Saturday, November 12, 2016

2017 Health Plan Choices in Texas:

Our choices for 2017 coverage are not good!

Several Small Health Insurance Companies in Texas may not be stable!

If they run out of money to pay claims & you have a large claim, you might as well have no coverage at all.  

You wasted your money paying them a dime!

The main purpose for buying coverage is (or should be) to pay for a large, unexpected claim that could wipe us out.

This entire industry is in serious financial condition!

Most of the larger insurance companies won't participate in the ACA (Obamacare) scheme in 2017.
They've finally concluded that this concept is not stable....
.....after they've lost billions of dollars....
.....and you, the taxpayer, have bailed them out!

We do not expect congress to allow further bailouts, though!

For now, Obamacare is the it or not.....stable or not!

If you DON'T participate (or have a valid exemption), you pay a Federal Tax Penalty.  
See link at very bottom of this screen for help understanding the Tax Penalty & your possible exemptions from the Tax Penalty.

If you DO participate, you can only buy "affordable" coverage for "less than the price of a cell phone" if your income is very low.

You can get a somewhat-decent Premium Tax Credit (to lower your monthly premiums) if your MAGI* (income) in 2017 is expected to be:

$12,000 - $30,000 - For a single taxpayer
$16,100 - $40,000 - For a tax-family of 2

$20,200 - $50,000 - For a tax-family of 3
$24,300 - $60,000 - For a tax-family of 4

$28,500 - $71,000 - For a tax-family of 5
$33,000 - $81,500 - For a tax-family of 6

$37,000 - $  92,000 - For a tax-family of 7
$41,000 - $102,000 - For a tax-family of 8

If your expected MAGI* (income) in 2017 will be higher than the above figures, you might get a small tax credit.
It's a complicated formula, but our Quick Quote Engine will figure it out for you:  

Quick Quotes with Estimated Tax Credits Deducted from Your Monthly Premiums HERE

* MAGI = Modified Adjusted Gross Income
                                      See info about MAGI here .

For most people:
- MAGI is nothing more than your AGI (Adjusted Gross Income...line 37 on your Federal Tax Return - Form 1040).

AGI = Adjusted Gross Income
           This is simply line 37 on your 1040 Federal Income Tax Return 
           .......................line 21 on your 1040A Tax Return
           ....................or line 4 on your 1040 EZ Tax Return

For AGI determine your MAGI...see MAGI link above...
...& you'll see what to:
- Add to AGI .....These additions don't even affect the average person
- Exclude from AGI ...These don't even affect the average person

Quick Quotes (with your Tax Credits deducted) HERE

In many Texas counties, you'll see several small insurance companies listed in the left column of your Quotes Screen.  

To see their quotes, you'll need to check their boxes.

They may not be stable risks!

Please don't buy their coverage on our Quote Engine above.  

But, you can view their quotes on our engine.  

We cannot represent these companies...

...and you won't have any legal protection if you buy their coverage.

Just google their online reviews.

Yes, they have lower prices.
But, what are you sacrificing?

- How far will you need to drive to get to their nearest Urgent Care Center...for something that's not a serious emergency (to them)?
.....If it's not a serious emergency (to them), you're not covered out-of-their-network.
- Will there be any network doctors near you?
- How far away is the nearest specialist or hospital (in their network)? 
- Is that doctor or hospital really in their network?
- Can you trust their Provider Finder Engine?
....Most of the online reviews say:  NO

- Will your claims be paid?
- Will your monthly payments be posted to your account?
....Many of the online reviews say:  NO

Most of the networks are very small.
But, you might not discover this until.....
   You NEED to see a doctor & can't find one (listed in the network) who will actually see you (take your insurance).

And, then:
Can you get your insurance company on the phone to help you?

We can't be there to help you, either...with these small companies.
The service calls would be a nightmare.
Agents aren't paid much (if anything at all) since Obamacare arrived.
We can't afford large phone systems & staff to handle large volumes of service calls.
...Especially when many of the people calling-in are in desperate need of immediate help!

The insurance companies can't either!
That's why hold times can be hours!
And, you can experience phone system outages...after holding forever! 
It happens!

Read their online reviews carefully!

If you don't mind enduring the above sacrifices... exchange for cheaper coverage...
...please buy the cheaper coverage directly from these small companies or from .

Their prices are available on our quote engine because:
- The Federal Government requires that we give you the opportunity to see all ACA quotes that offer Premium Tax Credits
- I like to see everything that's available, myself!
.....And, I like for you to see it, too!
......But, I had to warn you about the dangers ...before you make uneducated choices this year.

