by Chris Huckins Google+ Email 

 

Articles tagged with: affordable insurance los angeles

02 July 2013

Los Angeles Schools Paid to Teach Kids Obamacare

Posted in Covered California

Los Angeles Schools Paid to Teach Kids Obamacare

    Yes, the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) will use $900,000 to recruit Obamacare soldiers to sell insurance to their parents. That's how the news is being spun today. Way back in March, Covered California, our state's health Exchange, divvied up $43 million federal dollars to organizations who best outlined their Obamacare education strategies. The goal: to promote the healthcare reform law so the most people sign up for affordable health insurance in 2014. It wasn't until recently, when conservative shock jock and Obamacare opponent, Rush Limbaugh name-dropped Covered California that Angelenos took a closer look at where the money went.

    Just this week Rush called out Covered California for awarding LAUSD nearly a million dollars to train teenagers to school parents on the Affordable Care Act. He referred to Covered California's website, where each grantee briefly described how the award money would be spent. Check out LAUSD's synopsis below, which is all the information we have to go by so far:

    Assuming this outreach begins when school resumes this fall is all we can do at the moment. No adult in his right mind would imagine teens lining up for Obama's Summer School, after all.  Next year,  teenage messengers may be force-fed healthcare reform during school hours or sign up for after school programs by their own free will: who knows? Will some students be shocked to see Obamacare 101 on next year's schedule? Will practice health insurance applications replace homework? It's just too early to say. So why react when we lack the syllabi?

    Extracurricular activities that empower kids might actually achieve Covered California's goal. Students may find out that their families qualify for subsidies (tax credits) to lower the cost for health insurance if they buy plans offered by Covered California. Did you know if your income is roughly between $11,000 and $43,000 you could get assistance paying for your coverage? Your tax dollars may very well be teaching others how to save money on health insurance next year. Don't you want to copy their homework so you can save too?

12 June 2013

The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) Timeline

Posted in General Information

The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) Timeline

Enjoy this beautiful excel spreadsheet if you're feeling confused about Obamacare (Affordable Care Act). We get a lot of attention for covering all you need to know about health insurance, so keep coming at us with questions!

This guide covers everything from the implementation of the bill in 2010 to when the biggest changes beginning January 1st, 2014.

Included are the statewide Exchanges (ours is called Covered California), which open October 1st, 2013. If you live in Los Angeles, feel free to stop by for a tangible copy of our timeline!

If you feel your current plan is too expensive, beginning this fall new options like tax credits (subsidies) can lower the costs for individuals, families, and small businesses. Be sure to ask us ahead of time so we can get your ducks in a row and get the affordable health insurance you need!

Click below for a fast quote today! Or call us at 818.251.5000!

 

12 June 2013

What If My Employer Doesn't Offer Health Insurance?

Posted in Latest News


 Note: The flowchart reflects the latest information, including the large employer mandate delay announced in 2013.


    Healthcare reform has already begun but the biggest changes begin October 1st, 2013 when Covered California offers affordable, quality health insurance plans some may be shocked to see. Shocked in a good way: like when rush hour in Los Angeles is surprisingly free of traffic. New plans can save individuals and families hundreds a month through subsidies (tax credits) that lower the cost of coverage.

    Not all changes happen this fall. Beginning in 2015, employers with over 50 full-time employees will receive a penalty for not offering affordable health insurance. This may easily cost them thousands of dollars per uninsured worker.

    If your employer offers an expensive plan, Obamacare (Affordable Care Act) entitles you to a better plan at better prices through major carriers you're already familiar with: Anthem Blue Cross, Blue Shield of California, Health Net, and Kaiser Permanente.

    To learn more about the new Covered California plans or to clarify any more questions you may have that aren't addressed in a colorful box as seen above, please call 818.251.5000!

11 June 2013

How Covered California May Insure Young Invincibles

Posted in Covered California

How Covered California May Insure Young Invincibles

    Soon we'll be bombarded from all media angles: radio, tv, newspaper, the sides of buses, billboards dotting Los Angeles, until we have health insurance. That's because the federal government is paying public relations group Weber Shandwick $12 million to advertise California's health Exchange, Covered California over the summer. But it's all for a good cause. To get an idea of California's strategy look no further than the first health health Exchange in the country, Massachusetts' Commonwealth Health Connector, which contracted Weber Shandwick for 6 years.

