Tag Archives: OPEN

Medicare Open Enrollment

Medicare Open Enrollment
Event on 2014-10-15 00:00:00
Open Enrollment is upon us. Technically referred to as the Annual Election Period (AEP), this enrollment period runs from October 15 through December 7, and is one of the few times you can change, enroll into or disenroll from a Medicare plan. Change is effective January 1, 2014. Please contact Health Insurance Counseling & Advocacy Program (HICAP). HICAP has County specific information on Medicare plans available in your area. Our services are unbiased and free of charge. Call and schedule your appointment today at 559-224-9154 or 1-800-434-0222

at California, United States
Rocklin, CA 95765, USA
, United States

Microsoft will open a flagship store at 677 Fifth Avenue in New York

Microsoft is opening a new flagship store in New York City. The company has signed a lease for a space at 677 Fifth Avenue and plans for it to be the “centerpiece” of its retail ambitions. “This is a goal we’ve had since day one – we were only waiting for the right location,” David Porter, Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President for Worldwide Retail Stores said. “And now we have it.” Similar to Apple’s iconic stores, Microsoft wants it to be more than a place where you simply buy Lumia smartphones or a Surface Pro 3. The software maker says there…

This story continues at The Next Web

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The Next Web

Open Enrollment Made Easier

We all know that open enrollment can be a time of great stress and frustration for the human resource departments of many companies. HR professionals struggle to make sure that each and every employee hears about all of their options and makes the best choices for themselves and their families.

With the advent of the new Obama Health Care regulations, it is even more vital that employees receive accurate and timely information in order to comply with the new laws in place for health care benefits. Many components of the Health Care for America Act are already in place, including a provision for employees keeping adult

Open Wide and Say Moo!: The Good Citizen’s Guide to Right Thoughts and Right Actions under Obamacare

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Affordable Care Act Open Enrollment, Key Dates and Qualifying Life Events

affordable care act open enrollment datesNow that the Affordable Care Act is in effect for millions of newly-covered Americans and will still be available for millions of others through March 31, there are some important Affordable Care Act open enrollment dates and information people need to know about the Obamacare law and the plans available through it. One of the biggest deadlines has already passed, which was January 1, when anyone who signed up for coverage by December 24 at midnight would be able to use their new insurance.

In general, Americans who enrolled in health insurance through the state or federal Obamacare exchanges between October 1 and December 24 had insurance coverage beginning on January 1. The only exception to that rule is for those enrollees who do not pay their first month’s premium by the deadline, which varies from state to state. The federal deadline to pay insurance premiums is January 10.

2014 Affordable Care Act Key Dates

January 10 – As mentioned above, insurance companies offering plans through the federal Obamacare website extended the payment deadline for the first month’s premium from December 31, 2013 to January 10, 2014. Some states set their deadlines earlier and others are giving their residents even more time to pay. People who do not submit their payments by their state’s deadline can still get their insurance effective on February 1.

January 15 – People who want their insurance coverage to begin on February 1 will need to enroll in a plan by this date. Their payments must be received by January 31.

January 31 – The Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan expires. This is a program that allowed people who were denied coverage due to pre-existing conditions to have health insurance until the Affordable Care Act open enrollment began. It was originally set to end on December 31, but the administration extended the deadline by one month to give sick people more time due to the technical issues with the health insurance website.

January 31 – Some people who are taking prescriptions under an old plan may lose their prescription coverage. The administration requested insurance companies allow consumers to be able to fill their prescriptions under their old plans through the end of January.

February 15 – People who want their insurance coverage to begin on March 1 will need to enroll in a plan by this date. Their payments must be received by the end of February.

March 15 – People who want their insurance coverage to begin on April 1 will need to enroll in a plan by this date. Their payments must be received by March 31.

March 31 – This is the very last day of Affordable Care Act open enrollment. All Americans who plan to enroll in an Obamacare plan in 2014 must sign up by this date. People who wait until March 16 to enroll will have their coverage go into effect on May 1.

March 31 – All Americans must have health insurance coverage by this date to avoid paying the Obamacare individual mandate. People who had their previous plans cancelled because they didn’t meet the ACA standards are exempt from this deadline. In addition, people who lose their insurance after this date will have three months to regain insurance before facing a fine. Medicaid and Medicare have rolling enrollment dates, so this deadline does not apply to those programs.

2014 Tax Day

April 15 – Tax day, but fines for noncompliance with the individual mandate will not be levied until April 2015.

2015 Affordable Care Act Open Enrollment Starts

November 15 – Affordable Care Act open enrollment for 2015 begins. People will have the option of enrolling insurance for 2015 or switching plans. Rate information for 2015 plans will be officially released at this time.

December 31 – People who were allowed to remain on noncompliant plans for 2014 will have to find other coverage by this date, as the one-year extension expires on December 31, 2014.

Obamacare Qualifying Events

The Affordable Care Act open enrollment period is the deadline when Americans can sign up for health insurance through Obamacare exchanges without experiencing a qualifying event. People who have an Obamacare qualifying life event are allowed to participate in a special enrollment period that falls outside of the regular Affordable Care Act open enrollment period.

