As trusted financial advisors to millions of Californians, CPAs are in a position to know if their clients have uninsured children under the age of 19. According to a new state law (AB 2244) that took effect January 1, an important open enrollment window for obtaining individual insurance closes March 1. Applying for a child’s health insurance after that exposes families to much higher premiums.
While missing the window doesn’t mean children can’t be covered at a later date—they can enroll during their birthday month—but their premiums will be higher.
Authored by Assemblyman Mike Feuer, AB 2244 passed in response to the decision by California insurers late last year to stop selling individual policies to children under 19 years of age and was written as a defensive measure against insurance industry attempts to circumvent provisions in the federal health reform law.
Also keep in mind that the opportunity for parents to obtain individual coverage without regard to a child’s health status is here. Pre-existing condition clauses are no longer allowed. Low-income families may have good choices through Medi-Cal or the Healthy Families program. Information is available at 1-877-KIDS NOW.
While the new legislation doesn’t directly affect employer-based group plans, it is a good idea for employed parents to ask if their children under 19 can enroll and at what cost.
The California Department of Insurance has created a web page that explains how to take advantage of this time-limited opportunity. The message is: Act now to save money before the window closes on March 1 and premiums are raised.
Insurance Insider guest blog from Doug Hessel, CalCPA Protectplus Program Director, Ancillary Products at Hover Insurance Services – firstname.lastname@example.org, (800) 805-9480, ext. 4
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Please note that any discussion of or advice regarding United States or State of California tax matters contained herein (including any attachments hereto) does not meet the requirements necessary to be a “covered opinion” as defined in Internal Revenue Service Circular 230, and therefore, is not intended or written to be relied upon or used and cannot be relied upon or used for the purpose of avoiding federal or state tax penalties that may be imposed or for the purpose of promoting, marketing, or recommending any tax-related matters or advice to another party.