Good News for existing Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield policy holders California! Insurance Dave Jones was able to extend the premature cancellation of 104,000 individual market health insurance policies by Anthem Blue Cross.
Anthem had been canceling “non-grandfathered individual-market policies”, the kind of policies with which people get more benefits and possibly lower rates from Covered California. Anthem still plans to cancel them, but it jumped the gun on timing by making the policies end Dec. 31.
“The insurer should have given at least 90 days’ notice before canceling policies”, Jones said.
“Because Anthem did not give 90 days’ notice to 104,000 policyholders as required by law” stated Jones, “Anthem agreed to provide 104,000 policyholders with the option to extend their current policies until Feb. 28, giving them the opportunity to keep their doctors, hospitals, and current rates.”
Those 104,000 policyholders have until Dec. 15 — the deadline to sign up for exchange coverage to start Jan. 1, 2014 — to notify Anthem if they would like to keep their policies until the end of February.
Until Nov. 15, Anthem will send out the new notices with the 90-day provision.
CDI officials said they had reports that some people had received cancellation notices at the beginning of November. Setting the end date of those individual policies at Dec. 31 was a mistake simply and the result of an Anthem computer glitch.
Last week Blue Shield was required to extend policies for 115,000 policyholders after failing to comply with notice requirements. Blue Shield policyholders can keep their current insurance until March 2014.
According to Janice Rocco, deputy commissioner at CDI, there are approximately one million Californians with policies that will be cancelled.
“This is the estimated number of Californians in non-grandfathered individual market policies as reported by health insurers and health plans to CDI and DMHC [Department of Managed Health Care],” Rocco said.
Hopefully the insurance commissioner will find a way to stop Health Net from early cancellation their current policyholders. Health Net was able to win a good market share in the beginning of 2013 by offering very competitive price health plans and steering policy holders towards their health plans. Health Net, now offering one of the most expensive health plans under the ACA plans, did most likely did know that the rates they quoted in early 2013 were not sustainable over a longer period of time. Let’s hope that the insurance commissioner will make Health Net responsible for their actions in early 2013.
In all this confusion the consumer is more and more frustrated. Solid Health Insurance Services can help you to find the plan that best fits the needs of your family.