Obama Care Exchange Market Launches
Along With Morris & Reynolds’ New Website

OBAMACARE & OCTOBER 1ST

America’s massive attempt to reform health insurance takes another step forward today as the Exchange Marketplace officially opens for quotes and the start of certain enrollments that can be effective January 1st, 2014. Morris & Reynolds has been offering health insurance and healthcare related services since 1950 so it’s appropriate that today we also introduce a sizable renovation of our website, morrisandreynolds.com, including this new blog.

America’s healthcare reform continues to be the subject of ‘hot’ national debate, but the that law passed in 2010 and was deemed legal by the U.S. Supreme Court last year, takes another step forward today with the opening of the Federal and State Exchange Marketplaces. The law has a number of very favorable consumer oriented provisions including the fact that insurers can no longer ask applicants health questions, nor limit coverage for pre-existing conditions and policies will no longer have a maximum limit on the amount of claims your insurer can pay over your lifetime.

Today marks the official opening of the Federal (as here in Florida and 35 other states) and state Exchange Marketplaces. Starting today folks can work with our agents and underwriters to shop, compare and enroll into the new plans for a January 1st effective date.

October 1, 2013: Marketplace Open Enrollment Starts
December 15th, 2013: Individual Marketplace Application Deadline for January 1st, 2014 Effective Dates
January 1, 2014: First Date Coverage Via The Exchange Marketplace Can Start
March 31, 2014: Marketplace Open Enrollment Ends for 2014 Individual Coverage

By law, applications transmitted by December 15th can be effective January 1st so you have plenty of time to allow the systems and all else settle in the weeks and even months to come. For 2014 the law also allows people to apply between October 1st 2013 and March 30th, 2014, so you will also have time early in the new year too. Small employers generally can obtain coverage any time during the year.

The coverage enhancements begin as of January 1st and Morris & Reynolds will be offering all of the new policies, both directly from insurers and through the Exchange Marketplace. We are ready to help. We can prepare quotes, plan comparisons, answer your questions, assist with possible premium tax subsidies, help you apply for coverage and, of course, assist you with everything else you will need, be it claims, providers, or your coverage, in the years ahead. To learn more about the new reform law click here to visit our new Healthcare Reform page. To learn more about the Exchange Marketplace’s “Metal” Plans, click here.

PLATINUM PLAN GOLD PLAN SILVER PLAN BRONZE PLAN

Given the complexity of the new laws and the fact that state and federal automated systems are not yet fully functional, patience by all of us will be important during these transitional times. The undertaking from a computer standpoint is, we are told, what one technology expert called “an IT nightmare”. That said, we are confident that the law, as well as the healthcare landscape, will continue to evolve and you can be confident that we will be here to help you every step of the way.

A number of key provisions of the reform law have already been delayed and these include;

  1. LARGE EMPLOYER MANDATE: The large employer mandate that was a central part of the law has been delayed until at least 2015.
  2. GROUP PLANS OUT OF POCKET LIMIT: In February the Labor Department announced a one year grace period (until at least 2015) on some group health care plans maximum out of pocket cap on expenses in the amount of $ 6,350 per person and $ 12,700 per family. This delay arose because some insurers and employers use separate firms to administer major medical coverage and drug benefits, resulting in separate out of pocket limits.
  3. MULTIPLE INSURERS & PLANS WITHIN SHOP: The use of multiple insurers and multiple plans by small (less than 50 employees) businesses via what is known as the SHOP program has been delayed until at least 2015. (See my April 9th, 2013 posting on this topic by clicking here).
  4. ON-LINE ENROLLMENT FOR SHOP PROGRAM: Last week the federal Health & Human Services office announced that the SHOP program for small businesses with less than 50 employees will not open for online enrollment, shopping and comparing until at least November 2013 and some basic PDF information available until then.
  5. SPANISH LANGUAGE SITE: A Spanish language version of the federal site (healthcare.gov) will be delayed until at least later this month.
  6. MEDICARE OBSERVATION VERSUS ADMISSION: Medicare has announced that it will delay the enforcement of controversial new rules that define when hospital patients should receive observation care rather than being admitted until at least January 1st.

We fully expect that there will be many other ‘glitches’ with the new Exchange Marketplace and that some aspects will not be fully functional in all ways, or in all states, in the initial days and weeks or even months. We are told that the federal Exchange Marketplace has had trouble determining what premiums individuals are supposed to pay as have some of the non-federal markets, such as Colorado and the District of Columbia, as they try to calculate possible subsidies. New York’s system, as another example, cannot yet transfer data instantly from certain insurers and that state’s Exchange Marketplace and instead will distribute it daily in ‘batches’.

Like much of the rest of the law’s details, we believe that access and availability will likely evolve and be phased in over time. Please know that the professional agents and underwriters here at Morris & Reynolds have been certified in all aspects of the new law and also have the most recent systems, on-line access and answers to your questions. We promise that we will continue to stay current and educated so as to help you understand your options both in and out of the Exchange Marketplaces and to create the best coverage and costs to meet your unique needs.

morrisandreynolds.com

Today also marks the launch of a complete renovation of our own website “office”, morrisandreynolds.com. Our new site is stocked full of information and tools that you can use to learn about and manage your insurance and the exposures you face. You can shop for all sorts of different coverages in real time and in many cases even apply for your policy.

You can also find details about various coverages as well as loss and risk management topics. Our Employee Benefit clients can access our MyWave portal and Commercial clients can access The Protection Portal. You can obtain a number of sample claim forms, as well as access many of the insurers that we represent in our Claims Center in addition to The Company We Keep. You can also learn about your insurance agency and Our Professional People who are Morris & Reynolds Insurance.

BOB’S BLOG

Part of our revised website is this blog, and with it, I plan to share what I hope you will find to be useful information and insight into a wide range of insurance and risk related topics from my three decades, and counting, in the industry. Over time my goal is to educate and inform by providing something useful for everyone. If you have a suggestion or questions, please contact me (bob@morrisandreynolds.com, or 305.238.1000) as I would sincerely welcome hearing from you.

Lastly, if you are receiving this note today that means that you are a current client at Morris & Reynolds Insurance and for that I thank you. On behalf of my entire TEAM here at Morris & Reynolds, we thank you for the honor of providing your protection and look forward to being of service for many years to come.

Trusted Insurance

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