If you need health insurance that covers preexisting conditions, you have until Sunday February 22, 2015 at 11:59 p.m. to apply for health insurance with Blue Cross Blue Shield on or off the exchange (Healthcare gov). After that, you will be unable to purchase health insurance again unless you have filed your 2014 taxes and can prove that you are subject to the tax for not buying health insurance. In this case, you will have a 45 day window from March 15, 2015 to April 30, 2015 to get health insurance again. After that, you can not get health insurance that covers preexisting conditions again until 2016 without experiencing a ‘Qualifying Life Event‘. If you miss these Special Enrollment dates and do not experience a Qualifying Life Event you can purchase non renewable Short-Term or Temporary health insurance that does not cover preexisting conditions any time throughout the year. Visit HealthInsuranceMentors.com for expert guidance.
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There are 46 days left in 2015 to get health insurance that covers preexisting conditions without a Qualifying Life Event.
If you have received a notice from the IRS stating that you estimated your income level incorrectly last year and as such received an Advance Premium Tax Credit (subsidy) that was incorrect. The chances are very good that you won’t have to pay back the full amount. In fact, only those with income levels above 400% of FPL – Federal Poverty Level – will have to pay back the full amount. For the rest of us, the repayment amount is capped based on our income level.
Below is a chart that states the maximum amount you will have to pay back to the IRS regardless of how large of a subsidy that you took incorrectly. How much will this ‘subsidy forgiveness’ cost taxpayers? That number has yet to be determined.
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 95,000 times in 2014. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 4 days for that many people to see it.
On October 2nd President Obama touted an “improved, strong U.S. economy” and the “benefits of Obamacare” at Northwestern University. It all sounded great but this is what I’ve been dealing with today. I’m fielding angry calls from my HumanaOne, Aetna and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas clients. All of their policies will be canceled as of December 31, 2014. See the letters here and here. Cigna is also terminating their pre-2014 plans. This is the second year I’ve had to deal with this but this year it’s much different.
Last year when more than 4 million cancellation notices went out, Americans were able to shop for prices as early as October 1st, granted the initial roll out left much to be desired. In fact, in my opinion it was an unmitigated disaster. Many of my clients spent hours on the phone with Healthcare.gov ‘navigators’ only to find out that their application had then mysteriously disappeared.
Worse yet, because our state’s “C.H.I.P” program was expanded long before Obamacare. The few members of my clientele who actually qualified for an APTC – “Advance Premium Tax Credit” a.k.a. “subsidy” to artificially lower their premiums were unable to add their children to their subsidized policies. They were instead instructed to enroll their children in Medicaid. Or, they could pay full price for each of their children. The rates for a single child in my state are at least $100 a month for the cheapest “Bronze” plan which includes a $6,000 deductible per person. That’s not exactly ‘affordable care’ when you have three children.
This year, for the first time in 20 years I can not even quote a replacement product because Barack Obama has issued a GAG ORDER to the health insurance industry instructing them not to disclose their January 2015 health insurance rates until after the mid-term elections. This is unprecedented. Normally health insurance premiums are released for public viewing 60 days before the January 1st effective date. Where are the reports on these cancellations and the gag order from NBC, ABC, CBS and CNN? The only news organization that I am aware of that has reported on any of this is the Fox News channel. I can guarantee you one thing, not one of my clients who received a cancellation notice is voting Democrat on Tuesday.
Republicans have outstanding alternatives to this disastrous health care law. The two most recent are the American Health Care Reform Act and the Universal Exchange Plan. Please read them, for it will be up to us to forge a new path forward for the American people and time is of the essence. The insurance company bail outs are temporary and they will expire in 2016. Without a bailout the health insurance industry will pull out of the individual and family health insurance market. Before that happens we need to be able to articulate intelligent, market based alternatives. It’s up to us.
