Still Unclear About Affordable Care Act Rules?

July 11th, 2014
question-mark-person-xsm I get a lot of questions about just who is required to carry Affordable Care Act (ACA) health insurance. Many people still get confused (and rightfully so) about who is exempt and what the penalties are for not getting insured. I thought I’d share the most common questions about exemptions and fines for non-coverage.   ACA Fines and Exemptions – Frequently Asked Questions   Q. How much is the fine for

Not Enough Health Insurance? No Insurance At All? What’s the Alternative?

July 1st, 2014
health insurance I’ve been getting a lot of calls lately from people who missed the last open enrollment for Affordable Care Act-qualified health coverage. After some of my anxious callers have determined they don’t qualify for a special enrollment period, the question becomes, “Now what?”   The short answer is this: Short-term medical plans. I’ve talked about this before, but it bears repeating. A short-term plan ca

Will Medicare and Social Security Cover Your Medical Bills in Retirement?

June 25th, 2014
social security I’m always keeping my eye on trends and projections about health care. We all know that the cost of just about everything in life naturally goes up every year. But there is one such predicted rise in cost that I need to make sure you are aware of.   According to HealthView Services’ “Retirement Health Care Cost Index,” the cost of senior medical care will rise dramatically in the next decade. The finan

Do You Know How to Keep Track of Your HSA Qualified Expenses?

June 20th, 2014
HSA Tracker Now that you’ve put away the task of filing taxes for 2013, you’d probably like a simpler way to keep records of your HSA disbursements for your personal files. But keeping track of your expenses and itemizing descriptions of eligible health care services can be time-consuming and confusing.   While your HSA administrator or trustee provides HSA tax documents for you and the IRS, you need to keep accurate

Pioneering Price Transparency

June 19th, 2014
price transparency When I visit my local grocery store, I know exactly what each item I place in my basket will cost me at checkout. If there’s any doubt whether or not I paid the price that was posted on the shelf, there’s always a receipt for my review. Why should healthcare be any different?   It seems we’ve become complacent in the wait-and-see game when it comes to medical pricing. We get treated, and then wait to see

Your Health Plan Anniversary is Coming. Are You Ready?

June 5th, 2014
Special Enrollment Period Are you one of the many people who got an “Eleventh-hour” extension on your pre-Affordable Care Act (ACA) health plan last year? Chances are, your plan will have its anniversary pretty soon. I want to give you an idea of what your options really are.   Back in November of 2013, the White House notified state health insurance commissions of a “transitional relief policy” allowing non-grandfathered/non-A

Let’s Make Lower-cost Health Insurance Options Available to Everyone

May 22nd, 2014
The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) released data for Affordable Care Act (ACA) enrollments by state exchange for 2014.  According to the KFF report, 125,402 enrolled in a Colorado marketplace plan. The foundation also reported that a total of 88,208 Coloradans were eligible for a premium tax credit.   Californians eligible to enroll in the state exchange were close to 1,887,000 residents with more th

36 Billion and Counting — HSA Dollars are Adding Up

May 20th, 2014
HSA In the News With the many changes brought on by The Affordable Care Act, perhaps none so deserving of our attention is that of the increasing popularity of the health savings account.   I want to share with you some data that shows how many more Americans are taking advantage of the power of the HSA in taking back control of their health care spending.   A leading health care investment organization recently released

Why June Brides and Grown-up Grads Qualify for a Health Insurance Special Enrollment Period

May 14th, 2014
Summer brings many changes. Not only does the weather become more accommodating, but the season is most associated with milestones in our lives. May graduations and June weddings are not just a mainstay for greeting card companies; they can actually have a big effect on your health insurance status.   What Makes a Special Enrollment Period “Special?”   The Affordable Care Act (ACA) makes provisions fo

An Open Letter to New HHS Secretary

May 1st, 2014
Sylvia Matthews Burwell Upon Kathleen Sebelius’ retirement, President Obama has nominated the former Health and Human Services secretary’s successor as Sylvia Mathews Burwell. Regardless of the outcome of the confirmation process, Sebelius’ replacement will undoubtedly face some massive challenges in continuing efforts to implement the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare.   In an effort to help, I’d like to make