Notices mailing to California Individual members with plans discontinuing on January 1, 2018
Anthem Blue Communication Regarding California Plan Closures
As we communicated earlier this month, we’ve made the difficult decision to reduce the number of Individual health plans we’ll offer in California for 2018. (This only affects individual and family plans, not employer group, Medicare, or Medi-Cal health plans.)
In order to give members impacted by this change plenty of time to plan for their coverage needs in 2018, we are notifying affected members over the next few days that their current plan will be discontinued on December 31, 2017. This includes all on and off exchange members outside of rating regions 1, 7 and 10, and HMO members in rating region 7. It’s important to note that until 2018, their coverage stays the same. All they need to do is keep paying their premiums.
Here are sample copies of packets these members will receive. The packets will vary slightly based on the members’ locations and plans.
When open enrollment begins this fall, these members can look at other plans and find new coverage. When the time comes, we encourage you to help them find a new plan, even if it’s not with Anthem. In the meantime, they can log into anthem.com/ca to view the details of their current plan. To make sure there isn’t a gap in their coverage, they need to enroll in a different plan by December 15, 2017.
In 2018, we will have EPO plans available both on exchange and off exchange in rating regions 1, 7 and 10.* Therefore, the mailing later this month doesn’t apply to members in those regions except for HMO members in region 7 who will have the option to choose an EPO plan during Open Enrollment.
And remember, our plan offerings for dental and vision benefits will not change and will be available to current members and new customers in 2018. Members who have dental and/or vision benefits with us will get renewal details in the fall.
*Note: Region 1 includes Alpine, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, Del Norte, Glenn, Humboldt, Lake, Lassen, Mendocino, Modoc, Nevada, Plumas, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Sutter, Tehama, Trinity, Tuolumne, and Yuba counties. Region 7 includes Santa Clara County. Region 10 includes Mariposa, Merced, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, and Tulare counties.
This article applies to:
- Individual (under 65)
Editor’s note: Covered California members will be enrolled in the least expensive metal tier plan if they are in a region where Blue Cross is discontinuing coverage if the member does not select a different plan during the Open Enrollment Period. However, members in Blue Cross plans being terminated will have a Special Enrollment Period for 60 days after their plan is closed (December 31, 2017) to change plans.
Sample Termination Letter Text
Your health plan is ending December 31, 2017 So you’ll have to choose a new one for 2018
You may have heard that Anthem will no longer offer most of our non-grandfathered individual medical health plans in your area for 2018. This was a difficult decision because we’re committed to offering you affordable health benefits. Rest assured your individual medical health plan is staying the same for the rest of 2017. Here’s what you need to know—
- Nothing is changing right now. Your individual medical health plan will stay the same through 2017. Be sure to keep making your monthly payments so your health benefits remain in place throughout the rest of the year and to avoid a break in coverage.
- Your individual medical health plan will end on December 31, 2017. This means you’ll have to shop for new health benefits that start January 1, 2018. But don’t worry – you still have plenty of time to plan.
Pick a new plan – Beginning in October of 2017, go to
CoveredCA.com, log in to your Covered California online account and your current plan will be in your shopping cart, but it will be marked “Not Available” – simply click the ‘Back to Shopping’ button to see all of your options. You can also click “Find Help” for personalized shopping assistance.
- You can call or visit other insurance companies’ websites to make sure your doctor and other health care providers will be in the plan network next year. You can also check to make sure any prescription medications you take will be covered. All Covered California health plan websites and phone numbers can be found at www.coveredca.com/get-help/health-plans/.
- Do nothing and be automatically enrolled into a different plan – If you do not pick a new plan by the end of November 2017, Covered California will enroll you in an affordable alternative plan with a different insurance company. If you are not happy with the new alternative plan, you will still be able to change this plan until December 15, 2017 for coverage beginning January 1, 2018. For changes made after December 15, 2017, you will have the remainder of the Open Enrollment, ending January 31, 2018 but these changes will not be effective until February or March of 2018.>
- You can choose your new health plan during Open Enrollment, which is November 1, 2017 through January 31, 2018.
- Mark your calendar. As Open Enrollment gets closer, you’ll want to look at different plans and find new coverage.
Editor’s note: you can also contact your health insurance agent for assistance in locating a similar health plan.
Notice of Discontinuation of Health Plan Sample Text
Urgent: Your health coverage is at risk. Take action by January 31, 2018, or you may not have health coverage in 2018. Without health coverage or an exemption, you may have to pay a penalty of $695 or more when you file your taxes.
Why am I getting this letter?
Beginning 2018, we won’t offer in your area your current health coverage on Covered California.
The last day of your current Covered California coverage is December 31, 2017. Read this letter carefully and review your options. You can choose a different plan between November 1, 2017 and January 31, 2018. To make sure there isn’t a gap in your coverage, and avoid paying a penalty, enroll in a different plan by December 15, 2017.
What you need to do Review your coverage options and pick a different plan. If you don’t have health coverage, you’ll have to pay for all of your health care. If you don’t have coverage or an exemption, you may also have to pay a penalty of $695 or more when you file your taxes.
- Update your Covered California application by December 15. Review your Covered California application to make sure the information is still current and correct, and to see if you may qualify for more or less financial help in 2018 than you’re getting now. This may result in a lower monthly premium payment or lower out-of-pocket costs (like deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance). Plus, you can help avoid paying money back when you file your taxes.
- Choose a different plan. Here are some ways to look at other plans and enroll:
- After you’ve updated your Covered California application, you’ll be able to compare Covered California plans in your area. You may even see that Covered California has picked a plan for you. Consumers who shop can save hundreds of dollars per year. Compare your options and enroll in a plan that best meets your needs and budget. If you don’t enroll in a plan on your own, you may be automatically enrolled in the plan Covered California picked for you.
- Check with Anthem to see what other plans may be available.
Note: If you received financial help in 2017 to lower your monthly premium, you’ll have to “reconcile” using IRS Form 8962 when you file your federal taxes.This means you’ll compare the amount of premium tax credit you received in advance during 2017 with the amount you actually qualify for based on your final 2017 household income and eligibility information. If the amounts are different, this will affect the amount of your refund or taxes owed.