Anthem Blue Cross to Discontinue Individual Health Plans in Most Counties in California

Anthem Blue Cross announced that they will discontinue selling Individual medical plans in CA in 2018 except for three counties, Santa Clara, Stockton/Modesto, and Redding.

I received the following email from Anthem to agents and brokers last week with details about this decision. Please click on the link below:

Anthem Announcement

Please review the following to be sure that you will actually be affected by this:

  • This change only affects those on Individual Health Plans, NOT Employer Group plans or Medicare plans.
  • It affects both On Exchange (Covered California), as well as Off Exchange health plans.  It affects both subsidized as well as non-subsidized plans.
  • It does not affect “Grandfathered” plans.
  • It will take effect on Jan. 1st, 2018.
  • This change does not affect these 3 counties: Santa Clara, Stockton/Modesto and Redding.

We might be able to help you find alternatives as soon as the insurance carriers such as Blue Shield, Health Net and Kaiser release their new rates for Jan. 1, in either September or October.

Phil Lee

Lee Health Insurance Services (BLIS Corporation)

925-284-2000

http://www.health-insurance.com

www.linkedin.com/in/philwlee  

Understanding Special Enrollment Period (SEP) and Qualifying Events (QE)

(This information concerns Individual & Family Health Plans. It does not concern you if you are either on a Medicare Health Plan or on an Employer-Sponsored Group Health Plan)

The year-end Open Enrollment Period for Individual Health Plans ended on January 31, 2016.  However, certain individuals may still be able to apply for a health plan in 2016. This special circumstance is called the Special Enrollment Period (SEP).  You need to have a Qualifying Event (QE) to qualify.  Here’s what you need to know.

You can buy health coverage outside of the open enrollment period when you have a qualifying life event—through a special enrollment period (SEP).  Most SEPs last 60 days from the date of the qualifying life event.
Qualifying life events for a SEP include:

  • Getting married or entering a domestic partnership
  • Child aging off a plan
  • Gaining a dependent or becoming a dependent through marriage, birth, adoption, or placement for adoption or foster care
  • Permanently moving to a new area that has different health plan options
  • Employer coverage not being considered minimum essential coverage
  • Losing other healthcare coverage that is considered minimum essential coverage, such as due to job loss, termination of employer health plan by the employer or expiration of COBRA coverage
  • Returning from active military service
  • Change in eligibility for advance premium tax credit or cost-sharing subsidies

Please note that voluntarily terminating other health coverage or being terminated for not paying premiums is not considered a qualifying event.

All insurance companies will require written proof that you have an acceptable qualifying event.  When enrolling during an SEP, please make sure to include qualifying events verification documents in the application.

This is a link to Blue Shield of California’s interpretation of the ACA laws regarding SEP and QE’s.  Different carriers may have slightly different interpretations and requirements.

https://bliscorp.egnyte.com/dl/QJhtXag1KT

Phil Lee

Lee Health Insurance Services (BLIS Corporation)

www.health-insurance.com

925-284-2000

www.linkedin.com/in/philwlee   www.yelp.com/biz/lee-insurance-services-lafayette-7Affordable

 

Last Chance to Enroll into a Health Plan in 2015

(This information relates only to Individual and Family Health Plans, not Medicare or Group plans)

If you are uninsured and do not have a special Qualifying Event, Thursday April 30th is the last day that you may enroll into an Individual Health Plan using the Govt.’s special extension by claiming that you are unaware of the uninsured penalty.

If you apply by April 30th, you will receive a June 1st effective date. Otherwise, you will have to wait until the end of the year.
In order to apply for coverage during this extended enrollment period to a plan either On or Off the Covered California health exchange, most carriers require you to do so through a certified agent. Anthem Blue Cross further requires the application to be on paper through an agent.

