The Affordable Care Act(ACA) is the law that has set the guidelines for individual and group health insurance benefits since 2010. One of the aspects of the law was that if an individual or group was enrolled in a health insurance plan prior to January 1, 2014, that plan could be kept – as long as there were NO changes to the plan design.
Approximately 38,000 individuals, saw this as great news because they had these type of individual health plans with Wellmark prior to January 1, 2014. Understand, these health plans most likely were written without some of the 10 Essential Benefits the ACA was going to require. This meant these plans were less expensive than the new ACA designs. These plans have been called ‘grandfathered plans’ – these were written prior to March 23, 2010 and ‘grandmothered plans’ – these were written from March 2010 through December 31, 2013. The term now used for both is ‘transitional’.
The ACA law has been amended and changed many times, one of the changes is the extension for these transitional plans to remain in effect. They were originally supposed to end January 1, 2016, meaning all policyholders would need to move to ACA designed plans at that time. The original extension moved that date to January 1, 2019 when again, it would be required that all transitional policyholders move to an ACA designed health plan.
On April 19, 2018, Insurance Commissioner Doug Ommen issued a bulletin to all health insurers (i.e. Wellmark, Aetna, United Healthcare, etc…) writing health insurance in Iowa, that Iowa will allow an additional year extension for transitional plans. Commissioner Oman cited rate shock as one of the concerns for the individuals in the transitional plans as they could see a 100 – 400% increase in their rates due to the collapse of the individual market.
Other changes are in process for 2019 in the individual market. Look for updates and explanations here as the climate in the health insurance market continues to change. You may always contact us at Health Insurance Advisor with questions you may have regarding your personal coverage.
A little more about us:
The Business Warrior group has some of the industry’s top experts in all the areas your business needs to be successful. Amongst the contributors is Janis VanAhn, owner of Health Insurance Advisor, LLC. For 19 years Janis has worked in and around the health insurance industry initially providing service to agents and employers related to employee benefits, individual healthcare and Medicare, while more recently becoming appointed as an individual agent with various quality carriers to provide this service to individuals through her own business.
Four years ago Janis was ‘blessed’ with being let go from her job at an insurance ageny. Staying within insurance was her path…but in what capacity. 2010 was the year Janis began her career as an independent insurance agent specializing in health insurance. Finding quality, cost-effective healthcare for individuals and families under age 65 as well as working with those who are Medicare eligible truly was her passion. She has made this a true specialty and positioned herself as someone to work with whether it is a financial professional or property & casualty agent with a client that needs assistance, to a group of seniors turning 65 and they keep receiving Medicare information and are confused about what to do.
Janis enjoys the one on one contact with clients as well as looking forward to speaking to groups about healthcare. Her excitement for this industry is what drives her to stay in tune with Healthcare Reform and what is currently happening and what will happen with coverage from now to past 2014.
‘Educating individual and Medicare consumers to make informed choices’ is her mission because if people are educated and understand, they will make informed choices that they are comfortable with.