Category Archives: Uncategorized

March 31st Affordable Care Enrollment Deadline

It was reported in an article February 24, 2014 by the Los Angeles Times that California’s enrollment website for Obamacare coverage was restored Monday after a five-day outage due to software problems.

The online troubles frustrated many consumers, enrollment counselors and insurance agents who wanted to use the Covered California website. The state had been signing up more than 7,000 people per day, on average, in February.

The online enrollment system went down late Wednesday and the state continued to work on it throughout the weekend.

In a statement, Covered California attributed the website problem “to a software malfunction that occurred during a planned maintenance update on Sunday, Feb. 16.”

Regardless of the online glitches, it was also reported that more than 1.7 million Californians have signed up for health coverage since Oct. 1, according to the state’s insurance exchange.

“This shows how strongly Californians are stepping up to take advantage of the Covered California opportunity,’ Peter Lee, the exchange’s executive director, said at a news conference Wednesday.
Another 877,000 Californians were determined to be likely eligible for coverage under the health care law’s expansion of Medi-Cal, the state’s health program for the poor.

Over the last month, the numbers of enrollees in private plans jumped by 203,072, while the number of Medi-Cal enrollees increased by 293,000.

“At least 626,210 of those who selected private plans are eligible for federal tax subsidies,” Lee said. “Covered California does not know how many of those who have signed up for plans were previously uninsured.”

With the March 31st open enrollment deadline rapidly approaching, it is important to contact Jeremy now at (310) 486-7620.

Press Release – Wall Street Journal

Read about us in the Wall Street Journal. To view the release, go to http://online.wsj.com/article/HUG1749346.html?dsk=y.
PRESS RELEASE
December 11, 2013, 2:41 p.m. ET

Jeremy Smith, President of Jordan Financial Network Insurance Services, Inc. has Recently been Certified by Covered California as an Active Agent in Supporting the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Veteran insurance agent sees Obamacare changes to be the biggest he’s ever seen, but will open market to new customers.

Los Angeles, CA — Dec 11, 2013 / (http://www.myprgenie.com) — Jeremy Smith, President of Jordan Financial Network Insurance Services, Inc. has recently been certified by Covered California as an Active Agent in supporting the Affordable Care Act (ACA), frequently penned by many as “Obamacare.” Smith has been an Insurance Agent for 25 years and has seen the industry go through many changes. “But nothing like we are going to see over the next several months,” Smith added. “The recent changes will open doors to many people who previously were uninsurable and now will not only be able to obtain insurance, but can do so at an affordable cost.”
“Further,” Smith continued, “many Insurance professionals will also realize the vast ‘unexplored territory’ that will suddenly become available if that professional is willing to put the value of his client before his pocketbook.” In other words, Smith feels he will be able to increase his client base, while serving as a good source to help consumers to navigate through the haze of the complex healthcare market and get a better understanding of how this system will work.
Although Smith concedes the Government could have done a better job of educating the populace on the finer points of the ACA, he chooses not to dwell on the negative. “I have a choice. I can bemoan the fact that people are confused about what they should do regarding their health insurance or I can be proactive and become an expert on ‘Obamacare’ and be one of those folks who really knows his stuff and can truly help individuals and employers make the choices that will work the best for them regarding both benefits and costs. I choose to adopt the latter version,” Smith said.
Smith claimed that every person he knows has instantly become a potential client, or at least someone he can help to understand the process of the ACA. “Every person who filed a tax return for 2012 is a legitimate lead for me and this is exciting,” Smith says, “But it is way more exciting to be able to teach, consult, and be the ‘go to’ guy for people looking for answers to their healthcare insurance inquiries. Smith’s website, www.jeremycaliforniainsurance.com contains a plethora of information and blogs regarding ACA as well as opportunities for consumers to actually apply on his site for various insurance products outside the exchange. For those who will qualify inside the exchange, Smith can provide assistance in signing up with the Governmental program.
Smith’s Jordan Financial Network also offers insurance to both individuals and businesses in many other arenas, including Life, Workers Comp, Long Term Care, Disability, Medicare Supplements, etc.for people living in California and Arizona. Smith can be reached at 310-486-7625 or on his website.

