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What to make of this letter I recieved from Anthem BCBS today
Old 05-23-2013, 02:11 PM   #1
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What to make of this letter I recieved from Anthem BCBS today

I have an grandfathered underwritten individual plan and Anthem is remaining silent, except for this letter today. Background: A little over a year ago, they added a "deductible incentive program", designed to give you cash back if you didn't meet deductible. They would credit you up to 3 years of money at $1100 a year, so I could actually build up $3300 to meet my $5500 deductible. With a three year build up allowed, obviously there was intent a year ago for this to be a long term program.

Now, with the letter I received today, they are terminating this program effective December 31, and will credit the $1100 into a special use account to use if I ever reach 80% of my deductible. The last line of the letter states "more details will be coming soon about new health plans for 2014-stay tuned!"

Is there anything to be taken from this implying that they plan on dropping their grandfathered plans, and folding them all into "new health plans"? Or is it possible it's just a coincidence that the long termed designed, but short term implemented program expires the day before the effective date of the exchange program begins? I was very much hoping that the grandfathered plan would continue, but this appears to be as a sign that they will not. Am I wrong in this line of speculation? Since at this point speculation is all I have, I encourage anyone to give me theirs!
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Old 05-23-2013, 03:19 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Mulligan View Post
I have an grandfathered underwritten individual plan and Anthem is remaining silent, except for this letter today. Background: A little over a year ago, they added a "deductible incentive program", designed to give you cash back if you didn't meet deductible. They would credit you up to 3 years of money at $1100 a year, so I could actually build up $3300 to meet my $5500 deductible. With a three year build up allowed, obviously there was intent a year ago for this to be a long term program.

Now, with the letter I received today, they are terminating this program effective December 31, and will credit the $1100 into a special use account to use if I ever reach 80% of my deductible. The last line of the letter states "more details will be coming soon about new health plans for 2014-stay tuned!"

Is there anything to be taken from this implying that they plan on dropping their grandfathered plans, and folding them all into "new health plans"? Or is it possible it's just a coincidence that the long termed designed, but short term implemented program expires the day before the effective date of the exchange program begins? I was very much hoping that the grandfathered plan would continue, but this appears to be as a sign that they will not. Am I wrong in this line of speculation? Since at this point speculation is all I have, I encourage anyone to give me theirs!
I tried and tried to get Humana to answer questions about healthcare plans in 2014 but they would not divulge one teeny, tiny bit of information.
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Old 05-23-2013, 03:23 PM   #3
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Mulligan, it's hard to draw any conclusion or infer any meaning from this other than you can no longer accrue the deductible.
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Old 05-23-2013, 03:38 PM   #4
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Mulligan, it's hard to draw any conclusion or infer any meaning from this other than you can no longer accrue the deductible.
Probably true, Michael. But it seems so odd they sent me literature bragging about this new program for us to access for the coming years, then yank it after the first year. And the fact they were mentioning be prepared for info on new plans for Jan. 2014. They have never tried in the past to ever offer me new a new plan.
But then again, I never really understood why they even did it to begin with... They give me a yearly credit of $1100 to help meet my deductible if I get to within 80% of it, but yet all I paid them in premiums for the whole year was about $900. Doesn't sound like a financial model that would keep you in business very long to me, unless I never came near my deductible.
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Old 05-23-2013, 04:17 PM   #5
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I am not good at insurance-ese (the language of insurance documents). That said, my translation is, "Customers, stop pestering us with your questions about changes coming with Obamacare! We will send you that info when we are doggone good and ready, and you will all get it at the exact same time. So leave us alone and go away."
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Old 05-23-2013, 04:26 PM   #6
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I am not good at insurance-ese (the language of insurance documents). That said, my translation is, "Customers, stop pestering us with your questions about changes coming with Obamacare! We will send you that info when we are doggone good and ready, and you will all get it at the exact same time. So leave us alone and go away."
That is exactly the message I took away from my (lack of) interaction with Humana!
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Old 05-23-2013, 04:27 PM   #7
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I am not good at insurance-ese (the language of insurance documents). That said, my translation is, "Customers, stop pestering us with your questions about changes coming with Obamacare! We will send you that info when we are doggone good and ready, and you will all get it at the exact same time. So leave us alone and go away."
I only called once, but I learned enough to know not to call again as it was a waste of everyone's time. The poor customer service agents.. I am sure they have caught it a few times. In reality, I should have been smart enough to know, I will find info leaked out on the Internet far quicker, than any dictated memo sent down to the agents to read over the phone. I could have asked the agent what the weather forecast for today is and she would have replied "that information will be sent to you at a later date this year, yet to be determined".
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Old 05-23-2013, 04:30 PM   #8
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I am not good at insurance-ese (the language of insurance documents). That said, my translation is, "Customers, stop pestering us with your questions about changes coming with Obamacare! We will send you that info when we are doggone good and ready, and you will all get it at the exact same time. So leave us alone and go away."
That translation captures the spirit, intent and message. Regretfully perfect.
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Old 05-23-2013, 07:23 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mulligan View Post
I have an grandfathered underwritten individual plan and Anthem is remaining silent, except for this letter today. Background: A little over a year ago, they added a "deductible incentive program", designed to give you cash back if you didn't meet deductible. They would credit you up to 3 years of money at $1100 a year, so I could actually build up $3300 to meet my $5500 deductible. With a three year build up allowed, obviously there was intent a year ago for this to be a long term program.

Now, with the letter I received today, they are terminating this program effective December 31, and will credit the $1100 into a special use account to use if I ever reach 80% of my deductible. The last line of the letter states "more details will be coming soon about new health plans for 2014-stay tuned!"

Is there anything to be taken from this implying that they plan on dropping their grandfathered plans, and folding them all into "new health plans"? Or is it possible it's just a coincidence that the long termed designed, but short term implemented program expires the day before the effective date of the exchange program begins? I was very much hoping that the grandfathered plan would continue, but this appears to be as a sign that they will not. Am I wrong in this line of speculation? Since at this point speculation is all I have, I encourage anyone to give me theirs!
They are going to keep grandfathered plans in 2014.
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Old 05-23-2013, 09:50 PM   #10
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That credit may have been hard to reconcile with the requirement to spend 80%, or whatever it is, on customer claims or send out refunds.
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