Most enrollment periods for Obamacare qualifying life events last for 60 days after the date of the event. There are several events that are included in this category, which are:

  • The loss of health coverage due to a job loss, divorce, COBRA expiration, loss of Medicaid or CHIP eligibility or the decertification of a health plan. It is important to note that people who stop paying their premiums voluntarily are not eligible for a special enrollment period. In addition, people who lose coverage that does not meet the standards of the Affordable Care Act also do not qualify for a special enrollment period.
  • Marriage.
  • Having a baby or adopting a child.
  • Income changes that affect tax credit and cost-sharing reduction status.
  • Permanent moving to a new area that does not offer the current health plan.
  • Changes to citizenship status (people who gain lawful citizenship status in the United States have 60 days to enroll in an insurance plan through an Affordable Care Act exchange).

The entire country will be watching the healthcare system in the United States as these important Affordable Care Act dates come to pass. The Obama administration is hoping they will pass without the need for additional changes or delays to the law.


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ObamaCare Insurance

Consumer Reports Poll Finds Over One Third of Consumers More Confused on Health Law Since Start of Open Enrollment

Yonkers, NY (PRWEB) December 11, 2013

One month after the start of open enrollment in the new Health Insurance Marketplaces created by the Affordable Care Act, a new survey conducted by the Consumer Reports National Research Center shows that many American consumers now feel more confused about the law, the insurance marketplaces and how the ACA will impact them.

The nationally representative survey asked consumers whether they felt better or less informed about the law over the last month. Participants were also asked to identify whether statements describing elements of the law were true or false.

Key findings of the Consumer Reports survey of Americans’ understanding of the new health law include:

Less understanding of the law. Overall, 38% of respondents indicated they felt LESS informed over the course of the past month.

Incorrect beliefs about features of the law. Nearly half (48%) thought the ACA established a government-run health plan. Thirty-six percent thought the new law allowed the government to control their selection of doctors, and 30 percent believed the law set up government panels that would dictate decisions about end-of-life care. In contrast, one-quarter or less of respondents correctly identified these as false statements.

Lack of reliable information source. Ninety percent of respondents selected at least one barrier to the attainment of reliable information about Obamacare. They were inclined to spread the blame areas among several actors: conflicting news reports (52%), complexity of the law itself (52%), biased information coming from Congress (50%), uncertainly about whose opinions on the laws should be trusted (48%), conflicting information in TV ads (47%), biased information coming from the White House (44%) and biased information coming from state officials (38%).

“The American health insurance system has long been the world’s most complicated, and now consumers are being asked to understand an entirely new set of rules and procedures in addition,” said Nancy Metcalf, who covers health insurance and the new health law as a Consumer Reports senior editor. “No wonder they feel confused and unsure where to turn for reliable information. But with open enrollment underway and HealthCare.gov working more smoothly, consumers need help so they don’t miss out on getting the right coverage for themselves and their families.”

Consumers who need coverage in place by Jan. 1 must enroll by Dec. 23. Open enrollment runs through March 31, 2014.

Consumer Reports has designed a free, new online tool called http://www.HealthLawHelper.org to cut through the clutter and confusion and deliver personalized, tailored results for consumers about how the Affordable Care Act affects them, no matter what their insurance status, including those whose plans were recently cancelled because they don’t meet the new law’s requirements. By answering a few simple, anonymous questions (age, insurance status, family size, income etc), consumers will receive a results page outlining the different options available to them and any next steps they may need to take, based on the information they provide.

HealthLawHelper.org will also alert users not only to possible financial help in paying for private health insurance, but will also tell them if they or any family members might qualify for other programs such as Medicaid or CHIP.

The tool is also available in Spanish at http://www.AseguraTuSalud.org and has been optimized for mobile devices.

Metcalf is also blogging on a new topic related to Obamacare every day. All this content can be found at http://www.ConsumerReports.org/cro/health/insurance/health-care-countdown/index.htm.

Consumer Reports Poll Methodology

The Consumer Reports National Research Center’s national representative telephone survey about consumer understanding of the Affordable Care Act between November 8-10, 2013 included 1,000 U.S. residents (18 and older) and was fielded by vendor ORC International. Respondents, who were screened to meet national demographics, were asked their understanding of the provisions of the 2010 ACA one month following its rollout in October of 2013. The margin of error is + / – 3.0 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level.

For a copy of the survey report, contact Joe Duraes or Kara Kelber.

Consumer Reports is the world’s largest independent product-testing organization. Using its more than 50 labs, auto test center, and survey research center, the nonprofit rates thousands of products and services annually. Founded in 1936, Consumer Reports has over 8 million subscribers to its magazine, website and other publications. Its advocacy division, Consumers Union, works for health reform, product safety, financial reform, and other consumer issues in Washington, D.C., the states, and in the marketplace.


© Consumer Reports 2013. The material above is intended for legitimate news entities only; it may not be used for advertising or promotional purposes. Consumer Reports® is an expert, independent nonprofit organization whose mission is to work for a fair, just, and safe marketplace for all consumers and to empower consumers to protect themselves. We accept no advertising and pay for all the products we test. We are not beholden to any commercial interest. Our income is derived from the sale of Consumer Reports®, ConsumerReports.org® and our other publications and information products, services, fees, and noncommercial contributions and grants. Our Ratings and reports are intended solely for the use of our readers. Neither the Ratings nor the reports may be used in advertising or for any other commercial purpose without our permission. Consumer Reports will take all steps open to it to prevent commercial use of its materials, its name, or the name of Consumer Reports®. More information about Consumer Reports’ No Commercial Use and Linking policy can be found here: http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/about-us/no-commercial-use-policy/index.htm.