Crosby and Crosby is Now A Dave Ramsey Endorsed Local Provider For Home and Auto Insurance

We have long been fans of Dave Ramsey. His sound financial advice has helped us personally. We are now very proud to announce that we are Dave Ramsey “Endorsed Local Providers” for home and auto insurance.

Dave, has been a big advocate for local independent agents. We agree that an independent agent, with several great companies to chose from, is the best option for purchasing your home and auto insurance.

Crosby and Crosby Insurance serves insureds in California, Idaho, Washington, Oregon and Wisconsin.

Give us a call if we can help. 661-327-5531 or complete a free no-obligation quote here.

California will not be extending date for cancelled health insurance

Please see the attached press release from Covered California. The Covered California board voted unanimously yesterday to uphold the December 31st deadline for non-ACA health insurance plans. The cancel notices that have gone out will not be reversed. Have questions about what this means to you? Call us at 661-327-5531.

COVERED CALIFORNIA UPHOLDS ORIGINAL DEADLINE FOR ENDING HEALTH PLANS THAT DON’T MEET LAW’S STANDARDS
Strong Enrollment in New Health
Insurance Marketplace a Factor in Decision
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — As consumer enrollment continues to grow, the Covered California™ Board unanimously voted today to uphold its Dec. 31, 2013, deadline for health insurance companies to discontinue plans that don’t meet basic standards. The board cited that extending the deadline offers no benefit to the consumer and may create confusion about accessing affordable health care coverage through Covered California.
The board, consistent with President Barack Obama’s recommendations, also urged Covered California staff to implement helpful tools for consumers currently enrolled in affected plans, to better understand their options.
The decision to maintain the original deadline also confirms the state exchange’s commitment to transitioning Californians into plans that are compliant with the reforms of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, protecting consumers from double deductibles and stabilizing the risk pool to control costs for consumers beginning in 2014.
Additionally, Covered California is implementing five key strategies to sustain, if not increase, its enrollment momentum and help affected consumers:
• Extending the deadline for enrollment for coverage taking effect on Jan. 1, 2014, from Dec. 15, 2013, to Dec. 23, 2013, and extending the deadline for payments due from Dec. 26, 2013, to Jan. 5, 2014.
• Establishing a telephone hotline for consumers to resolve enrollment questions. The hotline, (855) 857-0445, will be available beginning Monday, Nov. 25.
• Sending information directly to nearly 1.13 million affected individuals that provides clear options for coverage. The information will be sent from Covered California and the individual’s current insurance provider.
• Collecting and reporting data, on a regular basis, showing the impacts of conversion for individuals.
• Engaging consumers in their communities through the thousands of Certified Insurance Agents, Certified Enrollment Counselors and Certified Educators now deployed statewide.
“The consumer is front and foremost in Covered California’s policy decision process. These new strategies will provide consumers a better enrollment experience, more flexibility in the selection of a plan and, most importantly, increased knowledge with which to make the best health coverage choice possible,” said Covered California Executive Director Peter V. Lee.
The board and Covered California staff discussed options for maintaining or extending the deadline after President Obama last week gave state insurance exchanges flexibility on when policies that were not grandfathered and are not compliant with the Affordable Care Act could be ended.
About Covered California
Covered California is the state’s marketplace for the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Covered California, in partnership with the California Department of Health Care Services, was charged with creating a new health insurance marketplace in which individuals and small businesses can get access to affordable health insurance plans. With coverage starting in 2014, Covered California helps individuals determine whether they are eligible for premium assistance that is available on a sliding-scale basis to reduce insurance costs or whether they are eligible for low-cost or no-cost Medi-Cal. Consumers can then compare health insurance plans and choose the plan that works best for their health needs and budget. Small businesses can purchase competitively priced health insurance plans and offer their employees the ability to choose from an array of plans and may qualify for federal tax credits.
Covered California is an independent part of the state government whose job is to make the new market work for California’s consumers. It is overseen by a five-member board appointed by the Governor and the Legislature. For more information on Covered California, please visit www.CoveredCA.com.

