Auto Insurance

Anthem Data Breach

I want to let you know that we have just become aware that Anthem, Inc., the parent company of Anthem Blue Cross, is the victim of a highly-sophisticated cyber attack. Anthem has informed us that its member data was accessed, and information about our clients could be among the data.
We are working closely with Anthem to better understand the impact on its members. Here is what we do know:

• Once Anthem determined it was the victim of a sophisticated cyber attack, it immediately notified federal law enforcement officials and shared the indicators of compromise with the HITRUST C3 (Cyber Threat Intelligence and Incident Coordination Center).
• Anthem’s Information Security has worked to eliminate any further vulnerability and continues to secure all of its data.
• Anthem immediately began a forensic Information Technology (IT) investigation to determine the number of impacted consumers and to identify the type of information accessed. The investigation is still taking place.
• The information accessed includes member names, member health ID numbers/Social Security numbers, dates of birth, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses and employment information, including income data. Social Security numbers were included in only a subset of the universe of consumers that were impacted.
• Anthem is still working to determine which members’ Social Security numbers were accessed.
• Anthem’s investigation to date shows that no credit card or confidential health information was accessed.
• Anthem has advised us there is no indication at this time that any of our clients’ personal information has been misused.
• All impacted Anthem members will be enrolled in identity repair services. In addition, impacted members will be provided information on how to enroll in free credit monitoring.

We are continuing to work closely with Anthem to better understand the cyber attack and the impact on our clients. Anthem has created a website – www.anthemfacts.com, and a hotline, 1-877-263-7995, for its members to call for more information, and has shared the attached Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) that further explains the cyber attack.
We will continue to keep you updated on Anthem’s ongoing investigation in hopes to find out who committed the attack, and why.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Thank you,
Jennifer Crosby
661-327-5531

Auto Insurance

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.

Auto Insurance

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.

Health Insurance

Obamacare System Glitches Continue

In case you missed the Bakersfield Californian story over the weekend on the Covered California glitches here is a link to the article:

http://www.bakersfieldcalifornian.com/health/x558593247/Technical-woes-but-also-interest-in-Obamacare-abound

Crosby & Crosby Insurance continues to work with Covered California and the insurance carriers to try to help as many people as we can. We know you have questions and we are here to help find the answers. Call us today for help enrolling on Covered California or help enrolling off-exchange directly with carriers like BlueShield, Anthem Blue Cross, HealthNet and Kaiser. We can be contacted by calling 661-327-5531, emailing our health agent, Jennifer Crosby, directly at jenni@crosbyandcrosby.com or stopping by our office at 111 H Street.

Auto Insurance

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!