California Wants to Replace Your Health Plan with a Government-Run Single Payer Plan (SB 562)

The California State Senate is currently working on legislation to make a Single Payer System the only source of health care and health insurance in the state of California.  The Bill is named SB 562 and it will be reviewed by the Senate Health Committee on Wednesday, April 26, at 1:30 PM in the Capitol building in Sacramento in Room 4203.

SB 562 is very bad for you, your family and the future of the State of California for many reasons:

  • Single payer insurance will provide “one size fits all” insurance to all people living in California, including undocumented residents.  One plan will be offered to all Californians for cradle-to-grave health coverage.
  • All Private Health Insurance will be prohibited.
  • The plan benefits will be determined by an un-elected board of special interest appointees of the state government who will determine which benefits will be included and how much providers will be paid.  This will result in rationing health care and force doctors and hospitals to leave the state if they are not fairly compensated for their services.
  • There will be no Medicare for Californians 65 and older. Seniors and the disabled who currently have Medicare, Advantage plans, Supplement plans and Part D plans will be dis-enrolled and enrolled on to the single payer plan.
  • There will be no employer health insurance plans. Employers will no longer be able to attract the best employees in their fields because they cannot offer them benefits that are any better than the Single Payer plan.  If you work for a company that is located in many states, your employer will not be allowed to offer any plans in CA.
  • There will be no Federal or State employee health insurance plans.
  • There will be no union health insurance plans.
  • There will be no Medi-Cal or Medicaid.
  • All people living in California, whether legally or not, will have the same health plan.
  • Doctors and hospitals will be paid for their services by the State of California, who will need to create a monstrous bureaucracy to process and pay claims.  Fraud, abuse and waste are a given.  Other government-run health plans such as Medicare, Medicaid and the Veterans Administration regularly suffer scandals in billing, payments and sub-standard care.
  • State Senator Ricardo Lara, who is sponsoring SB 562, has not revealed how the state is going to pay for “free” health care for all.  Initial estimates are that the State of California would need an increase in current income tax of $350 billion for just the first year of the Single Payer plan. This amount equates to $9,200 for each man/woman/child in addition to what he or she is already paying in income tax.  A family of four would pay $37,000 more in income tax than they are currently paying.
  • Sick people, low-income people and the undocumented from across the country would flock to California.  Healthy taxpayers would flee California.  The result would be long lines to wait for sub-standard health care with costly procedures such as heart and kidney transplants and life-saving drugs rationed or not included at all in the Single Payer plan.
  • Senator Lara and his supporters have stated that California leads the rest of the country in innovative changes and now want to oppose Federal Government deliberations on changes to the health insurance market by being the first state to adopt the Single Payer system.  However, two other states, Colorado and Vermont, recently voted against Single Payer plans in their states due to the unrealistic tax burden it would put on its residents.


If you object to losing your right to Medicare, losing your employer plan, being taxed an additional $9,200 per family member, losing your right to choose your doctor, your hospital and your insurance benefits, then please contact your State Senator to let him/her know.  Click on the link below to find your State Senator and his/her contact information.  Then click on the name to reach their website to communicate your message:

Just say No On SB 562 to preserve your choice in health care and to keep California from declining into certain economic ruin.  Thank you for taking the time to read this email.

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.

Phil Lee

Lee Health Insurance Services (BLIS Corporation)



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

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 [email protected] .

Phil Lee
Lee Health Insurance Services

Avoid Penalty – Deadline Feb. 15th to Enroll into Individual Health Plan

Avoid Penalty – Deadline Feb. 15th to Enroll into Individual Health Plan

To avoid a penalty, the deadline to enroll into an individual health plan is Feb. 15th, 10 days from today. If you submit an online application by that date, you will be able to secure an Effective Date of March 1st. If you miss this deadline, you may not enroll again until the end of 2015.
This deadline does not apply to you if you experience a qualifying event during the year, such as a loss of Employer group coverage, a change in family status such as a marriage, divorce or newborn, a move out of the area, etc.
If you are uninsured, or insured only with a temporary or non-creditable health plan, you may face an IRS-assessed penalty for 2015 of up to 2% of your household income. (This is up from 1% in the 2014 tax year.)
If your estimated 2015 household (MAGI or Modified Adjusted Gross Income) is between 138% and 400% of the Federal Poverty Line (FPL, equivalent to roughly between $16,106 and $46,680 annual income for a single person household), you may apply to Covered California for an APTC (Advance Premium Tax Credit or Tax Subsidy) to help pay the monthly premium on a creditable health plan. If not, you may apply for an Off-Exchange health plan at the same price without a subsidy. We can help you with both. If you income is below 138% FPL (or your children below 200% FPL), then you may qualify for Medi-Cal (California’s Medicaid).
Please call us at 800-286-7445 if you need help.

Philip W Lee
Lee Health Insurance Services
Employee Benefits and Health Insurance
[email protected]

Alert to Individuals who Received Tax Subsidies or APTC to Pay for Covered California Health Plans – Form 1095A

(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.)

