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Existing non-ACA health plans allowed to continue
Old 03-05-2014, 05:03 PM   #1
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Existing non-ACA health plans allowed to continue

People may keep old health insurance another year

People may keep old health insurance another year

I sure hope this means I can continue mine as my wallet is fixing to be lightened significantly come the end of the year. The best I can determine it is still up to the state. My state allowed existing policies to continue this year, but many states did not. This could create an uproar if I understand the new process. I would get to continue paying $88 a month, while someone just like me in the same state that is just enrolling would be forced to pay $300 plus for an inferior plan.


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Old 03-05-2014, 05:26 PM   #2
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That's right Mulligan. Our state's insurance commissioner disallowed the continuation of old plans beginning 1/1/2014 so we were forced to move to a QHP.
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Old 03-05-2014, 06:42 PM   #3
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Old 03-05-2014, 06:55 PM   #4
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That's right Mulligan. Our state's insurance commissioner disallowed the continuation of old plans beginning 1/1/2014 so we were forced to move to a QHP.

Even if you live in a state that allows for the continuation of plans you will still need to check with your insurance carrier to ensure that they will still offer the type of policy you previously had. Insurance companies are not mandated to offer this type of coverage (continuation) and many simply aren't. A very heavy lift was completed within insurance companies to be able to handle the changes brought about by the ACA and prepare for the exchanges (e.g major system changes, policy changes, billing changes, completely new products, etc.). To revise these discontinued plans would not make business sense for many carriers, especially when you consider that it would only be for a year. Instead, many carriers are pushing customers back to the exchanges.
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Old 03-05-2014, 07:28 PM   #5
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Even if you live in a state that allows for the continuation of plans you will still need to check with your insurance carrier to ensure that they will still offer the type of policy you previously had. Insurance companies are not mandated to offer this type of coverage (continuation) and many simply aren't. A very heavy lift was completed within insurance companies to be able to handle the changes brought about by the ACA and prepare for the exchanges (e.g major system changes, policy changes, billing changes, completely new products, etc.). To revise these discontinued plans would not make business sense for many carriers, especially when you consider that it would only be for a year. Instead, many carriers are pushing customers back to the exchanges.

Yes, the waters are very muddy. Even for me, with the insurance provider allowing us to stay on current plan until the end of 2014, will they allow it to continue for 2 more years? Allowing the company to continue it, and they following through to do it are 2 different propositions. I read that the government was going to adjust upwards the financial payments for having a bad "health mix". So maybe the companies will continue letting the healthy ones stay on the old plans.


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Old 03-05-2014, 09:23 PM   #6
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Wonder if the costs will still be frozen at the 2013 levels or they will allow the insurance companies to increase premiums?
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Old 03-05-2014, 09:31 PM   #7
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Wonder if the costs will still be frozen at the 2013 levels or they will allow the insurance companies to increase premiums?

I thought I read a while back that insurance companies had to start determining the ACA rates for the following year around May. Concerning Non ACA, an article mentioned no guarantee the rates would be cheaper than ACA rates. But that is very general because in some areas those policies were higher than the new plans are. Depends on what state and policy you had, I imagine.


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Old 03-05-2014, 11:30 PM   #8
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Wonder if the costs will still be frozen at the 2013 levels or they will allow the insurance companies to increase premiums?
My educated guess is that there will be no limit on premiums.
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Old 03-12-2014, 06:59 PM   #9
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The changes keep occurring and with little fanfare. Just about everyone is exempted from the mandate now.

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/...33312607325596

But amid the post-rollout political backlash, last week the agency created a new category: Now all you need to do is fill out a form attesting that your plan was cancelled and that you "believe that the plan options available in the [ObamaCare] Marketplace in your area are more expensive than your cancelled health insurance policy" or "you consider other available policies unaffordable."

This lax standard—no formula or hard test beyond a person's belief—at least ostensibly requires proof such as an insurer termination notice. But people can also qualify for hardships for the unspecified nonreason that "you experienced another hardship in obtaining health insurance," which only requires "documentation if possible." And yet another waiver is available to those who say they are merely unable to afford coverage, regardless of their prior insurance. In a word, these shifting legal benchmarks offer an exemption to everyone who conceivably wants one.

Also, you can now purchase the "catastrophic plan" that originally was meant for the under 30 club. I do not see how all of this helps the sustainability of the Affordable Care Act.


