Affordable Care Act Thrives in California
Reports of the demise of the Affordable Care Act have been greatly exaggerated. Despite the concerted efforts of the current administration to undermine it, defame it, defund it, and sow confusion and doubt about it in the minds of the public, the ACA is thriving today, continuing to provide affordable health coverage and pre-existing condition protection to citizens who would otherwise not qualify or not be able to pay for insurance.
Here Are 5 Big ACA Changes Coming in 2019
It's been eight years since the Affordable Care Act was first passed and four years since its provisions went into effect. In the intervening time, the country has had a change of administration with different priorities, and that means big changes to the ACA taking effect in 2019.
Let a Health Insurance Broker Help You During Open Enrollment
If you don’t yet have health insurance in the state of California or wish to switch to a new insurance provider, know that open enrollment for the health exchange is now in full swing. Here at Sackett & Associates Insurance Services, we know how overwhelming it can feel to have so many options for insurance coverage, which is why we recommend working with an experienced health insurance broker. Additionally, we suggest you familiarize yourself with the finer points of the health insurance open enrollment period.
Open Enrollment Time - Are You Coved For 2019?
It’s that time of year: the Health Insurance Marketplace’s annual Open Enrollment Period. Now you can evaluate benefits, calculate subsidies and determine the best plan for you and your family. Granted, insurance can get complicated, and if you’re not working with a health insurance broker, it can be difficult to manage all the important information coming your way. To help, we here at Sackett & Associates Insurance Services have compiled this list of things to keep in mind as you navigate enrollment for 2019.
Yes, Open Enrollment for Health Insurance is Happening
It seems like health insurance in the United States is constantly changing. With all the changes taking place in the last few years, you may be concerned about your ability to enroll. A lot of people don’t even know if or when there will be an Open Enrollment Period. In fact, 76% of Americans didn’t know the dates for Open Enrollment in 2018 and the confusion continues.
Although some details of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) are different now, you don’t have to fret–there will still be an Open Enrollment Period so you can get the coverage you need.
Tax Reform and Health Insurance: What's The Deal?
The Affordable Care Act experienced a lot of ups and downs this year. Congress attempted to repeal and replace the act over the summer but was unable to assemble enough votes. However, many in Congress, especially those in the Republican party, still want to repeal at least some areas of the ACA. One area of contention in this law is the individual mandate, which might become obsolete with the passing of the tax reform bill.
Changing Health Insurance Plans - Open Enrollment 2018
It’s that time of year again for those who get their health insurance through the Covered California insurance exchange or directly from the insurance carrier, to renew and or make changes to their current health plan for 2018. Navigating the open enrollment period can be quite daunting to some customers. It’s important to get accurate information about the changes coming to the health insurance plans in 2018 and if making a switch is a good option.
Understanding Your Health Insurance Options
The 2018 open enrollment period for healthcare officially runs from November 1, 2017 until January 31, 2018, and it is open to anyone who purchases individual health insurance plans. In fact, even if your employer offers you insurance, you could take advantage of open enrollment for yourself or a member of your household. People with the option to purchase employer-based plans are blocked from certain subsidies because of the fact, but if the insurance on the exchange is a better deal that saves you money, you are welcome to opt for that insurance instead of your employer-based healthcare.
Essential Dates for 2018 Open Enrollment for Health Insurance
Individuals who are in a place where they can afford health insurance or want to make changes to their current policy will do well to ensure they are aware of the ACA open enrollment deadlines. Sackett & Associates Insurance Services is here with a breakdown of all the deadlines you need to know to make sure you have proper coverage for 2018.
Take Advantage of the 2018 Open Enrollment Period
Individuals who don’t have health insurance should make themselves aware that it’s time for 2018 Open Enrollment if they hope to be covered by an eligible medical coverage plan for the new year. Sackett & Associates Insurance Services is here to help you find the perfect plan for your personal needs and to make sure you have all the info you need to make the best choice regarding your healthcare coverage needs.
5 Preparation Tips for 2018 Health Insurance Enrollment
2017 is already more than halfway over, which means you’ll soon have the opportunity to enroll for health insurance or change your current plan if you feel it’s not a good match for your current needs. To help ensure you’re prepared, Sackett & Associates Insurance Services is here to offer five solid ways you can be sure you’re ready to get the health coverage you need and deserve.
Health insurance AHCA update: Health Bill Would Reduce Benefits Along With Deficit.
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has issued a report with two major findings of the revised Republican health-care bill now in Congress. The American Health Care Act is the GOP bill that would replace, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or Obamacare as it is commonly referred to.
