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Medicare more expensive than new ACA plans

Individuals who recently acquired Parts A and Part B of Original Medicare may find they have to pay more per month than their existing ACA health plans. Under the ACA rules, once someone accepts Medicare, they must exit any ACA health plan they purchased through the exchange and the tax credits that make it affordable. […]


Acupuncture for all, my trip to the acupuncturist

All new ACA health plans include acupuncture as a covered health care service in California. So what is it like to receive acupuncture and can it potentially help relieve medical challenges that some of us face? I decided to try out this traditional Chinese medicine to see if it would alleviate the pain in my neck.


A visit to Blue Shield to fix the billing issues

To be honest, I was fully prepared to be dragged kicking and screaming out of the Blue Shield of California corporate offices in El Dorado Hills. Numerous phone calls and emails on behalf of a client who had made his monthly premiums like clockwork, only to have his health insurance cancel, resulted in hollow promises and no action by Blue Shield to resolve the billing and cancellation nightmare. My last hope to help restore the health insurance for my long distance truck driving client was to rattle the corporate cage of the carrier.


Are Certified Enrollment Counselors prepared to answer health insurance questions?

One of the strategies for enrolling hundreds of thousands of California residents in new Covered California health plans was to have an army of in-person Certified Enrollment Counselors. While these folks are trained on how to fill out the Covered California application, they don’t necessarily have any background in health insurance or how it works. Are the Certified Enrollment Counselors (CEC) qualified to answer simple to complex questions about health insurance and will they be there next month when their client has issue?


Covered California’s SHOP not ready for occupancy

The Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) from Covered California has unfortunately proved itself to be just as inept at processing enrollments as the individual and family plan side. What promised to be a stream lined and easy process for small employer groups to offer health insurance to employees through Covered California is beset with a dysfunctional enrollment website and poorly trained support staff. They make Anthem Blue Cross’ decision not to offer plans through SHOP absolutely prophetic.


Covered California releases worthless health plan rating report

In an attempt to help consumers decide on the right health plan, Covered California has compiled a star rating system for the health insurance carriers based on outdated information. Even worse than basing a report on old data is the disastrous customer service that many Californians have experienced from many of these health insurance companies, including Covered California, in the last two months. The horrible customer service and nightmare enrollment process is not reflected in the new quality rating results.


Covered California creates confusion with extended payment deadline

Families that didn’t have their insurance cancelled by the ill-fated Covered California forced policy cancellation of December 31 are now wrestling if they should make their current health plan premium for January. The utter lack of communication between Covered California and the health plans has left many families without knowing if they do or don’t have health insurance.


ACA is splitting families apart

The Affordable Care Act is failing families on two major issues that need immediate resolution. The employer sponsored health insurance regulation has left many spouses without affordable coverage and household income limits are placing children in Medicaid programs. Together, these two ACA regulations are unfairly fracturing the health insurance coverage for many families and need immediate changes.


Agent Alert: Covered California drops health application data

Applications submitted to Covered California in October and November are missing agent designations and have corrupted household information when received by one of the insurance companies. It is hard to know if these data corruptions are an aberration or if the problem may be more widespread in the Covered California system. The bottom line is that these individuals have received no billing information from the carrier and the agent is not the broker of record.


Covered California mandated health plan cancellation

Within the contract that all insurance companies had to sign to offer health plans through Covered California was the stipulation that the “contractor” (aka insurance company or health plan) cancel all outstanding policies that didn’t comply with the ACA by December 31, 2013.


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