Covered California and Medicare Part D
by Colleen Callahan, CSU, CASL, LUTCF
Oct 03, 2013 | 501 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
There are at least two major events happening in the insurance world in October. One is the grand opening of the insurance exchange or marketplace called Covered California and the other is the annual Medicare Part D open enrollment. There will be an abundance of advertisements hitting consumers from all possible media outlets.

A few details might be helpful. Medicare Part D open enrollment runs from October 15 to December 7, with a January 1 effective date for any changes. The Medicare website offers a handy comparison tool. One can enter a list of medications and the tool will help you sort through a myriad of options. We conduct annual reviews at this time of year for all our Medicare clients.

Covered California offers options for small business insurance plans as well as for individuals. The advance premium tax credits and the subsidies for individuals that qualify are only available for plans purchased from Covered California.

Remember, there is a federal mandate that people obtain insurance or be subject to a tax penalty. The insurance companies are required to accept everyone. The process will be more of an enrollment rather than a full underwriting review. The concerns about pre-existing conditions will be a thing of the past. One key point is that individual coverage will be available in and out of the exchange, so it will be well worth the effort to compare prices and options.

For those of you that are uninsured, now is the time to act. There will be viable options.

Plan designs will be changing and, in many cases, premiums will be increasing. There are several new taxes that insurance companies are tasked with collecting, and those taxes mean increased premiums.

For this year, the open enrollment period for Covered California will be from October 1, 2013 to March 31, 2014. For next year, it will be the same as the Medicare Part D open enrollment. Isn't that convenient for all insurance people? This will make for a very busy holiday season!

I hope I can find time to prepare my Halloween costume.

As always, please free to call me with questions or to request a comparison of plans.

Colleen Callahan Insurance Services is located at 140 Gregory Lane, Suite 170 in Pleasant Hill. She can be reached at 925-363-5433.

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