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Continuation letter from Humana - very long
Old 08-14-2013, 11:26 PM   #1
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Continuation letter from Humana - very long

Because we had individual insurance with them in 2010, Humana is presenting us the option to continue with our current non-ACA policy through 2014. They sent us a letter comparing Option A (my current plan) with Option B (the plan Humana selected for us which they decided was comparable to our current plan). Take a wild guess which option was a better choice? It's good to have options but my conclusion is that Humana is doing its best to confuse people and sow fear to get them to stay one more year with them whether it makes sense or not.

Why do I say this?

1. The letter has a box comparing the basic info about Option A and Option B and it contains a huge error. Guess who the error benefits? Humana! Our plan has an $11,900 deductible after which Humana pays 100% of in-network claims. Therefore, the value in the table for "in-network coinsurance, not including deductible" is $0.

The value in the box for Option B should also be $0 but instead the value is $11,900. It looks like with Option B (an ACA compliant high deductible policy of indeterminate metal level) we would have to pay our $11,900 deductible and then an ADDITIONAL $11,900. Simply Humana being sloppy? FEAR - Our out-of-pocket is going to double in 2014 unless we stick with Humana!

2. Our current premium is $439 and the Option B premium is $817.08. Looks like we are in for a big increase if we want to keep exactly the same coverage so what are the other options? I called and spoke to three people at Humana over the course of 90 minutes trying to get them to provide me the other policy options in the "basket" from which they chose Option B. "No, that's not possible." It also wasn't possible to know the metal level of Option B. FEAR - We are going to be paying nearly double if we don't stick with Humana for 2014!

3. No mention in the letter that the cost of Option B might be offset by a subsidy for which we would not be eligible if we stuck with Option A. FEAR - We are going to be paying nearly double if we don't stick with Humana for 2014!

4. Humana disclosed the Option B rates were a "projection" that could change and reminded us to factor in this uncertainty. So is your projection high or low? FEAR - the rate will be even higher than what we are showing you if you don't stick with us in 2014!

5. Humana writes in the letter "If you do not select Option A, then you will receive a policy with 2014 ACA benefits and rates (Option B). You mean we won't have the option to purchase a different ACA policy (from Humana or another company) off the exchange that might be less expensive? FEAR - We are going to be paying nearly double if we don't stick with Humana for 2014!

6. Humana writes in the letter we have 30 days from the date of the letter (3 weeks from when we received the letter) to opt-in to continue Option A through 2014. The statement is footnoted so if you take the time to read the footnote on the back of the page 2, you will understand your decision to opt-in can be changed on October 1, 2013. In reality, we can opt-in now and easily change our minds as soon as we have a chance to review Humana's prices and their competitors' prices on the Exchange. FEAR - Time is short so make your decision now and be set through 2014!

7. The Humana Customer Service phone number provided at the end of the letter is actually the number to the automated opt-in system. No need to answer your questions, just opt-in now! Humana just being sloppy again?

8. The Humana Retention Specialist I spoke to assured me the option to continue our current policy was something special Humana was doing compared to other companies. Not true! I spoke to my broker (who is VERY unhappy because he was not warned about the letter) and he said several other companies have done the same thing but Humana is the last one to get around to it.

Having the option to continue with our current plan through 2014 is good to have (especially since DH will be on Medicare in a year) but we need to make an informed decision. I have the feeling Humana is worried they are finally going to have some competition and are hoping to keep as many folks as possible through 2014. If people opt-in to continue their current policy, they may or may not realize they can change their decision on October 1. That situation combined with the inertia of people just sticking with what they have and not wanting to interact with the Exchange might mean many more dollars for Humana in 2014. Maybe they figure they can get their act together by then and compete head-to-head with other insurers. I can only imagine how freaked out this letter would make a person who understands little about the upcoming changes.

And then maybe I'm just being paranoid and reading far too much into what could just be very sloppy work by a major insurance company. We will opt in and then decide what is best for us once we have a chance to review all the options on the Exchange.
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Old 08-15-2013, 05:27 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Buckeye View Post

And then maybe I'm just being paranoid and reading far too much into what could just be very sloppy work by a major insurance company. We will opt in and then decide what is best for us once we have a chance to review all the options on the Exchange.
Thanks for sharing that. You're not paranoid and they aren't sloppy, health care insurance has always used complexity and confusion as part of their business model. As long as you can opt out later it is a good choice now. Most will probably opt in and then in a lazy manner just put off looking at it again in October, to their disadvantage.
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Old 08-15-2013, 12:10 PM   #3
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That insurer is one of the worst for misinformation.

I had them for pharmacy only benefits at Megacorp. Wife has a medicare supplement from them that started this year. When I retired I kept COBRA coverage for myself, as wife has midicare/medigap.

They have refused every one if my wifes claims since I retired. Turns out Humana thinks I'm covering her via COBRA. Got Megacorp involved twice, both times Humana told Megacorp they 'fixed' the problem. Waiting on next EOB, I have zero faith that its fixed.

