Catherine J. Frompovich
If you are one of the millions of Americans who is losing his or her healthcare insurance that you previously had as a result of the new Affordable Care Act, aka ObamaCare, take heart and listen up because some relief may be in sight, at least temporarily.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) division of HHS issued a memorandum on December 19, 2013 that explains the relief being offered, which I encourage all readers to study carefully and share with relatives, friends, and coworkers so they can apply for any help they may be able to obtain.
Because some consumers were finding other coverage options to be more expensive than their cancelled plans or policies, President Obama announced a transition period allowing for the renewal of cancelled plans and policies between January 1 and October 1, 2014, under certain circumstances.
Please take note of a transition period that allows for the renewal of canceled plans and policies under certain circumstances. Consumers will have to do their homework carefully and follow through to see what relief they can obtain, but please do not delay.
Here’s what the memo states about consumer options:
Options for Consumers
If your individual market health insurance policy has been cancelled, a number of options are already available to you:
• You have the chance to buy any of your health insurance issuer’s individual market policies available to you in 2014.
• You may shop for coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace (the Marketplace). Depending on your income and other factors, you may be eligible to receive a premium tax credit that will help cover the cost of purchasing coverage through the Marketplace or cost-sharing reductions for Marketplace coverage. You may also be eligible for Medicaid.
• You can also shop for policies outside the Marketplace. This is a good option if you do not qualify for premium tax credits or cost-sharing reductions based on your income. If you do qualify for premium tax credits or cost-sharing reductions, you can only get such assistance if you enroll through the Marketplace.
If you have been notified that your individual market policy will not be renewed, you will be eligible for a hardship exemption and will be able to enroll in catastrophic coverage. If you believe that the plan options available in the Marketplace in your area are more expensive than your cancelled health insurance policy, you will be eligible for catastrophic coverage if it is available in your area. In order to purchase this catastrophic coverage, you need to complete a hardship exemption form, and indicate that your current health insurance policy is being cancelled and you consider other available policies unaffordable. You will then need to submit the following items to an issuer offering catastrophic coverage in your area: (1) the hardship exemption form; and (2) supporting documentation indicating that your previous policy was cancelled. For example, you can submit your cancellation letter or some other proof of cancellation. If you are applying for catastrophic coverage from the same issuer that cancelled your previous policy, the issuer may be able to confirm that based on its internal records. You may then purchase catastrophic coverage from that issuer. Your issuer will send these items to CMS, and CMS will verify that you were eligible for this hardship exemption. If you are not able to submit supporting documentation at the time you submit the exemption form, CMS will contact you to let you know your application is incomplete and cannot be processed until you submit supporting documentation of your previous policy’s cancellation. If you are interested in pursuing this option, and you need assistance, please call the call center at: 1-866-837-0677.
Please note that there is a direct link to the hardship exemption form in the memo link in the second paragraph of this article. The call center’s phone number is 1-866-837-0677. Good luck!
Catherine J Frompovich (website) is a retired natural nutritionist who earned advanced degrees in Nutrition and Holistic Health Sciences, Certification in Orthomolecular Theory and Practice plus Paralegal Studies. Her work has been published in national and airline magazines since the early 1980s. Catherine authored numerous books on health issues along with co-authoring papers and monographs with physicians, nurses, and holistic healthcare professionals. She has been a consumer healthcare researcher 35 years and counting.
Catherine’s latest book, published October 4, 2013, is Vaccination Voodoo, What YOU Don’t Know About Vaccines, available on Amazon.com.
Her 2012 book A Cancer Answer, Holistic BREAST Cancer Management, A Guide to Effective & Non-Toxic Treatments, is available on Amazon.com and as a Kindle eBook.
Two of Catherine’s more recent books on Amazon.com are Our Chemical Lives And The Hijacking Of Our DNA, A Probe Into What’s Probably Making Us Sick (2009) and Lord, How Can I Make It Through Grieving My Loss, An Inspirational Guide Through the Grieving Process (2008).