11/4/2014 UPDATE: Yesterday, “Snopes” the ‘fact check’ site stated that the actual term ‘Gag Order’ was not used in the original Wall Street Journal article which I link to above. Whilst that is true, Snopes does not disagree with the fact that 2015 health insurance premiums and plans are not available for viewing until after the election. Since the term ‘Gag Order’ was not used in that WSJ post “Snopes” lists my post as ‘false’. Anyone who has access to the internet can visit my health insurance brokerage site HealthInsuranceMentors.com and then click on the orange ‘Start Shopping Now” button. Then attempt to get a quote for January 1, 2015. You will not be able to. That is the point of this entire piece. Not the fact that the actual term “Gag Order” was not used but the fact that you can not quote premiums for January 1, 2015 and this is what is unprecedented. That is the point. Certainly the good folks at ‘Snopes’ are intelligent enough to figure that out. Maybe they should take a lesson from USA Today who figured out the point and used the term “Gag Rule” last month. Does the fact that USA Today used the term “Gag Rule” render their entire piece ‘false’? No one with a working cerebral cortex would believe such nonsense.
In July I wrote about Humana’s decision to terminate most of their ‘non-grandfathered’ individual and family health insurance plans no later than December 31, 2014. The second carrier to make this decision was Aetna. I wrote about their decision in August. They too will terminate most of their ‘non-grandfathered’ individual and family health insurance plans no later than 12/31/2014. Health Care Service Corporation which owns Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas is also terminating their individual and family plans by 12/31/2014. Now, a fourth major carrier – United HealthOne – Golden Rule insurance company has made the decision to change their ‘non-grandfathered’ individual and family health insurance plans in the states of Connecticut, Delaware, Kentucky, Nevada and Virginia no later than 12/31/2014. In other words, Barack Obama lied when he said “if you like your plan, you can keep your plan.” This is of course is no surprise to high information voters. Most especially the 6,286,357 policy holders who had their coverage canceled in 2013 because of Obamacare.
The truth is these plans would have been terminated last year but Barack Obama used his “pen and his phone” to unilaterally delay the termination of these policies for an additional year. Unfortunately for these Humana, Aetna and United HealthOne policy holders, that one year delay is now over. The poetic justice here is that the unilateral one year delay imposed by Barack Obama was done to delay the termination of these policies until after the November 2014 mid term elections. Quick FYI to the Obama administration, October comes before November.
Your options now
According to Aetna. Existing policy holders began receiving policy termination notices in August. Humana and United HealthOne state their policy holders will receive their notices no later than the end of October. No worries though! Each carrier recommends switching to one of the Obamacare “Medal” plans. The cheapest one for adults is the Obamacare “Bronze” plan which has a $6,000 deductible per person times two family members. Unless of course your income is below 400% of the federal poverty level. If this is the case, you will qualify not only for an APTC – “Advance Premium Tax Credit” – but you could also qualify for a “Cost Sharing” credit which will lower that $6,000 deductible. Both of which may cost the few, the proud, the 49% of us who still pay federal income taxes $16.3 billion this year alone. Not to mention the hundreds of billions we taxpayers will be paying to bail out the health insurance industry this year. Forward………
In New Mexico, Nearly 30,000 People Will Lose Their Health Plan. “About 30,000 New Mexicans are about to see their individual health insurance plans go away – part of a statewide push to ensure all coverage sold here meets minimum requirements of the Affordable Care Act.” (Jessica Dyer, “Health Insurance Cancellations Coming For About 30,000 In NM,” Albuquerque Journal, 9/30/14)
In Virginia, Up To 250,000 Virginians Will Be Notified By December If Their Health Plan Has Been Cancelled. “After a year’s reprieve, up to 250,000 Virginians will receive notice by the end of November that their health insurance plans will be canceled because the plans do not comply with the Affordable Care Act and accompanying state law. The affected policyholders were allowed to renew their old plans late last year, even though the plans did not provide all of the benefits required under the health care law, but they won’t have that option when the policies expire this year.” (Markus Schmidt and Michael Martz, “250,000 In Virginia Face Loss Of Health Insurance,” Richmond Times-Dispatch, 9/11/14)
In Colorado, 6,150 Coloradans Have Had Their Health Care Plans Cancelled This Year. “The Colorado Division of Insurance has reported that there were about 2,100 health-plan cancellations in the state over the past two months, bringing this year’s total to more than 6,150.” (Electa Draper, “Colorado Says 2,100 Health Plans Were Canceled In Last Two Months,” The Denver Post, 8/21/14)
14,000 Kentuckians Will Be Notified That Their Health Plan Will Be Cancelled. “In Kentucky, the Department of Insurance told Morning Consult that nearly 14,000 people, mostly enrolled in plans from Humana, will have been notified of a plan cancellation by October 1. That could come into play for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who is in a tight race with Democratic challenger Allison Grimes.”(Meghan McCarthy, “ObamaCare’s Election Special: New Health Insurance Cancellations Before November,” Morning Consult, 9/30/14)
About 800 Alaskans Will Have Their Health Plans Cancelled. “About 800 Alaskans will receive similar letters by October 1, according to a report from the Associated Press, potentially creating a challenge for Democratic incumbent Sen. Mark Begich, who is also facing a tough reelection.” (Meghan McCarthy, “ObamaCare’s Election Special: New Health Insurance Cancellations Before November,” Morning Consult, 9/30/14) h/t RNC
More cancellations reported by Kaiser Health News.
