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September 2017 Newsletter

June 2017 Newsletter

April 2017 Newsletter

March 2017 Newsletter

Greetings

The Affordable Care Act Open Enrollment is now past. However, there were some big announcements released in recent weeks. Below are the bullet points. Please scroll down to the insurance company you are enrolled in for more detailed information.

• Good News! CMS relased that "Grandmothered" plans (most of you who are NOT on Affordable Care Act plans) may continue to keep your plan another year until 12-31-2018. In which point you will be "transitioned" into the more expensive ACA "Obamacare" plans.

• Aetna/Coventry announced it will not be expanding it's ACA plans in 2018, but will continue to offer coverage.

• Prior to leaving office, President Obama and DHHS issued regulations to limit annual plans to 3 months in an effort to push people to the ACA "Obamacare" plans. - see United Health Care below.
There has been much political rhetoric of "repeal and replace." Please note that media announcements have been purely speculation and hype up to this point. As it now stands, President Trump states an announcement will occur in March. Once we have more detailed information, we will send another newsletter. We suspect this will more of a deregulation than a "repeal."

Tax Time. Many of you should have received a 1095 to file with your taxes proving you have essential benefits and are not subject to the "Obamacare Penalty Tax". If you have not received one of the following 1095's, please contact either your health insurer, or the Marketplace at 800-318-2596 if you are receiving a tax credit subsidy.

What you need to know about tax Form 1095

• 1095-A: Health Insurance Marketplace Statement. The Marketplace sends this form to individuals who enrolled in coverage there, with information about the coverage, who was covered, and when. The deadline for the Marketplace to provide this form to on-exchange enrollees is January 31, 2017.

• 1095-B: Health Coverage. Health insurance providers send this form to individuals they cover, with information about who was covered and when.

• 1095-C: Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage. Certain employers send this form to certain employees, with information about what coverage the employer offered. Employers that offer health coverage referred to as "self-insured coverage" send this form to individuals they cover, with information about who was covered and when. The deadline for sending this form is March 2, 2017.

Medica

Medica has been an extremely popular plan this year, as they accept tax credit subsidies in all Iowa counties. Offering better coverage than many other plans. What many customers find useful are their variety of extra benefits included on all plans: VirtuWell Virtual Doctor Visits, 24 Hour Nurse Hotline, Health Living, Health Advocate and Lasik Discounts.

While Medica's initial premium payment set up was slow this year, especially for those who did not enroll until December or later, they have assured us that they are working on methods to speed this up for next year.

Wellmark Blue Cross & Blue Shield

Unfortunately, last fall Wellmark outsourced it's enrollment and customer service for ACA plans to another company based in Florida. This has resulted in many of you who have changed plans or enrolled in coverage since last fall, having issues with your new coverage. We have voiced our displeasure with Wellmark's change and the high percentage of issues that have occurred as a result, and expect that they feel the same disappointment.

Good news! CMS released that "Grandmothered" plans (people who are on plans purchased prior to 1-1-2014) may continue to keep your insurance another year until 12-31-2018. On 1-1-2019, you will be "transitioned" onto the more expensive ACA (Obamacare) plans. Of course, the political winds are blowing and hopefully you will have the option to continue the plan of your choice indefinitely. **Please Note: this is still subject to State of Iowa approval.

Aetna / Coventry Health Care

Aetna/Coventry announced that it will not be expanding it's ACA plans in 2018. However, they will continue to offer ACA plans where it currently does so now. We're not completely sure what that entails. However, we will keep you posted throughout the year as more information is revealed.

United Health Care

Good news! CMS released that "Grandmothered" plans (people who are on plans purchased prior to 1-1-2014) may continue to keep your insurance another year until 12-31-2018. On 1-1-2019, you will be "transitioned" onto the more expensive ACA (Obamacare) plans. Of course, the political winds are blowing and hopefully you will have the option to continue the plan of your choice indefinitely. **Please Note: this is still subject to State of Iowa approval.

For those who have Annual or Short Term Plans: Prior to leaving office, President Obama and DHHS, in an effort to push people into the ACA plans, issued regulation limiting annual plans to 3 months. The attraction of Annual plans is that they are much cheaper than ACA plans, usually have a lower out of pocket, and would provide coverage until the next ACA Open Enrollment. With the plans limited to 3 months, that bridge to the next Open Enrollment is essentially removed and this low cost insurance is no longer a viable option.

That being said, court cases have been fought, and freedom of choice has prevailed. Although Annual plans will be limited, Indemnity Major Medical plans will continue to be allowed as a viable option for those looking for a lower cost catastrophic major medical plan. These plans are typically offered on a variety of platforms. Some good, some bad. Making it essential to discuss these options with us so there are no surprises down the road. In our opinion, United Health Care will be offering one of the best options on the market.

Thank you for your business.  If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us. We are here to help.

Sincerely,

Dan Walterman
Premier Health Insurance of Iowa, Inc.