Saturday, July 27, 2013

IRS Agents Beg Out Of Obamacare

Even though charged with enforcing Health Care Reform - making sure people pay their premiums or pay the penalty for opting out, the IRS is petitioning the White House to be exempted from the very plan all Americans must come under.

Read about it here:

(If the link doesn't open, copy and paste into your browser)

Friday, July 26, 2013

Dates you'll want to know - first come, first served

We don't know all the details about HEALTH INSURANCE REFORM but we do know that the important enrollment dates. Please mark your calendars.

First, people who buy health insurance OUTSIDE THE EXCHANGE for January 1, 2014 can buy as late as the last business day of December or any other month for an effective date of the following month - the same as we do today.

Here’s how enrollment works INSIDE THE EXCHANGE for the first year:
Initial Exchange Open Enrollment Period runs October 1, 2013 through March 31, 2014

Enrolling during the Initial Open Enrollment Period on or before December 24, 2013 and coverage is effective January 1, 2014

Enroll between December 25 – 31, 2013 - coverage is effective February 1, 2014

Enroll between January 1 – 24, 2014 - coverage is effective February 1, 2014

Enroll between January 25 – 31, 2014 - coverage is effective March 1, 2014

Enroll between February 1 – 24, 2014 - coverage is effective March 1, 2014

Enroll between February 25 – 28, 2014 - coverage is effective April 1, 2014

Enroll between March 1 – 24, 2014 - coverage is effective April 1, 2014

Enroll between March 25 – 31, 2014 - coverage is effective May 1, 2014

NOTE: For a January 1, 2014 effective date, inside the exchange, key dates are as follows for Washington enrollees:
• Last date for application – December 24, 2013.
Effectuation date – December 24, 2013. (This is the date premium payment must be received by in order for coverage

This is also important - you pay the premium AHEAD of the initial effective date..
Merry Christmas!

Please keep me in mind and tell all your friends (in Washington) that I can help them with enrollments either inside or outside the new exchanges. 

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Beware of SCAMS swirling around Obamacare

The Affordable Care Act is big news and most Americans are hearing about it through television, radio, Facebook and emails. Unless you are deeply immersed in the ACA you may be as confused and bewildered as most of the country.

As with any moment of confusion scammers are licking their chops to take advantage of strangers. They've got some new scams cooked up to trick you so BEWARE.

The amount of scams on this subject are already on the rise. You and your family and friends need to know how to protect yourselves before the flood gates open later this summer and fall.

Insurance scams are already surfacing. For example, scammers are using email and direct mail or even knocking on doors offering policies with incredibly cheap premiums. Some are even threatening folks that if they don't sign up immediately they could be subject to fines and even jail time!

Of course, they are after your personal history information (PHI) including your Social Security Number. If you sign up your money may disappear along with the person who signed you up.

Always investigate. Call the company mentioned, check with the State Office of Insurance and research the "offer" before giving up any information or money.

A similar scam you may run across deals with Medicare and Medicaid. The scammer may tell you that the Affordable Care Act requires you to apply again for benefits or they may disappear.

Call your trusted insurance agent if you are approached by email, direct mail, telephone or at your front door with anything that smells suspicious. Even if your auto insurance agent doesn't deal in health insurance he/she will know a qualified agent you can contact for the straight scoop.

Be cautious and keep your antennae up.
As with any moment of confusion, scammers are just waiting to jump in. They've got some new scams cooked up to scare and trick you. - See more at:
TThe Affordable Care Act is big news lately and only going to get bigger. The October 1 start date is coming up fast. - See more at:
The Affordable Care Act is big news lately and only going to get bigger. The October 1 start date is coming up fast. - See more at:

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The Honor System?

President Barack Obama's healthcare reform needs millions of people to enroll in coverage sold on the exchanges in their first year in order to work, spreading the financial risk among millions of consumers. It is feared many people, especially young healthy adults who stand to pay much higher premiums than they pay today, will opt out of coverage and pay the small penalty instead. 
The administration announced Friday, July 5th, that it would scale back verification rules on enrollees' income and health status.
Exchanges will not be required to verify consumer claims of eligibility for premium subsidies. The Obama administration announced that it would significantly scale back the health law's requirements that new insurance marketplaces verify consumers' income status. Instead, the federal government will rely more heavily on consumers' self-reported information until 2015, when it plans to have stronger verification systems in place.

This is being referred to as "The Honor System" and some accounts you've heard or read infer that no agency will check to see if applicants for premium subsidies are actually entitled to those tax credits. 

By relaxing the eligibility standards (if in fact it is legal to do so) this means that some individuals and families may be tempted to "fly under the radar" for a year and take advantage of premium subsidies to which they would not be entitled to under the law as written.

I caution everyone, consumers and insurance agents alike to remember the bureaucracy that is administering the ACA is The Internal Revenue Service. Keep in mind that the IRS has 15,000 new staffers to review tax returns and other records. Remember too that the IRS is in the news due to recent revelations of questionable behavior that may ruin the lives of countless law-abiding citizens. Do not mess with the IRS!  

Talk to an attorney before considering taking advantage of "The Honor System" regarding eligibility for government tax preferences. An authorized and ACA certified insurance professional can also give you advice and direction regarding this issue.

Friday, July 5, 2013

The Longevity Risk

Everyone faces risk in their lives: market risk and inflation risk are often at the top of our list of fears about our economic future. Have you considered longevity risk?

Studies show that most "Boomers" underestimate their own longevity, thinking about the age at which their grandparents or parents left mortality. Yet with better health care, more focus on healthy living and avoiding foods and activities that hasten illness many will live much longer than they thought.

With longer lives the risks are 1) will I run out of money before I run out of time? and 2) what can happen that will open a large hole in my financial plan?

These two risks associated with longevity are solvable. All it takes is time and money.

No matter what you use for investments (real estate, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, your business) remember to include a method of guaranteeing an income stream that cannot be outlived. Accumulating wealth is important and yet counting on that investment to never fail in delivering a guaranteed income stream can be a mistake.

A guaranteed lifetime income can only be found in an insurance plan as old as the hills - a lifetime annuity based on longevity credits. You need to take a look.

Secondly, a long-term disability that requires assistance with the activities of daily living can rip a hole in an otherwise planned retirement scheme. While many of us will certainly live more years than our parents we cannot be sure that we will die with our boots on. Millions of people have blown through their retirement funds due to the $8,000-$12,000 per month cost of long-term care.

You must cover the longevity risk with a solid plan to have some kind of insurance policy. Make sure a disability doesn't open the valve on your retirement bucket of money and drain it dry. You need to take a look.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Obamacare Employer Mandate Delayed to 2015

A Treasury Department official who declined to be named confirmed on Tuesday, July 2nd, that the Obama administration will not begin enforcing employer mandates in the Obamacare law until 2015 - one year later than originally planned - and pinned that change of direction on a combination of politics and economic realities in the marketplace.

Mark Mazur, the Assistant Treasury Secretary for Tax Policy, announced on the agency's blog that the administration 'will provide an additional year before the ... mandatory employer and insurer reporting requirements begin.'

The blog post explained that the delay was intended to leave time to simplify reporting requirements and give companies time to adapt.
But the Treasury source said the extra year will give the White House an extra year to persuade health insurers to participate in the exchanges that make up the backbone of the Affordable Care Act.

The revised timetable, the source added, will also push back the final implementation of Obamacare's penalties past the 2014 midterm elections, providing Republicans fewer chances to highlight the law's potentially harmful effects on businesses' bottom lines.