadership is not willing to do so since they don’t believe they can get Democrats to override a veto.
There are plans for a new Healthcare System proposed by seated Republicans, but it gets no press and there will be no attempt to purse it under the current leadership. In early February Senator Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Senate Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), and House Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) unveiled the Patient Choice, Affordable, Responsibility, and Empowerment (CARE) Act. Click here to read the proposal.
Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
Healthcare explained simply