Tag Archive: Health Insurance


I Missed Open Enrollment and Need Health Coverage — What Are My Options?

business man sitting at a cafe discussing his health options on his cell phone

The next official ACA Open Enrollment period isn’t slated to begin until November 1, 2019. But depending on your circumstances, you may not have to wait that long to obtain coverage.

Qualifying Life Events and Special Enrollment Periods

Sometimes our circumstances change, and if they change due to specific events, you and your dependents may be able to secure health insurance through a Special Enrollment Period. When this occurs, it is called a Qualifying Life Event, otherwise referred to as a QLE.

There are several types of Qualifying Life Events that may grant you a Special Enrollment Period. Some of the most common examples include:

  • Loss of health coverage
    • Losing existing health coverage – including job-based, individual, and student plans
    • Losing eligibility for Medicare, Medicaid, or CHIP
    • Turning 26 and losing coverage through a parent’s plan
  • Changes in household size
    • Getting married or divorced
    • Having a baby or adopting a child
    • Death in the family
  • Changes in residence
    • Moving to a different ZIP code or county
    • A student moving to or from the place they attend school
    • A seasonal worker moving to or from the place they both live and work
    • Moving to or from a shelter or other transitional housing
  • Other qualifying events
    • Changes in your income that affect the coverage you qualify for
    • Gaining membership in a federally recognized tribe, or status as an Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) Corporation shareholder
    • Becoming a U.S. citizen
    • Leaving incarceration (jail or prison)
    • AmeriCorps members starting or ending their service

Non-ACA Health Plans

Haven’t experienced a QLE but still need health coverage? A non-ACA health plan could be the answer. Also referred to as Short Term Medical Plans, recent legislative changes have loosened the restrictions surrounding these plans and have increased their appeal.

Previously, a Short-Term Medical plan could only provide coverage for up to 90 days. But due to recent regulatory changes, these plans can now be continued for up to a year.  Additionally, in some cases applicants may now renew their plan for up to three years.

Because Short-Term Medical Plans are considered non-ACA health plans, it is worth noting that they may not cover all that an ACA health plan would. For example, applicants could be denied coverage due to a pre-existing medical condition, maternity care may not be covered, and there could be an annual dollar limit on coverage. However, these plans are also typically less expensive than ACA plans and could be a good alternative for individuals seeking more affordable options.

Know Your Options

Do you think you may qualify for a Special Enrollment period? Are you interested in hearing more about non-ACA plans and if they may be the right fit for you? Our Benefits Counselors are always on hand to help answer your questions and guide you in the direction that will make the most sense for your unique needs.

Visit your association website to learn more about the Health Insurance offerings that may be available to you, or schedule an appointment with one of our licensed Benefits Counselors today.

Florida Health Choices Marketplace Opens for 2015 Enrollment Period

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Floridians seeking comprehensive health insurance will have the option to shop for affordable coverage beginning Sunday, November 1. The federal mandate, which requires Americans to obtain coverage under the Affordable Care Act, makes the next three months crucial for Floridians that are renewing coverage, or shopping for the first time.

The federal penalty for the uninsured is set to rise during the 2016 open enrollment period, when individuals will be required to pay the higher of the two amounts: 2.5% of yearly household income or $695 per person. With the increase, penalties will be at the forefront of conversation for Floridians who have remained eligible for coverage, but opted out. Floridians must purchase health insurance by January 31 to avoid these penalties.

While many receive health insurance coverage through their employers, millions must shop for insurance on their own. Florida Health Choices is a comprehensive resource, from which consumers can learn more about their health, dental and vision choices – both through Healthcare.gov and in the private marketplace – allowing them to compare and chose the option that works best for them.

“Selecting health insurance can be complicated, especially if you know you’re facing a penalty for not enrolling,” said Florida Health Choices CEO Naff. “We have a team ready to walk consumers through all of their choices and help them select from the maximum number of options available.”

The Florida Health Choices Corporation was established by the State of Florida with the goal of increasing access to affordable, quality health care by creating a competitive market for purchasing health insurance and health services. Since its inception, Florida’s Health Insurance Marketplace has provided consumers with a user-friendly experience when searching for and purchasing health plans that range in coverage and price.

After February 15, 2016, there is an exception in which individuals can enroll in a 2016 insurance plan only if they have a life event that qualifies them for a Special Enrollment Period, such as a change in family status (for example, marriage or birth of a child) or loss of other health coverage.

About Florida Health Choices
Florida’s Health Insurance Marketplace and Florida Health Choices, Inc. were established by the State of Florida to provide improved access to affordable, quality health care for residents statewide. For more information, visit www.MyFloridaChoices.org or find us on Facebook.

Florida Health Choices Now Serving Professionals Licensed by the State of Florida

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida Health Choices is excited to announce the expansion of its

health insurance marketplace with the recent addition of a private exchange for licensed professionals.