Re: IRS Form 1095A and Form 8962

Covered California, the California health insurance exchange, will shortly be sending out a form called the IRS Form 1095A to all individuals and families who received tax subsidies in 2014 to help pay for their Individual/Family health plans. This is required by the federal ACA law (Obamacare) and will be sent out by Jan. 31st.
These forms will show, in detail, by month, the amount of APTC (Advance Premium Tax Credit or Tax Subsidy) that the recipient received in helping pay the premium for their subsidized health plans in 2014.
These individuals will be required to use this Form 1095-A to obtain information needed to complete Form 8962 (Premium Tax Credit (PTC)). They must then complete IRS Form 8962 and file it with their 2014 Tax Return by April 15.
Those who enrolled into Off-Exchange health plans need not be concerned, since they did not receive any tax credit, you will not receive a 1095A. Only those who applied for a health plan through Covered CA AND who received an APTC to reduce the premium paid, will be receiving these 1095A forms.
Those enrolled into Medi-Cal (California Medicaid), those on Medicare, and those enrolled on employer group plans are not affected by the above.

Disclaimer: We are not qualified to give tax advice. If you have any questions concerning either Form 1095A or Form 8962, please contact Covered CA, your tax adviser, the IRS or go to the IRS website links below:

Philip W Lee, MBA
Lee Health Insurance Services

Health Plan Enrollment Deadlines

This is a friendly reminder of several deadlines that are approaching.

Deadlines for INDIVIDUAL & FAMILY HEALTH PLANS (Either On-Exchange Covered CA plans or Off-Exchange plans)

(1) Deadline to enroll or change plans for a Jan. 1st effective date is Monday, Dec. 15th

(2) Open enrollment runs from 11/15/14 to 2/15/15. The deadlines corresponding to each effective date are:

Deadlines for each Effective Date

12/15/14 for 1/1/15

1/15/15 for 2/1/15

2/15/15 for 3/1/15

(3) If you are currently receiving a subsidy, then you must Renew by logging into Covered CA with your User ID and Password in order to re-certify to continue receiving the subsidy. (4) If you are uninsured, you may enroll by Dec. 15th to avoid a penalty in 2015.


(1) Groups on Grandfathered or Grandmothered plans will already have renewed on Dec. 1st.

(2) All groups, whether Grandfathered or Grandmothered will have a chance to change to new ACA plans with another insurance carrier on Jan. 1st.

(3) If you are dissolving an Employer Group plan and allowing employees to buy individual plans, they need to enroll by Dec. 15th for a Jan. 1st start. (Note that Individual health plans have significantly smaller Provider Networks than Group plans, and smaller Drug Formulary lists. Each of your employee will need to research their providers and formularies carefully before making a switch. Not all employees will qualify for subsidies. Employers are not allowed to use pre-tax dollars to pay for employees’ Individual plan premiums.)


(1) The deadline to change from a Medicare Advantage MA-PD plan (HMO or PPO) to another is Dec. 7th.

(2) The deadline to change from a Medicare Prescription Drug PDP Plan to another is Dec. 7th.

(3) For Medicare Supplement (or Medicare Gap) Plans there is no deadline and no renewal is necessary. These plans will continue as long as you continue paying the premium.

(4) For those of you who received termination notices from Scan Health and Health Net Medicare Advantage plans, you must enroll before Dec. 31st for a Jan. 1st effective date. Since some carriers will be closed during the holidays, you should submit these applications 2 weeks before Dec. 31.

(5) If you are on a Medicare Advantage MAPD plan and wish to switch to a Supplement plan and a PDP plan, you may do so, guarantee issue, only under 13 specific conditions. Otherwise, underwriting approval may be required and the timing of the switch can be tricky. The ideal time to make a change is between Oct. 15 and Dec. 7th, and as early as possible during this window. This should not be done without the assistance of a knowledgeable agent.

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

Phil Lee

Covered California Announces Extension of Deadline to April 15th

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

Covered California announced that they are extending the March 31st deadline to buy health insurance through its Exchange website to April 15th. There are conditions. You may fulfill these conditions by working with a Certified Insurance Agent, like me. We are prepared to help you. Please call us at 925-284-2000 or email [email protected].

Re-cap of announcement from Covered CA:
1. If you were unable to create an online account or start your online application because of technical difficulties you can contact me, a Covered California Certified Insurance Agent, to explain that you attempted to get through on March 31 and experienced difficulties. You will have until 11:59 p.m. April 15 to complete your application and choose a plan. Your coverage will be effective May 1.

2. If you created an online account and completed the first page of the application by 11:59 p.m. March 31, 2014, you will be able to complete your application for the open-enrollment period, either by yourself online or with my help. I am a Certified Insurance Agent. You must complete your application and select a plan by 11:59 p.m. April 15. Your coverage will be effective May 1.

In addition, for those applying to OFF-Exchange (i.e. non-Covered CA, non-subsidy) plans, we understand that Blue Shield and Health Net’s online application links are both still working.

Please call us at 925-284-2000 if you still need help getting coverage.

Phil Lee
Lee Health Insurance Services

Covered California is not extending its deadline past March 31, 2014 for applying for a health plan

(This information pertains to Individual and Family health plans. Please ignore this email if you are on an Employer group plan, on Medicare or otherwise covered.)

