If you buy health insurance directly from HMSA and other health plans, you’re probably confused by all the recent changes. Because of decisions by the state and federal governments, most people with HMSA individual plans can now extend their current health plan until December 2014. But a number of consumers can’t.
We’re posting these Frequently Asked Questions to help you understand what’s going on and what it means for your coverage.
I buy my own insurance. Can I keep my current health plan for another year?
It depends on when you enrolled in your plan:
- If you enrolled before October 1, 2013, you can keep your current plan for another year. In fact, we automatically re-enrolled you in December to make sure you wouldn’t lose coverage. You’ll be covered until December 2014.
- If you enrolled after October 1, 2013, you’ll need to buy a plan that meets guidelines set by the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
I enrolled before October 1. Will my rates go up if I keep my current plan?
- Yes. Rates for HMSA individual plans will increase by 7.5 percent next year. More than half of this amount — 4.4 percent — is needed to cover taxes and fees related to the ACA.
I was in the Individual Care Plan (ICP) but switched to the Catastrophic Care Plan (CCP). Can I switch back to the ICP?
- No. The deadline to switch was December 23, 2013.
Are the current HMSA individual plans open to new members?
- No. The current plans are only open to existing HMSA individual plan members.
Will I be able to get my current plan on the Hawai‘i Health Connector?
- No. Current insurance plans will not be available on the Hawai‘i Health Connector and won’t be eligible for tax credits.
I want to buy an ACA plan. Where can I get one?
You have two options:
- You can buy an ACA plan directly from us.
- You can buy an HMSA plan on the Hawai‘i Health Connector, which is the state’s online health insurance marketplace. The advantage of buying on the Connector is that you might qualify for financial help to buy insurance.
What happens if I pick a new ACA plan?
- ACA plans have added benefits such as prescription drug coverage and preventive care benefits to help keep you healthy.
- People who buy a new plan on the Hawai‘i Health Connector may qualify for financial help. You can’t qualify for financial help if you keep your current plan.
Should I keep my current health plan or choose a new ACA plan?
If you have the option, there are several things to keep in mind:
- The level of coverage you want. Your current plan doesn’t have additional coverage such as prescription drug benefits. New ACA plans do.
- The difference in costs. You may pay more or less for a new ACA plan depending on what you select.
- The availability of financial help. You can qualify for financial help only if you buy a new ACA plan on the Hawai‘i Health Connector.
If you have additional questions, please call us at 948-5555, option 2, on Oahu or 1-800-620-4672 toll-free. If you call, understand that we’re getting a lot of questions on this subject, so you may need to wait for a few minutes before we get to you. Thanks for your patience.