Special Enrollment Period (SEP)
May 2019 - If you have a qualifying event (lost group insurance, moved, divorce, etc) you only have a set amount of time to acquire new health insurance. Time frames are either 30 days or 60 days depending on the circumstance. If you miss the deadline, you will have to wait until ACA open enrollment to sign up. Of course, there are some exceptions to the rule. I can guide you on this.
Traveling Outside the US
April 2019 - Not all insurance companies will cover you while you vacation or take a trip outside the U.S. Be sure to read the fine print in your insurance handbook or call the Customer Service number listed on your insurance card. Better yet, purchase travelers insurance. These plans are inexpensive and will cover you for any unforeseen accidents or illnesses. Pre-existing conditions are covered in case that becomes an issue. There are many other benefits to include evacuation assistance, lost luggage help, translations, etc.
File Form 1095 With Your Taxes
March 2019 - Form 1095-A, Health Insurance Marketplace Statement, is for those who had insurance purchased through the Marketplace, whether it is subsidized or not. The Marketplace will mail these.
Form 1095-B, Health Coverage, is for those who had Medicare, Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), or another source such as small employer (<50 employees) health insurance. It is mailed from the source of your insurance.
Form 1095-C, Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage, is for those who had health insurance through a large employer (>50 employees). The employer will send you your form.
These forms do not come from the IRS. Watch your mailbox for them. You may be able to log on to your designated account and print them.
Limited Duration Plans
February 2019 - This year’s open enrollment for health insurance ended on December 15, 2018. If you planned to make a change or sign up for something different but did not get to, I may be able to help. The Healthcare Reform Laws continue to change each year. Beginning March 1, 2019, a new option will be available called “Limited Duration Plans”. These plans will have medical underwriting to pass and do not cover pre-existing conditions for the first 12 months. However, they are about 1/3 of the cost of an ACA-approved plan. Please contact me to discuss your options. Feel free to pass my information on to anyone you know needing help.
January 2019 - The Healthcare Reform Laws continue to change each year. As of 2019, the Individual Mandate is no longer enforced. This means you will no longer be fined on your taxes if you do not have an ACA approved health plan.
Update Your Address
December 2018 - I can't express how important it is to keep your address updated with your insurance company. If you have Medicaid services, they will cut you off if you do not respond to their requests and/or they cannot get ahold of you by mail.
Employer Insurance vs Subsidies
November 2018 - Please be aware that if you are offered group health insurance by an employer, you may not qualify for assistance (or a subsidy) from the government. There is a question on the healthcare.gov application that asks if you are offered health insurance by an employer. It is considered insurance fraud if you answer “no” just to get government assistance. I know it is frustrating, especially when your employer’s health insurance is expensive, but it is the law. There are ways to get government assistance (even if your employer offers group insurance) but you’ve got to answer the questions honestly and meet other requirements.
Telemarketers of Health Insurance
October 2018 - I've had several people to contact me and ask my opinion (usually after they've had a bad experience) about an insurance plan that they bought from a telemarketer. These telemarketers tell people that they can save money; that they have other choices than Obamacare; and that their plans will cover their medical expenses and prescriptions. Please, always ask if these plans are ACA-approved. Chances are they are not which makes them not true health insurance. They are more than likely discount plans or indemnity plans. There's a big difference. Don't fall for it. If it's too good to be true, it's probably not.