Obamacare Website for California
by John Hansen
The Covered California website and the Obamacare California Exchange has taken great measures to insure the security of Personally Identifiable Information (PII). This legally protected information is available to agents, navigators, counselors and health insurance carriers. The Obamacare California Exchange is aware that PII must be kept secure.
One of the online safety measures involves requiring secure emailing. This has been implemented and required for the online transmission of PII. Covered California agents, navigators, assistants, representatives, and Health insurance carriers have all been required to use secure emails when transmitting PII.
When you receive a secure email, often the email comes with an attachment. When you click on the attachment, it opens a web page that requires you to log in. Thus you need not only to have access to your email account, but also to have an additional user ID and password to sign in to view your secure emails.
This creates multi-f...
by John Hansen
Covered California is making strides on their website to increase security. Security breaches have been in the news. This has been an issue in California as well as on the national and international stage.
In an effort to improve security, the Covered California website is now getting cell phone numbers and distributing one time passcodes. This allows the California exchange / Obamacare website to use multi-factor authentication for added safety online.
A typical login page is single-factor authentication. On one computer you enter a login and password. It’s much easier to hack into a database that only uses single-factor authentication.
Now that the Covered California database includes cell phone numbers for agents, they can use multi-factor authentication. They will still require user ID’s and passwords, but they can also send passcodes to email addresses or to cell phones.
Many banks are doing this already. If you log into your bank from a computer or an IP address th...
There are actually 4 Different Options, Not 3… Yes, Yes, No or No Answer
When you apply for a Covered California health insurance plan with the California State Exchange, at the end of the application, you are given the option to register to vote. Of course, you have to be a US citizen and you have to be at least 18 years old. So, this gives you the option to kill two birds with one stone…get health insurance and register to vote all at the same time.
Most people select No and just move on. They came for medical coverage and the voter registration seems like just a distraction from what they intended to do.
However, if you need to register to vote, just click one of the yes answers. The first YES takes you to a web page where you can register online to vote. The second yes will cause you to get a voter registration card by mail. Or, you can click NO.
Or… You may not realize this but you can just NOT answer the question. This is not a required field on the application. Feeling non-com...
by Stephen Saucier
Making decisions regarding your Health Plan can be a tricky affair. It’s very common for people to change their minds, even after enrolling in a new plan. Unfortunately, Covered California doesn’t make it very easy to make changes. In fact, if you’re not careful you can wind up losing your desired effective date and experience a lapse in coverage.
One of the many things you want look out for is your account status in your online Covered California application account. If you have a status of “pending” you DO NOT want to make changes to your account. If you do, your coverage won’t begin on the effective date you originally signed up for.
Now let’s look at this in practical terms. You have from now until January 15, 2016 to sign up for a February 1st effective date. Let’s say you sign up for coverage on January 14th and then decide on January 16th that you want to change your health plan. If you try to make changes to your health plan or update the informa...
Unfortunately, there is no way to bring back the Covered California dental plan option. If you have already declined dental and you change your mind, you can purchase a stand-alone dental plan. If you have Anthem Blue Cross or Blue Shield for a health plan (or if you don’t), you can purchase a stand-alone dental policy through them. Some people like having one carrier for both health and dental. These two may be the only carriers in the California State Exchange (Covered California) that offer dental.
If the dental was declined due to an error on the part of your agent, then your agent can terminate the application and re-submit under a different case number which will then give you the option to select the dental. This would be a very rare occurrence and on a case by case basis.
If you cannot get your numbers to work, Covered California has some workarounds for the immigration section and for customers who are green card holders.
This should help if you get stuck on the Covered California immigration section.
by Stephen Saucier
Every January the Department of Health and Human Services releases the new Federal Poverty Level (FPL) figures, which outline Covered California income limits. The FPL is “The set minimum amount of gross income that a family needs for food, clothing, transportation, shelter and other necessities.” The reason this number is important in the context of health insurance is that it’s used in calculating whether or not you qualify for a subsidy and if so, how much. It’s also a part of determining whether or not you qualify for Medi-Cal. Other information is also taken into consideration but the FPL is the starting point.
The big question for us is, when does Covered California switch from using last years FPL to calculate eligibility to the current FPL. This is extremely important because not only can your subsidy amount change depending on how the FPL changes, but you may not even qualify for the same coverage!
Unfortunately the answer is a bit complex. According...
by Wendy Barnett
When you apply through Covered California for your health insurance, you must indicate what your income will be for the benefit year since the premium assistance that you may receive is based on your annual income. For many people, especially for those who are self-employed or who are paid by commissions, annual income fluctuates greatly. So how do you report your income to Covered California when it varies? This is one of the top question our insurance agency receives from clients.
First of all it is important to know how the system is going to work. The premium assistance that is only offered through Covered California is going to be “reconciled” at the end of each year when you file your IRS tax return. In other words, the amount of assistance you received is going to be compared to the income that you actually made in that benefit year, and depending on whether your income matches up to what you reported on your Covered California application, you may eithe...
by Wendy Barnett
Creating your own Covered California Account is easy and advisable.
If you’re a customer of ours then you’ve probably already been enrolled into Covered California by your insurance agent and received an e-mail showing your case number and your plan and carrier. So what’s next? We suggest you create a Covered California account.
Following is the “why?” and the “how?”.
We recommend creating an account for the following reasons:
Before you begin you will need an Access Code which will allow you to view and have access to the account that your agent created for you. You should have received your access code in the confirmation email that was sent to you short after enrolling in your On Exchange plan. If for some reason you didn’t receive your access code or have misplaced it, you can still get it by calling your Health for California Insurance Center Agent at 1-877-752-4737.
Once you have your access code just follow these easy steps:
Now you will be able...
Not sure how Obamacare affects your health care plans in California? Learn how the ACA works in California, including benefits, costs and enrollment.
Covered California is the Golden State’s official health exchange marketplace where individuals, families and small businesses can find high-quality, low-cost California government health insurance.
Learn about Obamacare income guidelines in California using our income limits chart, and see if you’re eligible for government assistance.
Learn about the Covered California website. Find easy online enrollment. Set up your account, log in, buy insurance and more on the California health marketplace website.