Group Health Insurance
Health care reform
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10-10-2017 by Colleen King
Every once in a while a Robert Laszewski article comes up that really strikes me. His articles and interviews are always good, but this last one talking about 'Zombiecare,' and how association plans are potentially problematic really is worth a read. Click here to read a transcript of an interview from October 8th, or watch the video version of it. It's worth your time.
He talks about something I've recently mentioned, the penalties for being uninsured, or not having 'ACA acceptable' coverage. The IRS was told by Pres. Trump not to enforce these penalties at tax time. So what is your accountant to do, they are really stuck in the middle on this. You should still have coverage, but rates are going nuts, and now you're facing penalties if you don't have it, ugh!
Association plans--that's another buzz term that's been flying around. We'll let a bunch of people band together, they can buy plans across state line, that will cut costs. Problem is, who's going to regulate them? Insurance is regulated state by state. Different states have all sorts of laws around what they have to cover, so as you go from state to state, will things have to be added in in order for a plans to be sold in certain states? Who knows. How about rates? You have a plan based in say Alabama, where the cost of care is lower than states like California and New York, and when the claims from California and New York come in, then what? That will impact rates and drive them up eventually.
What about networks across state lines? That's another issue, and not just for HMOs. People tend to refer to PPOs as plans where you can go to 'any doctor'--this is true, but if the doctor is contracted with the insurance carrier, you pay less for their service that if you see them on an 'out of network' basis.
So in short, so far, NOTHING has changed. Open enrollment for individual plans starts November 1, and for California, will run through January 31st, 2018. BUT, if you want your plan change to start January 1st, you do need to get applications submitted by December 15th.