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Could California Health Insurance Rates Become Affordable?

We’re actually cautiously hopeful about the news on California health insurance exchange rates coming out today:

SACRAMENTO – In the first disclosure of individual health insurance premiums by the nation’s largest state, California announced on Thursday a wide array of choices for the 5.3 million people expected to qualify to purchase coverage through its online . . . → Read More: Could California Health Insurance Rates Become Affordable?

California Pushes Back on Extra Health Insurance Costs for Smokers

Obamacare may allow states to charge more for health insurance for smokers, but California may be taking a stand:

Smoking has its risks, but in California higher prices for health insurance probably won’t be among them.

The federal health law allows states to charge smokers up to 50 percent more for a health plan, but . . . → Read More: California Pushes Back on Extra Health Insurance Costs for Smokers

Tax Season Reminder: The Health Insurance Tax Deduction for the Self-Employed

Reminder: If you are self-employed, don’t forget that you are entitled to take your health insurance premiums as an “above the line” tax deduction. With the killer cost of health insurance for the self-employed, it is one small (very small!) thing that Uncle Sam does to help make your health insurance costs more affordable.

In . . . → Read More: Tax Season Reminder: The Health Insurance Tax Deduction for the Self-Employed

Is There a “Glitch” in the Obamacare Tax Credits?

Reuters is reporting that there’s a not-so-little “glitch” in the tax credits meant to help low and middle-income Americans to buy health insurance coverage:

Tax credits are a key component of the law and the White House has said the credits, averaging about $4,000 apiece, will help about 18 million individuals and families pay for . . . → Read More: Is There a “Glitch” in the Obamacare Tax Credits?

Small Businesses: Is High-Deductible Health Insurance the Answer?

For many small business owners, it’s turning into the best, affordable answer:

Nearly a quarter of workers at companies with fewer than 200 workers were covered by such plans last year, compared with 17 percent of workers at larger firms.

Matt Grove and his wife, Annie, own a bagel business in Upstate New York. They . . . → Read More: Small Businesses: Is High-Deductible Health Insurance the Answer?

Not Eligible for COBRA? What About Mini-COBRA Health Insurance?

As we mentioned in our previous blog about COBRA eligibility, being laid off from your job does not automatically make you eligible for COBRA health insurance continuation. Most notably, COBRA health insurance continuation does not apply to small businesses with fewer than 20 employees, unfortunately. This obviously has the potential to leave a large segment . . . → Read More: Not Eligible for COBRA? What About Mini-COBRA Health Insurance?

Reminder: Small Business Health Insurance Tax Credit Worksheet

Are you a small business trying to take advantage of the new health insurance tax credits available under healthcare reform? Are you totally confused by how to calculate how much in small business health insurance tax credits you are eligible for?

If so you’re not alone. Between questions of how many employees may be eligible, . . . → Read More: Reminder: Small Business Health Insurance Tax Credit Worksheet

Reminder: Enrollment in Pre-Existing Condition Pools (PCIPs) Closes Saturday

Reminder: if you have a pre-existing condition and are thinking of joining one of the Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plans (PCIPs), you must act now!. The PCIP program is running out of money and enrollment is closing Saturday!

The thousands who have already enrolled will not be affected by the closing, but Obama Administration officials announced . . . → Read More: Reminder: Enrollment in Pre-Existing Condition Pools (PCIPs) Closes Saturday

Feds Raise Costs for PCIP High-Risk Pool Members

Bad news for those of us in the Pre-existing Condition Insurance Pools:

The Obama administration has increased costs for about 38,000 people enrolled in high-risk insurance pools run under the federal health law to prevent the program from running out of money.

The pools, which started in 2010, will expire at the end of the . . . → Read More: Feds Raise Costs for PCIP High-Risk Pool Members

Lesbian Couple Could Bring Fight for Federal Employee Health Insurance to Supreme Court

Most of us have already wrapped up our employer Open Enrollment choices, but for one couple, adding a spouse to employer health insurance has been a four year odyssey (and counting!):

Like a lot of newlyweds, Karen Golinski was eager to enjoy the financial fruits of marriage. Within weeks of her wedding, she applied to . . . → Read More: Lesbian Couple Could Bring Fight for Federal Employee Health Insurance to Supreme Court