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Old 03-12-2014, 07:37 PM   #10
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....Also, you can now purchase the "catastrophic plan" that originally was meant for the under 30 club. ....
Yes, but in order to do so in my state you need an "exemption certificate" from the feds. I mailed my application and supporting materials to them in late December.

I called in early January and the healthcare.gov CSR insisted that if I had an exemption certificate that I could not buy health insurance. Also, she had no way of telling if they had received my exemption application.

In mid January I get a call from my state exchange asking me about this application that they received from the feds. I explained the situation to them and they later got back to be saying that they talked to the feds and the feds conceded that they sent the application to the state in error.

So the state sends the exemption application back to the feds.

In mid Feb I call healthcare.gov and the CSR tells me that she doesn't have any info on my exemption application and better yet, the office that processes the exemption application does not have a call in center and the only way to inquire whether they received my application or its status is by snail mail.

So I've pretty much given up on going the catastrophic route for now but may take another stab at it if the feds ever get their act together. Yeah...right.

BTW, the whole "oh, now you can keep your plan for a few years" is political vaporware by the administration IMHO because as I recall most state insurance commissioners and carriers were not willing to make such significant late changes.
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Old 03-12-2014, 08:06 PM   #11
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The changes keep occurring and with little fanfare. Just about everyone is exempted from the mandate now.
This is not new, the exemption was made back in mid Dec

https://www.healthcare.gov/blog/canc...erage-options/
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Old 03-12-2014, 08:32 PM   #12
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This is not new, the exemption was made back in mid Dec

https://www.healthcare.gov/blog/canc...erage-options/
The impression I get from recent WSJ article mulligan linked, as well as other sources, is that the rules interpretations being applied to the hardship exemption process were relaxed since Dec. As with so much of ACA, these implementation guidelines (& XO's) can significantly change how things are/will work for folks in real day-to-day life.

Not sure getting a "hardship exemption" as a way for >30 crowd to buy a "catastrophic plan" is always a great idea. In my situation (area, age, etc.), looks like "catastrophic" plan is just a very minor savings vs Bronze (if at all if you incur some HC expenses).
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Old 03-12-2014, 10:11 PM   #13
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The impression I get from recent WSJ article mulligan linked, as well as other sources, is that the rules interpretations being applied to the hardship exemption process were relaxed since Dec. As with so much of ACA, these implementation guidelines (& XO's) can significantly change how things are/will work for folks in real day-to-day life.

Not sure getting a "hardship exemption" as a way for >30 crowd to buy a "catastrophic plan" is always a great idea. In my situation (area, age, etc.), looks like "catastrophic" plan is just a very minor savings vs Bronze (if at all if you incur some HC expenses).

That was my interpretation, also ER. Like you, I don't know for me if going "catastrophic" is worth it to me. But, I may have the option of continuing my dirt cheap plan for 3 more years if insurance carrier follow suit. Ultimately though to me is how is this all making the ACA a viable plan going forward. If only the unhealthy people join, no penalties for people not signing up at all, and healthy people all staying on their existing plans continue, what will the premiums be in 3 years be when this all ends? I don't want to make it a political thread even though politics is behind the changes. But who is going to pay for all the imbalance in this? Will the "kick backs"to insurance carriers cover it? It doesn't seem like it can. If this is going to succeed changing the regulations to allow all the healthy people (like me) stay on underwritten policies, exempting everybody out not to pay a fine, and exempting certain areas from paying the "head tax" to subsidize the program seems counterproductive to viability of the Act. If someone can clarify to explain how it will succeed with all these exemptions I would greatly appreciate it.


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Old 03-12-2014, 10:21 PM   #14
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Yes, but in order to do so in my state you need an "exemption certificate" from the feds. I mailed my application and supporting materials to them in late December.



I called in early January and the healthcare.gov CSR insisted that if I had an exemption certificate that I could not buy health insurance. Also, she had no way of telling if they had received my exemption application.



In mid January I get a call from my state exchange asking me about this application that they received from the feds. I explained the situation to them and they later got back to be saying that they talked to the feds and the feds conceded that they sent the application to the state in error.



So the state sends the exemption application back to the feds.



In mid Feb I call healthcare.gov and the CSR tells me that she doesn't have any info on my exemption application and better yet, the office that processes the exemption application does not have a call in center and the only way to inquire whether they received my application or its status is by snail mail.



