Before I start gathering coverage information, I create a table with preferred or “must have” providers, hospitals, and drugs in rows, with the available health plans across the top columns. I then mark which health plan has the providers in-network and if the drugs are covered and at which Tier.
For most Covered California consumers there will be only one PPO health plan to select. Blue Shield is the only health insurance company participating in Covered California that will offer a PPO health plan in the major metropolitan regions of California. While the PPO plan design signals to consumers that they have some freedom to use out-of-network providers, the Blue Shield benefits may be very restrictive.
Anthem Blue Cross is terminating many of their 2016 PPO and Tiered PPO plans across different regions of California. They are being replaced with an EPO version in 2017. Covered California has misleading information placed on the consumer’s accounts that the new EPO is the same as the old PPO plans.
With the loss of the Anthem Blue Cross PPO plans in most of California and the double-digit rate increases on many plans, consumers are starting to look at the HMO plans available to them. There was a time when HMO plans were always more expensive than PPO plans. In the new health insurance landscape of Obamacare, HMO plans are becoming less expensive. But is a HMO plan right for you and your family?
While Covered California standard benefit design health plans have very specific limitations on member responsibility for in-network health care services, the coverage for out-of-network services can vary greatly between PPO health plans. The insurance carriers that offer PPO health plans through Covered California (Anthem Blue Cross, Blue Shield of California, and UnitedHealthcare) with out-of-network coverage seem to have made up their own rules for this PPO benefit. Because the Covered California individual and family health plans have such narrow networks, many families are finding that they must go out-of-network to receive certain health care services.
Health Net of California is sending letters to current members in their IFP PPO plans that they can keep the health plan they purchased through Covered California but they won’t be able to receive the ACA tax credits in 2015. Health Net will no longer offer their PPO plans through Covered California. In their place […]
A significant change to the plan types offered for individuals and families through Covered California for 2015 will be Health Net dropping their Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) plans. In place of the PPO health plans, Health Net will offer Exclusive Provider Organization (EPO) health plans. This change may be particularly significant for members who relied on […]
Anthem Blue Cross of California announced that they are shipping new and improved membership cards for individuals and families in the Exclusive Provider Organization (EPO) health plans in California. The new cards will have the very important three little letters of EPO actually imprinted on the card.
At a hastily arranged conference call for insurance agents to address a variety of issues involving new individual and family health plans for California, the Anthem Blue Cross Regional Sales Manager for Northern California announced they were extending the payment deadline until January 31st for policies sold through Covered California with effective dates of January 1st, 2014. This is the third time Anthem has extended the deadline for new enrollments.
Consumers looking to select a new affordable Care Act health plan will have to carefully consider the benefits and limitations of the different provider networks associated with each plan. In addition to the familiar PPO and HMO designs, many carriers have added the EPO. Which network is best for your family?