Phone Lines Swamped

One of the best reasons to utilize the services of a qualified health insurance agent is illustrated in an article in the Ventura County Star by Tom Kisken,
January 15, 2014. He states that, “For many people, the hardest part of navigating the Covered California exchange and meeting a payment deadline that kicked in for some on Wednesday may be connecting with a live person.” The article goes on with example after example of people who spent hours calling Covered California’s toll-free number designed to connect people with help only to be told repeatedly by an automated voice that the high volume of calls meant that they should go to www.coveredca.com and find aid there. Callers who persisted and kept trying the line say they eventually end up on hold, waiting for as long as 97 minutes. They are often told at the end of the call they need to call the insurance company on lines also flooded with calls. Covered California officials said the automated disconnects are caused by a flood of phone calls that reached 75,995 for the week ending Jan. 11. People can enroll in plans through the exchange until March 31. The phone flood was pushed by payment deadlines. For the week ending Nov. 2, the average wait time for a call to Covered California was less than three minutes. The average wait for the week ending Jan. 11 was more than 49 minutes. 
”I found out I’m not even in (Blue Shield’s) system,” said Connie Kline of Simi Valley, who called the insurer and Covered California every day last week and was left without any proof she’s insured. “It’s not like I called once or twice. I called I don’t know how many times.”

Blue Shield was receiving 57,000 calls a day from people in the individual marketplace that includes Covered California plans. WellPoint, parent company of Anthem Blue Cross, received about 1 million calls the first two business days in January. “That’s more than we get in an average month,” said Anthem spokesman Darrel Ng. Hundreds of new people have been hired to work customer service and hundreds more have been shifted from other positions to help,” Ng said. Blue Shield said it ramped up its call center as well. Kaiser said they’re calling Covered California enrollees to help with any payment questions. 
Kennedy said, “Covered California is adding call center staff and considering expanding the number of phone lines, currently at 1,288.” He said people who can’t get through the lines can go to the Medi-Cal eligibility offices run by the Ventura County Human Service Agencies and trained to deal with Medi-Cal and Covered California. Or they can go to www.coveredca.com and use the “local help” button to find enrollment counselors and insurance agents.
Why not eliminate the headache of hours of your time being wasted and have a professionally trained Covered California certified agent spend the time to ensure that all your questions and concerns are being handled?
Call Jeremy Smith at (310) 486-7625 and let the professionals do the work at no cost to you.

Deadline for Signing Up – Obamacare

There is still time to sign up for coverage under the Covered California Insurance Plans. The deadline for open enrollment is March 31, 2014. At no cost to you Jeremy can walk you through the often confusing enrollment process. As always Jeremy is available to assist you with all your health and life insurance needs. Call for details – (310) 486-1720

Application Glitches Being Worked Out – Obamacare

Covered California shut down its online enrollment system Saturday night through early Monday morning for what it described as “regular maintenance.” Last week, the state took enrollment offline two other times to address problems consumers had with repeated error messages and general slowness on the site. Some people said they were finally able to create an account on the website after numerous attempts, but they still couldn’t log in and complete the sign-up process for coverage under the federal Affordable Care Act. Officials attributed the initial problems primarily to a larger-than-expected response during the first week of enrollment.



Enrollment in the exchange lasts until March 31, 2014, although you must pick a plan by Dec. 15, 2013 to have coverage starting Jan. 1, 2014. “We continue to make improvements and address issues as they arise,” said Covered California spokeswoman Anne Gonzales. “The pages were loading more easily and quickly as of late last week.” 

