Key dates for the Health Insurance Marketplace

Open Enrollment is the time when you can apply for a 2015 Marketplace plan, keep your current plan, or pick a new one.

Here are 4 key dates you should know:

November 15, 2014. Open Enrollment begins. Apply for, keep, or change your coverage.

December 15, 2014. Enroll by the 15th if you want new coverage that begins on January 1, 2015. If your plan is changing or you want to change plans, enroll by the 15th to avoid a lapse in coverage.

December 31, 2014. Coverage ends for 2014 plans. Coverage for 2015 plans can start as soon as January 1st.

February 15, 2015. This is the last day you can apply for 2015 coverage before the end of Open Enrollment.

Of course if you change your job, move or lose your employer’s health coverage you may qualify for a Special Enrollment Period. 

Please share this with your friends and family and don’t hesitate to give me a call.

Are all insurance agents the same?

To get the best deal on insurance, many people consult an insurance agent or broker. But did you know that there are different kinds of insurance agents and brokers — and the one you choose can make a big difference in the type of service you get and the choices you’re offered? Here’s the difference:

Captive Agents and Brokers — Captive agents work with a specific insurance company, and as part of their business agreement with that company, they can offer only that company’s insurance products. They may also be required to sell other products from that company, such as annuities and investment plans.

Independent Agents and Brokers — Independent agents and brokers can offer products from many insurance companies. This helps them better serve your interests, as they can review multiple options to find a policy and rate that’s right for you. Insurance rates vary from company to company. Independent agents can put together a customized insurance plan.

If you’re ready to contact an independent agent to talk about saving money on car insurance, here are a few things to consider:

•Has your life situation changed recently? Many factors determine auto insurance rates, not just vehicle year, make, model, body type and engine size. If you’ve recently moved, gotten married, had a birthday or experienced a similar life milestone, mention this to an independent agent or broker. You may be eligible to save money on your car insurance.

•Is your car getting older? You don’t always need the same level of physical damage coverage on older cars as on newer ones. If you drive an older car, an independent agent or broker can advise you on what level of coverage makes the most sense. Raising your deductible could save you money each year, too.

•Do you have another type of vehicle that also needs coverage? If you have a motorcycle, boat, RV or other “toy,” you might save money by having it covered by the same company that insures your car. Talk to an independent agent or broker about it.

Another plus to working with an independent agent or broker is their ability to offer guidance for all your insurance needs—auto, home, life, business and more. They can customize a package of policies just for you.

Did You Know?

Unlike captive agents, independent agents and brokers can offer products from many insurance companies. This helps them better serve your interests, as they can review multiple options to find a policy and rate that’s right for you.

Q. What are the triggering events allowing a special enrollment period for Obamacare plans?

Renewal of a grandfathered or non-grandfathered individual major medical plan in 2014
Return from active military duty
Release from incarceration
Gain of immigration status or citizenship
Permanent move to a new state

Involuntary loss of minimum essential coverage due to:

Discontinuation of a current plan that does not meet health care reform requirements
Legal separation
Divorce
Termination of domestic partnership or civil union*
Change in full-time employment status
Loss of employer-sponsored insurance as a result of:
Voluntary or involuntary termination of employment
The employer no longer offering coverage
Death of a parent or spouse
Change in dependent status as a result of turning 26

Gaining or becoming a dependent due to:

Marriage
Domestic partnership*
Birth of child/children
Adoption of child/children
Placement for adoption of child/children
New appointment of guardianship

*in applicable states

If you have questions or have had a recent life changing event, give us a call at (229) 389-5475

How do I to go to the doctor or fill a prescription if I haven’t received my new insurance card?

Even though you haven’t received your insurance card, your coverage may be effective. If you need to see a doctor or get a prescription filled before you get your insurance card, call your insurer to make sure you have coverage. You also can ask them to confirm your enrollment for your doctor or pharmacy so they can provide you care at the cost set by the health plan.

If you don’t have an insurance card, you can find this number on the insurer’s website, by logging in to the Marketplace at www.healthcare.gov or by calling the Marketplace Call Center at 1-800-318-2596 where a trained representative can help you find it.

BLUE CROSS BLUE SHIELD OF GEORGIA 1-855-738-6652

HUMANA 1-877-720-4854

Important Health Care Dates to Remember

January 1, 2014

This is when the new health exchange plans can go into effect.

January 10, 2014

This is the last day most insurers will allow a payment for plans starting on January 1st.

March 31, 2014

This is the end of open-enrollment.

November 15, 2014-January 15, 2015

This is the start of open enrollment. If you bought a plan in 2014, this is the window of opportunity to change plans unless you have a life changing event such as a birth of a child, a change of employment status, an adoption, a divorce or other qualifying events.

April 15, 2015

This is the date when income-tax filings are typically due. For those receiving subsidies, this is the time for correcting over or under payments of health-care subsidies.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia Extends New Policy Acceptance Deadline – Now December 23, 2014

If you have an individual plan with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia you now have up until December 23rd to decide to keep their offer or purchase a plan through the Marketplace.

I’ve had clients who are young and healthy and unable to benefit from the subsidy decide to accept their offer.   I’ve also had clients decide to get a market place plan because the subsidy made it more affordable.

If you or someone you know in Georgia need some help enrolling, give me a call at (229)-389-4575.