Covered CA Q&A

We get questions daily on Covered CA and try to answer them as quickly as possible. Here are some questions and answers recently posted by Health Care Shopper you may find interesting:

Covered California Q&A

________________________________________
• Why Are Rates Higher in Northern CA?
• Why are Networks Restricted?
• Who Sets Prices?
• Continuation of Non-ACA Policies
Why Are Rates Higher in Northern CA?
Posted: 19 Nov 2013 04:50 PM PST
**Question**: Rates are considerably higher in the northern part of the state than in SoCal. What’s up with that? I understand San Francisco being higher because everything is costlier there, but even the rural areas of the north counties are pricier than LA and Orange County. Can you make sense of it? **Answer**: In a nutshell, it’s about population and competition. More population means more hospitals, large medical groups and other providers. That means more competition with more providers willing to contract at lower rates to get a leg up. That translates to a 48% difference in premium rates between San Francisco and Los Angeles for a 40 year old buying the 2nd lowest priced Silver Plan – $373 vs $252.
Why are Networks Restricted?
Posted: 19 Nov 2013 03:07 PM PST
**Question**: There has been much talk about restricted provider networks in the Covered California plans. If the plans have to be the same as those offered outside the marketplace, how are they restricted? Or all all individual plans restricted in comparison to group plans? Can you shed some light on this subject? **Answer**: Individual plan provider networks have been “narrowed” for 2014 as a way of controlling costs. That’s because a smaller number of medical providers are willing to agree to lower contract rates. Carriers who offer qualified health plans in the exchange must “mirror” those plans (including networks) outside of the exchange, so the individual plan networks are identical in the exchange and off the exchange. Group plans will generally have broader networks than individual plans, if not the same as pre-2014.
Who Sets Prices?
Posted: 19 Nov 2013 02:06 PM PST
**Question**: Does the ACA set prices for procedures etc or are insurance companies allowed to charge anything? Also, which insurance company has the best record for not overcharging for procedures? **Answer**: The ACA does not set prices for medical services, nor for that matter does the law set health insurance rates. Insurance companies negotiate with health care providers – doctors, hospitals, etc.- to set a contract rate for each medical procedure or service. There is considerable variance in medical costs between insurance companies for the same service or procedure and also between providers within the same insurance company network, because negotiated contract rates are lower with some providers than others. There is no transparency for the consumer in this system so there is no way to compare the contract rates among carriers.
Continuation of Non-ACA Policies
Posted: 19 Nov 2013 02:37 PM PST
**Question**: I got a letter from Blue Shield that my existing policy would be terminated Dec 31st 2013, and I would be switched over to some new bronze ACA plan for the next year. A few weeks ago I received another letter and that states my current policy can continue until March 31, 2014. What is the significance of March 31st deadline? Has this something to do with the administrative directive Obama administration issued regarding individual mandate? The above letter was before the more recent development of the administration allowing non-ACA policies to continue till the end of the year. In light of that, should I expect yet another letter from BlueShield extending the current policy until Dec 31, 2014? **Answer**: It is possible that Blue Shield will extend current non-grandfathered plans for another year. If so that would be a result of the recent mea culpa announcement by President Obama. The initial Blue Shield extension was ordered by the Department of Insurance because Blue Shield allegedly did not give policyholders sufficient notice of cancellation.

Our Insurance Discounts for Bakersfield Teachers Just Got Better

Insurance companies have long recognized that certain occupations deserve lower insurance rates. Many companies including Safeco and Travelers Insurance have been offering large auto insurance discounts for teachers over the last decade.

The Bakersfield office of Crosby and Crosby Insurance helps numerous teachers, counselors and adminstrators with their home and auto insurance.

Our discounts have just got better! We can now offer an occupation discount on our homeowners insurance coverage in addition to the great discounts we have had on auto insurance.

These discounts are the best way to receive the best value for your insurance. Saving money is great and saving money while receiving the proper coverages is the way we have been selling insurance since 1963.

It is easy to get a quote. You can give us a call at 661-327-5531 or complete an instant online quote here.

 

Obamacare (aka Affordable Care Act) Opens Today

Starting today the state exchanges opened to enroll in health care for January 1st. We know it has been all over the news the past few weeks but we are still getting a lot of questions on what it all means and how to enroll. Do you have to enroll? Do you have to go to the exchange? How much is this going to cost? Where is the “free” healthcare you heard about? There is so much to cover and the answers are specific to each individual. If you need help please let us know. We can answer your questions and help you enroll if you would like. We also have options to get health insurance off of the exchange. Don’t let it overwhelm you; call us today at 661-327-5531 or email Jenni at jennI@crosbyandcrosby.com. We are here to help!

Aetna Pulls Their Individual Health Insurance Products from California

Last week Aetna announced it will pull its individual health insurance products from the market in California. Their individual plans will no longer be sold as of July 1st and current Aetna individual health clients will be cancelled on December 31st. Letters have started going out this week to alert current Aetna insureds that they will need to find alternate coverage by year end. You can find more information in this article from the Wall Street Journal http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323734304578546144234962424.html. If you are a current Aetna customer, or have any questions regarding health insurance, please contact Crosby & Crosby Insurance Services at 661-327-5531, www.crosbyandcrosby.com or stop by our office at 111 H Street. We know it is a confusing time in health insurance and are here to help!

