The Executive Committee has approved GeoCare Benefits’ new AAPG members’ Private Medical Insurance Exchange, a private health insurance exchange or marketplace for members and employees of members.
This online resource will help members shop for medical insurance from multiple insurance companies, allowing members to compare available medical plan options based on price, benefits and services.
The plans offered on the AAPG Members’ Private Medical Insurance Exchange will be exchange-certified qualified health plans available in your state, and provide the essential health benefits, limit cost sharing and much more as required by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).
These plans have been carefully chosen, so members can purchase coverage with confidence.
Selection of the exchange/marketplace itself also was an important element. Rather than just leave members to their own devices and the intricacies of their state or federal insurance exchanges, the AAPG Committee on Group Insurance directed AAPG’s insurance broker to search for a private exchange where members would receive the quality service from highly qualified advisers.
The public exchange/marketplaces becoming available from some states and the federal government most likely will be staffed by guides or navigators with little or no experience. For example, according to the Aug. 3, 2013, edition of the New York Times article titled “Colorado Pushes for Uninsured to Enroll,” Colorado will train 400 new guides to help individuals find their way through and enroll in the new state exchange/marketplace.
Diametrically opposite, the Members’ Private Medical Insurance Exchange available through AAPG’s GeoCare Benefits is staffed by licensed and highly experienced agents who are experts in the medical insurance field.
AAPG members and their employees, if under age 65 on Jan. 1, 2014, will be able to enroll for new major medical insurance under individual policies during the open enrollment period beginning Oct. 1, 2013, and ending March 31, 2014.
Applications received by Dec. 15 will provide coverage with a Jan. 1, 2014 effective date, while applications received after Dec. 15 will have an effective date of the first or second month following enrollment.
The new coverage will be issued on a guaranteed basis without exclusions for pre-existing conditions.
Members and their employees may also use the exchange now to shop for coverage to become effective prior to Jan. 1. However, the plans available prior to the open enrollment are of different designs and are fully medically underwritten, meaning the insurance companies can exclude coverage for pre-existing conditions or exclude coverage altogether.
Members with individual health insurance policies, not part of the GeoCare plans can use the marketplace to explore options and enroll in a new plan. Members can discover if they can get lower premiums and reduce their out-of-pocket expenses.
All marketplace plans offer minimum essential benefits.
Members who are or will be 65 prior to Jan. 1, 2014, need to purchase a Medicare Supplement Plan endorsed by AAPG. Enrollment for the Medical Supplement Plans can be done by mail, on-line or even by telephone while your questions are being answered. Find the available plans on www.geocarebenefits.com, or call 800-247-1771 and speak with an enrolling agent. It is surprisingly easy.
Members who have left or are leaving a job and are insured under COBRA are usually required to pay the entire premium plus a small administrative fee themselves without employer subsidization. Beginning in 2014, members may change from COBRA to one of the plans available through the Members’ Private Medical Insurance Exchange at any time.
Loss of COBRA coverage qualifies members to purchase medical insurance even if it’s not during open enrollment. This is true whether the coverage runs out or the member chooses to end it.
Three important key dates to remember are:
♦ Oct. 1, 2013 – Open enrollment begins. Members can compare and select from plans available in their state from the Members’ Private Medical Insurance Exchange. They will be able to choose a plan that fits their needs and budget.
♦ Jan. 1, 2014 – If members enroll in a plan through the Members’ Private Medical Insurance Exchange anytime between Oct. 1 and Dec. 15, and make their first premium payment, their new health coverage starts.
♦ March 31, 2014 – Open enrollment for 2014 health insurance coverage closes on March 31. After March 31, new health insurance for 2014 will be available only if the member has a qualifying life event.
Examples of qualifying life events are moving to a new state, change of job, loss of prior coverage and changes in your family status (marriage, divorce, having a baby or becoming pregnant).
For more information about the plans now available through the Members’ Private Medical Insurance Exchange now, please check AAPG’s Insurance Program website at www.geocarebenefits.com, or call the Exchange at 877-739-7845.
Information on the new plans and rates for coverage on or after Jan. 1, 2014, will not be available until mid-September. In the meantime, those questions should be directed to our insurance broker, Creekmore Livingston.
Please call 866-335-0990, and talk with Michael Strunk, Melissa Hughes or Ginny Thaemert.