Volume 2, Number 7
Individual and Family Health Insurance News
IN THIS ISSUE...

  • ELEVEN NUMBERS TO KNOW FOR 2019
  • WHAT’S THE EFFECT OF THE COURT RULING ON THE UNCONSTITUTIONALITY OF OBAMACARE?
  • NEW ALTERNATIVE TO SHORT-TERM MEDICAL PLANS INTRODUCED
ELEVEN NUMBERS TO KNOW FOR 2019
Here are 11 important contribution number limits to know for 2019. Some of these numbers have changed from 2018 and all will be effective January 1. Numbers that have changed from 2018 have been asterisked. Some of these numbers apply to individual and employer plans and some apply only to plans that can be offered only by employers.

Health Savings Account Contributions and Deductible Limits
 
  • $3,500*: annual contribution limits for individual HSA accounts--increase of $50 from 2018
  • $7,000*: annual contribution limits for family HSA accounts--increase of $100 from 2018
  • $1,000: HSA catch-up limits for individual and family HSA plans (must be 55 or over)—no change
  • $1,350: minimum deductible allowed for a health savings account-qualified high deductible health plan—no change
  • $2,700: minimum deductible allowed for a health savings account-qualified high deductible health plan—no change
  • $6,750*: maximum out of pocket limit for a health savings account-qualified high deductible health plan—increase of $100 from 2018
  • $13,500*: maximum out-of-pocket limit for a health savings account-qualified high deductible health plan—increase of $200 from 2018

 Note: the above four numbers have already been recognized in the design of 2019 ACA and employer high deductible health plans.
 
Annual IRA Contribution Limits
 
  • $6,000*:   first increase since 2013. The catch-up limit for people 50 and over will still be $1,000

Annual 401(K) Plan Contribution Limits
 
  • $19,000*: 401(K), (403(b) and most 457 plans. This limit also applies to the Federal Government’s thrift savings plan
  • $6,000:      401(K) catch-up contribution limits for participants 50 and over

Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA's)

  • $2,700*  FSA contribution limit ($50 increase from 2018). Also applies to limited purpose FSA’s that are restricted to dental and vision care services which can be used in tandem with HSA accounts.
 
Read the entire article here .
WHAT’S THE EFFECT OF THE COURT RULING ON THE UNCONSTITUTIONALITY OF OBAMACARE?
A Federal District Court judge ruled on December 14 that the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional. Because the ruling is being appealed, this ruling will have NO effect on ACA plans in 2019, and at least one analyst has said the likelihood of the ruling standing is unlikely.

If the ruling is upheld, it will have a significant impact on stock prices and earnings of hospitals, some insurers, and healthcare providers. Insurance carriers, particularly Centene, which offers Ambetter and Sunshine plans, and Molina, would be particularly affected.
 
Read this excellent analysis by John Tozzi, which appeared in the November 17 issue of Bloomberg News .
NEW ALTERNATIVE TO SHORT-TERM MEDICAL PLANS INTRODUCED
Now that open enrollment for ACA plans on the Federal Marketplace and direct enrollment for open enrollment plans offered off-Marketplace by carriers like Florida Blue has ended, individuals can qualify for ACA plans only if they have a qualifying life event that provides them an opportunity for a special enrollment period to purchase an ACA plan.

In general, short-term medical and limited benefit defined benefit plans will be the only alternative to buy insurance coverage for those who can’t qualify for a special enrollment period or for those who do qualify but can’t afford an ACA plan. 

However, short-term medical plans have limitations because they generally don’t provide outpatient prescription drug benefits, preventive care, and in most situations provide coverage only after the deductible is met. They also aren’t offered in all states (California, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Vermont, and Washington don’t permit short-term plans), some other states place significant limitations on short-term medical plans, and some short-term carriers don’t offer plans in some states that permit such plans. 

Also, short-term medical plans usually require an individual to pass underwriting questions if the policy term has expired and the subscriber would like to renew the policy; in addition, such plans can be written only for a maximum of 364 days (lesser periods in a number of states).

We’ve just become aware of a plan that offers minimum essential coverage (“MEC”) that complies with the Affordable Care Act, provides preventive care coverage, includes benefits like office visit co-pays and hospitalization coverage, has no deductible, and a $3,150 individual and $12,700 family out-of-pocket maximum. 

Premiums are 35 to 50% lower than for off-Marketplace Affordable Care Act plans, and the plan uses one of the largest PHCS networks (this network is significantly larger than for MEC’s offering more limited coverage like preventive care benefits only or preventive care coupled with office visit co-pays and diagnostic testing).

Potential enrollees must pass limited medical underwriting, but once they pass that underwriting the plan continues without the requirement to pass additional underwriting questions. 

The plan is designed for single individuals making $35,000 or over (and higher amounts for families) and who qualify either for small or no advance premium tax credits (subsidies).

Here is a video of an advertisement that will begin to be offered nationally shortly.

Here is a copy of the plan brochure .

We are appointed to sell this plan, and can write this plan in all 50 states and DC. Please call us at 561-734-3884 or 877-734-3884 or email us at pmcholak@gmail.com for details and to enroll in this plan.
About Paul Cholak
Paul has over forty years of benefits experience and has been Director of Employee Benefits for large companies, as well as a benefits consultant with major consulting firms. He understands the health and life insurance needs of individuals and families of all ages. He also has considerable experience in selling health and life insurance to employer groups.

We guide you through the steps of getting health and life insurance, and remain available to help you AFTER you've made your purchase decision.
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