What to Do if Your Health Insurance Rates Increased This Year
Across the country insurance rates for healthcare are increasing. This is not a phenomenon limited to California. Most states are seeing higher costs for healthcare premiums. Healthcare insurance is one of the most important tools in maintaining your health. Every American is now required to be covered, whether you’re a student, unemployed or retired. We can help you during open enrollment to find the product that fits your needs in the Covered California marketplace.
Reasons Health Insurance Rates Are Rising
There are protections for consumers to prevent insurers from raising rates each year. The state and/or federal government has to approve the increases. Still, that hasn’t prevented the insurance company from asking for relief. The reasons are many, but the key reason for the substantial increase seen this year is that consumers who signed up for insurance were sicker than the companies realized. Here are some of the other reasons rates are on the rise.
What to Do if Your Insurance Rates Increased
If you’re like many Californians, you may have gotten a letter advising you that your insurance rates will increase up to 30 percent next year. You do have options. You could switch health insurance plans and carriers, or find out if you qualify for a subsidy. The deadline is January 31, 2017. If you don’t have a plan in place before that date, you have to wait until next year for coverage. In addition, you will face penalties up to $695 or 2.5% of your household income for not having insurance. Don’t let that happen.
One of the best things to do is call a certified covered California health insurance broker, like Sackett & Associates Insurance Services. Reach our office by calling (707) 823-3689 to let us help you find the health insurance you need through Covered California during open enrollment. Take preventative steps for your health by having insurance to cover your costs.
Post Election Status of Covered California and What You Should Do
This year’s election shook up the country. Many people are concerned about health insurance through Covered California thanks to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). While it is true that many of America’s leaders have threatened to eliminate the ACA, campaign rhetoric and candidate promises are often much different than what actually happens after election results. For Congress to act and implement any new plans could take years.
We want to inform you about the future of ACA and Covered California as we get information. Here is some of the information received by Covered California sent to insurance brokers to explain what’s happening:
Consumers Need to Know Their Options
Open enrollment is the time when consumers can get health coverage. The deadline is January 31, 2017. Covered California will be providing messages to consumers about their options throughout this important time. Health insurance brokers should reassure consumers that:
Health Insurance Doesn’t Have to Be Difficult
We understand that people who don’t speak “insurance” may have a hard time understanding which plans fit their needs. Our office is committed to helping you comprehend what’s available on the exchange for you and your family. We have group plans and individual plans that give you peace of mind.
For more information on open enrollment and for all of your health insurance needs, contact Sackett & Associates, your health insurance experts in Sonoma County, California. Follow us on Facebook or subscribe to our blog to keep up-to-date on what’s happening in the insurance market.
It’s the Time to Sign Up for Health Insurance
It’s that time of year again: open enrollment for your health insurance plan. Between November 1, 2016 and January 31, 2017, you and other California residents will have the opportunity to choose a health insurance plan that works best for you and your family. Sackett & Associates Insurance Services is happy to help you make this very important decision. We will work with you to determine your needs, wants and budget to make sure you get a plan that fulfills your desires and provides you with the security net that you expect.
Making the Choice
Choosing your health plan and related insurance is not a decision to be taken lightly. To be sure you receive the best plans possible, you should always enlist the guidance of a Certified Covered California Agent. With the help of an experienced agent, you can avoid paying extra for coverage you don’t need, be certain that you comply with existing regulations and avoid any penalties for not obtaining coverage. Even if your employer offers insurance, if it is deemed inadequate California law may allow you to buy coverage in Covered California’s Individual Marketplace and provides for a tax credit or subsidy to help make the coverage more affordable. With these provisions in place, we know that everyone can enjoy the opportunity to choose a plan that fits their needs and their budget.
Like the rest of the US, California residents have been legally required to purchase health insurance since the enactment of the Affordable Care Act. If you or your family fail to prove you have health insurance, you may be fined penalties that are based on your household adjusted gross income or family size. In 2017 penalties will be $695 per adult and $347.50 per child, up to a maximum of $2,085 or 2.5% of the household adjusted gross income, whichever amount is greater. These penalties can be significant for many families. It is important that you take the opportunity to choose an affordable plan that can help reduce the financial burden this penalty could have on you and your family.
Let Us Help
At Sackett & Associates Insurance Services, we have made it our priority to help clients find the best health insurance solutions available. This means we don’t rest until we find a plan that fits your needs. Let us do what we do best on your behalf, and help you find the best plan possible. Find us on Google and subscribe to our blog for more updates on how we can help you save on all your health insurance needs.
