Affordable Care Act Plans – Covered California
For Early Retirees, Covered California, which is California’s medical insurance exchange for the Affordable Care Act (ACA), offers various PPO, EPO and HMO plans which are comparable to the City’s plans, yet are significantly more affordable. Appendix C illustrates a comparison of the City’s plans, both blended and unblended, with various “Platinum Level” Covered California plans, all of which are substantially lower in cost than the City’s equivalent plan. An exploration of the “Gold,” “Silver” and “Bronze” insurance plans through Covered California yield even more savings.
The City’s health benefits broker, Keenan Associates, provides direct access and assistance through the many options available under Covered California with its Keenan Direct program, which will be available to Early Retirees. The other fortunate news is that enrollees under Covered California or any of the ACA exchange programs cannot be refused coverage or charged additional amounts due to pre-existing conditions. This is a very positive development which did not exist prior to the passage of the ACA, and frankly is an integral factor in the City’s proposed strategy to address this issue.
The open enrollment for Covered California and other ACA plans is scheduled to begin November 1, 2015 and run through January 31, 2016. Any individual seeking an alternative plan prior to the June 1, 2016 unblending can sign up during this open enrollment period. The earliest effective date for this new coverage would be January 1, 2016.
Option to Switch City Plans
Additionally, Early Retirees choosing to remain on the City’s medical insurance plans can always switch to another City plan during the City’s usual Open Enrollment in April of each year. An example of this would be moving from the Anthem PPO plan to the HMO or Kaiser, which are likely to be more affordable. Appendix B illustrates the effects of switching from amongst different City plans. Similarly, this past year, the City added a lower-cost Kaiser plan, which will again be available to Early Retirees for next year’s renewal.
Continuation of Part A Reimbursement
The City will continue to reimburse eligible retirees for Part A Medicare costs as set forth in the respective Memoranda of Understanding, regardless of what plan is selected, including non-City plans following adoption of these changes.
Click here to return to the Glendale Retiree Medical homepage.