59,000 More Arizonans to Lose Health Plan in 2016

November 2, 2015

doiThe following important press release comes from the Arizona Department of Insurance

Meritus Health Placed Under Supervision

Two Arizona health insurance companies have been placed under supervision by the Arizona Director of Insurance, Andy Tobin. Director Tobin filed an Order for Supervision on October 30, 2015, to place Meritus Health Partners and Meritus Mutual Health Partners into supervision. Meritus declined to consent to the Order for Supervision. The Meritus companies’ ability to write new policies or renew existing policies is suspended. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has removed the Meritus plans from the Marketplace. Director Tobin, appointed as Supervisor under Arizona law, will oversee the two companies.

Under Supervision, both Meritus companies will honor their individual and group health insurance plans through the end of 2015. As part of the Order for Supervision, Meritus may not issue new policies or renew existing policies. Current Meritus policyholders should seek new coverage for 2016 when Open Enrollment begins November 1, 2015. An affected policyholder may contact the Marketplace to inquire about a Special Enrollment Period, if the policyholder needs more time to select a non-Meritus plan. Currently, there are expected to be eight companies on the Exchange in Arizona representing roughly 120 individual plans, and three companies offering approximately 15 small group plans. There are additional plans available off the Marketplace, as well.

Click HERE for the entire press release.

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BCBSAZ Announces Oct 2015 Rates for Individual Grandfathered Health Plans

July 28, 2015

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona (BCBSAZ) recently mailed individual grandfathered renewal letters.  Individual members with Suite A grandfathered plans with October 2015 renewal dates will be the first to receive their letters and renewal information.

The rate increase for these plans will be 18.5% (average, not including age adjustments.)  Some affected members will be able to increase their deductible within their product to help mitigate the rate increase, however they cannot move to a different grandfathered plan. BCBSAZ is discontinuing the BluePreferred Original individual product effective December 31, 2015.

For Members with Plans Continuing in 2016

Though they will have the option to renew their current plan, some members may consider switching to a non-grandfathered individual plan. Before doing so, they should be aware of the benefits grandfathered plans offer.  Grandfathered plans provide access to a large network of providers, out-of-state coverage, and, in most cases, lower monthly premiums than those found with a non-grandfathered plans.

For Members with Plans Scheduled to be Discontinued

Members enrolled in BluePreferred Original can stay in their plans until December 31, 2015. While this only affects a small number of members, these members must select a new plan by December 15th to ensure a January 1, 2016 effective date.

All Affordable Care Act compliant plans renew on January 1st.  This year, open enrollment for every individual begins on November 1st, and ends on January 31st. Watch for more information on renewal communications, including those to members enrolled in grandmothered and non-grandfathered plans, coming soon.

If you have any questions or help considering your options, please contact your insurance broker, L & A Services at 602-996-6010.


Arizona approves extending health plans

May 8, 2014

Great news!  This morning, I received the following press release from AZ Department of Insurance announcing they will allow insurance companies to continue non-Affordable Care Act compliant plans for another year…to 2015!  We still have to wait to see how the insurance companies will react, so there are no guarantees on how this will affect you and your health insurance policy.  We will post more on this topic as we receive timely and relavent information.

PRESS RELEASE

JANICE K. BREWER

Governor

GERMAINE L. MARKS
Director

ARIZONA DEPARTMENT OF INSURANCE
2910 North 44th Street, Suite 210, Phoenix, Arizona 85018-7269 · (602) 364-3471 · FAX: (602) 364-3470
www.azinsurance.gov

Media Contact:

Erin H. Klug
Life & Health Division
(602) 364-3762

                

For Immediate Release
May 8, 2014

Director Announces ACA Extended Transitional Policy Decision

 

Phoenix – The Arizona Department of Insurance today announced that insurers that renewed existing plans, on or before December 31, 2013, that otherwise would have been modified or canceled under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), may renew that coverage. “Following our December 2013 announcement allowing insurers to early renew these plans, a significant number of Arizona policyholders that had the opportunity to keep those policies chose to do so,” Insurance Director Germaine Marks said. 

 
On November 14, 2013, the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight (CCIIO) announced a policy that permitted health insurance issuers to continue to renew plans for individuals and small businesses for plans in place as of October 1, 2013. CCIIO determined it would not apply nor enforce certain provisions of the ACA to the policies that do not meet minimum coverage requirements and financial protections under the ACA.  On March 5, 2014, CCIO issued a bulletin addressing the extended transition of these policies and left the decision to the states whether or not to adopt the extension.
 
Marks said listening to insurers who want to continue offering these plans and to consumers who wish to be able to keep them led to the Department’s decision. Arizona law, read in conjunction with CCIIO’s bulletin, does not preclude insurers from renewing this group of policyholders’ coverage.  “Ensuring that Arizona’s consumer have choice in the insurance market and encouraging insurers to provide that choice, when appropriate, is consistent with the Department of Insurance’s mission.”
 
As before, the Department will not compel any carrier to renew the early renewed policies.  Carriers will assist policyholders who choose not to keep these policies with finding alternative affordable coverage.
 
About the Arizona Department of Insurance
The Arizona Department of Insurance, an agency of the State of Arizona, is responsible for the education and protection of insurance consumers and for oversight of the insurance industry in the state.