By Ulla-Undine Merritt (Dee) National Producer Number (NPN) 8853366
Most people don’t realize that when you move that there is a lot you need to do that does not involve your new home, but it can greatly affect you personally. When you shop for a new home you should shop for new health insurance as well and compare the difference as this can affect your budget. Many people don’t realize that not all of the plans that are available in Lee County are available in Collier County, now that is a small example now think of one state to another. The good thing is that due to the Affordable Care Act (PPACA) or as most like to call it Obama Care everyone qualifies for coverage. But did you know that there is an Open Enrollment Period that just ended January 31st 2016 for 2016. Yes that means that if you didn’t enroll or have health insurance by January 31st you may be penalized up to 2.5% of your earnings in 2016. Also you CAN”T BUY qualified health insurance for the rest of this year unless you have a special election period.
There are special election periods that are very important and the timeline that you can purchase them is very important, so don’t be caught off guard. A move is a special election period if you move out of the plans service area or out of state. Most life change events have a maximum of 60 days to make that change. The majority of the time you’re earliest effective date is the 1st of the month following enrollment and if you enroll after the 15th of the month it is effective the 1st of the following month. An example is if applied on March 16th the earliest your plan would be effective would be May 1st. Many people cannot afford to be without coverage for a month or even a couple of days and honestly you never should be. No one ever plans to have a sudden accident or become terminally ill or die. It happens to healthy people as well, remember in most cases we all started out healthy, and then life happens. Special Election Periods are moving out of the plans service area; loss of coverage; marriage; child birth or adoption; divorce, etc. visit www.healthcare.gov for rules, timelines and exceptions.
Short Term Medical Insurance is available all year long. These policies can be bought for up to 1 year. They do have medical underwriting so not everyone will qualify. But they are many times less expensive and you can purchase higher deductibles or catastrophic plans. They do not meet the government’s creditable coverage standards so you could still be subject to the tax penalty for not having coverage.
Employer Group Coverage – New groups can be formed all year long. This is very important as the government made the law very specific to say that an employer may NOT pay for an employee’s medical insurance (or any part of) and if they do they will be assessed a $100 per employee penalty per day. So if you are and employer that is doing this it’s time to shop for group insurance again. The advantages for individual insurance policies are going away and group is your best option now going forward.
You want to speak to a Broker that deals with both group and individual so they can build a strategy that would best suit your and your employee’s needs.
This month is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month; did you know that most insurance plans cover preventive Colorectal Cancer Screening at “NO CHARGE” check your plan and DO NOT DELAY. Cancer can be deadly but many deaths can be prevented with early detection and screening. Living a healthy life style is never too late to make a difference in your families’ lives. The old saying the family that plays together stays together. Well the family that eats right, does their annual exams, and exercise’s will most likely live a long life and share many wonderful memories. So don’t delay start today. Can you imagine living to 100, well so many people are so let your 100th birthday be a happy and healthy one.
Also remember when moving to check your wills, trusts, and make sure they follow Florida’s laws and guidelines. Establish yourself with a local attorney, CPA, Financial Planner / Insurance Agent. An annual review is very important. To many times people assume, don’t assume ask a professional most of the time your first consultation is at no charge.
Logical Insurance Solutions