Anthem California Health Insurance Rate Adjustments

Anthem Blue Cross News Flash: Anthem has reached an agreement with the California Department of Insurance (CDI) to reduce our Individual premium increase that was implemented beginning on Feb. 1, 2013 and impacted approximately 636,000 Individual members.

Anthem Blue Cross Life and Health Insurance Company (Anthem) originally filed for an average 17.9 percent increase, and after negotiations with the Department of Insurance, agreed to change the increase to an average 13.9 percent increase. As a result of the revised rates, the majority of your Individual clients will receive a lower rate than previously communicated.
Anthem will lower the premium for these Individual market products and will allow policyholders who switched to a lower cost product to switch back to their former product. The members who dropped coverage because of the rate increase can reinstate in the product they recently dropped without going through medical underwriting.

If you have any questions regarding your personal health insurance or group health policy with Anthem Blue Cross please contact us at Crosby & Crosby Insurance Services, 661-327-5531.

Missing Proof Of Insurance? New Law Makes Electronic Proof Acceptable in California and Idaho.

Are you in a bind after suddenly realizing your insurance ID card is expired minutes before a road trip? New laws passed this year in California and Idaho make it easier than ever for us to provide your proof of insurance in a hurry. A picture or file on your smart phone is now valid proof of insurance in California and Idaho.

We keep a photo copy of our ID card on our phone just in case.

There are two easy solutions to get your ID card on your phone…

- take a photo of the physical ID card when you receive your policy documents

- have us email you a PDF file of your ID card to save on your phone

We are always available to help. Give us a call 661-327-5531 in California, 208-366-8366 in Idaho or email us at agent@crosbyandcrosby.com if you need your insurance ID cards sent to your phone.

Small Business Saturday is Right Around the Corner

Small Business Saturday® is just around the corner! Make Saturday, November 24th the biggest day of the year for a small business.

Did you know that:
 Approximately 50% of all private sector employees employed by small businesses
 $68 out of every $100 spent at small businesses returns to the local economy
 2 out of every 3 new jobs are created by small businesses

By supporting small businesses you are supporting your local economy! Join Crosby & Crosby Insurance Services and Travelers in participating in Small Business Saturday to show our support for local businesses that create jobs, boost the economy and preserve neighborhoods around the country.

Please promote this important day with your co-workers, friends and family! You can visit www.ShopSmall.com to learn which small businesses in your town are participating in Small Business Saturday or visit www.crosbyandcrosby.com to learn more about our small business.

When we all shop small, it will be huge!

Tuesday Insurance Questions… Firearms Insurance, Insurance Discounts for Engineers, Insurance Company Ratings

Here is another round of our “Tuesday Insurance Questions”. If you haven’t QuestionMarkalready, make sure to jump into the conversation by ‘liking’ our Facebook Page.

Question: Are my firearms covered on my homeowners policy?

This is one of our most common questions and probably the subject with the greatest amount of confusion. Firearms are covered on your homeowners policy under “personal property” coverage and subject to special limitations.

Firearms are limited in coverage for losses caused by theft. The amount of coverage is often as low as $1500 depending on the policy.

If you have valuable firearms it is very important that you check with your agent to see the specific coverage your policy provides.

You may be best off to add either “scheduled” or “blanket” coverage to your policy. “Scheduled” list each specific firearm and a “stated value” to replace that firearm. “Blanket” coverage provides coverage for an entire collection of firearms up to a total limit without listing each firearm.

By “scheduling” and “blanketing” your firearms you coverage extends to “all risk” and is not subject to your deductible. “All risk” coverage provides coverage against all unintentional causes of loss including breakage and losing.

We have seen it before. Once a Beretta Onyx was dropped nearly 50′ off of rimrock while the insured was hunting. The second was a deer rifle was left leaning against a tree and was gone when the mistake was realized and the insured returned.

For more info you can view our previous post on this subject… 3 Questions Answered About Insuring Your Firearms or Is the NRA the Best Way to Protect My Firearm Collection 

Question: What kind of insurance discounts for engineers do you offer?

We offer both auto and now homeowners discounts for engineers. If you are employed as an engineer we offer up to a 17.5% discount.

Question: How can I tell what an insurance companies rating is?

We often talk about the “rating” of an insurance company in regards to its financial stability. Those ratings are given by companies such as A.M. Best. 

The importance of financial ratings is mainly the stability of the company. An insurance company with excellent financial ratings is more likely to have stable rates and less fluctuation than lessor rated companies.

In regards to the claims and customer service aspect of a specific company we think the best idea is to talk to a trusted agent. As an agent we deal with the claims and customer service aspect of insurance companies. That experience allows us to offer insight into what to expect from each specific company.

That completes this weeks questions. We hope it was helpful. We look forward to your comments or questions!

You can reach us @ 661-327-5531 or by email at agent@crosbyandcrosby.com

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