At Lee Health Insurance Services we would be happy to serve as your agent. As always, there are no costs, no fees for our services. The premium rates you pay are the same approved and regulated rates whomever you get them from. If you qualify, you will receive the tax subsidies that you are eligible for based on your household income.
Phil Lee
Lee Health Insurance Services
800-286-7445
www.health-insurance.com

Extended Enrollment Deadlines for Individuals

(This information relates only to Individual and Family Health Plans, not Medicare or Group plans)

For those of you who are still uninsured or who just found out from doing your 2014 tax return that you have to pay a penalty, there is still time to enroll. If you are currently uninsured and can testify that you were not aware of the penalty, you may still enroll. However, there’s not much time left. The deadlines are:

April 15th, for a May 1st Effective Date.
April 30th for a June 1st Effective Date.

In order to apply for coverage during this extended enrollment period to a plan either On or Off the Covered California health exchange, you must do so through a certified agent or broker. We at Lee Health Insurance Services (800-286-7445) would be happy to serve as your agent. As always, there are no costs, no fees for our services. The premium rates you pay are the same approved and regulated rates whoever you get them from. If you qualify, you will receive the tax subsidies that you are eligible for based on your household income.

Covered California Application Problems

We are finding that many of you trying to enroll onto Covered California online got stuck or sent off to MediCal (Medicaid). E.g. if you happen to put an Employment End Date, you would likely be sent to MediCal.
We, at Lee Health Insurance Services, have figured out the “fixes” to these issues, and would be delighted to help you resolve them in order to secure coverage from Covered California.

Very sincerely,
Phil Lee
Philip W Lee MBA
Lee Health Insurance Services
Employee Benefits and Health Insurance
800-286-7445
www.Health-Insurance.com

Anthem Blue Cross Offers Free Identity Protection Service To Those Affected By Cyber Attack

To follow up on my alert regarding the Cyber Attack of Anthem Blue Cross, Anthem is now offering to all those affected, free Identity Protection Services.
If you are a current or former Anthem Blue Cross member, you may sign up as follows:
Go to www.anthem.com/ca
On the homepage, under the “yellow shield”, click “Learn More”.
On the 4th paragraph, click https://anthem.allclearid.com/
Please read and follow the instructions carefully.
We are happy to be of service to you.
Please don’t hesitate to call us should you need help on your health plan coverage.
Phil Lee
www.health-insurance.com
800-286-7445

Obamacare: Enroll by Sunday 2/15 or Pay a Penalty

(Please disregard this if you have an Employer Group plan or have Medicare.)

For those of you who have not already enrolled into an Individual health plan, the enrollment deadline is this Sunday Feb. 15th.
After the Feb. 15th deadline, you will have to wait until the end of the year to enroll for Jan. 1, 2016. If you are uninsured, you may also face a penalty when you file your tax return in April 2016.

Possible Extension:
For those of you applying through Covered California for an On-Exchange health plan, if you start an online application before 2/15 but are not able to complete it on that day, we, as agents, have been given an extension to help you complete it, by 2/24. This extension is not available to the public and does not apply if you do not start an application by 2/15.
If you need help, please call us at 925-284-2000 or email agent@health-insurance.com .

Phil Lee
Lee Health Insurance Services
925-284-2000
www.health-insurance.com

Alert: Blue Shield California Individual & Family Health Plans – Problems with Billing and Payments

(This concerns Individual and Family Health Plans either through Covered CA or Off Exchange direct from Insurance Carriers. This does not concern you if you are on Medicare or on an Employer group plan.)
We have been alerted to the fact that a good number of our clients have been experiencing payment issues with their Blue Shield individual health plans. This problem has affected members’ plans enrolled through Covered California, as well as plans enrolled outside of Covered CA (Off Exchange plans). In some cases, this has resulted in the cancellation of plans, even where clients have made timely payments.

We have discussed these payment issues with Blue Shield’s management. They are ongoing, known issues to Blue Shield. The payments issues stem from multiple factors such as:
1. Blue Shield is the only carrier that uses an outside billing vendor (one called HPS). Problems in their interface with this vendor is what caused many of their billing issues.
2. Blue Shield has been having problems in their interchange of information with Covered CA. These problems stem from an electronic file called Form 834 that is sent to Blue Shield by Covered CA containing enrollment details.
3. In cases where a member’s income or subsidy amounts have changed, there have been problems with incorrect transmittals from Covered CA. Some of these subsidy issues have to be corrected at the Covered CA level before being transmitted to Blue Shield.

