Health Reform: Eligibility Programs

Medicaid, CHIP, and the Affordable Care Act The Affordable Care Act significantly streamlines the eligibility standards and enrollment processes for Medicaid. It also offers a new opportunity for states to expand Medicaid to all adults ages 19 – 64 with household MAGI at or below 138% of the FPL. States have the option to expand Medicaid eligibility to this new eligibility group. This is known as “Medicaid expansion.” Through Medicaid expansion, the Affordable Care Act provides new opportunities for adults in some states to be covered by Medicaid. However, some states have chosen not to expand Medicaid eligibility to these income levels. Even if a state did not expand Medicaid,… Read More

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Health Reform: Guaranteed Renewability

Guaranteed Issue and Guaranteed Renewability The Affordable Care Act requires health insurance issuers to offer all of their individual market and group market plans to any applicant in the state. It also requires health insurance issuers to accept any individual who applies for those policies, as long as the applicant agrees to the terms and conditions of the policy, including the payment of premiums. This provision is called “guaranteed issue.” Coverage offered through and outside the Marketplaces may restrict guaranteed issue coverage to certain enrollment periods. Additionally, the Affordable Care Act requires health insurance issuers to offer to renew or continue in force coverage at the option of the policyholder. This… Read More

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Health Reform: Broker Handling of Confidential Tax Information

Agent and Broker Handling of Federal Tax Information Federal Tax Information (FTI) is classified as confidential and may not be used or disclosed except as expressly authorized by the Internal Revenue Code, which may require written consent of a taxpayer in certain situations. As an agent or broker operating in an Individual Marketplace, it is possible that we may encounter FTI when assisting with eligibility appeals. If you are an agent or broker and also a tax return preparer or work closely (e.g., share an office) with a tax return preparer (even if a small number of clients) we are subject to the tax return preparer disclosure rules set forth… Read More

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Health Reform: Network Adequacy Standards

Health Reform: Network Adequacy Standards For QHP certification, a plan must have an adequate provider network available to its enrollees. A QHP must: Offer a network with a sufficient number of providers, including mental health and substance abuse providers, to ensure access to all services without unreasonable delay Include a sufficient number and geographic distribution of essential community providers to ensure reasonable and timely access to care for low-income and medically under-served populations in the QHP’s service area   The Marketplaces offer only health insurance plans that are certified as qualified health plans, or QHPs. These QHPs must be licensed and meet certain transparency requirements. To become certified, a QHP… Read More

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Dental Plans: United Concordia Will Now Offer one of the Country’s Largest Networks

United Concordia Will Now Offer one of the Country’s Largest Dental Networks   United Concordia, Dental Network of America®, LLC and DenteMax®, LLC have entered into a network sharing agreement to provide greater access and deeper discounts to our members and clients. This agreement will take effect for United Concordia for 2015 business.   Click here to read more…

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Health Reform: SHOP Marketplace Changes for 2015

Health Reform: SHOP Marketplace Changes for 2015 In 2014, small businesses that offer coverage through an FF-SHOP Marketplace are able to offer their employees a single qualified health plan (QHP). In 2015, small businesses that offer coverage through an FF-SHOP Marketplace may be able to offer their employees a choice of QHPs and qualified dental plans (QDPs). To qualify for an FF-SHOP, a business must: Be located in an FF-SHOP’s service area (generally a state) Have at least one eligible common-law employee on payroll Have 50 or fewer full-time equivalent (FTE) employees on payroll This methodology includes part-time employees, but not seasonal employees (those working fewer than 120 days per… Read More

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Health Reform: What is a Special Enrollment Period?

Special Enrollment Periods Under certain circumstances, individuals may enroll in a QHP or change QHPs outside of the annual open enrollment period. These SEPs are based on certain triggering events or special circumstances. Events that permit an SEP include: Gaining or becoming a dependent through marriage, birth, adoption, placement for adoption, or placement in foster care Gaining status as a citizen, national, or lawfully present individual Loss of coverage (e.g., loss of Medicaid eligibility, QHP no longer available), except if enrollment is terminated based on failure to pay premiums, fraud, or enrollee initiated termination Determination that an individual is newly eligible or ineligible for advance payments of the premium tax… Read More

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Health Reform: 2015 Annual Open Enrollment Period

Annual Open Enrollment & Effective Dates The annual open enrollment period (AEP) for 2015 begins on November 15th 2014 and ends on February 14th 2015. The open enrollment period is the time when you can change, or purchase a new qualified health plan (QHP) on a guaranteed enrollment basis. You do not need a special election period, or a life change event to enroll during the annual open enrollment period. The chart below illustrates the effective dates for enrollments taken during the annual open enrollment period.             Effective Dates for 2015 Annual Open Enrollment Period

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Health Reform: Individual Responsibility Changes for 2015

Individual Shared Responsibility Payment Amounts for 2014 and 2015 Tax Years The amount of the individual shared responsibility payment increases between 2014 and 2015. 2014: The annual individual shared responsibility payment is the greater of 1% of the taxpayer’s household income that is above the tax return filing threshold for the taxpayer’s filing status, or The taxpayer’s flat dollar amount, which is $95 per adult and $47.50 per child, limited to a family maximum of $285. However the total payment amount is capped at the cost of the national average premium for a Bronze level health plan available through the Marketplaces in 2014. 2015: The annual individual responsibility payment is… Read More

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What is Critical Illness Insurance?

Why Critical Illness as a “wrap” plan Because: They’re more affordable than you might think. They’re available for employer  groups, individuals and seniors. They make selecting a health plan easier. They provide peace of mind against a catastrophic event and large out of pocket expenses. They’re person and portable, it doesn’t matter where you get your health insurance from, having your own critical illness plan makes it better. Many clients have asked how they can supplement their employees coverage when they get enrolled through the affordable care act healthcare.gov marketplace. Employers are permitted to offer wrap plans that consist of “excepted benefits”, meaning they are not regulated by the affordable… Read More

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