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California's Last Short-Term Health Plan Now Closed

Effective September 1, 2018, the only remaining short-term health insurance plan in California has been pulled from the market.

IHC removed their offering in late August.  This is most likely in response to the imminent signing of CA SB 910 into law this month.  SB 910 would make the sale or renewal of any short-term limited duration (STLD) health insurance illegal in California.  

As of this writing, IHC will continue to offer a Fixed Benefit Health Plan in California.

The fixed benefit plan is available year-round and can start as soon as the day after application submission.  Unlike the short-term plan, the fixed benefit plan is not limited in duration.

For more information on Fixed Benefit Health Insurance, click here


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California vs TrumpCare

Changes being made by the Trump Administration with regard to the ACA (ObamaCare) are not going over well in California.  

To date, the administration has extended short-term health insurance to 12 months, eliminated the tax penalty for not having compliant health insurance, allowed for the creation of AHPs (Association Health Plans) and floated the idea of decreasing the MLR (Medical Loss Ratio) from 80%.

California is insistent that the ACA and Covered CA will be the marketplace.

There are currently several bills on the Governor's desk awaiting signature to thwart the changes made by the Trump Administration.

Senate Bill 910
Would prohibit insurers from selling, renewing or offering short-term health plans in California.

Senate Bill 1108
Would allow California to seek waivers from the federal government to increase enrollment in Medi-Cal, the low-income health care program. It would also ban the state from requiring anyone on Medi-Cal to work in order to receive benefits. Kentucky …

F Extra Blue Shield Medicare Supplement Launches October 1 in California

Blue Shield of California has announced the launch of their Innovative F Medicare Supplement called 'F Extra'.  

F Extra will be available for enrollment beginning October 1, 2018.  Like Anthem's Innovative F, F Extra will not be available for Birthday Rule transfers and will be subject to medical underwriting.

F Extra will offer the following additional benefits over traditional Plan F...

1.  Hearing benefits
2.  Vision benefits
3.  Silver Sneakers 
4.  Life Station Life Alert benefits

The $25 per month first year New to Medicare discount will be available for those enrolling in F Extra.

As more specific information and pricing become available, see my site for details.


Breaking Down CA SB 910

California SB 910 is again up for third read in the Assembly.  It is item #151 on the 8/16 docket.  As this thing moves around one wonders if it will ever come up for a vote?

SB 910 consists of 13 sections that deal with different and specific health insurance issues in California.  Here is a (very) brief summary:

1.   Mental Health Benefit ID card requirements
2.   Mental Health Benefit website requirements
3.   Health Insurance rate change notification and approval requirements
4.   Short-Term Health Insurance outlawed in California beginning 1/1/19 
5.   Orthodic & Prosthetic devices & requirements
6.   Mammography and related services
7.   Maternity coverage for individual & family plans
8.   Maternity coverage for group health plans
9.   Mental Health Benefit ID cards (seems to duplicate #1)
10. Mental Health Benefit website requirements (seems to duplicate #2)
11. Referral requirements on health plans regarding reproductive/sexual health
12. Renewability requirements for individu…

SB 910 Final Read - Would Make Short-Term Health Insurance Illegal In CA

Update 8/20/18:  SB 910 has moved back to the Senate for vote after being amended in Assembly last week.  Item #151 on Senate docket for today.

UPDATE 8/15/18: SB 910 was scheduled for third reading 8/14 item #41 but was not read as amended.  Now scheduled item #151 for 8/16 third reading.  Assembly is adjourned until Thursday 8/16.  No idea if this will get third read this week or at all.  

UPDATE 8/10/18: SB 910 Third Reading was amended and sent for third reading again on Monday, August 13th.  

Item #157 on today's CA Assembly events list is the third and final read of SB 910.

SB 910 would make the sale of short-term health insurance illegal in California beginning January 1, 2019.

There is a lot on the Assembly schedule so not sure if this will get done today.

SB 910 has already passed the CA Senate and, if passed by Assembly, would go to the Governor for signature into law.


2019 California Obamacare Open Enrollment Change

California has traditionally had its annual Open Enrollment Period from November 1st through January 31st.  

Beginning with the upcoming Open Enrollment Period for 2019, the dates have been changed.  California Open Enrollment will begin October 15th, 2018 and end January 15th, 2019.  This applies to both off-exchange and on-exchange (Covered CA) enrollments.

Enrollments completed by December 15th will have a January 1st start date.  Enrollments between December 16th and January 15th will have a February 1st start date.  


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…