 California allows consumers to get price quotes and compare health plans anonymously without first creating a personal account. That requirement on other state websites appeared to create extensive problems. California plans to launch an online tool that allows people to search for specific doctors and hospitals by health plan before choosing an insurer. That feature was delayed last week as state officials addressed the enrollment issues. “Covered California had an enormous challenge to develop an IT system to manage such a large program,” said Patrick Johnston, president of the California Assn. of Health Plans. “It is working and the fact there are adjustments in the early days only means the demands were great.”
Reported by Chad Terhune – October 7, 2013

Health Exchange Tax Breaks

According to a new Kaiser Family Foundation analysis, Americans who currently buy their own insurance through the individual market would receive tax credits averaging nearly $2,700 next year for coverage purchased through new insurance marketplaces. The tax credits or subsidies would be an average of 32 percent of the premiums for this group of enrollees in “silver” plan.

These rate announcements do not reflect federal subsidies that will offset the cost of insurance for many current individual market policy holders.

“Tax subsidies are an essential part of the equation for many people who buy insurance through the new marketplaces next year,” Foundation President and CEO Drew Altman said. “They will help make coverage more affordable for low- and middle-income people.”

Tax credits will be available to subsidize premiums for people who buy their insurance in the new marketplaces, do not have access to other affordable coverage, and have incomes between 100% and 400% of the federal poverty level (between about $11,500 and $46,000 for a single person, and $24,000 and $94,000 for a family of four).

An estimated 48% of people who currently have individual market coverage will be eligible for tax credits. Tax credits among those eligible will average $5,548 per family, and subsidies will average $2,672 across all families now purchasing their own insurance. Many people who are now uninsured will also be eligible for subsidies and their tax credits will likely be higher on average since they have lower incomes than those who now buy their own coverage.
For more information on the tax rates specific to your needs call Jeremy at (310)486-7625.

Essential Health Benefits Included in Health Insurance Exchange

In the August 13, 2013 Kaiser Health News, Eric Whitney reports that the Affordable Care Act has set new standards — called essential health benefits — outlining what health insurance companies must now cover. But there seems to be a catch. Insurance firms can still pick and choose to some degree which specific therapies they’ll cover within some categories of benefit. And the way insurers interpret the rules could turn out to be a big deal for people with disabilities who need ongoing therapy to improve their day-to-day lives.
The Affordable Care Act is changing the benefits for people who require “habilitative” coverage defined as ongoing care necessary for people with disabilities.

“You’re much more likely to find these benefits in a plan in the individual market [starting in 2014] than you would be today. Far more likely,” says Clemans-Cope.

“Habilitative services” are included within the 10 categories of essential health benefits the ACA will require in those new plans. Still, while some categories are straightforward — such as maternity care and preventive care — the category including habilitative services leaves more room for interpretation.

For instance, insurers could choose to cover physical therapy for someone with a broken bone, but not cover long-term support services for chronic conditions, such as speech therapy for kids with developmental delays.

Clemans-Cope says some insurers may arrange their benefits in a way that discourages people with expensive chronic conditions from signing up with them. And, she says, people who want to have specific therapies covered are going have to slog through some fine print to figure out if they’ll actually benefit from a particular policy. (The new policies will start to go on sale this fall and go into effect beginning Jan. 1, 2014.)

“This is a big improvement, but we should emphasize that it’s not totally fixed,” Clemans-Cope says. “And people are really going to have to get help to decide which plans cover the benefits they need.”
Covered California strongly recommends using a licensed, certified insurance agent to advise you on the benefits most necessary for your particular needs. Call Jeremy at (310) 486-7625 to be informed and ready for the changes with the Exchange.

