by Cathy Daugherty –

In the face of all the changes regarding Health Care (those already made and those that keep on coming) it’s important to analyze all your options for plans in the Covered California Exchange as well as other (off Exchange) Carrier plans. And you would probably do yourself a favor if you asked for help from a certified consultant.

Like most consulting issues, it really depends on a number of factors including your goals and your medical requirements—and let’s not forget your budget too.

According to the latest update, subscribers in Individual health plans may now have a new option to extend their current coverage a few months through March 31, at which time their coverage must transition to an ACA-compliant plan.  So to recap, there are now two options in dealing with ACA compliant plans.

Option 1: Move to an ACA-compliant plan covering all essential health benefits. As previously communicated, Carriers will move subscribers into a recommended ACA-compliant plan on January 1. Subscribers just need to pay their January bill and they will be enrolled in the ACA-compliant plan. Or they can select from any of their Carrier’s other ACA compliant plans.

New Option 2: Extend current Individual medical plan through March 31, 2014. To elect this option, subscribers must contact their Carriers (once we have the new rules) to temporarily extend their current plans for themselves and any covered dependents at current rates and with the current provider network. Subscribers can change coverage to an ACA-compliant plan during this period.

If any of this sounds confusing, be assured, that as the rules/laws are changed, I and my fellow certified consultants will stay on top of it.

Cathy Daugherty
Cathy Daugherty is a partner at Moore Benefits Inc., a full service employee benefits consulting firm. Her company is certified in the Covered California Exchange www.CoveredCA.com. Cathy is a 20-year veteran of the insurance industry and holds the Health Insurance Professional (HIP) Designation. She is also a past president of NAWBO-OC.