Greetings and Happy Fall!
First of all, our sincere appreciation to you for choosing us as your insurance agents and granting us your trust and confidence. We are working hard to provide you updates, answers to your questions and effective coverage during all these changes with health insurance reform.
Renewal and Open Enrollment is coming.
This week and next, you will be receiving letters from Blue Cross with your rates for 2015.
And The Good News
Since your plan is:
A. Grandfathered - effective before March 10, 2010
B. Transitional - effective March 11, 2010 to October 1, 2013
You may keep this plan for 2015.
The rate increase is based as it has been in the past: 5 year age brackets, cost sharing with local providers and medical expenses paid for everyone in the state having the same plan; but never on your individual medical expenses.
So what's next??
Your plan will renew automatically and you will see the change in premium for your coverage starting January 2015. If you do an auto-draft, please make a note of this.
The increase seems high - what's up?
If we look at the percentage, it is somewhat higher than years past. But if we compare to the new Marketplace plans, keeping your current plan is a very effective value.
But what if my situation has changed? Would I get better coverage / premium through The Insurance Marketplace ?
You might. This is what we need to do to evaluate.
1. Review our video about the Affordable Care Act so you understand how the new plans and the premium discount tax credit work.
2. Estimate your income for 2015. Put that along with your household size ( as you will report on your 2015 1010 tax return) into the Subsidy Calculator
3. If the premium for the baseline " Silver " plan is substantially lower ( say 40% ), then we may need to evaluate.
4. Remember - if you make a change to your Grandfathered or Transitional plan, you may not change back in the future. This is very important for you folks under 45 whose income may increase in future years.
LET US HELP YOU
We were very fortunate that last year we were able to help lots of folks get substantial premium saving, upgrade their benefits and in many cases, be able to get the health insurance they really needed for the first time in many years.
We have increased staff to help us provide you the answers and support you need.
Please call 828-279-4681. Dina Reed is answering this phone. Dina along with Jeannie Blackwelder, Matt Reyna, Jan & Dave will get back to you.
In addition, BCBSNC has extended customer service staff and hours. Monday - Wednesday 8 am - 9pm, Thursday & Friday 8am - 10 pm, Saturday 9am-1pm. Call 888-206-4697
As the year comes to a close, folks enrolled in the Marketplace whose projected yearly income falls short of the poverty line ($ 11,490 for single tax filer) are wondering, “What happens next?”
Will the weigh lifted off of their shoulders only come crashing back down again when the numbers don’t match up?
In short, no. The Health Insurance Marketplace (HealthCare.Gov) is responsible for determining eligibility for premium tax credits. Due to a Treasury Department rule, if the Marketplace estimates that a person is qualified for a subsidy, they are covered, regardless of year-end actual income.
However, individuals whose income rises above 400 percent of the poverty level are required to pay back those tax credits in full.
We are hosting an informational seminar - this Thursday - 10.16 - 6 pm - at Jubilee Community Church, 46 Wall Street, Asheville. Plenty of parking at the adjacent deck.
If interested - please let us know you will be attending.
Last fall we took the plunge into Health Insurance Reform - the Affordable Care Act. And- Yes - it was not easy - but we helped over 800 people to review their options, adjust to the changes and for the greater majority - get great insurance at a very affordable premiums.
As we come into year two - we are ready again to help you, your family and friends understand these changes and make good decisions for 2015.
" Why should I work with you - an insurance agent ? "
The answer - " Because this is about insurance ! "
We understand the policies, what they cover, the approved networks of doctors working with the insurance companies. How the Marketplace and premium discounts tax credits and increased penalties for 2015 work. And The Best - it costs you NO additional premium.