Thursday, March 27, 2014

Navigating Health Insurance

Hi all.  Today's guest blog is from Rhonda Norton, President of Hughes-Norton Insurance Services Inc., License # 0C18588.  Hopefully this will clarify some of the confusion we face with health coverage enrollment.  To learn more about Rhonda and her company, visit her at
Spring has just begun. Sign-ups for the ACA Covered California will end March 31, 2014. Some say that means we are past the confusion. This is not true. Open enrollment is an option for change for Medicare Advantage plan members and prescription drug card members. Let’s add some more groups of people to this time frame.

During open enrollment the Covered California enrollees can change plans. The “off-exchange” members can change their plans as well. Before this the under 65 year old health insurance member typically changed their plan when the premium went up. They could do this a number of ways but it did not need an open enrollment window.  Now with Guaranteed Issue the rest of the population will have the same open enrollment options and decisions as the Medicare Advantage and Prescription drug card members.

The insurance industry also added another element of work for the health insurance industry. Many small companies moved their company’s open enrollment to the end of 2014. That means small companies that are changing their insurance plans will have the same open enrollment and deadlines as the rest of the population noted above. 

What does this mean for you? Study early, make your decision early and put your paperwork in as soon as you can under the open enrollment rules of October 15 to December 7.   If the change doesn’t matter very much, stay put. Look at your Advantage or PDP paperwork and make sure of the forms needed if you want to stay the same. You may not need to do anything. Be sure of it.

Have a happy summer.

Thanks to Rhonda for the great blog.  I've known Rhonda for a while and she's great people.  She's always my first stop for insurance questions and enrollment.

And for your your in-home services and Adult Day Program needs contact AltaGolden at 858-779-9254 or learn more about us at

Take care and have a wonderful rest of the day.  Laura