It has been more than a rocky start to find affordable health insurance for 2014 in Los Angeles and throughout California.
Not only computer glitches, long telephone waiting line but more important missing information such as provider networks and final approved insurance rates causing millions of Californians to delay their final decision which insurance plans to choose for 2014.
The insurance commissioner has not approved the final rates from Anthem and Healthnet for the off exchange rates, so that the insurance market is still not transparent. Furthermore the provider networks are not loaded at the exchange Covered California or at Anthem’s website. This is a critical information as particular in Los Angeles the provider networks have been changed drastically in 2014.
In the individual insurance market Blue Shield does not offer UCLA and Cedar Sinai, Anthem announced in roadshows that it is contracted with UCLA but not Cedar Sinai. Healthnet offers Cedar Sinai and part of UCLA but their health rates are off exchange higher than Anthem EPO and Blue Shield PPO prices which have been published on Covered California. Cigna announced new plans for 2014 but will only launch them November 1st.
These delays cause highest frustration to all Californians. Agents experiences the anxiety of clients wanting to finally lock in their insurance plans for 2014, but are unable to do so as for example Anthem is not even publishing their health insurance application as the Insurance Commissioner has not approved the application yet.
Looking at the anxiety level it was a mistake to go on the California market with a “half finished product”. If by October 1st Californians had an overview of a transparent insurance market with every insurance rate being approved and all networks being finalized, and all applications being available on and off the exchange than free competition would have been available and we all could have dealt with computer glitches and long waiting periods on the phone.
In the meantime there are still 75 days remaining to 2014, if you want to make an informed decision and do not qualify for subsidies, we urge you to wait to have Anthem , Healthnet and Cigna’s overall portfolio available, which should happened by November 1st. If anxiety levels are to high we always can apply trough Covered California, Blue Shield and Kaiser and switch you when the other carriers have full insurance plans approval.