Monday, September 9, 2013

New Health Insurance Plans for 2014

Open Enrollment begins in October, 2013...
...for NEW Guaranteed-Issue Health Insurance Plans

But, it may take a long time to get the ACA system working right:

CNBC insights from Aetna - Click here 

IT experts see serious flaws - Click here for more details

Why buy a new health insurance plan (policy) for 1/1/14?

1.  If your rates have increased too much with your current policy
      AND your household income is low enough to qualify for 2014
      govt tax credits (to lower your monthly premiums).

The new healthcare laws provide subsidies (tax credits) for eligible Texans.
...Think of it as a discount (deducted from your monthly insurance premiums).

If your household income meets the federal guidelines, the govt will (might) pay for part of your monthly premiums every month.

For 2014......Here are approx guidelines:

Under $46,000/yr for a single individual should (may) qualify for tax credits
Under $62,000/yr for a family-of-2
Under $78,000/yr for a family-of-3
Under $94,000/yr for a family-of-4

The rules are complex!
We'll just need to request (apply for) the tax credits (to see if you'll qualify).
Younger adults don't always qualify using the above income guidelines.

2.  If you want maternity insurance coverage (you should probably buy a new 2014 policy).

The new govt-approved health insurance plans/policies (to be effective in 2014) will include maternity coverage.

They'll cover maternity claims same-as-any-other-condition.
You'll have one combined deductible (for medical claims...including maternity claims).
And, you'll have one combined out-of-pocket maximum (to meet each calendar year).

If you own one of the older Texas policies...
...that includes an Optional Maternity Insurance Benefit...
.....these new 2014 policies might be a better "buy" for you...
...........and might not be a good "buy" at all!

We should have accurate prices, benefits & details by December, 2013.
(As of November 25th 2013, insurance companies are still warning us that the prices they're retrieving from the govt are not necessarily accurate.)

3.  If you have a pre-existing medical condition .......that's excluded-from-coverage on your existing policy .......(you might want to buy a new 2014 health insurance policy).

The NEW govt-approved health insurance plans (policies) for 2014:
- Will cover pre-existing medical conditions immediately
.............even an existing pregnancy
- Will not charge extra for your pre-existing medical condition

If you have the option to buy "affordable" group health insurance (through your spouse's employer), you probably won't qualify for tax credits (to lower your monthly premiums with the new 2014 plans).

The new laws are complex!
The regulations (defining & interpreting the laws) are ambiguous in some areas.
We HOPE that "affordable" coverage for dependents is further clarified SOON.

We do not expect the web-calculators to be fully operational (for 2014 plans) until December 2013.

At that time, you can:
- Run a Quick Quote on our website
- Click on the link at the top-right of quotes screen see if you qualify for tax credits
- Review the final prices (after tax credits are applied)
- Compare plans side-by-side
- Check to see if your doctors (& hospitals) are in the networks
- Pick-a-plan that works best (for you)
- Fill out a quick application
.....for a new 2014 policy
- Call us for help to review your choices

We'll help you decide what's best for you.

You'll want to gather:
- Social Security numbers.......for all family members
- Drivers License numbers
- Your 2012 Federal Tax Return
- Recent letters from your current insurance company
- Your current insurance ID card
- Recent notices from employers (about covg "affordability")
...Many employers probably haven't sent these letters out.
...They can only be SURE they're correct concerning "employee-only".
...They can't know (yet) whether dependent prices are "affordable".

Many policyholders (in Texas) will probably choose to keep their old (current) policy until at least December 2014.
At that time, many policyholders will be forced to buy a new govt-endorsed policy.
In other states, policies are being non-renewed (cancelled) in Dec 2013.
Each state has different laws to consider.

Each situation is so different.
We won't know exactly what you should do until we can retrieve accurate info from the govt.

Feel free to call us for guidance in December 2013.
If our phone lines are busy, just send an email.
We'll call you back ASAP.

Toll Free Line:  888-777-0474
Houston Line:  713-932-9072

Estimated prices for 2014 health insurance plans....with maternity benefits (automatically included):

Ruth Stewart - Agent ID numbers:

1012551 - Texas Dept of Insurance License Number

1103110 - NPN (National Producer Number)

123777 - FFM (Federal Marketplace) User ID number

These last 2 numbers are requested on your new 2014 govt applications.

Link to: How much will health insurance cost in 2014?