If you have health insurance thorough the Affordable Care Act you may be eligible for a tax credit or subsidy to offset the financial strain. You can choose to have none, all or some of your premium tax credit paid in advance, which serves to lower your monthly health insurance payments. The amount of subsidy you receive will depend on your income, age and will be an estimate based on the current marketplace rates.
Repayment Limitations Based on Income
When you purchase health insurance and elect to take your subsidy, you’ll have to keep the government informed regarding important life changes like a change in income. If your income changes it’s more then likely the subsidy you qualify for will also change. If you receive an excess subsidy, you will likely be responsible for repaying the difference. However, the amount you repay will depend on your filing status and income.
Reconciling the Tax Credit
At the end of the year, you may receive a Health Insurance Marketplace Statement form 1095-A. You will use this form to file your income tax return with the IRS. This is how the IRS will confirm that amount of subsidy you received matches your income and what you qualify for.
You must file Form 1095-A with the IRS if:
If you received less or more than the subsidy you’re entitled to, this amount will be reflected in your refund or amount owed.
For more information about the premium tax credit, contact Sackett & Associates Insurance Services at (707) 823-3689. You can also like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter!
Understanding How The ACA Will Affect Your Filing
Tax season is a stressful time for many Americans. By April, you have to have gathered all of your paperwork from the previous year, sorted through it, at least partially understood it, and comprehended how you are supposed to report it to your state and federal governments. It can feel overwhelming to take on, and will unfortunately only get more complicated due to the changes implemented by the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
When you file your taxes this spring, you will be expected to report information about the health insurance coverage you had for the 2014 calendar year. This means you will have to go through a couple more steps when you file, but if you carried the legally required amount of coverage you should not have too much trouble completing this portion of your tax return.
Furthermore, if you get your health care coverage through your workplace, filing this information with your taxes will be even easier. All you will need to do is check the box on the revamped Form 1040, saying that you carried minimal essential coverage in 2014.
All in all, the government is doing everything it can to ensure that Americans are able to accurately report their information when filing their taxes this year. Everyone is learning how to abide by these new regulations this year, so the IRS is working to make information about the process easily available. If you are confused about what is expected of you when it comes time to file, do not be afraid to reach out to the experts for help.
You should not be left trying to navigate the changing world of healthcare in the United States alone. To get a healthcare expert on your side, contact Sackett & Associates Insurance Services today. Serving Sonoma County, we are here to help you get the coverage you need, and actually understand it.
Covered California Offers Special Enrollment Period
If you have not heard, there is a penalty fee for not carrying health insurance coverage. If you did not know, the open enrollment period—during which time you could sign up for coverage—ended on February 20th (extended from February 15th). If all of this is news to you, do not be alarmed. Covered California is offering a grace period.
Fortunately, you can now take advantage of a special enrollment period during which you can get covered to avoid penalty fees. Covered California’s executive director Peter Lee said that this special enrollment period would run until April 30th. This period has been offered to protect the 600,000 Californians who could face tax penalties since they have not obtained coverage.
When you sign up for your policy, simply indicate on your application that you were not aware of the tax penalties that you would face if you went without coverage.
So you will no longer be in the dark, the 2014 tax penalties for not carrying coverage were $95 or 1 percent of your household income, whichever was greater. For 2015, those penalties will be higher, coming in at $325 or 2 percent of your household income (whichever is more). Do not leave yourself exposed to this significant expense by going without coverage; sign up for the policy you need to protect your health and your wallet today!
If you do not yet have the health insurance you need to avoid the tax penalty fees, act today to take advantage of this unique extension. Do not wait until the last days of the special enrollment period to get covered; contact Sackett & Associates Insurance Services today. We serve Sonoma County and are here to help you get the policy you need to comply with the Affordable Care Act’s regulation.
How To Get The Coverage You Need After February 15th
If you wake up on February 15th with a sick feeling in the pit of your stomach it may be because you forgot to get your sweetheart something for Valentine’s Day, or because it is the last day of the current Affordable Care Act (ACA) open enrollment period. Do not wait until this deadline to get the health coverage you need or you could be stuck without coverage and facing tax penalty fees in the New Year.
If, however, life gets in the way and you are unable to get ACA-compliant health care coverage by that date, there are a few things you can do to try to remedy the situation. They are:
Whether you remember to secure insurance before February 15th or you miss the deadline, contact Sackett & Associates Insurance Services in Sonoma County, California. Our team of Affordable Care Act experts can help you get the coverage you need to be protected in 2015. Do not hesitate to call us today!