So I've pretty much given up on going the catastrophic route for now but may take another stab at it if the feds ever get their act together. Yeah...right.



BTW, the whole "oh, now you can keep your plan for a few years" is political vaporware by the administration IMHO because as I recall most state insurance commissioners and carriers were not willing to make such significant late changes.

PB, things have changed since then ( unless your state doesn't follow suite). I was watching Kudlow on CNBC, and he talking about how it was "imploding". Then he mentioned along with his guests that basically you wouldn't have to get insurance at all or could go catastrophic. I thought it was some conservative blathering but then I checked some sources and found it true. It hasn't really been mentioned in the major press. This whole sudden process of "relaxing the rules" is confounding to me. Like I said in earlier post, not trying to make a political statement here as I am torn in the middle. I am enjoying low underwritten rates currently, but turning 50 this year and who knows what health problems I will get, I did like the security it gave in premiums to older people down the road.


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Old 03-13-2014, 01:56 AM   #15
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PB, things have changed since then ( unless your state doesn't follow suite). I was watching Kudlow on CNBC, and he talking about how it was "imploding". Then he mentioned along with his guests that basically you wouldn't have to get insurance at all or could go catastrophic. I thought it was some conservative blathering but then I checked some sources and found it true. It hasn't really been mentioned in the major press. This whole sudden process of "relaxing the rules" is confounding to me. Like I said in earlier post, not trying to make a political statement here as I am torn in the middle. I am enjoying low underwritten rates currently, but turning 50 this year and who knows what health problems I will get, I did like the security it gave in premiums to older people down the road.


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This healthcare economist doesn't think the changes amount to much:
Impact of the “like it/keep” extension likely small and self-limiting | The Incidental Economist

The "kickbacks" are called "risk corridors" and were quite successful when Medicare Part D was implemented by the last administration. Currently, the economists and policy analysts who work in the field are also projecting that they will probably result in money flowing in the opposite direction. I don't think that Kudlow and the WSJ are good sources of information on healthcare policy. I prefer Uwe Reinhardt and the Kaiser Family Foundation as their interests are not political.
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Old 03-13-2014, 05:09 AM   #16
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I am enjoying low underwritten rates currently, but turning 50 this year and who knows what health problems I will get, I did like the security it gave in premiums to older people down the road.
Here in Texas, I never ran across anyone over 50 getting private health insurance that wasn't forced into the state's high risk plan. Unlike some states, anyone could get this insurance if they maintained continuous coverage. The plan has ended with the ACA but the rates weren't much higher than the bronze plans I priced at eHealthinsurance.com.
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Old 03-13-2014, 07:57 AM   #17
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Here in Texas, I never ran across anyone over 50 getting private health insurance that wasn't forced into the state's high risk plan. Unlike some states, anyone could get this insurance if they maintained continuous coverage. The plan has ended with the ACA but the rates weren't much higher than the bronze plans I priced at eHealthinsurance.com.
That was the situation in my state, a healthy 50 yr old forced into a high risk pool. The insurer that controls the state market is also involved in underwriting the high risk pool. So they reject you for regular insurance and force you into the risk pool where they charge a lot more for a lot less insurance. Very high deductibles with annual and lifetime caps.
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Old 03-13-2014, 08:13 AM   #18
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Here in Texas, I never ran across anyone over 50 getting private health insurance that wasn't forced into the state's high risk plan.
I had private non-pool coverage from age 57 to 65. DW wasn't so fortunate and had to go through the pool. Her premiums were double mine, which is what the TX law mandated for rates in the high-risk pool.
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Old 03-13-2014, 08:19 AM   #19
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I had private non-pool coverage from age 57 to 65. DW wasn't so fortunate and had to go through the pool. Her premiums were double mine, which is what the TX law mandated for rates in the high-risk pool.
You're the only one I've heard of and I've heard of dozens of people that didn't make it. I'm assuming you went from employer coverage to COBRA and then to private insurance.

I've known people taking no meds, had no known issues, were of reasonable weight for their height and didn't get any regular private insurance. I think it's interesting that the current ACA policies for the over 60s aren't much cheaper than the recently departed high risk pools. It must be the maternity benefits
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Old 03-13-2014, 08:27 AM   #20
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I'm assuming you went from employer coverage to COBRA and then to private insurance.
Yes. My high-deductible policy started out at $171/mo and was up to $367/mo by the time I went on Medicare.
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