Just when you thought Health Care Reform could not get any more confusing….
Many of you, both employer groups and individuals, may be receiving letters in the mail from your insurance carrier this week. This is a result of the announcement made by the President on November 14th where he said “If you like your plan, you can keep it”.
What does this mean? The States and the carriers can make the final decision.
If you are in the State of Oregon, there are nine carriers that will offer the option to renew current individual health plans that are not compliant with the Affordable Care Act. They are Moda, PacificSource, Regence, Kaiser, Providence, LifeWise, Health Net, Time and John Alden. With Moda and PacificSource, you can extend your current plan through March 31, 2014. The others will allow you to renew through December 31, 2014. If you would like to continue with your current plan, you must “opt-in”. They will not automatically renew.
If you have a group plan, your company may also be able to keep the current plan(s). However, if the decision is made to renew the plan in December 2013 and keep the plan through 2014, there will be changes to the premium effective December 2013. For example, if you currently have a plan that runs from July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2014, your rates and plans stay the same until your renewal date. If you elect to keep your plan through December 2014 (an additional 6 months), your rates may increase in order to accommodate for the early renewal and extension into 2014. Your new plan year will run from December 2013 through December 31, 2014.
If you are in the State of Washington, extending your current plan is not an option. The Insurance Commissioner made the decision to proceed with the discontinuation of the current plans.
The letters that were sent out were form letters and may not be be crafted specifically for you, your business or your plans. Therefore, if you have questions about your health insurance options, you should contact your health insurance consultant for advice on how to proceed.