It appears that Obama’s Affordable Care Act (ACA) is not going to be affordable for a great number of people. Last week I attended agent meetings for both Optima and Anthem BCBS. Though there are a great number of things to be finalized before Oct.1, 2013, the message I received was loud and clear.
My clients, and pretty much everyone else who now has an existing individual health insurance plan, will see significant rate increases for the “new and compliant plans” that will go into effect Jan. 1, 2014 and after. In fact, a lot of insurance companies are recommending that their clients renew their policies early. This is a special consideration given to existing clients so that they may lock in their premiums until December of 2014. This will postpone the sticker shock. I highly encourage everyone affected to sign and return their early renewal paperwork as soon as possible. If by some chance, a new plan is better because of coverage or premium, the insured still retains the right to buy the new policy.
The insurance companies desperately want their customers to know that they have to respond to the new laws and regulations. Thus in order to remain in business, they have to pass the costs onto the consumer and raise premiums. For example, every person will pick up the cost of maternity coverage, whether you want it or not. It is mandated that every qualified health plan (QHP) pay for maternity. In addition, infertility treatments and prosthesis’s are also covered in the mandated law. No one can be turned down for insurance because of a pre-existing condition. Therefore, the insurance companies are looking to have to pay claims for those who have cancer, diabetes, and serious heart disease for clients they never sold to before.
If you are my client, you will be receiving a call from me. If you have another health agent, I suggest that you contact them soon. This is a troubling and confusing time for everyone.