Dear Colleagues and Interested Parties:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Media Line: (916) 205-8403
Sept. 4, 2014
COVERED CALIFORNIA REACHES OUT TO
THOUSANDS OF CONSUMERS WHO HAVE LIMITED TIME TO CLARIFY THEIR LAWFUL PRESENCE IN CALIFORNIA
Agents, Counselors and Community Organizations Will Help Educate Enrollees That Citizenship and Immigration Documents
Must Be Submitted, or the Consumers Risk Losing Coverage
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Covered California is contacting about 98,000 families that must resolve eligibility inconsistencies in their 2014 enrollment documents.
The consumers will need to submit documents showing they are lawfully present in the United States as U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals or individuals with eligible immigration status, in order to continue their health insurance through Covered California. Notices are being mailed and emailed to consumers beginning this week. If proper proof is not provided by Sept. 30, 2014, these individuals risk termination of health coverage.
“We want to clear these inconsistencies so that our consumers can have a smoother renewal process without any interruption in their coverage,” said Covered California Executive Director Peter V. Lee. “We’re implementing a multi-touch, multi-channel outreach approach to notify individuals who risk losing coverage.”
Covered California has been working to clear inconsistencies. To date, more than 700,000 documents have been verified and processed.
Documents submitted by consumers will be treated confidentially and will be used only to determine the consumers’ eligibility for health insurance programs and will not be used for immigration enforcement.
Lee said some consumers may have previously provided Covered California the required documents, but the agency could not reconcile the information to verify citizenship or immigration status. For example, some documents were illegible, and in some cases two pieces of proof were needed, but only one document was sent, so the agency is requesting the documents be sent again.
The notices will provide consumers with a list of documents they can send to prove their lawful presence. The notices will be delivered in English and Spanish, and help is also available in other languages.
Consumers also will be instructed on how to upload the documents to their account, send them via U.S. mail or fax them to (888) 329-3700. Additionally, thousands of partners, including Covered California Certified Insurance Agents, Certified Enrollment Counselors, Service Center representatives and county eligibility workers, will be available to help consumers submit the necessary documentation.
Lee stressed that consumers should act quickly to submit the requested documents.
“If we do not get your documents, Covered California must cancel your health insurance, along with any federal tax credit you may be receiving that lowers your monthly premiums,” Lee said. “If you have received tax credits, and your health insurance is canceled, you may have to repay those tax credits. If your health insurance is canceled, you may also have to pay a tax penalty.”
Qualifying documents that prove lawful presence include a U.S. passport; a certificate of naturalization (N-550/N-570); a certificate of citizenship (N-560/N-561); a U.S. public birth certificate; a driver’s license issued by a U.S. state or territory; an identification card issued by the federal, state or local government; a school identification card; a foreign passport; and a green card.
The Affordable Care Act will cost about $1.4 trillion over the next decade, or about $104 billion less than previously projected,
According to the report, the lower-than-expected premiums resulted from exchange plans that “appear to have, in general, lower payment rates for providers, narrower networks of providers and tighter management of their subscribers’ use of health care than employment-based plans.”
government would pay less in subsidies because of President Obama’s administrative fix that allowed people to keep health plans that otherwise would have been canceled for not meeting the ACA’s minimum coverage standards
individuals will pay around $46 billion in penalties over the next 10 years, while businesses will pay about $139 billion
Most newly insured got coverage through employer plans, not the exchanges.
LA Times 1.25.2014 Obamacare enrollment increases to 3 million.
***How many of these are Medi-Cal, Medicaid?
Moody’s downgrades Insurance Industry from Stable to Negative
Moody’s Investors Services downgraded its outlook of the U.S. health insurance industry from stable to negative, citing the Affordable Care Act’s rocky implementation, the Washington Post reports (Kliff/Somashekhar, Washington Post, 1/23).
The credit rating firm described the current marketplace as an “unstable and evolving regulatory environment” and attributed several key factors to the downgrade, such as:
•A bevy of last-minute regulatory changes and announcements by the Obama administration;
•Lower-than-expected enrollment among young adults in the exchanges (Easley, “Healthwatch,” The Hill, 1/23);
•The law’s annual tax on insurers (Attias, CQ HealthBeat, 1/23); and
•The potential for greater cuts to Medicare Advantage plans, which it said could “result in significant premium increases and/or benefit reductions, or additional market exits by insurers”(Washington Post, 1/23).
Covered CA Press Release 1.23.2014
Covered California received additional federal funding this week to expand and enhance the work of providing affordable health care coverage.
The $155 million grant will primarily target outreach and marketing, enrollment assistance, staffing and technology for the state health benefit exchange in 2014.
Last I saw, there were about 8,000 Certified Insurance Agents that not only spent 8 hours in class, but several more at home or office studying the handouts teveshorr.com/individual_and_family/Covered.CA/Certification.Seminar/certification-seminar.htm and taking the tests. Let alone the tests and education they already had being licensed Insurance Agents.
Rather than referring the public to websites that don’t work and endless hours on hold how about using this money to make it worthwhile for agents to write business. I’m AFRAID to go to health fairs for fear of the number of people that would qualify for Medi-Cal where I do NOT get paid.
If my math is correct $155m / 8,000 agents would be close to $20K each. $400/week or close to $100/day. I could go to a fair for that or hire someone to wait on hold.
In the meantime, I barely have time to do anything, besides just roll over the current business that I have. Covered CA DEMANDING in spite of President Obama’s Executive Order to cancel virtually all policies 1.1.2014.
How about using the money to lower premiums to attract the young and healthy?
Covered CA admits they have service problems and will use the grant money to fix it.
“We have not provided good customer service,” said Peter Lee, executive director of Covered California.
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