A Step-By-Step Guide To Getting The Right Plan For You
If you enrolled in a plan during the last open enrollment period but have found it will no longer meet your needs for the coming year, you have the opportunity to switch plans during the current open enrollment period that ends February 15th. Until the 15th, you can shop the marketplace to find the healthcare plan that best meets your needs. Here is a simple guide to making the switch.
Your Guide To Getting The Truth About The ACA
As the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has rapidly changed the face of health care across the United States, confusion around exactly what the ACA is and what it means for Americans has swirled. With this perplexity, many misconceptions around the ACA have become widely circulated, resulting in myths about the act being commonly believed. To help you understand what the ACA really means for you, here are some common misconceptions to dispel.
To have a health insurance expert guide you along the changing landscape of health care in the US, contact Sackett & Associates Insurance Services in Sonoma County, California. We are here to meet all of your health insurance needs in the New Year. Call us today!
Since open enrollment is now open, it is important to make sure that you sign up for health care coverage. If you do not sign up for coverage during this time, you will not have any health insurance for the upcoming year and will face heavy fines.
The fines for not having health care coverage in 2015 are much more expensive than the fines of not having coverage in 2014. If you do not sign up for coverage during open enrollment, you will have to pay 2 percent of your yearly household income or $325 per adult and $162.50 per child under 18 in your household for the year, whichever amount is higher. This amount is higher than the 1 percent of your yearly household income or $95 per adult and $47.50 per child for the 2014 penalty.
Keep in mind that the 2 percent penalty of your yearly household income, only the amount of your income that is above the tax filing threshold, or about $10,000 for a single person, is used to figure out the fine. The maximum amount of the 2 percent penalty is the national average premium for a bronze level health care plan. The maximum amount per family using the second flat rate is $975 per year.
For 2016, the penalty increases again, up to 2.5 percent of your yearly household income or $695 per person.
The health insurance coverage penalty will come out of your federal income tax return that you file for the year. For 2015, most people will file their return early in 2016.
For more information on open enrollment and your health insurance choices, contact Sackett & Associates Insurance Services in Santa Rosa, California. We will help you find the right policy that will fit all of your needs.
The second Obamacare open enrollment period is almost here, and if you are one of the many individuals who missed out on the first open enrollment period because you were unprepared or confused, now is the time to prepare! This time around, there will be no leeway for those who fail to enroll in time.
With website malfunctions and initial confusion during the first Obamacare open enrollment period, Obamacare officiates gave individuals who failed to enroll a break. However, if you fail to enroll during the second Obamacare open enrollment period, which begins on November 15th, 2014 and ends on February 15th, 2015, you will be faced with new penalties.
There are two ways in calculating how much an individual is required to pay for their monthly penalty. Once these two methods are calculated, you will be required to pay the higher amount. The first way is by calculating 2% of your household annual income. The second calculation method is $325 per person annually. Children are only $162.50 annually until they turn 18 years old. However, these numbers will continue to grow. In 2016, if you do not obtain health insurance, you will be required to pay either 2.5% of your annual household income or $695 per person annually.
To avoid being charged annual penalties, simply enroll for health insurance during the second Obamacare enrollment period!
Contact Sackett & Associates Insurance Services in Sonoma County for all of your California individual health insurance needs. Regulations surrounding Covered California can be confusing, which is why we are available around the clock to ensure that you obtain health coverage that meets all Affordable Care Act regulations. The last thing we want is for you to be faced with penalties for not complying with all new rules and requirements. Allow the Certified Covered California agents at Sackett & Associates Insurance Services to assist!
After a recent analysis of Covered California, efforts will be changed to focus more on two important issues during the next enrollment period, which starts on November 15th:
The use of the California State University system worked well, and decreased the number of uninsured students from 25% to 10%.
For any further questions about health insurance, please contact the insurance agents at Sackett & Associates Insurance Services, located in Sonoma County!
If you are enrolled in Covered California, you need to be working with a Covered California Certified Insurance Agent! Steering through complicated health care laws is enough to cause a headache. Websites can be confusing, and the high enrollment demand may create long holds. These things alone are a great reason to collaborate with an experienced Covered California insurance agent.
These certified agents work pro bono! Their experience and help comes at no cost to you. They can help you with the application process, choosing a plan, and picking your premium. Certified agents have the experience needed to help you through all of the steps as you enroll in Covered California.
Don’t make the health care application process any harder for yourself than it needs to be! Give them a call to take advantage of the valuable, free service.
If you have any questions regarding health insurance, please contact Sackett & Associates Insurance Services, located in Sonoma County! We offer both group and individual insurance, and will be able to find you the policy that best fulfills your needs!