I have an issue with an insurance company not being able to tell who its customers are.

MRG
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Old 08-15-2013, 03:37 PM   #4
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That insurer is one of the worst for misinformation.

I had them for pharmacy only benefits at Megacorp. Wife has a medicare supplement from them that started this year. When I retired I kept COBRA coverage for myself, as wife has midicare/medigap.

They have refused every one if my wifes claims since I retired. Turns out Humana thinks I'm covering her via COBRA. Got Megacorp involved twice, both times Humana told Megacorp they 'fixed' the problem. Waiting on next EOB, I have zero faith that its fixed.

I have an issue with an insurance company not being able to tell who its customers are.

MRG
I don't even think Humana even wants customers in my state. Their prices for near exact policy have always been double what Anthem is charging.
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Old 08-15-2013, 05:08 PM   #5
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I don't even think Humana even wants customers in my state. Their prices for near exact policy have always been double what Anthem is charging.
My broker has talked about how Florida is divided up between the big boys and it's obvious who has what area of the state by looking at the rates. I live in Humana territory so the rates for other companies are off the charts (for at least individual policies). The Exchange is going to make things a lot more interesting in the Tampa Bay area.

My greatest hope is another insurance company becomes the reasonable choice once the Exchange is up and running.
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Old 08-15-2013, 05:30 PM   #6
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My greatest hope is another insurance company becomes the reasonable choice once the Exchange is up and running.
Looks like you will have at least Blue Cross. The carrier we use (UHC) isn't offering policies on the exchange this year and I expect we will become BCBS customers as well.

Quote:
"We will be in all counties, and will offer a range of benefit plans from richer to leaner to give people a choice," said Joe Gregor, vice president of consumer and exchange market for Florida Blue, the state brand for Blue Cross Blue Shield.
Florida health exchange details released - Orlando Sentinel
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Old 08-15-2013, 06:10 PM   #7
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Looks like you will have at least Blue Cross. The carrier we use (UHC) isn't offering policies on the exchange this year and I expect we will become BCBS customers as well.

Florida health exchange details released - Orlando Sentinel
One would think the two large counties in the Tampa Bay area (Pinellas and Hillsborough) would get a mention.
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Old 08-15-2013, 06:32 PM   #8
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One would think the two large counties in the Tampa Bay area (Pinellas and Hillsborough) would get a mention.
There is a link to a county-by-county count of companies offering policies in the press release:
Office of Insurance Regulation

Six companies will offer policies in the Tampa area.
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Old 08-15-2013, 07:25 PM   #9
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There is a link to a county-by-county count of companies offering policies in the press release:
Office of Insurance Regulation

Six companies will offer policies in the Tampa area.
Can't make your link work and can't find the link in the article.
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Old 08-15-2013, 07:34 PM   #10
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Sorry about that. Try this one: FLOIR News Releases

The first news release on the page has a link to the list I reviewed.
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Old 08-17-2013, 07:14 AM   #11
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Since receiving my letter a week ago, I have received a Humana robocall, a call from a Humana human who immediately rolled into the continuation enrollment process (excuse me, I'm in the middle of something at the moment), and a Humana reminder email.

I think I'll wait right until the end to see how many reminders I get!
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Old 08-17-2013, 08:09 AM   #12
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Since receiving my letter a week ago, I have received a Humana robocall, a call from a Humana human who immediately rolled into the continuation enrollment process (excuse me, I'm in the middle of something at the moment), and a Humana reminder email.

I think I'll wait right until the end to see how many reminders I get!
I wonder if they are robo-calling all existing customers to enroll who are revenue positive for the company, and sending a different message to the ones who are claims heavy. Maybe suggesting them to research all companies on the exchange to make a "fully informed decision" before enrolling.
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Old 08-17-2013, 08:19 AM   #13
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I wonder if they are robo-calling all existing customers to enroll who are revenue positive for the company, and sending a different message to the ones who are claims heavy. Maybe suggesting them to research all companies on the exchange to make a "fully informed decision" before enrolling.
That's an interesting thought. We've cost them about $500 in 2.5 years and we've paid approximately $15,000 in premiums. I'd want to keep us too!

Although either the retention specialist or my broker said something about 100's of thousands of letters going out in a rush.
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Old 08-20-2013, 08:06 PM   #14
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Another call from Humana today. They left a long and detailed message.
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Old 08-24-2013, 10:44 AM   #15
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Two more calls from Humana today. One was a Humana human and the other was a robocall. I asked the human to call back later because I was right in the middle of something (liar!) and I hung up on the robocall as soon as I determined it was Humana.

I have until September 5th to sign up with them to stay for all of 2014. I guess they want to make sure I don't forget to do it!
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Old 08-24-2013, 12:44 PM   #16
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Sounds like they are cherry picking. It may be illegal to deny coverage but it's not illegal to solicit customers with a positive health history.
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