The implementation of Obamacare requires it to be administered by a variety of federal, state, and local government bureaucracies. Many consumers have been caught in a swirl of seemingly conflicting … [Read More...]
The implementation of Obamacare requires it to be administered by a variety of federal, state, and local government bureaucracies. Many consumers have been caught in a swirl of seemingly conflicting and utterly confusing rules, advice, and government forms. This cauldron of Obamacare confusion is particularly acute among individuals over 55 years old who are subject to California’s Medi-Cal Estate Recovery program. The anxiety instilled in this population is compounded by conflicting IRS 1095 forms that seem to open the door to a large tax bill for the repayment of the premium subsidies they received during the year.
Even with the Obamacare subsidies, many individuals and families still opt for the least expensive Bronze high deductible health plans. The high deductible health plans require the consumer to spend $4,500 to $6,500 in a medical deductible before any real cost sharing with the health insurance company starts. As more consumers opt for these least expensive Bronze plans more insurance companies are creating insurance products to help cover the high deductible of these plans. But are these indemnity plans worth the money and will they actually pay when you need the money?
Short term medical plans are a less than perfect bridge for individuals and families in between credible minimal essential health insurance coverage. Even though short term medical plans can deny applicants for pre-existing conditions, charge more for being a female, and have caps on how much the plan will pay, they can be a solid backstop to ridiculous emergency room bills. The rates for short term medical plans will usually be in the neighborhood of a California Bronze individual and family PPO health plan.
Covered California will strip the health insurance subsidy from consumers who have not filed their federal taxes beginning on May 16, 2016. Word of the non-tax filer ineligibility for the Obamacare tax credits was released in a summary of updates to the Covered California online application software known as CalHEERS. The release notes for the CalHEERS 16.4 update state that enhancements to the application will include a way for consumers to attest that they have filed their taxes.
The Roseville Carnegie Library Museum operated by the Roseville Historical Society has become another elitist historical institution. Like other historical repositories of information, the once visitor friendly Roseville Carnegie Museum has placed their small collection of local history books off-limits to the casual reader. Now, if you want to thumb through a 1970’s era Roseville Telephone book, you need to make an appointment.
People who are HIV positive are living longer and leading healthy and fulfilling lives because of advances in drug therapies to control the disease. The life insurance industry has taken note and has started to offer life insurance products to those living with HIV. The life insurance rates for people with HIV are actually reasonable for some income levels.
Consumers receive letters from Covered California stating that their estimated income doesn’t match with their most recent federal tax return. This has led many consumers to assume that Covered California can actually view a taxpayer’s federal return. Covered California can’t see a consumer’s federal tax return unless they send it to them to verify their income.
While the Affordable Care Act has brought transparency for consumers to compare health insurance plans, it has failed to lift the veil of secrecy surrounding how much health care services actually cost. This is particularly important for consumers who have high deductible PPO Bronze plans who would like to learn the health plan’s negotiated rate for a health care procedure.
Covered California is not very health insurance agent friendly when it comes to managing an agent’s book of business. Agents seem to be the last to know when Covered California or Medi-Cal makes changes to a client’s account and either strips their premium assistance or dumps them into Medi-Cal. Covered California has developed book of business and conditional eligibility reports for an agent’s clients enrolled in health plans through Covered California.
Thousands of people every week visit my blog posts explaining different aspects of health care reform from enrolling through Covered California, income requirements, and Medi-Cal eligibility questions. Many people leave comments or suggestions to help other readers of the posts. The Obamacare question and answer forum is supported, oddly enough, by my health insurance clients. These health insurance consumers are supporting a website viewed by thousands of people each week with questions about health insurance.