Bernardini & Donovan Insurance Services

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Open Enrollment: The Next Round

The open enrollment period for 2014 is almost over; after March 31st, any new policy (or additions to your present coverage) will have to wait for the next open enrollment period.  But when, precisely, will that be? For the general public, coverage starting in 2015 can be shopped for on the marketplace starting in late autumn.  Though an exact date has yet to be officially determined, at present the proposed window is November 15th 2014 through January 15th 2015. There are a few notable exceptions; certain life events (such as a change in your family size, losing your job, moving to a new state, or large changes to your income) can qualify you for a special enrollment period.  Usually this period is within sixty days of your qualifying life event. Of course, the best way to determine your eligibility (and the best policy for you) is to discuss your situation

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Qualifying Events: How Can I Obtain Health Insurance after March 31st?

While Open Enrollment for 2014 is nearly over, certain qualifying life events will entitle you a Special Enrollment Period in which to adjust your coverage in accordance with this life event. A few notable instances which will entitle you to this Special Enrollment Period are: changes to your family size (this may be caused by marriage, divorce, birth of a child, death in the family, etc.), a large change in your income, the loss of a job, the loss of alternate health coverage, a move to a new state, change of citizen status, or change of eligibility for subsidy. Generally, the Special Enrollment Period will open in a sixty-day window after the event that triggered your eligibility.  The best way to determine said eligibility (and the best policy for you) is to discuss your situation with an insurance professional.  For more information about the Affordable Care Act or health insurance

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ACA Extension to Individual Health Insurance “Keep Your Plan” Rules

Responding to intense consumer (and voter) allegations of promises not kept, the Obama administration announced another extension for those wanting to keep current individual and small group health insurance plans. People can keep current, non-compliant coverage plans for the next two years. During Congressional debate about adopting the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the President promised Americans "if you like your current plan, you can keep it." However, as the implementation date of the ACA approached, the White House changed its position. After many insurance companies issued termination notices, in November 2013, to insured people and groups, the President allowed a one-year extension of non-compliant healthcare plans. However, consumer and small employer dissatisfaction continued. In March 2014, the White House announced a further extension increase from one to two years. The Department of Health and Human Services, Treasury Department and the IRS have issued "regulatory guidance" to help you understand this latest

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Contact a Certified Covered California Agent Today!

If you are one of the millions of Californians in need of health insurance, you should consider a certified agent as your go-to for the numerous questions you might have lingering about the Affordable Care Act or Covered California. Certified agents are trained and subsequently certified to help you with your individual or small group health insurance needs.  They know the state and federal laws better than anyone, and are ready to answer any quandaries you might have. Additionally, since certified agents are registered through Covered California, you can verify the identity of the individual you are working with before you hand over your sensitive personal information.  This is just one more way to protect yourself from predators who lurk amidst the insurance system.  The Covered California Service Center is always available for this kind of verification via their business office: (800) 300-1506. For more information about individual health insurance

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Open enrollment deadline approaching for part-time employees and subcontract employees

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) open enrollment deadline for health insurance is rapidly approaching. The last day for part-time and subcontract employees to get health insurance via Covered California, the state healthcare website, is March 31, 2014. Fortunately, if you’re still confused, you can get advice and sign up from a certified agent you trust for the same health insurance as you find online. Small group employers don’t need to offer healthcare plans to subcontract and part-time employees because the Affordable Care Act specifies required coverage for full-time employees or "full-time equivalents." While independent and subcontract employees are not included in small employer mandatory coverage requirements, these people must qualify as independent contractors.   Subcontractors must meet the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) definition as independent. Just because an employer calls someone an independent contractor doesn’t mean the IRS will agree. The IRS examines the "substance of the work relationship" to rule

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Open Enrollment Deadline Looms: Make Certain You’re Covered

The Affordable Care Act has made healthcare available to anyone who needs it and has created penalties for those not enrolled in a healthcare policy.  Make certain that you’re not fined for failing to acquire the proper insurance in 2014; check your coverage before the March 31st open enrollment deadline. After March 31st, you will have to wait until the next open enrollment period to enroll in, or change, a policy.  You also risk paying a fine for failing to acquire insurance.  This is particularly important if you have a family; you’ll want to make certain that you are covered in the event of an emergency before the emergency occurs.  The last thing you need in a stressful situation is to find out that your coverage isn’t what you thought it would be. For more information about individual health insurance or Covered California, contact a certified agent with Bernardini & Donovan

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