New Affordable Care Act Sparks Scam Worry

The need to work with a reputable insurance agent or broker was spotlighted in an article in the LA Times (July 21, 2013.) According to Anna Gorman of the Times, the National Health Reform Law has the potential for scams leading to identity theft and fraud. The National Health Reform Law (Obamacare) will make more than 2.6 million people eligible for subsidized coverage and an additional 1.4 million low-income residents eligible for expanded Medi-Cal programs in California. The Federal Trade Commission said dozens of consumers have reported fraud since the law has taken effect. One scam involves a caller promising to send a healthcare card if the person reveals personal and financial information. False enrollment websites have sprung up and even one company promising huge savings for consumers and then swindling them with fake insurance.
The other major issue of concern is the 20,000 plus counselors that will be hired to process information through the health exchange. Although training, background and fingerprint checks and secret shoppers have been instituted to ensure compliance, fraud is inevitable.
The California Department of Insurance has warned that there is still not enough protection for consumers. “If someone is just careless with a consumer’s identity, that could cause all kinds of problems,” said Nancy Kincaid, spokeswoman for the insurance department. Insurance agents and brokers undergo a much more rigorous vetting process than will be required of the new staff counselors.
Working with a licensed agent or broker for all your insurance needs is still the best protection that your best interests, as well as your privacy are of utmost importance. For more information call Jeremy at Jordan Financial Network Insurance Services, your licensed broker – (310) 486-7625

More From Health Net – Essential Health Benefits

As of January 2014 all plans must cover essential benefits. Open enrollment begins in October. Be prepared with the information relevant to you with Jordan Financial.

2014 Essential Health Benefits
All health plans offered in the individual and small group markets must provide a comprehensive package of items and services that are called Essential Health Benefits, which fit in 10 categories:
• Ambulatory patient services
• Emergency Services
• Hospitalization
• Maternity and newborn care
• Mental health and substance use disorder services, including behavioral health treatment
• Prescription drugs
• Rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices
• Laboratory services
• Preventive and wellness services, and chronic disease management
• Pediatric services, including dental and vision care

The benefits generally will be based on those provided now in the small group market with some variation from state to state.
Wellness programs Permits employers to offer employees rewards of up to 30%, potentially increasing to 50%, of the cost of coverage for participating in a wellness program and meeting certain health-related standards.
If certain conditions are met, health plans may provide a discount or rebate when an individual satisfies a standard related to a health factor.

Affordable Care Protection In Place Today – Health Net

The Protections in place today according to Health Net include change that:

*Prohibits individual and group health plans from placing lifetime dollar limits on coverage.
*Restricts annual dollar limits on coverage for Essential Health Benefits.

Non-grandfathered plans must cover, without cost-sharing, a variety of preventive services as determined by organizations such as the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Group and individual market health plans providing coverage for dependent children must continue to make coverage available for an adult child until the child turns 26 years of age.

Plans are prohibited from excluding from coverage children with pre-existing conditions who are under 19 years of age.

Plans covering emergency services must meet standards such as not requiring prior authorization, covering services from nonparticipating providers and not allowing out-of-network cost-sharing to exceed in-network rates.

Insurers and group health plans may not rescind an enrollee’s coverage unless the individual has performed an act that constitutes fraud against the plan or has intentionally misrepresented a material fact to the plan.
More On Grandfathered plans to come.

Using the Calculators to Estimate Your Rates

The most important provisions of the Affordability Care Act (ACA) are in regard to coverage changes and consumer protections.  Many more sweeping changes will take effect January 1, 2014. It is imperative to be informed on the changes as they happen.  We at Jordan Financial can help keep you informed and assist you in navigating this ever-changing landscape of health care.

There are calculators designed to help you estimate how much it will cost you to purchase health insurance in 2014 and the amount of your financial assistance. If you already have affordable insurance from your employer or a government program like Medicare or Medi-Cal, you will not be eligible for these cost-saving programs and the calculator will not apply to you. This estimate will give you an idea of how much insurance will cost. Insurance rates for 2014 have not yet been finalized so keep in mind that, once you are ready to purchase a health plan, the actual cost will likely change from this estimate.

To use the calculator, simply enter several pieces of key information.

Enter household size and income for all individuals included on your tax return (yourself, your spouse and dependants, if applicable).

Enter age information only for those household members who need coverage.

The calculator will put all that information together and provide you with the estimated monthly cost for insurance, which appears in the calculator as “Your Estimated Monthly Silver Plan Premium” and takes into account any financial assistance you might receive from the government. The calculator will also indicate whether your income makes you eligible for Medi-Cal. You will also be able to upgrade to more comprehensive coverage with the other metal programs (see Metal Plans Post).

For information regarding your estimated savings call Jeremy at (310) 486-7625.