We are told that Blue Shield is working on correcting these issues. In the meantime, please let us know at 925-284-2000, if we can help.

Lee Health Insurance Services 935 Moraga Road, Suite 240, Lafayette, CA 94549
Ph: 925-284-2000 Fx: 925-284-5484 plee@health-insurance.com www.Health-Insurance.com
Employee Benefits and Health Insurance

Last Minute Alert: Covered CA Deadline Extended to Dec. 21 for Individual Health Plan Enrollments

(Note: This alert relates only to Individual and Family health plans.  It does not relate to Employers with group health plans, nor to Seniors with Medicare plans.)

We just learned tonight that Covered CA, the State Health Exchange, has extended the previous deadline for Jan. 1 enrollments, from Monday Dec. 15th to Sunday Dec. 21st at midnight.  This extension applies only to Individual plans, and only to Consumer and Agent-assisted enrollments.

Covered CA also states that enrollments completed after Dec. 15th may see delays in invoicing as well as delays in proof of enrollment procedures.  To facilitate faster enrollment, they encourage submitting applications as soon as possible, but no later than Dec. 21st.

Please call us, Lee Health Insurance Services, at 925-284-2000, if we can be of assistance.

Phil

Philip W Lee MBA

Lee Health Insurance Services, BLIS Corporation

800-286-7445

www.health-insurance.com

www.yelp.com/biz/lee-insurance-services-lafayette-6

Obamacare Deadlines – March 15 and March 31

Originally Posted 3/7/2014
(This E-blast pertains to people buying individual and family plans only. Medicare plans and employer plans are not affected by this announcement.)

1. Obamacare Deadlines – March 15 and March 31

MARCH 15TH IS THE LAST DAY TO SIGN UP FOR AN INDIVIDUAL HEALTH PLAN WITH AN APRIL 1, 2014 EFFECTIVE DATE.

Saturday, March 15th is the deadline to sign up for an individual plan with an Effective Date of April 1, 2014. This deadline applies to Covered California subsidized plans AND non-subsidized plans purchased directly from an insurance company.

Our office will be closed on Saturday, March 15th. If you need help choosing and applying for a plan you MUST call us by March 14.

To apply to Covered California and designate us as your agent or to apply to a non-subsidized plan please follow the link below.

March 31, 2014 IS THE LAST DAY TO BUY HEALTH INSURANCE FOR 2014.

The Effective Date of insurance coverage will be May 1, 2014. This deadline applies to Covered California plans AND non-subsidized plans purchased directly from an insurance company.

If you do not have insurance as of May 1, 2014 you will be subject to a penalty (tax) of the greater of $95 or 1% of adjusted gross income. And you will have to wait until Nov. to apply for Jan. 2015.

Please call us if we may assist you in securing coverage for 2014.

How to apply to Covered CA and Outside marketplace:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/hqbjyqdxcecrs1j/How%20to%20Apply%20to%20CovCA%20or%20Outside2.docx

We offer one stop shopping and can help you with all of these plans. Please call us at 925-284-2000 if you encounter any problems in this application process. We are prepared to help you.
Thank you for reading.
Phil Lee
www.health-insurance.com
925-284-2000

Applications to Covered CA On and Off Exchange Health Plans. Provider Search Update.

(The following information does not apply to you if you are on an employer group plan or on Medicare.)

There appears to be a great deal of confusion as to where to submit an application and the role of an agent.
Much of the confusion stem from the failure of the CoveredCA media advertising to mention that in addition to the Covered California Exchange, there is also a whole marketplace of health plans and insurance carriers available to consumers OUTSIDE of the Covered CA Exchange (Off-Exchange). The major difference is that you may only apply for a subsidy INSIDE the CoveredCA Exchange (On-Exchange). But if you don’t qualify or need a subsidy, you may apply outside where all the same plans are also available at the same rates, plus additional carriers and plan choices.