Covered California is not extending its deadline past March 31, 2014 for applying for a health plan
Despite what you may have heard in the news about deadline extensions, these do not apply to California. There is no extension in California.
Based on our experience with past deadlines, Covered CA and possibly the insurance company websites may crash or be inaccessible on the last days. I highly urge you to apply before the end of Friday March 28th. If you miss the 3/31 deadline, you will have to wait until the end of the year to apply, and probably pay a penalty.
However, if you start an online application by 11:59 p.m. on March 31, 2014, you will have until 11:59 p.m. on April 15, 2014, to complete this application and to select a plan. To start an application, you must take at least the following steps:
• Create an online account.
• Fill out all required information on the “Apply for Benefits” page and click “Continue.” The page contains two required fields (see application screen images online at
• After clicking on “Continue,” you will be taken to the “Consent for Verification” page, where you need to click on “Save& Exit” or “Continue.”
• You must return to your online account no later than April 15 to complete the application and select a plan.
You also must make your first premium payment to the health insurance company by the due date in order to avoid the tax penalty.
How To Apply Online:

Paper applications must be postmarked by March 31, 2014, to meet the open-enrollment deadline for 2014 Covered California plans.
Paper Covered CA Application:
The mailing address for Covered CA is:
Covered California
P.O. Box 989725
West Sacramento, CA 95798-9725
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

Tips on Applying to Covered California

Originally Posted on 3/25/2014
(This information relates only to Individual and Family health plans. Please ignore this email if you are on an Employer group plan, on Medicare or otherwise covered.)

Note: The last chance to apply for individual health insurance in 2014 is Monday March 31. However, based on our experience with past deadlines, Covered CA and possibly the insurance company websites may crash or be inaccessible on the last days. I highly urge you to apply before the end of Friday March 28th. If you miss the 3/31 deadline, you will have to wait until the end of the year to apply, and possibly pay a penalty.

Avoid these common mistakes on your Covered CA application:
• Designating an Agent — In order for us to help you during the enrollment process, and to troubleshoot problems, you must designate us as your agent on your online application. You do this by clicking “Finding Help Near You” on the upper right had corner of the screen. Please see screenshot instructions below:
There is no cost to you to have an agent. And we provide free ongoing service and advice throughout the year.

• Remember your Username, Password and PIN — If you lose your login info, you will have to call Covered CA to reset them. Hold times may be as long as 3 hours, or not even be able to get through at all.

• Try to enter the correct information into the online application the first time around — some of the inputs are difficult to change unless you start a new application or call Covered CA (hold times may be as long as 3 hours.)

• Social Security Numbers — If you have already started an application with one (or one set of) Social Security Numbers, the system will not allow you to start a new application with any of those numbers.

• Withdrawing an application in order to restart a new one — it may take up to 2 weeks before you will be allowed to start a new one. By which time, you may be past the deadline.

• Entering the wrong income amounts into the online application — Before signing and submitting the application, be sure to check the income amounts carefully. If you submit an erroneous income amount, it may be difficult to change later without having to submit an Income Change, or withdrawing the application

• Household Members — Household members include dependents, but only those dependents who are claimed as dependents on your tax return. If they are adult children, or elderly parents who are not claimed as dependents on your tax return, they are not considered dependents.

• Household Income — You must include income from all household members who are considered part of your legal or tax household, even if they are not applying for coverage. You must carefully check the correct boxes or circles to indicate this on your online application.

• 3 Categories of Coverage Depending on Your Income — There are 3 categories. (1) If your HH income is below 138% of the Federal Poverty Line (FPL), (or for children, 250% of FPL), you will be automatically slotted into Medi-Cal (the CA version of the federal Medicaid or welfare program). As you know, very few providers accept Medi-Cal. (2) If your HH income is between 138% and 400% of FPL, then you are eligible to receive a subsidy (Advanced Premium Tax Credit) to help pay the monthly premium. Furthermore, if your income is between 138% and 250% of FPL, in addition to the subsidy, you will also be eligible to receive Govt. assistance for reduced Copays, Deductibles and Max. Out of Pocket costs. These plans go by names like Silver 77 or Silver 93. (3) The last category of Coverage is for those with HH income over 400% of FPL. For those in this category, there is no subsidy from the Govt. You may purchase any plan outside of the Covered CA Exchange. Although you may purchase these plans inside the CovCA Exchange as well, for full price, it is advisable to go outside the Exchange (using the links below) because: (a) You will not need to provide income, immigration, or other private information outside, (b) Your private data will not be shared with Govt. agencies like the IRS, Homeland Security, etc. and not submitted to Govt. databases for verification, (c) there are more plans and more carriers available outside than inside, (d) the online application process with the insurance carriers outside of the Exchange is faster, shorter and the websites function much more smoothly, (e) the prices are the same whether outside or inside the CovCA Exchange, it’s just that subsidies are not available outside.

Links to Apply to OFF Exchange (non-subsidized, non-CoveredCA) health plans:
Anthem Blue Cross:
Blue Shield:
Health Net:

How to apply to Covered CA and Outside marketplace:

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


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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