Reminder: Annual Open Enrollment Period

(This information concerns those who are on Individual & Family health plans, and Medicare health plans. It does not concern you if you are an Employer or Employee on a Group-sponsored or Government-sponsored health plan. This information pertains only to California and may or may not apply to other states.)

This is a reminder that we are in Open Enrollment season for several lines of health insurance plans.

(A) For Those Under Age 65 on Individual & Family Plans
Annual Open Enrollment period (AEP) this year runs from Nov. 1 through Jan. 31.
• You may enroll into or change Covered CA On-Exchange (with subsidy) as well as Off-Exchange (no subsidy) plans.
• Competitive Rate Comparison Proposals for On Exchange as well as Off Exchange plans are now available for Jan. 1, 2018. Please let us know if you would like one prepared for you.
• On Jan. 1, Anthem Blue Cross will be terminating their Individual plans in most counties in California except for some in rural Northern California.
• If you received a cancellation notice from Anthem Blue Cross, please contact us for a proposal to show you alternative plans from Blue Shield, Health Net, Kaiser, etc.
• If you received a large rate increase, ask us for a proposal showing alternatives.

(B) For Those Seniors Over Age 65 on Medicare
• For those on Supplement plans, there is NO Open Enrollment Period. Your supplement plans do not require renewal and continue uninterrupted until you cancel it.
• For those on Supplement Plan F, CMS (Center for Medicare Medicaid Services) will prohibit new sales after Jan. 2020. But those who are already on Plan F at that time will be grandfathered indefinitely.
• For those wishing to switch from a Medicare Advantage HMO plan to a Supplement Plan, there is no Open Enrollment and no Guarantee-Issue (GI) unless you have a Qualifying Event (QE), such as a move from out of state. You will wish to review the 13 Guarantee-Issue (GI) situations in CA that you may possibly qualify for. Even if you don’t qualify, there is no penalty for applying and going through the non-GI underwriting (approval) process. Chances are good that you may still qualify based on your health. The process for this type of transition is tricky and the timing very tight. If you think you may want to do this, start this process early to give yourself enough time to receive approval. We recommend that you seek professional assistance from an experienced agent knowledgeable in this area.

(The above is meant to be informational. This information has not been approved by CMS or any regulatory agency. This is not sales material and should not be relied upon to make purchase decisions. We recommend that you consult a knowledgeable insurance agent before making any decisions.)

Phil Lee
Lee Health Insurance Services 925-284-2000
[email protected]
Employee Benefits & Health Insurance

Update of Obamacare Deadlines

Originally Posted 1/15/2014

(This information applies only to Individual and Family health plans. It does not apply to Employer Group plans or to Medicare plans.)

Covered California Payment Deadlines:
For those of you who applied for Individual/Family coverage with an Effective Date of Jan. 1st., either On Exchange (Covered CA), or Off Exchange (from the insurance carrier). Some of the deadlines for initial premium payments have been extended. Those deadlines are:
Blue Shield, Jan. 15th
Health Net, Jan. 15th
Anthem Blue Cross, Jan. 31st
Kaiser, Jan. 31st
Open Enrollment Period Continues
If 1) your plan was cancelled, or
2) you were mapped to a new plan by your insurance carrier, or
3) you opted for an extension to March, or
4) you are on a grandfathered plan, or
5) you are simply uninsured
You may still apply to a new or change insurance carriers before March 31st.
Open Enrollment Application Deadlines:
For Feb. 1st start dates, the deadline is Jan. 15th.
For March 1st start date, the deadline is Feb. 15th.
For April 1st start date, the deadline is March 15th.
For May 1st start date, the deadline is March 31st.
Last day of Open Enrollment for 2014 is March 31st.

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

What is the difference between Covered California On-Exchange, Off-Exchange and Off-Off-Exchange Health Insurance Plans?

What is the difference between Covered California On-Exchange, Off-Exchange and Off-Off-Exchange Health Plans?
1) On-Exchange plans are offered by the official Covered California Exchange to consumers and small businesses. They have the following characteristics:
• 4 Standardized Metallic Tiers of plans called: Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze.
• There also offer a Catastropic level plan to 18 to 30 year olds only.
• Each Metallic Level plan may be offered by several of the carriers in each county, e.g. Anthem Blue Cross, Blue Shield, Kaiser and Health Net.
• On-Exchange Plans may be purchased online, through a licensed and certified Agent or through a CEC (certified enrollment counselor).
• You may apply for a federal Subsidy (or Premium Assistance) at the time that you make you application for enrollment.
• Most On-Exchange plans have reduced or limited networks of providers.

There are 2 kinds of Off Exchange Plans:
2) Off Exchange plans that “mirror” the Metallic Level plans and are identical to them. These plans usually have different names than the metallic plans.• Rates are the same between the On Exchange plans and the Off Exchange “Mirror” plans.
• They offer the same 4 metallic level plans, although under different names.
• Subsidies are not offered on Off Exchange plans.
• Off-Exchange plans may have either full or limited provider networks.

3) Off-Off Exchange Plans that are not standardized and are different from any of the On Exchange or Off-Exchange “Mirror” plans.
• Rates and Benefits are different than On Exchange plans.
• No Subsidies are offered for these Off-Off Exchange plans.
• Off-Off Exchange plans are more likely to offer full provider networks in addition to limited provider network plans.

On Exchange plans (1) are identical to Off Exchange plans (2). The only difference is that one may apply for a subsidy if they purchase an On Exchange plan. No subsidy are available on Off Exchange plans. On the Individual Exchange, one may apply for an individual subsidy based on income. On the SHOP Exchange, small business employers may apply for a tax credit to help pay for premiums on employee plans.

With On Exchange plans, each metallic level may offer a choice of multiple carriers to their employees simultaneously, like Anthem and Kaiser, or Blue Shield and Kaiser. While Off Exchange plans may be purchased only from one carrier at a time.
Off-Off Exchange plans (3) may offer many plan designs not available under the 4 standardized metallic levels.
Off-Off Exchange plans are more likely to offer larger provider networks than On-Exchange plans.

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