Assurant logoAssurant Health policyholders, we have an important update for you.

Assurant has announced its exit from the health insurance market as of December 31, 2015.

How Will this Impact Me?

If you are an Assurant policyholder, you should feel no immediate impact of Assurant’s decision to stop selling health insurance.

Assurant will continue to honor all existing policies, and your plan will continue to operate as usual until its termination date*.

However, you will need to secure new coverage when your current plan ends.

What Should I Do Now?

No action is required on your part at this time. You should continue to pay your Assurant premiums and use your policy as you always have.

If you want a basic idea of your options, you may browse other policies now by clicking INSTANT QUOTE on the upper right of this page.  We will send you email reminders with updated quotes in the coming months.

When Should I Look for New Coverage?

Your policy’s termination will be a qualifying event, making you eligible for a special enrollment period which begins 60 days prior to your plan’s termination date and extends 60 days after that date.

During the special enrollment period, you may purchase a new plan of your choosing.

You may also choose to buy a 2016 plan during open enrollment — November 1, 2015 to January 31, 2016.  (Note, the deadline to purchase coverage effective January 1, 2016 is December 15, 2015.)

Either way, we recommend you begin researching your options for a new plan as early as September or October of this year. With numerous carriers offering many variations of coverage, choosing a new plan will take patience and time.

Virginia Medical Plans Can Help

At Virginia Medical Plans, we work with all the major carriers and can help you choose the plan that makes the most sense for you.

You can reach us by phone at 703-707-8270.

 

*All 2015 individual or family Affordable Care Act-compliant plans have a termination date of December 31, 2015.

Gavel and stethescope

In a 6-3 ruling in the landmark King v. Burwell case, the Supreme Court has voted to uphold subsidies for millions of Americans who purchased health insurance on the federal marketplace.

Chief Justice Roberts’ key sentence in the majority opinion sums up the foundation of the Court’s reasoning: “Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them.”

This is very good news for Virginia residents, since Virginia is one of 34 states which decided not to establish their own health insurance exchange, and instead use the federal marketplace.

You can read the Court’s full opinion here.

 

Income calculateIf you purchased health insurance on the exchange and collected a subsidy (in the form of a tax credit) to help pay for coverage, or benefited from other cost-sharing reductions, you were able to do so because of the income you reported when you purchased your plan.

But if you are like many Americans, the income you anticipated and reported to the exchange may differ from the income you actually earned for the year.

As discussed in an earlier post, if you earned more than you reported, you may need to repay some of the subsidy on your next tax return.

But what happens if your income was lower than you anticipated?  Specifically, what if you collected a subsidy and then discovered your income qualified you for Medicaid?

Not much.

That’s because Medicaid eligibility, tax credit amounts, cost-sharing subsidies, etc. are determined by the exchange based upon the income you reported at the time you enrolled.

If your income changes, and you become eligible for Medicaid during the course of the year, federal rules state you will not have to repay any of the tax credit or cost-sharing subsidy you may have received.

However, we always recommend you keep track of your earnings and report a change in your income to the exchange as soon as possible.

If you do report a change in income which qualifies you for Medicaid mid-year, and you live in a state that expanded Medicaid, you will be eligible to enroll in Medicaid at that time.

If you have any questions or are looking for health insurance for yourself or your family, please give us a call at 703-707-8270.

 

 

 

 

 

Summer funIt’s the middle of June.  And while that may have you dreaming of flip flops, sunglasses, and summer, here at Virginia Medical Plans (and in the circles we travel), all eyes are on the King v. Burwell case.

By the end of this month we should know whether or not the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) will strike down subsidies on the federal health insurance exchange based on the four words “established by the state.”

In states like Virginia which chose to offer health insurance through the federal exchange rather than creating their own exchange, a ruling against the subsidies would do away with access to affordable health insurance for thousands of residents.

Amongst our colleagues, there is almost universal agreement that, at this point, such a ruling would be disastrous — for the people who will no longer be able to afford coverage, for the insurance carriers who stand to lose a lot of their business, for just about everybody involved.

There is also widespread agreement that subsidies are unlikely to go away.

We have been saying this since SCOTUS agreed to hear the case, and we still believe it to be so.  As we see it, either …

1. SCOTUS will determine that subsidies ARE allowed on the federal exchange and uphold the law, OR

2. If SCOTUS does rule that the subsidies are only permitted on state-run exchanges, some sort of procedural fix or compromise may allow the subsidies to continue — at least during a transition time.

So either way, it’s going to be “business as usual.”

If you have a qualifying event, you can still sign up for 2015 health insurance.  We’d be happy to help.  Give us a call at 703-707-8270.