One of the most frustrating aspects of the Affordable Care Act is that it excludes family members from receiving the premium tax credits to reduce their health insurance if one of the parents is offered affordable employer group health insurance. One way around this problem is for the employer to offer employee only coverage. Covered California for Small Business health insurance exchange offers the employee only option for employers when they set up their group health plans.
At the August 2015 Covered California Board meeting James DeBeneditti, Deputy Director of Plan Management, reviewed the options and challenges for offering vision insurance on the Covered California online enrollment website. The only viable option reported was to put a simple link on the Covered California website to vision insurance providers. For the inclusion of the hyperlink Covered California would charge $10,000 and take a 10% commission. The $10,000 implementation fee is essentially an advertising cost for the vision plan while Covered California acts like an unlicensed insurance agent collecting a 10% commission for selling vision insurance.
Covered California has released a series of marketing videos to develop interest and drive sales to their small employer group plans. Formerly known as SHOP (Small business Health insurance Options Program), the small employer group offerings, authorized as part of the Affordable Care Act, has been re-branded as Covered California for Small Business. The small employer group marketplace exchange initially flopped as it was beset with an online application process that failed and subsequent management problems that resulted in billing nightmares for many clients. Fortunately, they seem to have righted the foundering small group boat at Covered California.
Whenever a health insurance company or health plan wants to change their health insurance rates in California they must submit a justification for the rate change in the monthly premium amounts to the Department of Managed Health Care or Department of Insurance. Regardless of which agency they must submit their rates to, the agencies just […]
Tucked into every individual and family health plan in California are some very good dental benefits for children. Unfortunately, the health plans don’t make it very easy to identify which dentists will accept the pediatric dental insurance that comes standard for dependents under 19 years of age. If a parent doesn’t select the correct plan […]
While some health insurance companies are thriving under the ACA with record enrollment numbers, Assurant, Inc. announced they will either sell their health insurance business, Assurance Health, or shutter it completely. Assurant Health will not be participating in open enrollment in the fall of 2015 for new individual and family health plans in 2016. Assurant […]
There was time when an insurance agent could make a decent living enrolling individuals, families and small groups into health insurance plans. With the advent of the Affordable Care Act and the subsequent downward pressure on commission rates, agents can still earn a living selling health insurance but it is not without its challenges. The […]
With the passage of the Insurance Gender Nondiscrimination Act (IGNA), also known as AB 1586, all California health insurance plans must cover medically necessary transgender health care services. Unfortunately, many health plan customer service representatives and many health care providers are not aware of the law and have erroneously denied or delayed coverage and treatment […]
One of the big complaints about health care services is not knowing or being surprised by the cost of medical treatment. Blue Shield of California has taken a modest step toward helping plan members determine the cost of health care services with their new treatment cost estimator tool. Initial reports from clients suggest the […]
Covered California has quietly announced that they will not be offering individual and family dental plans through the exchange in 2015. The dumping of the family dental plan options comes after Covered California released a whole dental plan booklet of family dental plans in August of 2014. No reason was given as to why the dental plans will […]