By Tanya L. Burns, LUTCF, RHU, LTCP
Tanya L. Burns and Associates, Inc.
Article submitted by Tanya L. Burns, LUTCF, RHU, LTCP, to share a health insurance update. If you’d like to submit an article, email Kelly Sawyer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What’s Happening “On the Hill”?
The Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) published a Proposed Rule to extend the Term of Short Term Health Policies from its current 3 month term to a 12 month term. If adopted, the Proposed Rule would allow insurers to offer Short Term Medical plans for coverage periods of up to one year.
While these plans are much less expensive ($130/Month vs $400/Month for an ACA-Compliant plan, the Short Term Medical plans do not cover pre-existing conditions, maternity or preventive care.
What’s next? There is a standard 60-day comment period, then HHS review, followed by feedback and more review of the Final Version of the Rule. Stay Tuned as this could have Quite an Effect on current ACA in force policies.
REMINDER: ACA is still the “Law of The Land” meaning the Individual Mandate remains in place for the calendar year 2018. With tax time here – many are finding they are subject to paying a penalty for either being uninsured during 2017 – or – even more costly – having to repay the Subsidy they have been receiving to help pay their monthly health insurance premium. This will still be the case when it comes time to file 2018 personal taxes.
COBRA & Seniors: Legislation has just been introduced that would allow Seniors enrolled in COBRA coverage to transition to Medicare Part B without a penalty. This legislation would treat COBRA as “creditable coverage” and Seniors would have a one-time Special Enrollment Period to enroll in Medicare Part B. Stay tuned for updates.
Medicare & HSA Eligibility: There is continuing Mis-Information provided to Employees & Employers regarding Medicare & HSA Eligibility. Simply gaining eligibility for Medicare does not disqualify employees from remaining on an HSA Plan. HOWEVER, enrollment in Medicare (Parts A, B, C and/or D) DISQUALIFIES an employee from making or receiving contributions to an HSA. IMPORTANT: To avoid penalties later, older workers should be advised to stop contributing to their HSA account SIX MONTHS BEFORE applying for Social Security Benefits.
Happy Spring! Thank you for the privilege to serve always.