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Welcome To The Blackout

As of today, individual and family health plans in California can only be purchased with start dates of 9/22/10 and prior. There are literally no health plans available for sale starting 9/23 or after at this time. Several carriers have already shut down online quoting for start dates of 9/23 and beyond, pending the regulatory approval of the new, PPACA compliant plans. All health plans for "new enrollment" sold 9/23 and after must meet the PPACA guidelines which include such things as no-cost preventive care, no lifetime maximums nor annual maximums and child GI coverage ages 0-18.

All of the IFP carriers have submitted new plans to the two regulatory bodies, DMHC and CA DOI for approval. Now the waiting begins until the new plans are approved for sale to the public. This could be very soon or could take a few more weeks. I will advise once plans begin to be made available.

HIPAA plans are also included in the "transformation", so anyone with a HIPAA eligibility date of 9/23 or after will need to hold tight until the plans are available for 10/1 and after.

It is my hope that the regulatory agencies work quickly to approve the new plans. If they are slow, it is possible (not probable, but possible) that there could be a period 9/23 and after with no plans available. I am especially concerned about HMO plans as the DMHC has been slow to approve new plans in California.

I suspect most carriers will choose not to re-invent plans and portfolios, but to make PPACA-compliant changes to existing plans/portfolios. Unfortunately, we will have to wait and see what will be available.


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