Extending Individual Plans?                                                     November 15th, 2013  Vol. 9
  The Paris Insurance Update
Thoughts on Insurance and Life  

Obama's Nov 14th Press Conference Extending Plans

and American Diabetes Month       

Vol. 9  November 15th, 2013                                                  



November is American Diabetes Month


The vision of the American Diabetes Association is a life free of diabetes and all of its burdens. Raising awareness of this ever-growing disease is one of the main efforts behind the mission of the Association. American Diabetes Month� (ADM) is an important element in this effort, with programs designed to focus the nation's attention on the issues surrounding diabetes and the many people who are impacted by the disease.  


Here are just a few of the recent statistics on diabetes:

  • Nearly 26 million children and adults in the United States have diabetes.
  • Another 79 million Americans have prediabetes and are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes.
  • The American Diabetes Association estimates that the total national cost of diagnosed diabetes in the United States is $245 billion.
This year I was diagnosed with Metabolic Syndrome and cautioned by my doctor that I was at high risk for diabetes.  I took this seriously and lost 28 pounds through diet and walking to reduce my risk. It worked, my blood work is much better.  

Losing weight is not easy. Weight Watchers was an effective way to change my eating habits without going hungry.  I have learned a lot through Weight Watchers and highly recommend the program.

My Response to Pres. Obama's recent statement:


Well intentioned but poorly conceived is my reaction to President Obama's offer to extend the current 2013 individual policies for one more year, until Dec. 31st, 2014. I watched the President's press conference yesterday - November 14th.  It would be a logistical nightmare to extend the current 2013 individual products. President Obama got one thing absolutely right Buying insurance is complicated.


First the perspective of our Washington State Insurance Commissioner and then my thoughts. Our Insurance Commissioner, Mike Kreidler, who is a Optometrist and a Democrat, will not be approving this in our state. 


A quote from  Mike Kreidler's News Release:


"I understand that many people are upset by the notices they have recently received from their health plans and they may not need the new benefits today. But I have serious concerns about how President Obama's proposal would be implemented and more significantly, its potential impact on the overall stability of our health insurance market.


I do not believe his proposal is a good deal for the state of Washington. In the interest keeping the consumer protections we have enacted and ensuring that we keep health insurance costs down for all consumers, we are staying the course. We will not be allowing insurance companies to extend their policies. I believe this is in the best interest of the health insurance market in Washington."


It might take an insurance company a year to create a new product An insurance policy is a legal contract. You need insurance experts, actuaries, and lawyers to design a new policy. They create a product and send it to the Office of the Insurance Commissioner who must review every line, every benefit, every detail including the pricing. The OIC is there to protect consumers and regulate the carriers and licensed agents. 


Products - whether life and health, or property and casualty are not for sale until they are approved by the OIC. New forms must be designed, created, and submitted to the OIC for approval as well as marketing materials. That takes time. It is a lengthy process. This process is playing out in fifty states, plus five U.S. Territories, as each state has a separate insurance division.


It was a three year process to adapt to the mandates of the ACA (Affordable Care Act) in our state. Insurance is a combination of regulatory law and complex actuarial calculations. The new ACA policies were created to comply with the new federal law.   The pricing and actuarial planning is based on the premise that all people move onto the new products.


Insurance companies created new software and web platforms, hired and trained staff, trained agents, and created marketing materials. They have transitioned to meet the federal law by October 1st, 2013. They rolled out the new ACA products for a January 1 effective date.


Why can't a young healthy guy on a catastrophic plan keep his current coverage? Young and healthy citizens must enroll in addition to those with chronic health problems. We spread the risk over the entire poor of insureds. Everyone needs to be on the new plans to make it affordable. That is the ONLY way to keep the costs under control. That is the only way to extend policies to everyone without medical questions/underwriting. If only the 'sick' people move onto the new plan the premiums will sky rocket. An attempt was made to simplify the policies and spread the risk. The Medicaid expansion and the subsidies make the insurance affordable for low and middle income families.


The current individual products, in Washington State, end on Dec. 31st. They expire at year end. 


Small group policies will terminate when you reach your renewal. Just as usual for groups you have a 12 month renewal which might end on any month of the year. If you have an April renewal your contract will end March 31st. Your current carrier, whether Group Health, Regence, Aetna, has created new policies for you. As is my practice we will look at the variety of options available to your group.  I am very busy now working on my January groups.


I am highly trained, with 24 years in the insurance industry, and have been preparing for months with conference, trainings, workshops on a state and a a national level to assist you with your options, educate you, and help you make an informed decision for your family or your business - all at no extra cost to you. In addition I welcome the chance to assist your family and friends with individual products. I only work on a referral basis.


There will be no extension of 2013 individual policies in Washington state. Mike Kreidler's position is final. We are moving forward to what, I hope, will be an improvement for all of us.


Ann Paris, LUTCF
Independent Life & Health
Insurance Agent

Office: 425-643-0733
My name is Ann Paris.  I am a licensed professional with 24 years of experience as an Independent Life and Health Insurance Agent.  I specialize in Life, Medical, and Disability coverage. I attend Continuing Education courses on a regular basis and pursue further knowledge on behalf of my clients.
Many of my clients are small business owners, professionals, and not-for profit organizations whom I have assisted for decades with Group Medical coverage and other benefits such as Dental, Group Short Term and Long Term Disability coverage.
I expertly assist  individuals and families to navigate the complexities of Medical Insurance, Life, Disability, and Long Term Care Insurance.  I am highly trained to help you with the SHOP Exchange and aspects of Health Care Reform at no additional cost to you.
This series of newsletters on Health Care Reform, specifically The Affordable Care Act, are intended to introduce this topic in a manner that is easy to understand.
Ann Paris 

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