August 2020
Market Report
Oregon and Washington
The agents at Laughlin Insurance are here to help you with a variety of health insurance, dental and other insurance options. We offer plans for Employers, Individuals, and Medicare Beneficiaries. Check out our website to see our programs and services, and be sure to read our customer feedback.

The Individual Open Enrollment and the Medicare Annual Election Periods will soon be here. We will be previewing the 2021 plans and programs in the coming weeks, and will be prepared to help you with your 2021 health and dental renewals, or new plans. Health care markets have been stable for most consumers, except for individuals between ages 50-64 with higher income, and some employers with about 50-75 employees are having some higher rates.

We are your no cost broker solution for affordable health insurance, Medicare, dental, Compliance, and other insurance protection.

Industry News

  • Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic
  • Medicare Planning
  • Prescription Drug Prices
  • Unemployment Benefits
  • Teledoc/Telehealth Increasing
  • Compliance
  • 2021 Open Enrollment (Individuals)
  • 2021 Annual Election Period (Medicare)

Agency News

  • Agents are available by phone and email
  • Laughlin Insurance website is updated
  • WiredEnroll is our small employer quoting and enrollment system
  • HealthSherpa is our individual health and dental shopping site

Thank you,
Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is still responding to the Coronavirus Disease pandemic. This situation continues to pose a serious public health risk. Federal, state, and local government are working with partners and public to respond to the situation. Read more here. Below are some helpful resources.

Medicare Planning
We recommend that you begin preparations for Medicare about 6 to 12 months before your 65th birthday. Medicare planning will require you to make some choices, and you will want to take your time to make your transition to Medicare a pleasant experience. Answer the questions below, and contact us for Medicare guidance and solutions: 

  • Will you continue to work after age 65?
  • Will you take Social Security Income at age 65?
  • Do you plan to travel?
  • Do you have health needs or expensive prescriptions?
  • Who is your primary care provider and other medical providers?
  • Do your providers accept Original Medicare?

Read more at our Medicare website here
Prescription Drug Prices
The U.S. government is taking action to deliver lower prescription drug prices to American patients. One of the orders could target costs by aligning US drug prices with those paid in other countries. Read more here.
Federal Unemployment Ending
The Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) has ended. The FPUC program is the extra $600 per week that many received. It was created as part of the federal CARES Act. FPUC is only available during the 17 weeks starting March 29, 2020 and ended July 25, 2020. Additional help may be on the way, but lawmakers are still reviewing proposals. Read more and get updates at the State of Oregon Employment Department here.
Teledoc/Telehealth Increasing
Teledoc, Telehealth, and Virtual Visits are health plan member services that allow members to see a medical provider from your phone or computer. There has been significant increased usage of Teledoc type visits, due to the recent pandemic, and work at home mandates. Most plans offer this service to their members. Who has Teledoc?

This is a topic mainly for Employers, Benefit Managers, Insurance Agents. Compliance is a broad term and is used in the health insurance industry, and with retirement plans and other employer sponsored benefit programs. In the context of health insurance and benefits, compliance includes communicating to employees about their benefits and their rights, or other important information that the government wants employers to provide to them, since employers are the closest to the employees health and welfare programs.

Compliance may require employers to send notifications to employees, and maintain certain documents. several compliance requirements come to mind: Affordable Care Act Exchange Marketplace Notice, Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), Medicare part D creditable/non-creditable notice, and other notices. We encourage employers to take the initiative to achieve proper compliance status, due to the high cost of government fines, penalties, and business disruption that can come from non-compliance. Check out our compliance website and let us know how we can help you with compliance.
2021 Open Enrollment (Individuals)
Open enrollment is the yearly period when people can enroll in a health insurance plan. Open enrollment for 2021 coverage will be Nov. 1 to Dec. 15, 2020. Ways to prepare for Open Enrollment:

  • Have your household gross income estimate for 2021 ready
  • Make a list of your doctors and dentists, and your prescriptions

Contact your agent for review, tax credit determination, cost share reduction benefit determination, plan reviews, and enrollment.

2021 Annual Election Period (Medicare)
Every year, Medicare’s open enrollment period is October 15 - December 7. This is when people with Medicare can change their Medicare Advantage Plans and Prescription Drug Plans for the new year. Medicare health and drug plan rates and benefits can make changes each year including copays, deductibles, and out of pocket maximums, and provider networks.
People with a Medicare health or prescription drug plan should review the materials their plans send them, including the “Evidence of Coverage” (EOC) and “Annual Notice of Change” (ANOC). If plans change, then Medicare consumers are encouraged to review their options annually, to make sure that the new year plan will still meet their needs and budget for the following year. If Medicare policyholders are satisfied that their current plans, then Medicare plans can be renewed wtih continued premium payments.

Ways to prepare for Annual Election Period:

  • Changes in health needs
  • Evaluate if your current plan is still working for you

We offer a variety of Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug carriers and options, and also offer medicare Supplement (MediGap) pland, and Medicare Prescription Drug Plans (PDP). Check out our Medicare website and contact us if you for plan reviews, enrollment assistance, and more. Read more about the Medicare Open Enrollment here.
Agency News

  • We are available by phone and email only at this time. Due to the Coronavirus, we are available for you by phone and email. Stuart Ouellette, Kai Krokum, and Rachel Laughlin are in the office, and Paris Laughlin, is working form home, until further notice.

  • WiredEnroll is our new small employer quoting and enrollment system. If you are a small employer and want quick rates from all of the health plans in your area, let us know and we can have rates for you next day.

  • HealthSherpa is our individual health and dental shopping site. Check out our individual health and dental shopping site here.

Programs Spotlight is a compliance document vendor for employers. They provide ERISA and other compliance services for employers for reasonable one-time fees. There are a lot of administrators that offer different levels of service and fees, but Core Documents is an affordable solution for your compliance needs. We can help employers with Core Document programs and setup. Read more about Core Documente here.
What we are reading
Connect with Laughlin Insurance
Paris Laughlin, President, Agent - Mobile Phone (503) 936-0891

Stuart Ouellette, Agent

Rachel Laughlin, Agent

Kai Krokum, Agent

503-282-0827 Office | (503) 282-0830 Fax | (877) 779-0788 Toll-Free

Laughlin Insurance Market Report is a periodic publication featuring the latest news of interest to employer, individual, and Medicare health insurance consumers throughout Oregon and Washington. Laughlin Insurance - SInce 1997.
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