In addition, the Covered CA advertising also fails to mention that agents (Certified Insurance Agents) like myself are available to help consumers to quote, evaluate and apply to BOTH On and Off Exchange plans. And that there are no fees for our services. And no difference in premium. And that we offer free ongoing service.

(A) To apply to a plan INSIDE the Covered CA Exchange (On-Exchange):
You must go to www.coveredca.com to apply. Please designate me as your agent (look for “Find Help Near You”). Step by Step instructions for applying:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/9pas1gmsycqdrfx/Application%20Screenshots%20CovCA.docx

(B) To apply to a plan OUTSIDE the Exchange (Off-Exchange), please use the following links to apply:

Anthem Blue Cross (Deadline Dec. 23rd): https://brokerportal.anthem.com/ehb/web/bkr/acc/agentconnect/PHILIPLEE_1

Blue Shield (Deadline Dec. 15th):
https://www.blueshieldca.com/bsca/ApplyNow?xyz=I%2Bc68ZizpmLi

Health Net (Deadline Dec. 15th):
https://www.healthnet.com/portal/consumer/ca/getYourQuote.ndo?region=CA&a=10952

Kaiser: (Deadline Dec. 15th):
https://smu.kaiserpermanente.org/expressweb/ClearWorkspace.action?nextAction=/user/URLDecryptAction.action&refID=7o830apvbn8eyriuut5qmukks0hfomvhibykqt7emn1yam3vpqwgnp5t815gww

Note: If you miss the Dec. 15th deadline, you may still apply for a non-subsidized health plan through Covered CA. The only difference is that you will need to provide income and immigration information (to be shared by several Government agencies) even though you are not requesting a tax subsidy.

Provider Search

Anthem Blue Cross revised Provider Search
Go to www.anthem.com/CA
RHS under “Useful Tools”, click Find a Doctor.
On LHS Choose Doctor or Hospital #1
#2 Type Name of Doctor or Hospital
#3 Enter radius in miles and zip code.
#4 Enter State and Plan Type or network.
1. Plan Network for Covered CA Exchange:
a. Pathway X HMO Individual via Exchange
b. Pathway X PPO Individual via Exchange
c. Pathway X EPO Individual via Exchange
2. Plan Network for Non-Exchange:
a. Pathway HMO Individual
b. Pathway PPO Individual
c. Pathway EPO Individual

Blue Shield of CA Provider Finder
https://www.blueshieldca.com/fap/app/search.html
(Be sure to “Select a Plan” first before you search.)

Health Net Provider Finder
https://www.healthnet.com/portal/provider/providerSearch.do?region=CA

We offer one stop shopping and can help you with all of these plans. Please call us at 925-284-2000 if you encounter any problems in this application process. We are prepared to help you.
Thank you for reading.
Phil Lee
www.health-insurance.com
www.HealthPlanTalk.com
925-284-2000

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Lee Health Insurance Services | Healthcare Insurance Agency, Individual Health Insurance, Family Health Plans, Group Medical Insurance, Small Business Health Insurance, Whole & Term Life Insurance, Dental Insurance, Health Care Reform Assistance, Covered California Insurance Exchange Plans, Medicare Supplement Insurance, Medicare Advantage, Medigap Plans, Anthem Blue Cross, Kaiser Permanente, Blue Shield of CA, Health Net, Cigna, Aetna, Contra Costa County CA, Pleasant Hill, Danville, Concord, Berkeley, Martinez, Albany, Oakland, San Ramon, Alameda, Santa Clara, Campbell, Milpitas, Cupertino, Sunnyvale, Saratoga, Fremont, Palo Alto, Newark | 935 Moraga Road, Suite 240, Lafayette CA 94549 (925) 284-2000 or Toll-Free, (800) 286-7445