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Innovative F Health Net Medicare Supplement Launches August 1st in California

Health Net of California has announced the rollout of a new Medicare Supplement Plan.  

Available beginning with August 1 start dates, Health Net will offer their Innovative F Supplement in California.  Earlier this year, Anthem Blue Cross introduced their Innovative F plan.  Health Net's plan marks the second "Innovative" Medicare Supplement in California.

One huge difference between the two Innovative F plans--unlike Anthem's plan, Health Net's Innovative F is available to upgrade from your Plan F to Innovative Plan F during California's "Birthday Rule" Guarantee Issue Period.   Health Net considers Innovative Plan F an "equal benefit" plan compared to Plan F.

Health Net Innovative F offers additional hearing and vision benefits that include:

Routine Hearing Exam - One Hearing Exam every 12 monthsHearing Aid(s) - includes fitting evaluation. $1000 benefit maximum for two hearing aids (one pair) or $500 for one hearing aidRo…
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Anthem CA 2018 Small Group Promotion Begins July 1st

Anthem Blue Cross (CA) has announced the relaxation of rules with regard to small employer group coverage beginning with July 1st enrollments.  Promotion runs through December 15th enrollments.

The biggest change?  Anthem will now allow your employees covered under individual & family health plans ON or OFF exchange a valid participation waiver.  Your employees with individual coverage will no longer be forced to drop that coverage in favor of your group health plan to meet group participation requirements.

Relaxation of participation requirements.  Anthem will allow groups with 5 or more enrolled subscribers to meet a mere 25% participation requirement.  Groups 1-4 enrolled subscribers is also reduced from 70% to 65% participation requirement.

Specialty Dental will receive a 24-month rate guarantee if enrolled by December 15th, 2018.


New: Oscar Health Small Group for Los Angeles & Orange Counties Available 5/1

Oscar Health, known for low premium individual health plans with high tech features, has expanded their product offerings in California.

Small businesses in Los Angeles and Orange Counties will now have access to Oscar group health plans.  These plans will have the same features enjoyed on individual plans including 24/7 telemedicine & concierge services and fully functional smart app.

I am hoping that Oscar Health will expand their offerings to larger portions of California.

If you are interested in a free, no obligation quote for the new Oscar Health plans, send and e-mail or give me a call (1-800-509-0659).  


Beware Medicare ID Card Scams

As with anything new, there are those who will find a way to take advantage of people to line their own pockets.  Such is the case with the new Medicare ID cards.  New cards are scheduled to be sent in waves with California beginning in May, 2018.

As reported by The Motley Fool earlier this month, scammers are using two techniques to obtain personal and private information from vulnerable seniors.  Two basic techniques that are being used are - 

1.  Telephone calls claiming to be from Medicare requesting seniors pay a fee for their new ID card (claim it's not free which is not true) and,

2.  Telephone calls claiming to be from Medicare requesting personal and banking information for verification in order to get your new ID card from Medicare.

No doubt there will be more attempts and techniques employed in these phishing schemes.  

It is important to remember that Medicare will never call you to obtain any personal, financial or private information (just like the IRS).  Medicare does no…

California Senate Bill Would Outlaw Short-Term Health Insurance

California Senate Bill 910 (Hernandez), which was re-referred to Health Committee on March 14th, would prohibit any insurer from selling short-term health insurance in California.

"This bill, commencing January 1, 2019, would prohibit a health insurer from issuing, selling, renewing, or offering a short-term limited duration health insurance policy, as defined, for health care coverage in this state."

"10123.61. (a) Commencing January 1, 2019, a health insurer shall not issue, amend, sell, renew, or offer a policy of short-term limited duration health insurance policy for health care coverage in this state."

Some California residents use short-term health insurance in lieu of compliant but more expensive Obamacare coverage or as an interim coverage between compliant health plans.  

Within the last year or so we have seen two carriers terminate their short-term health offering in California.  HCC Tokio Marine dropped their plans in 2017, and Petersen International Under…

California Sues Sutter Health Alleging Excessive Pricing

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra has sued Sutter Health, accusing them of illegally quashing competition and overcharging customers and employers.

"A 2016 study found that hospital prices at Sutter and Dignity Health, the two biggest hospital chains in California, were 25 percent higher than at other hospitals around the state. Researchers at the University of Southern California said the giant health systems used their market power to drive up prices — making the average patient admission at both chains nearly $4,000 more expensive."

Of the lawsuit, "it said Sutter employs a variety of improper tactics, such as gag clauses on prices, “punitively high” out-of-network charges and “all-or-nothing” contract terms that require all of its facilities to be included in insurance networks."

I'll be keeping an eye for updates on this as many in my area of California use Sutter Health services.  This limits the choice of health insurance plans significantly.

Read t…

California MRMIP Alive & Well For 2018

California's MRMIP (Major Risk Medical Insurance Program) has apparently survived the proposed budget cut last year.

In 2017, the proposed 2018 budget would have eliminated the MRMIP and the MRMIF (Fund) and transferred the fund balance to the newly established Health Care Services Plans Fines and Penalties Fund.  See my blog post from 2017

MRMIP is qualifying health coverage for mandate/penalty issues.  It is available year round for enrollment (assuming no waiting list) to California residents who are denied enrollment in a qualifying health insurance plan (Obamacare).  

Online 2018 MRMIP Brochure with benefits, rates and application form