A Glimmer Of Hope

Glimmer of Hope

The news can be so depressing. Bad news 24/7. It is hard to believe, based on what is reported on FOX, MSNBC, or even CNN, that anything is getting done in Washington. And that is why I am particularly happy to devote today’s blog post to some good news.

President Obama signed into law H.R. 1624 last week. Yes, there are laws, bipartisan laws, getting through Congress. The Protecting Affordable Coverage for Employees (PACE) Act is legislation that will allow states to define the size of small groups for health insurance purposes.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) changed the size of small groups from 2-50 to 2-100 as of January 1, 2016. The new regulations, especially community ratings, have the potential of eliminating group health coverage for hundreds of thousands of employees and their families. The PACE Act fixes the problem.

Many of my readers and clients wondered why I went to Washington in February. “Why waste your time and money?” they asked. PACE was one of the major issues on our agenda. Our elected representatives paid attention to me and my peers because they understood that we were there in Washington for our clients, not ourselves. We were able to impress upon them that fixing this and other issues didn’t mean that they agreed or disagreed with Obamacare. This was just constituent service.

This bill was sponsored by Representatives Brett Guthrie (R-KY-2) and Tony Cardenas (D-CA-29) in the House and Senators Tim Scott (R-SC) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) once it got to the Senate. The President quietly signed the PACE Act into law Wednesday evening. The House, the Senate, and the President stripped the politics out of this and simply worked together to get something done. This is proof that our leaders are still capable of working in our best interest.

Our other big issue is “Grandmothered” policies. These are the policies that were issued with an effective date between April 2010 and December 31, 2013. I have mentioned that my personal health policy would be twice as much under the new law. Twice as much, over $600 per month.

The good news is the “Grandmothered” policies are still around for another year. The renewals are coming in and the rates are still terrific. Agents and our trade groups are committed to fighting for our clients and the option to retain these older, more affordable policies. And just like PACE, we know that the key to success is getting Congress to understand the scope of the problem.

The PACE Act may be the feel good story of 2015.

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4 Responses to A Glimmer Of Hope

  1. David Randolph says:

    I like Good news.

    MAPD and PDP not be a big issue this year.. Very few to changes.and mnost of my clients don’t want to make any changes.

    Haven’t seen MMO 2016 renewals Understand they have been mailed. ( job security for the post office) Already quoting new prospects for MMO 2016. started today. .
    Hopefully In Health will go live soon so I can address MMO renewals with an alternative company? Time will tell.

    GOOD news, we may make it through OE with less pain than expected.
    Better NEWS as a Senior Citizen over 65 I don’t have to deal with ACA OR Grandfathered at all.


  2. John Q. Customer says:

    I am frustrated and tired and upset, to say the least (and broke)! Increasingly so, I have noticed health insurance companies paying out less and less and less benefits, compared to previous decades. I already pay a steep monthly rate for what I thought was ample coverage, thus I have health insurance. Yet, I am saddled with thousands of dollars of unpaid medical bills and debt, that one would think these health insurance companies would and should have paid! After all, isn’t that WHY we pay expensive monthly health insurance policy rates to begin with?!?!

  3. dave@cunixinsurance.com says:

    I have got to say that I am impressed that someone has created an email address for John Q. Customer.
    Health Insurance deductibles have increased significantly in the last decade. The days of the $250, $500, or even $1,000 deductibles are over. Certain benefits may be covered completely from day one, such as annual physicals and birth control, but a twisted ankle is going to cost you a fortune.

    • John Q. Customer says:

      I have good, valid reasons for wanting to stay anonymous, but I am almost certain you probably know who I am! My identity is really immaterial though, given the fact that I probably reflect the opinion of millions. Yes, a twisted ankle or almost any other hospital procedure does cost the private insurance patient ‘a small fortune’, given the high deductibles and the general unwillingness of these insurance companies to pay out claims in the first place. Our healthcare system is ‘broken’, to say the least. I have amassed thousands of dollars in unpaid medical debt, to the point where I am AFRAID to go to the doctor, or the ER, or to ANY medical establishment (industry imposed ‘death panel’!), for FEAR that my rapacious health insurance rates will climb (they just did anyway: I cannot remember a time in my past when typical monthly health insurance rates surpassed the cost of a monthly mortgage payment!) and/or more insanely high and unfairly priced bills will be sent to me! To me, the hospital ‘chargemaster’ and for profit health insurance companies are criminals and crooks! As is ‘Big Pharma’! They are run like a mafia cabal! And of course, they ARE MAKING people sick by all the stress and worry their insanely high costs typically burden a working family! Crazy country we live in…

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