Last month I wrote about Humana’s decision to terminate most of their ‘non-grandfathered’ individual and family health insurance plans no later than December 31, 2014. The second carrier to make this decision is Aetna. They too will terminate most ‘non-grandfathered’ individual and family health insurance plans no later than 12/31/2014. In other words, Barack Obama lied when he said “if you like your plan, you can keep your plan.” This is of course is no surprise to high information voters.
The truth is these plans would have been terminated last year but Barack Obama used his “pen and his phone” to unilaterally delay the termination of these policies for one additional year or in the case of United HealthOne even longer. This was done to help the Democrats in the upcoming mid-term elections in November 2014.
Your options now
According to Aetna. Existing policy holders will begin receiving policy termination notices beginning in August. No worries though! Aetna recommends the Obamacare “Bronze” plan which has a $6,000 deductible per person times two family members. Unless of course your income is well below 400% of the federal poverty level. If this is the case, you will qualify not only for an APTC – “Advance Premium Tax Credit” – but you could also qualify for a “Cost Sharing” credit which will lower that $6,000 deductible. Both of which may cost the few, the proud, the 49% of us who still pay federal income taxes $16.3 billion this year alone. Not to mention the hundreds of billions we taxpayers will be paying to bail out the health insurance industry this year. Forward………
Democrats are cheering an August 1, 2014 initial analysis of 2015 health insurance premium increases performed by Price Waterhouse Cooper. Many on the political Left are pointing to this as proof that “Obamacare is working”. That depends on how you define “working”. If robbing taxpayers of $10 billion dollars in 2014 and then handing it to the health insurance industry is “working” then Democrats are right.
As I have stated before, Obamacare is the greatest transfer of wealth from the U.S. Treasury to the health insurance industry in U.S. history. Those massive transfers of wealth are just getting started via the Obamacare “Three Rs” provision. The truth is that without the Obamacare Three Rs consisting of Risk Adjustment, Reinsurance and “Risk Corridors”, premiums would be dramatically higher in 2015 as most of us policy wonks predicted. What does just one leg of the “Three Rs” accomplish? Cori Uccello – Senior Health Fellow at the American Academy of Actuaries spelled out for us what the “Reinsurance” part does during a recent testimony in congress:
“In 2014, $10 billion will be collected from health plans (CBS says this will cost policyholders $25 billion) which will then be used to pay plans in the individual market when an individual’s claims exceed $45,000. Plans will be reimbursed (by taxpayers) for 80% of an individual’s health claims between $45,000 and $250,000.” – Cori Uccello.
Already we are seeing health insurers lining up for their taxpayer funded bailouts under the “Reinsurance” program:
Aetna wants $50,000,000
Assurant Health wants $140,000,000
Humana is asking for than half a billion
In fact 12 out of the 15 health insurers that provided information to the House Oversight Committee expect to get big bail out checks from the taxpayer to cover their losses this year. So you see these premium increases aren’t even close to the actual cost of health insurance under Obamacare. The truth is whilst the health insurance industry is releasing lower premium increases for 2015 with one hand they are picking your wallet with the other hand.
The worst part is that just before Kathleen Sebellius left her post at HHS she aided and ebbeted these actions by illegally and unilaterally expanding the Obamacare risk corridor program without congress so that the health insurance industry can get even more of your money without any approval from congress. There are reasons our founders required separations of power. This is just one example of why they did.