2015 White House Conference on Aging Update & Investing in the Silver Economy
1:25 – 1:30 p.m. PCT
2015 marks the 50th anniversary of Medicare, Medicaid, and the Older Americans Act, as well as the 80th anniversary of Social Security. The 2015 White House Conference on Aging is an opportunity to recognize the importance of these key programs as well as to look ahead to the issues that will help shape the landscape for older Americans for the next decade.
Introduction: Jeff Maltz, CEO, SilverRide
Speaker: Nora Super, Executive Director, White House Conference on Aging
What Are Your Investing Priorities?
1:30 – 2:25 p.m. PCT
Business Plan Competition judges will talk about what trends will dominate the market in the coming year and where smart investors are putting their money.
Moderator: Heather Somerville, Business & Technology Reporter, San Jose Mercury News
COVERED CALIFORNIA EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR PETER V. LEE APPLAUDS RULING BY U.S. SUPREME COURT SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Covered California Executive Director Peter V. Lee hailed today’s U.S. Supreme Court decision upholding the provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that allows all eligible people who purchase health insurance through the federal exchange to receive subsidies to help them pay for their coverage. “The Supreme Court made the common sense ruling for a law that makes sense for millions of Americans,” Lee said. “This is a great day for millions of Americans who can afford health insurance thanks to the Affordable Care Act. With subsidies in place across the nation, those who now have health insurance — as well as those who still need it — can be confident that the options available to them will be within their reach.”
Although Covered California enrollees were not at risk of losing their subsidies as a result of the Supreme Court decision, a ruling invalidating subsidies offered through the federal health exchange could have resulted in changes to the federal law, which could have affected California. “Covered California enrollees and anyone in our state who still needs health insurance should breathe easy knowing the Affordable Care Act is truly the law of the land and is here to stay,” Lee said. “This historic law is changing our health care system for the better, giving people access to the best doctors and hospitals in our state.” Since opening its doors in January 2014, Covered California has helped provide health insurance to more than 1.8 million people. Covered California estimates that in 2014 it provided more than $5,200 in subsidies per household per year, or about $436 per month. The total amount of subsidies, or Advanced Premium Tax Credits, was $3.2 billion paid to health insurance companies in 2014 on behalf of Covered California enrollees. Consumers themselves paid $1.1 billion toward those policies in 2014, meaning that for every dollar a subsidized Covered California consumer spent on premiums, the federal government paid another $3.
“Today the Supreme Court made the right decision,” Lee said. “With the Affordable Care Act, millions of Americans join those with employer-based coverage in getting health insurance in part because of federal tax subsidies. The subsidies have helped millions of Americans, including individuals I have met whose lives were saved as a result of the care they received.” With the support of federal subsidies, the majority of consumers enrolled with Covered California pay less than $150 per month for their premium, with many tens of thousands of consumers paying less than $10 per month for coverage.
Open enrollment for coverage starting Jan. 1, 2016, is scheduled to begin Nov. 1, 2015. Special enrollment for health coverage if an individual has a change in life circumstances, such as moving, having a baby or turning 26, continues year-round. Medi-Cal enrollment also continues year-round.
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. 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 about Covered California, please visit www.CoveredCA.com. ###
I was recently asked to write an article for Health Greatness, a blog full of hot tips and easy reads for improving your overall healthy being. One topic I felt that was not addressed among many Gen Y/X/Z/Whatever was one of the most controversial legislation items of our time. Sure, its not the sexiest thing to write about like “10 weight loss tips to burn fat” or “How to make your workout selfies look like Kim Kardashian,” perhaps the word FREE MONEY would have peaked some interest. The Affordable Care Act was designed for young people in mind, and yet not many of my friends either know about it or want to. As I was reading the exact legalese of the bill, I was surprised to find out the many benefits built into the law. While it is written more like a philosophical guide, we can set the political debates aside and focus on its core benefits for the joe-schmoe consumer.
Open enrollment ended March 31 this year under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Chances are, several people you know have signed up for coverage through the Healthcare.gov exchanges and are just getting to know the Explanation of Benefits. If you are not one of these individuals, you may be missing out on even more the federal government has planned for a nation of the insured. Here are some of the few ways (in no order) you can reap the rewards of the new legislation.
Feel guilty about chowing on 5 eggs? Trying to drop smoking? Depression or being overweight taking a toll? The ACA requires in-network providers to help you assess your risk for many common diseases or disorders such as cholesterol, diabetes, and certain forms of cancer. A breast cancer exam or colonoscopy assessment can cost hundreds without insurance, but many insurance plans may include preventative care exams at little or no cost. The exhaustive list found here, provided by the U.S. Preventative Task Force. Be sure to consult with your insurance company to check whether your provider is in-network and can cover the work requested.
$600 cash annually (in services)
Based on a study by Fidelity.com, more companies are investing up to $600 more per employee annually into wellness programs that will reduce the cost-sharing between employers and staff up to 50% in premiums. Investing into a corporate wellness program may reduce overall insurance risk, and give employees motivation to stay healthy for their own benefit. If your work is sponsoring a marathon group, organizing a “Biggest Loser” contest, or holding yoga classes in your office, take advantage of these programs. If not you would be missing out on hundreds of dollars worth in free services – and perhaps, the value equivalent to a new laptop or premier gym membership.
$3 doctor’s visit: Tax Credits and/or Subsidies (Varies per State)
Different states have varying discounts for lower-income producers to enroll in ACA insurance. In California, If you’re just starting out in your career or are on the lower end of the company’s food chain, you can get a cost subsidy between 73-94% off your next doctor’s visit for Silver-level insurance plans. Premium Assistance also allows you to lower your monthly premium based on income and market rates of nearby plans. The best part: no repayment of credit or discount is required if you get slightly richer or your income goes up after your application – you pocket all the savings. You can’t even get a deal like that on Black Friday!
$100 – free exercise schwag and wearable tech
Nowadays people are looking for more than just access to a downstairs gym or personal trainer (as with HZDG) as part of the job, and getting more excited about free workout gear. You, the employee, gain from corporate health programs to avoid common health taboos like “death by sitting.” From ClifBar’s paid workouts to IBM’s rebates, many companies are getting creative with their giveaways. Some companies will offer pedometers, Fitbits, exercise bands and other small goodies to get you pumped for Monday!
Additional References for interesting reads and statistics:
Last chance to sign up for Obamacare ends tonight before open enrollment opens again in October. While the administration is promoting fees and penalties, actual fines may not apply until the month the plan is applied. With the natural tendency for most people to procrastinate, there’s still hope for potential insureds who need more time. Read more here from the Verge here.