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Special Enrollment Period Ends August 15

We’re in the last few days of the six-month Special Enrollment Period (SEP). During the SEP, which was announced shortly after President Biden took office, consumers have had an opportunity to sign up for health coverage and, for those who qualify, take advantage of the enhanced premium tax credits under the American Rescue Plan Act. The SEP was set to end May 15, but CMS announced in March that it was being extended to the middle of August.

Part A Coverage Is Retroactive If You Sign Up After Age 65

You probably know about the initial enrollment period for Medicare. It starts three months before your 65th birthday, includes your birthday month, and continues for three months after your birthday month. But did you know that you can actually sign up for premium-free Medicare Part A “any time during or after your Initial Enrollment Period starts” and that the coverage is backdated if you sign up after you turn 65? Here’s what the website says:

Health Insurance: A Need for Immigrants, An Opportunity for Agents

Few topics can spark debate quicker than immigration. While many recognize and are sympathetic about the dire situation people are trying to escape when they choose to flee their home countries, others worry about the impact an influx of new residents will have on the United States’ economy and job market. It’s a huge issue that’s not easily solved, and offering solutions certainly isn’t the topic of this article.

What, Exactly, is the Family Glitch?

The Affordable Care Act is not a perfect bill. We knew that from the beginning, and, more than a decade later, there are still a lot of aspects of the massive health care law that could use some improvement. But there’s one provision in particular that, from the beginning, has been referred to as a “glitch.” That’s the provision that blocks most family members from receiving a premium tax credit in the individual market if one of the adults in the household is offered health insurance through his or her employer.

The Enhanced Premium Tax Credits are Substantial

It’s been a few months since the Biden Administration announced the increase in the premium tax credits for individual health plans under the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), so hopefully you’re busy helping clients take advantage of the increased financial assistance. If not, we wanted to stress to you just how significant this assistance can be for certain individuals.

BREAKING: Supreme Court Upholds ACA

At long last, we finally have a ruling in the California v. Texas case. And, as expected following the oral arguments back in November—one week after the presidential election—the United States Supreme Court has upheld the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. In 7-2 decision, the Court ruled that the plaintiffs in the case did not have standing because, as Larry Levitt with the Kaiser Family Foundation puts it in a tweet following the ruling, they were unable to “demonstrate that they're injured by an individual mandate that has a penalty of zero dollars.” In the ruling from both conservative and liberal justices that, as the Associated Press says, “left the entire law intact,” only Justices Alito and Gorsuch dissented. 

2022 Cost Sharing Increase is Lower than Expected

In an April 30 fact sheet, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced that the cost-sharing limit for individual and group health plans in 2022 will be $400 lower than initially projected. 

Blue Cross Blue Shield Settlement – What to Tell Your Clients

Over the last few days, you may have started to receive calls and emails from clients about the Blue Cross Blue Shield settlement notice that is being sent out, and while you should avoid giving legal advice to your clients about whether they should file a claim or not, it is a good idea to share some basic information with them about the settlement. Current and former Blue Cross Blue Shield clients are receiving notices about the settlement by mail, email, or both right now, and they have a lot of questions.

How the COBRA Subsidy Can Boost Individual Sales

In a recent post, we provided details about the new COBRA and State Continuation subsidy under the American Rescue Plan Act. If you missed it, the subsidy pays 100% of the COBRA or state mini-COBRA premium between April 1 and September 30 for COBRA/mini-COBRA eligible employees and covered family members who’ve lost their group coverage due to a reduction in work hours or an involuntary loss of employment. Click here to read the article.

Quick Overview of the ARPA COBRA Subsidy

If you have group health clients, you’re probably receiving calls from them asking about the new COBRA subsidy created by the American Rescue Plan Act. President Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill provides a 100% subsidy for up to six months of the COBRA or state continuation premiums for eligible employees, former employees, and their covered family members. While that’s certainly a good thing for those who qualify, it’s creating headaches for employers and plan administrators. In this post, we’ll try to get you started and help answer some of the most important questions about the subsidy. There’s still some confusion about how this will work, so we won’t be getting too “in the weeds.” 

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