Our liability insurance does not cover these companies.
AM Best will not even rate these small, unstable companies (for financial stability).  Because, they are not stable.

The Federal Government doesn't even guarantee that these companies will pay your claims!

But, the Feds are desperate for enrollments.

They've poured many billions into lots of their small start-up companies.
That's why they can offer "cheaper" prices.  
....Govt constantly bails them out...when they're underwater & drowning.

It's not likely that congress will allow any more billion-dollar payouts/bailouts in 2017.  

Congress actually didn't directly allow the others.  
The ACA law gave the administration an open checkbook in many areas.

Too many loopholes to even begin to count!
Your grandchildren will never get it all paid off in their lifetimes...
....unless something lights a fire under this economy...
......and brings massive economic prosperity to our country!

For your own (limited) protection:
Buy coverage from these small companies directly from .
....Although, I'm not sure they'll do anything more than sympathize with you for any losses you might incur.

Or, you can buy it directly from the small insurance company's website.


We'll only have legal protection for the following health insurance companies...

...for 2017 health plan enrollments:

- Aetna ...Pulled out of the ACA market for 2017
             ...Aetna is still offering OFF-Exchange plans (with NO Tax Credits).
             ...Prices are terrible!

             ...And, their Online Enrollment Computer System isn't working any longer???

             ...We're receiving complaints about doctors not getting payments for valid claims, too.
             ...A warning?

- BCBS-Tx  ...Still available in all Tx counties....but terrible prices!

- Cigna ...Pulled out of the ACA market

- Community Health Choice ....Available in Southeast Texas ONLY
                    ...I love this company!  
                    ...Excellent rates (compared to others) for 3+ years now!
                    ...Customer service is much better than most!
                    ...Largest HMO network in the areas (that they offer covg).
                    ...Better CoPay benefits than the govt allows the engines to show on their Bronze Plan!  
                    ...Cheapest plan (Bronze Plan) gives you 3 PCP CoPays
                    .......BEFORE meeting deductible!
                    ..........for EACH family member
                    .............Max of 2 deductibles to meet per family
                    ...They've made a small profit in 2016.  
                    ........Must be doing something right.
                    ..........Maybe NO multi-million-dollar salaries to their execs for starters.

- Humana ...Available in very-limited areas of Texas
                  ....Will only offer HMO Plans in 2017
                  ....Their PPO Plans are gone.

- Memorial Hermann ...Available in certain Southeast Texas areas ONLY
                                    ...Prices are terrible!

- Molina ...Small HMO network many Texas areas
                ...Be sure that you can live with their small network before buying!

- Oscar ...Available in San Antonio areas ONLY for 2017

- Scott & White ...Available in limited Central Texas areas
                                                            & limited DFW areas
                           ...Prices are terrible!
                           ...Only offering 2 plans
                           ......Both have VERY-High Deductibles


- United Healthcare ...Pulled out of the ACA market

The prices are all terrible....unless you can qualify for a decent Premium Tax Credit... (that's paid directly to your insurance company each month from the federal govt).


Our only reasonably-priced alternative: 

Temporary ShortTerm coverage....

...and it's NOT meant for everyone!!!

Don't buy it if you have pre-existing medical conditions!!! 

See more info about Temporary ShortTerm coverage        HERE

No, we can't recommend the Healthcare Sharing Ministry Plans.
See info  HERE

The Health Insurance Industry has imploded under the weight of Obamacare.

Many will buy a Temporary ShortTerm policy...
...hoping that relief will be provided by the new administration.  
But, we do not know how long that might take.

If Trump is not confirmed by the Electoral College (on Dec 19th), Obamacare will continue to be the law.  

Make wise best you can!

We can't tell you what to choose!  
This market is just too unstable !!!

And, you know your own situation much better than anyone else.


Be sure to read about Temporary Plans (at above link) before you buy one!!!

For the most protection:
- Buy an 11-month policy to be effective on Feb 1st.
You can't buy a 12-month policy!...
.....that would cover you TO Jan 1st, 2018.

Buy a 1-month (pre-paid) policy for January, 2017...
....then another 11-month policy for Feb-December coverage.

Exact dates to buy each policy:  
See my comments in the Temporary ShortTerm blog (at link above)

The Feds won't let you buy an 11-month policy after March!

Brand NEW Law.....Effective April 1st:
They'll only let you buy up-to 3 months of Temporary ShortTerm coverage beginning April 1st.


I can only provide you with your options...
...and guidance (above).
Nothing is ideal....for 2017!!!

I'm SO sorry that we can't provide any better options right now!
Ruth ... ...

Tax Penalty & Exemption layman's terms HERE