2015 Open Enrollment Is Coming To A CloseIn California….Thanks for choosing us!!

The final day for open thanksenrollment for Covered California 2015
season is coming to an end on April 30th.

Everyone at Litchfield Insurance wants to personally thank you
for choosing us as your Covered California insurance agency.
We are happy to report that this year went a lot more smoothly
than last year. Carlos, Chase and Terry reported to me that this season
overall went very smooth.

This was the first year that you had to report on your taxes whether you had
insurance and if you received tax credits through the 1095A form, which has caused a lot of questions and
concerns. So please don’t hesitate to give us a call if you need assistance.Most of the Covered California plans did not
come with dental plans. If you would like to add dental insurance to your plan give us call.
We have an excellent low cost dental plan for you and your family!

Did you enroll or renew your Covered California Plan?

covered ca renewalAvoiding the Tax Penalty

If someone who can afford health insurance doesn’t have coverage, they may have to pay a tax penalty. The tax penalty is sometimes called the “individual mandate” or the “shared responsibility fee.”

Tax Penalty Amounts
In 2015, the fee will be 2 percent of consumers’ income or $325 per person; whichever is larger. In 2016, the fee will be 2.5 percent of consumers’ income or $695 per person; whichever is larger.

Minimum Essential Coverage

“Minimum essential coverage” is the type of health care coverage an individual needs to have or to get to meet the individual mandate/responsibility requirement under the Affordable Care Act and, therefore, avoid paying a tax penalty. This includes individual market policies, employment-based coverage, Medicare, Medicaid (full-scope Medi-Cal in California), CHIP, TRICARE, Veteran’s Coverage, and certain other coverage designated as minimum essential coverage by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Covered California health plans are considered minimum essential coverage.

Minimum essential coverage does not include coverage providing only limited benefits, such as coverage only for vision care or dental care, and Medi-Cal covering only certain benefits, such as pregnancy-only coverage.

All Covered California health insurance plans, whether they are the catastrophic/minimum coverage, bronze, silver, gold or platinum, are considered minimum essential coverage.

Options for Consumers Who Are Not Eligible for Premium Assistance and Cannot Afford the Full Price of a Health Plan

If the full prices of plans through Covered California are too expensive, consumers have many different options to purchase health coverage that gives them both the quality and affordability they need.

Minimum coverage plan: If consumers are under age 30, or the lowest-cost Bronze plan offered through Covered California is more than 8 percent of their household income, they may be eligible for a minimum coverage plan (a.k.a. “catastrophic plan”). These “catastrophic” plans usually have lower premiums and mostly protect consumers from worst-case scenarios. Catastrophic plans through Covered California cover three doctor visits or urgent care visits, including outpatient mental health/substance use visits, with no out-of-pocket costs, and free preventive benefits. All other services will be full price but at the negotiated in-network price, until consumers spend $6,350, after which all in-network services are covered at 100 percent.

Medi-Cal: If consumers are between the ages of 19 and 64 and their income is at or below 138 percent of poverty ($15,856 for an individual), they may be eligible for free or low-cost Medi-Cal. They may also be eligible for Medi-Cal for another reason, such as being blind, disabled, or aged, depending on their assets. Consumers can apply for Medi-Cal through Covered California.

 Proof of Health Care Coverage

When consumers file their 2014 tax return (most people will do this by April 15, 2015), they will have to enter information about their coverage (or their exemption) on their tax return. Consumers should then get a notice from their insurance provider by Jan. 31, 2015, describing their coverage for the previous year.

Paying the Tax Penalty

If consumers do not maintain minimum essential coverage during a particular year and they do not qualify for an exemption, they will need to pay a “shared responsibility payment” to the IRS on their tax return for that year.

Call us today to get your appointment to RENEW your insurance plan. If you came to us before or you signed up online or through the telephone. One of our Certified Covered California Insurance agents can help you !
Call us today at (909) 792-3302

 

Open Enrollment is Open Now! Should I Renew My Plan?

health insurance renewalWhat is renewal?

Your Covered California plan must be renewed before the start of each new calendar year. This is true even if you just signed up for Covered California during a special enrollment period. During your renewal period you can change their health plan, add new members, and report other changes that may affect the premium assistance you receive.