Building upon the successful launch of a private exchange for the state’s largest trade association last

spring, Florida Health Choices now offers a customized solution for all licensees of the State of Florida.

The new exchange allows professionals holding one of 200 license types issued by the Departments of

Business and Professional Regulation, Health, Financial Services, Agriculture and the Florida Fish and

Wildlife Conservation Commission to access the marketplace. Upon entering, the licensees will be able

to browse through health plan options to shop, compare and enroll in the health plan that best fits their

needs. License types issued by other state agencies are also accepted.

 

“Licensed professionals have a lot on their plate. It’s often a one-person team handling everything from

business strategy to administration and they are passionate about their work. The marketplace now

offers custom health insurance solutions, designed to meet the needs of the professional,” said Rose

Naff, CEO of Florida Health Choices.

 

The next open enrollment period is scheduled to begin November 1, 2015 and end on January 31, 2016.

In the meantime, the new exchange is enrolling professionals who have recently experienced a

qualifying life event such as birth of a child, marriage or divorce.

 

“Whether they are licensed security officers or alligator farmers, healthcare professionals or

cosmetologists, we want to save time for Florida professionals, so they can get back to business,”

continued Naff.

 

About Florida Health Choices

Florida’s Health Insurance Marketplace and Florida Health Choices, Inc. were established by the Florida

Legislature to provide improved access to affordable, quality health care for residents statewide. For

more information, visit www.MyFloridaChoices.org or find us on Facebook.

Florida Health Choices Offers Health Plans to Realtors

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida Health Choices (FHC) launched its third exchange when it began to offer health plans to Florida Realtors®.  The state’s largest trade association’s 140,000 members now have the benefit of their very own Private Association Exchange (AEX).  With the addition of the AEX, the Health Insurance Marketplace offers more types of plans, including group health insurance.

“Many real estate professionals work independently and have a need for individual and family health insurance. Florida Health Choices is thrilled to offer this valuable service as a Florida Realtors® Rewards Partner,” said FHC’s Board Chairman, Durell Peaden.

“By expanding our offerings to include small and large group health insurance, we know we can satisfy the health insurance needs of real estate associates, brokers and appraiser members of the association,” Peaden continued.

A special enrollment period is currently underway for Realtors that experience a qualify life event like marriage, divorce, or birth of a child. Realtor members who are also employers are invited to shop for coverage year-round. For all others, the next open enrollment period for individual and family coverage begins November 1, 2015.

Interested Realtors and Real Estate Appraisers can access their private exchange here or go to www.floridarealtors.org and find it under Florida Realtor® Rewards Partner.

About Florida Health Choices

Florida’s Health Insurance Marketplace and Florida Health Choices, Inc. were established by the Florida Legislature to provide improved access to affordable, quality health care for residents statewide. For more information, visit www.MyFloridaChoices.org or find us on Facebook.

Florida Health Choices Reports Zero Glitches with New Online Marketplace Launched in January

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – On the heels of open enrollment, which concluded Feb. 15, Florida Health Choices CEO Rose Naff reported another glitch-free start for Florida’s Health Insurance Marketplace. With the introduction of its second online marketplace Jan. 5, Florida Health Choices flawlessly bridged the gap for Floridians seeking comprehensive health insurance.

“The website and call center performed beautifully, especially considering it was the first time we have offered comprehensive health insurance plans for individuals and families,” said Naff. “Additionally, we were able to capture baseline information that will help us better serve Floridians seeking insurance.”

Much of the information collected provides Florida Health Choices with useful insights about the consumers who shopped for plans through the marketplace, such as age, geographic region and coverage options.

“We were targeting those who do not qualify for subsidies, and three out of four of our applicants did not qualify for them,” Naff continued. “We know we have the right products on our shelves because sales occurred for each company offered, each product type and each metal tier.”

Florida Health Choices reported the figures below for the time period of Jan. 5 – Feb. 15.

Performance

  • Overall Rating – 100%
    • No reported busy signals for the call center
    • No reported down time for the website
    • No reported glitches for the website
    • No reported interruption of business operating hours

Traffic Reports

  • 4,800 visits to the marketplace for individual and family coverage
  • 70% new visitors; 30% returning visitors

 Applications

  • Sixty-six applications started
  • One in four applicants elected to enroll through Healthcare.gov

 Product Enrollments

  • 51 total individual product enrollments covering 56 adults and children
  • Sales included all nine insurance companies offered
  • Sales included all of the metal tiers: Bronze 56%, Silver 22%, Gold 13%, Platinum 8%
  • Sales included all product lines offered (Medical, Dental, Vision, Telehealth, Identify Theft Protection)
  • The average individual/family monthly premium was $427, and they purchased an average of two products
  • Gross premiums written for major medical coverage: $253,170.96
  • Enrollment was geographically dispersed from Tallahassee to St. Augustine to Miami
  • The highest concentration of enrollment was along the I-4 corridor from communities around Orlando to the greater Tampa Bay area
  • Ages range from 3 to 64, average age of an enrollee is 39 years
  • Young Invincibles make up about 20% of enrollment (ages 18-29)
  • 85% purchased individual coverage, 15% purchased spouse/family coverage

“The special open enrollment period is now underway and will continue until this fall,” Naff added. “So if you have a qualifying life event, such as marriage, divorce or birth of a child, you can visit our website at www.MyFloridaChoices.org and enroll in coverage that is best for you and your family.”

