Have you heard the term “guaranteed issue”? It means insurance companies have to issue health insurance to nearly anyone – no matter what their health or health history. In other words, coverage is guaranteed to nearly anyone. Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield offers this information on how health care reform requires insurance companies to guarantee issue coverage.
Guaranteed issue helps the uninsured
Under guaranteed issue, insurance companies must accept nearly anyone, no matter what the person’s heath history. The person just has to be a legal U.S. resident.
What guaranteed issue means for individuals
Anyone buying or renewing a health plan beginning January 1, 2014, cannot be denied health coverage. This change doesn’t apply to people on grandfathered plans. Grandfathering means they were enrolled in certain Individual plans on or before March 23, 2010, and did not make benefit changes that caused the plan to lose grandfathered status. Coverage will be available during a yearly open enrollment period.
What guaranteed issue means for small groups
The federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996 already required companies to guarantee issue health plans to small groups. So, they’re already keeping up with the new laws. But, this change doesn’t apply to small groups with grandfathered health plans.
What the changes mean for large groups
Starting January, 1 2014, health coverage will be guaranteed issued to large groups, too. This change doesn’t apply to large groups with grandfathered health plans.
The Russell Agency is available if you have any questions regarding health insurance in Connecticut. We are located in Southport and serve Fairfield, Westport and all of Connecticut'. Please call us with any insurance need.