Why is renewal important?

It is important for members to renew their health coverage to change their health plan if they wish, know what they will pay in premiums for the following year, and make sure they get the correct amount of premium assistance.

What is the difference between renewal and open enrollment?

The renewal period is for enrolled members to make changes to their health coverage, starting now through December 15, 2014. Open enrollment starts November 15, 2014 and ends on February 15, 2015. Open enrollment is the time for new consumers to enroll in a health plan. Consumers who have already renewed can also make changes to their health coverage during open enrollment.

 

Call us today to get your appointment to RENEW your insurance plan. If you came to us before or you signed up online or through the telephone. One of our Certified Covered California Insurance agents can help you !
Call us today at (909) 792-3302

 George Litchfield is license by the State of California License #0B56846

4 Questions to Ask Before Renewing Health Coverage

Covered California Questions?

More than 7 million people signed up for coverage through the overhaul’s public insurance exchanges after the first annual open enrollment window started last fall. Open enrollment returns starting Nov. 15, and experts say it brings with it the perfect chance to take stock in your insurance coverage, even if you like the plan you have this year. That coverage — or the cost of it — may change for 2015. Plus, new and better options also could be available in your market.

Here are some key questions to consider before finalizing your coverage for next year.

1 — Why shouldn’t I let my plan renew automatically without doing anything?

Automatic renewal doesn’t guarantee that your plan or the bill for it will stay the same. It just ensures that you have something set up for next year in case you are unable to study your options and pick a plan during the enrollment window.

Your insurer will send you a letter outlining your 2015 coverage and detailing the policy’s terms, so you should look for changes to your plan and its price. The insurer may raise the deductible or coinsurance, items that could cause you to pay more out of pocket for care before most coverage starts. It also may change the premium or cost of coverage.

Many customers on the public exchanges used income-based subsidies or tax credits to help pay for their coverage. Plans that are automatically renewed also may come with this year’s subsidy amount, which could stick you with a bigger bill if your premium climbs in 2015.

In some cases, an insurer may automatically enroll you in another plan that’s similar to your 2014 coverage if it stops selling your old plan.

Your doctor also may no longer be in your coverage network. Check on that with both the doctor’s office and your insurer to make certain.

Even if you have no problems with your coverage for 2015, you should still consider other options. More insurers are expected to enter the exchanges, so an even better choice may be out there for 2015.

“The bottom line is everybody should go and shop in the marketplace,” said Rachel Klein, enrollment program director for the nonprofit advocacy group Families USA.

2 — Will my tax credit or subsidy change?

That depends on your income and your insurance market. It’s estimated that more than 80 percent of the people who signed up for coverage under the health care law are receiving subsidies.

If your income changes or you think it will change, you need to update that part of your enrollment file after open enrollment starts in November. Think about whether you or anyone in your household may receive a raise next year or if you might make some more money through a second job. . That could reduce your subsidy.

Look at last year’s tax returns for help.

The number you need is your modified adjusted gross income.

Life changing events like marriage, divorce, the birth of a child or the loss of a job also can change your subsidy level.

Don’t think you can get away with skipping these updates. The government will catch up with you when you file your taxes. If your subsidy is too big in 2015, the overpayment could be taken from your refund or added to your bill when you file in 2016.

Subsidies are determined based on a benchmark plan in your market. A new plan may be used as this benchmark for 2015 or the same plan may come with a new price. That could change your subsidy, for better or worse. If a lower subsidy makes your bill too steep, you may have to hunt for another option.
3 — When do I have to have all of this figured out?

Customers will enroll in a new plan by Dec. 15 if they want coverage that starts Jan. 1. That gives you about a month to make a decision after open enrollment starts.

New Year’s Day is an important start date because all coverage purchased on the exchanges for 2014 ends Dec. 31 regardless of when you bought it.
The open enrollment period for next year ends Feb. 15. If you wait until then to buy a plan, the coverage won’t start until March 1.

4 — Where can I find help?

Call the Redlands Health Insurance Enrollment & Benefits Center at (909) 792-3302

Our services are free to you!

LitchfieldInsurance.com