 

About Florida Health Choices

Florida’s Health Insurance Marketplace and Florida Health Choices, Inc. were established by the Florida Legislature to provide improved access to affordable, quality health care for residents statewide. For more information, visit www.MyFloridaChoices.org or find us on Facebook.

Time is Running Out to Get Coverage – Open Enrollment Ends Feb. 15

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – In the final days of the open enrollment period, Floridians still have options through Florida’s Health Insurance Marketplace available online. However, time is running out! Open enrollment ends Feb. 15.

“It’s not too late to get covered. Floridians will find affordable, comprehensive plans through the Health Insurance Marketplace at www.MyFloridaChoices.org,” said Florida Health Choices CEO Rose Naff. “What you won’t find on our site are the hassles and headaches of having to answer questions about your income and subsidies.”

For those who enroll in plans on or before Feb. 15, coverage will begin March 1. Consumers who do not enroll in coverage by Sunday will have to wait until the next open enrollment period unless a major life event occurs such as marriage, birth of a child or loss of health coverage.

In addition to finding a process that is easy and allows consumers to compare plans side-by-side, individuals and families purchasing plans on www.MyFloridaChoices.org may save money by avoiding taxes or fees imposed on those who enroll through healthcare.gov.

Those who fail to get health insurance may also face paying a tax penalty. The penalty in 2015 is 2 percent of your income or $325 per adult/$162.50 per child, whichever is more.

Florida Health Choices launched a multi-media campaign in January to promote the new offerings of comprehensive plans for individuals and families on www.MyFloridaChoices.org. The campaign includes an online video, radio advertisements, as well as advertisements online, via Facebook and on digital billboards. The campaign concludes Sunday in conjunction with the end of open enrollment.

 

About Florida Health Choices

Florida’s Health Insurance Marketplace and Florida Health Choices, Inc. were established by the Florida Legislature to provide improved access to affordable, quality health care for residents statewide. For more information, visit www.MyFloridaChoices.org or find us on Facebook.

Trademark, Slogan Differentiate Florida Health Choices Brand

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Nearly 1.3 million Floridians had enrolled in Obamacare plans as of mid-January, according to federal data. With so many residents seeking coverage and a number of organizations driving the uninsured to the federal website, healthcare.gov, Florida Health Choices (FHC) has made numerous efforts not only to protect its brand, but also to avoid confusion by those seeking affordable health care coverage for themselves and their families.

Maintaining the integrity of the FHC brand has always been a priority, but recent misuse at both the federal and state level forced the organization to take additional steps to protect its brand identity.

“Our use of the slogan ‘the Health Insurance Marketplace’ is well documented and began in July 2010. It is also our official slogan and registered with the Florida Department of State’s Division of Corporations,” said Florida Health Choices CEO Rose Naff. “In December 2014, I wrote letters to ask a number of Florida-based organizations to remove our slogan from their websites and printed materials. We were gearing up to launch a new line of comprehensive health insurance offerings and would begin a marketing campaign that would rely heavily on our slogan.”

The letters referenced by Naff went to 15 Florida-based organizations. Eleven of those organizations have ignored the request. Naff is sending a second letter to these organizations today.

After adopting the slogan in 2010, state lawmakers the following year updated Section 408.910 of the Florida Statutes to eliminate the term “exchange” from the law and replace it with “marketplace.”Firmly committed to the “marketplace” descriptor in practice and in law, FHC uses “the Health Insurance Marketplace” extensively. Naff provides a detailed history of the brand name and use, as well as reactions to the letter on her blog, which you can access by clicking here.

Florida Health Choices launched a multi-media campaign in January to promote the new offerings of comprehensive plans for individuals and families on www.MyFloridaChoices.org. The campaign includes an online video, radio advertisements, as well as advertisements online, via Facebook and on digital billboards. Open enrollment for the campaign ends Sunday, Feb. 15.

About Florida Health Choices

Florida’s Health Insurance Marketplace and Florida Health Choices, Inc. were established by the Florida Legislature to provide improved access to affordable, quality health care for residents statewide. For more information, visit www.MyFloridaChoices.org or find us on Facebook.

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