Want to Keep Your 2013 Plan?
What you Need to Know
December 1, 2013
Vol. 9, Issue 12
After the bungled debut of the Affordable Care Act health insurance exchanges coinciding with millions of cancellation letters received by policyholders, President Obama made a couple of last minute announcements.
First, trying to achieve damage control for the now empty promise that, “If you like your plan, you can keep your plan,” the President had to face the fact that it just wasn’t a promise that could be kept. Non-ACA health plans weren’t able to meet the requirements of Obamacare, and were scrapped in great numbers.
The resulting response from the White House came on November 14th, when a new promise was made. The President announced that those consumers who had lost their health plans due to non-compliance with ACA requirements could, in fact, keep them through 2014 – IF their insurance carriers choose to re-offer them.
Who Decides if a Canceled Plan will Return?
State insurance commissions have the authority to accept or deny the reset action offered by the government. Most insurance carriers chose not to extend canceled plans out of concern over legal questions should they be held accountable for not complying with health care reform laws after all!
Confusing? Yes. But since the President’s announcement in November, there have been some “takers” to the offer of allowing insurance companies by state commissions to re-offer dropped or similar non-Obamacare plans good through 2014.
States Not Re-offering Non-ACA Plans for 2014
Florida, Hawaii, Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio, and Texas state commissions have opted not to offer consumers the resale of canceled or similar Non-ACA policies. Vermont had previously made it possible for insurance companies in the state to offer non-ACA plans through March 31, 2014, and so will not be changing that decision to extend any further as allowed by the White House.
Which States are Renewing Canceled Plans?
Many insurance carriers are on the fence or outright declining the option of renewing canceled plans. At the end of November 2013, the following states have formally announced that they will be offering renewals for canceled plans.
- North Carolina
- South Carolina
Of course, it’s still up to the individual insurance carriers in these states as to whether they will scramble to offer the canceled plans once more. There is also a dip in the faith these companies have that, by reinstituting canceled plans, they won’t have to mail out those cancellation letters all over again. Still others are wary of the logistics of setting up policies that they only just canceled.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska formally announced renewal of canceled plans with December 31, 2013 effective dates. The company explained that letters mailed the last week of November advised recently dropped policyholders that if they are without coverage due to their plans being canceled, they don’t need to take any action – the plan will be reinstated with coverage effective through December 31, 2014.
What if Your Canceled Plan is Available Again?
For now, we are expecting carriers that decide to re-open canceled plans to follow the pretty simple process explained by BCBS of Nebraska. They are telling their canceled customers that if they have already replaced their canceled plans with an ACA-compliant plan, they should work with their independent insurance advisor to switch back to the non-ACA plan if they wish. But keep in mind that previous plans will not be required to offer the minimum essential benefits or guaranteed acceptance of pre-existing conditions like ACA plans.
An independent insurance advisor at HSA for America is your best resource to take the action you want – staying with the reinstituted plan through 2014, purchasing a new ACA-qualified plan, or declining the offer of either of these options. We can help.
ACA Enrollment Deadline Extended to December 23rd
The original deadline for enrolling in an ACA plan (coverage effective January 1, 2014) was set as December 15, 2013. Recently, the President extended the deadline for federal exchanges to December 23, 2013 and invited state-run exchanges to adjust the deadline by eight days as well.
The state exchanges can implement the new deadline, but are not required to do so. Some carriers who offer health plans outside the exchanges are accepting enrollments as late as December 31, 2013 for coverage effective on January 1, 2014.
To be sure of your dates, I strongly suggest you speak with your HSA for America Personal Advisor with any and all questions about deadlines, extensions and renewals of non-ACA health plans in your area. We can help you sift through the changes in policy, and guide you through the choices that are available to you.
Remember also, that if you are enrolled in an HSA-qualified health plan that’s been in force since December 1, 2013, you can continue to fund your HSA for 2013, right up until tax day (April 15, 2014). Every dollar you put in your 2013 HSA will lower your taxable income for that tax year. Check out our complete HSA page for more details about contributions and tax credits.
I am proud of our dedicated team here at HSA for America. With 25 years of insurance experience behind them, and a real desire to save you money during such confusing times, your HSA for America Personal Advisor is your best resource for making the right health care coverage decisions for 2014 and beyond.
We love doing homework on everything that happens in health care reform, health savings accounts, important dates and deadlines and more to keep you informed. Call us any time at (800) 913-0172, write us at info@HSAforAmerica.com, or post questions on Facebook. We answer every one!
To your health and wealth!
"Wiley and Wiley IV"
President - HSA for America