March 27, 2014
Federal Government Announces Enrollment Extension
The deadline to apply for coverage through the federal insurance marketplace is March 31, but the federal government announced that Americans who have begun the application process through HealthCare.gov can request an extension.
Who is eligible for an extension?
Individuals who attempted to apply for coverage through HealthCare.gov on or before March 31, but who were unable to complete the enrollment process are eligible for an extension. Extensions apply only to those who enroll through the HealthCare.gov website.
How long is the extension available?
Currently, the government is allowing individuals to apply for an extension through HealthCare.gov until the middle of April.
How do individuals request an extension?
When individuals apply for coverage through the HealthCare.gov website beginning April 1, they must check the box indicating that they attempted to apply on or before March 31.
Will the tax penalty still apply?
Although the government will fine individuals who do not have health coverage in the form of a tax penalty, those who request an extension and successfully enroll in a health plan by the new deadline will not have to pay the fine. The new deadline to enroll for those with an extension has not been announced.
February 11, 2014
Delay in Enforcement of Employer Shared Responsibility Mandate Announced
The federal government has announced a delay in the enforcement of the Employer Shared Responsibility Mandate.
- Employers with 50-99 employees must comply with Employer Shared Responsibility Mandate beginning in 2016.
- Employers with 100 or more employees must comply with Employer Shared Responsibility Mandate beginning in 2015. This means those employers must offer affordable, minimum value group coverage to 70% of their full-time employees in 2015. That number then increases to 95% in 2016.
Read the Treasury Department Summary for more information.
November 20, 2013
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama Responds To Administration’s Recent Announcement
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama will not reinstate current health plans that do not comply with the requirements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The company has worked for the last three and a half years to develop an array of plans that continue our commitment of providing comprehensive, reliable coverage for the healthcare needs of all of our customers at the most affordable cost possible.
The temporary reinstatement of policies that are non-ACA compliant would create dual classes of policyholders and destabilize the state’s insurance market and the risk pools associated with these health plans. The ultimate impact would be higher healthcare costs for all of our customers, now and in the near future.
We have not reached this conclusion easily and have been in continuous consultation with the Alabama Department of Insurance in evaluating all options. A one-year continuation of policies that violates the ACA’s requirements could create significant legal and financial risks to our policyholders, the state and our company.
In our 77-year history, Blue Cross has never cancelled a member’s coverage because of declining health status or charged an individual higher premiums because of the presence of any medical condition. Blue Cross is the only company that offers ACA-compliant healthcare coverage in every category in every county in Alabama. We hope our current and future customers will find one of these options appropriate for themselves, their families or their businesses.
The political landscape around healthcare reform is still changing. We will continue to efficiently respond to the needs of our customers, operate in the best interest of all the state's residents, and provide peace of mind to our covered members.
November 15, 2013
The President recently announced that insurance companies have the option to continue current individual policy plans for one year. We are reviewing the President’s statement and evaluating its impact on our requirements for implementing the Affordable Care Act.
Check Breaking News on HCRAlabamaBlue.com for the latest information.