Covered California’s open enrollment runs through Jan. 31; Many people need to know!

 

A new survey by Covered California shows 56 percent of uninsured Californians are unaware that California requires its residents to have health care coverage in 2020 or face a tax penalty. Furthermore, the survey found that avoiding the penalty motivates those with health insurance to keep their coverage and encourages the uninsured to sign up. Agents, please listen up:

  • Most people surveyed, including 62 percent of those uninsured, are not aware that they can get financial help to pay for their health coverage in 2020.
  • Nearly all the uninsured respondents surveyed (93 percent), however, would actually qualify for financial help.

Please do all Californians a favor and send out a message to your client base. Tell them to tell their friends. Taxpayers need to be aware of the penalty, known as the Individual Shared Responsibility Penalty, so they can take steps to avoid it when they file next year’s taxes. For those facing a penalty, a family of four could pay at least $2,000 for not having health insurance. In fact, the Franchise Tax Board offers this handy, dandy little estimator on its website to assist consumers in understanding what they could pay. In addition, Covered California and Franchise Tax Board have developed a fact sheet with more information about the penalty.

Good reminders: Covered California’s open-enrollment period runs through Jan. 31. Consumers can easily find out if they are eligible for financial help and see which plans are available in their area by entering their ZIP code, household income and the ages of those who need coverage into Covered Cal’s Shop and Compare Tool.

To Be Clear

Have you seen Cal Broker’s January issue yet? We featured 20 voices for 2020.  It’s definitely worth a look!  But we want to make sure you know this:

Karen Kirkpatrick‘s company is called On Your Mark Consulting. You can look forward to articles Karen will be contributing to upcoming issues of Cal Broker.

Josh Butler of Butler Benefits & Consulting is doing some pretty interesting things down in Amarillo, Texas. The client of one of Butler’s pals from Health Rosetta saved so much money by innovative coverage that the company took employees to Aspen for a retreat. These are the things that make Butler excited about being in the business lately. Read the article here.

Tickets On Sale Now for Sacramento Underwriters Crab Feed

Tickets are on sale now for the 20th Annual SAHU Crab Feed! On January 31 from 6-10 p.m., the Sacramento Association of Health Underwriters (SAHU) and the local community at the Citrus Heights Community Center (located at 6300 Fountain Square Drive in Citrus Heights) will host a night of food, drinks and fun while supporting great causes such as the Sacramento Food Bank, River Oaks Center for Children and the Mesa Verde High School Business Academy (whose students have helped work the Crab Feed for several years). This year’s theme is “Back to the 80’s,” and all attendees are encouraged to dress up in their best 80’s outfit. Look for hot items such as: Sacramento Kings’ Tickets, a ride-along with the Citrus Heights Police Department and VIP tickets to next year’s Crab Feed.  SAHU’s Crab Feed is sponsored by Kaiser Permanente and many other local businesses. For admission, table and drink tickets or questions regarding this event, please contact sahu@bmsch.com.

Calling All Book Lovers

Cal Broker wants to start passing along your recommended readings (or listenings). If you have a book you’re reading and want to recommend it, please email editor@calbrokermag.com with the subject line “books.” Tell us why you love the book or how it helped you. Fiction or nonfiction is totally fine and the book can be of any subject matter except maybe…well, we don’t have to tell you. Ha ha. Anyhow…also tell us how you’re reading the book (print, Kindle etc.) or if you’re listening to it as an audio book. We’ll feature a couple of recommendations each month. Thanks!

DISABILITY

Trump Admin Wants to Tighten Eligibility for Disability

The  Wall Street Journal reports that the Trump administration is working on a plan to tighten eligibility requirements for disability benefits, especially for older Americans. This is the latest step in a White House effort to shrink federal safety-net programs. The proposal being prepared by the Social Security Administration would revise eligibility for disability benefits based on age, education and work experience. Those factors determined the eligibility of about 500,000 people in 2017. More than eight million people currently receive disability payments.

JUST BECAUSE

May We All Be Like the Trees

Many readers live or work in areas that have been ravaged by fire. This photo was taken on Saturday in an area of the Santa Monica Mountains that was all but devastated by fire. The growth on the tree is called epicormic sprouting. Think of it like the tree insisting on living even in the wake of severe trauma. The tree produces life whatever way it can even if it’s old way is no longer an available route. We think it’s pretty inspirational. And, of course, we’re keeping our fingers crossed and prayers flowing for the people in Australia.

 

PEOPLE

Webb, Katz Join CB Editorial Advisory Board

You simply can’t get better help than this. Cal Broker is pleased to announce that insurance industry veterans Yolanda Webb and Alan Katz will be pitching in. Katz ,co-founder and CEO of Take 44 — and past president of LAAHU, CAHU and NAHU — will be writing monthly on topics such as health care reform  and sales/marketing.

Yolanda Webb, of Webb Insurance Solutions, is IEAHU Awards Chair, IEAHU VP Corporate Affairs and on the NAHU Medicare Advisory Council. Webb will be contributing stories as well as finetuning our carrier/GA/product surveys and our view from the top content. We look forward to working with both of these industry superstars!

EVENTS

  • SDAHU Expo 2020 -January 16 @ 8:00 am2:30 pm
    Town and Country Resort and Convention Center, San Diego. More info here.
  • Joint Industry Forum 2020, Insurance Information Institute
    January 16, Marriott Marquis, New York City. Theme is “A 21st Century Workforce that Reflects the Communities We Serve.” More info here.
  • NAIFA Los Angeles/Society of Financial Service Professionals Award & Leadership Recognition luncheon, February 20, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m, Taix French Restaurant, 1911 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90026, members (includes NAIFA, FSP, WIFS, LAAHU, NAHU, CAHU, VCAHU): $50.00, More info here or email janet@naifala.org.
  • OCAHU 8th Annual Business Development Summit– We’ll see you here!
    February 28, DoubleTree by Hilton-Anaheim/Orange County
    Contact: Gail James Clarke (714) 441-8951, ext.3,
    email: orangecountyahu@yahoo.com

 

    • The 29th Annual IEAHU Symposium, March 10, Riverside Convention Center– We’ll see you here!
      Email Inland Empire Association of Health Underwriters for more info: ieahu.administration@gmail.com
    • SIIA Self-Insured Health Plan Executive Forum
      March 16-18, Charleston, SC. More info here.
    • CAHU Women’s Leadership Conference, March 25-27, JW Marriott Resort&Spa, Las Vegas– We’ll see you here!
      More info at www.cahu.org.
    • April 6-7
      The Notary Hotel, Autograph Collection
      Philadelphia, PA
    • SIIA Washington, DC Fly-In (Meet Your Members of Congress)
      April 21-22,
      Washington, DC
      Event details to be announced soon
    • LAAHU Annual Symposium- Save the date!– We’ll see you here!
      April 22, Skirball Center, Los Angeles. More info soon!
    • The 16th Annual BenefitsPRO Broker Expo
      May 18-20 Hilton Austin in Austin, TX.
    • SIIA National Conference & Expo
      October 11-13
      JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa
      Phoenix, AZ
      Registration will be open in April