   When Obamacare (Affordable Care Act) became law in 2010, all states were mandated to create a public health Exchange (marketplace) to offer affordable health insurance plans to its residents. These plans will be available October 1st, 2013. Each plan must meet specific criteria: including essential health benefits, offer subsidies (tax credits), and show apples-to-apples comparisons to make shopping easier.

    Long before Obamacare was signed into law, Massachusetts experimented with healthcare reform in the form of Commonwealth Health Connector. Since this was a new concept way back when, the state needed some clever marketing for people to take notice. In the first year, Weber Shandwick's Health Connector marketing strategy dubbed the "Initial Push" cost $4 million and lasted from Fall 2006-2007. It targeted the uninsured, promoting the availability of new plans certified by the state, offering quality, value, and access to preventive care. Sound familiar?

Image by Mass Health Connector

   Mass' uninsured rate was 8.1 percent in 2005 and dropped to 5.7 during "The Initial Push" through 2007. While this was a significant drop, unfortunately the marketing just didn't strike a chord with the "Young Invincibles", who felt they didn't need insurance. Similarly, Mass residents remained uninsured because they still believed they couldn't afford it. Mass' Health Connector hashed out a new strategy, creating "edgy ads" to appeal to the sophisticated, stubborn youth during Phase 2 between 2008 and 2009. Even though this cost an additional $1.7 million, it arguably led to a much bigger uninsured drop: only 1.9% of the state lacked insurance by 2010.

Image by Mass Health Connector

    Today, 98.1% of Massachusetts has health insurance, the highest rate of coverage in the country and it's in part due to the hilariously-impaired cyclist with the mouth of a sailor as seen above. By creating similar ads with the same edgy humor Covered California and Weber Shandwick may just insure more Californians in the first year than proportionately Massachusetts did in the first 4 years. Shouldn't be too hard to come up with material, considering Los Angeles residents know the hardships of road/bike lane rage.

   To learn more about Obamacare: call us at 818.251.5000!

07 June 2013

How to Find Affordable Health Insurance in Los Angeles

Posted in General Information

How to Find Affordable Health Insurance in Los Angeles

    Before his trip to Los Angeles, President Obama touched base in San Jose Friday to praise California's health insurance Exchange known as Covered California. It was a quick but reaffirming pat on the back 2 weeks in the making. Just a fortnight ago, new healthcare plans offered by Covered California showed lower rates than predicted, confirming Obamacare's promise of cheaper plans with more benefits would be a reality. In case your office blocks youtube, preventing you from watching his speech, here's what you need to know:

    Covered California, the first organized Exchange in the country since the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) became law in 2010, also offers some of the most affordable health insurance. As reported 2 weeks ago, California's major carriers were pressured by Obamacare's regulations to draft  13 plans that competed against one another, therefore providing more benefits at a lower cost than almost all plans out there today.

    Can't wait to buy them? You just need to wait a few more months, but thanks for the enthusiasm. The Covered California marketplace aka Exchange, i.e., a website launching in October will offer plans that go into effect on January 1st, 2014. But that's not the only source to find them.

    Covered California will train thousands of Assisters and Navigators, i.e. tour guides to walk customers through new health care plans. Unfortunately, as required by law they cannot explicitly recommend one plan over another. Instead, they'll leave the decision up to you.

    Unfortunately, these Assisters and Navigators will only have a week of training and may not be able to understand or answer every question raised to them, especially in the ever-changing complex world of health insurance. Yes, Obamacare makes insurance more affordable and transparent, but there are still dozens of pages in PDF or on paper of new plans to pour over.

    This is why experienced health insurance brokers will rise to the occasion. Haronian Insurance has over 26 years of experience and consistently wins the "Premiere Provider" title through major carriers, like Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield of California. It's okay to pat yourself on the back every once in a while. We're proud to be helping families, small businesses, and individuals find excellent insurance at a great rate. But let's be honest, if Obama showed up to our office to toot our horn (far cry from reality), the president's pat would take precedence. Still nice to think about.

  Have a great weekend! And if you have any questions about health insurance, Covered California, or Obamacare, feel free to call 818.251.5000!