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Rhode Island Insurance News
2/20/2015 - According to Associated Press Deputy Minority Leader Patricia Morgan has proposed ending HealthSource RI, the state's health insurance exchange that was set up as part of the federal Affordable Care Act. The bill prohibits the state from funding HealthSource RI and would direct the governor to transfer the operation to the federal government beginning January 1st.
2/5/2015 HealthSourceRI had more bad news for its members this week. Policyholders ares supposed to have received a Form 1095-A by now to be used in the preparation of their federal income tax returns. The exchange warns that the forms will be delayed for some of its members so this means that these health insurance members cannot file their income taxes yet. In addition, the exchange warns that the subsidies paid to health insurance companies were miscalculated for some members. This means that some members may need to pay back premium subsidies even if they accurately presented their income information to the exchange. HealthSource RI staff cannot provide tax advice, but customers can call the exchange at 1-855-408-1344 to ask questions about the 1095-A. Providence Journal covered the story in more detail.
1/19/2015 Rhode Island's health insurance exchange called HealthSourceRI was the nation's worst performer in terms of actual 2015 enrollment compared to anticipated enrollment.
12/20/2014 Rhode Island residents who want health insurance through the state’s exchange have until Dec. 23 to sign up and pay for polices effective January 1. The exchange remains open until February 15 for coverage starting at a later date.
2/11/2014 Professional support for any health care reform issue is available free of charge through an arrangement with OnlineNavigator. All online inquiries are handled personally by Tony Novak, CPA. Online support is available through a number of popular social media channels including Facebook and Google+ as well as e-mail. Telephone support for insurance enrollment is available through Members Insurance Exchange at (800) 609-0683 extension 1.
7/26/2013 Affordable Smart Term Life Insurance is now available to most Rhode Island residents from age 20 through 60 directly online with no physical exam, agent appointment or telephone verification. Most policies are issued on the same day with coverage amounts of $25,000 up to $350,000. The level premium life insurance is available for terms of 10, 15, 20 and 30 years. Sample rates for $150,000 coverage for a preferred risk male age 30, non-tobacco $30.85 per month; tobacco user $49.55 per month. A preferred risk female age 30 non-tobacco user would be $26.49 per month and a tobacco user would be $40.96 per month. Rates are higher for older applicants and lower health risks as described online. Pricing is based on input you provide about your medical history but, unlike most other life insurers, does not consider family medical history. Coverage is issued by innovative National Life Group, rated "A" by A.M. Best Company for 2013.
3/11/2013 This page was updated to include a link to the insurance plan that will be used to determine specific "essential health benefits" for insurance that qualified for 2014 federal tax purposes. Also, a link to additional covered benefits required by state law. Non-qualified insurance is likely to continue to be available at a lower cost that does not include these benefits nor qualify for federal tax purposes.
2/1/2012 The Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight, a division of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) reported that as of June 30, 2011 Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Rhode Island and UnitedHealthcare are the state's largest health insurance providers and as such, earn the right to set the benchmark for the development of the state's essential benefit plans to debut in 2014 under health reform law.
10/17/2011 Public Law 2011-175 requires that health insurance contracts and plans issued or renewed in Rhode Island as of January 1, 2012, provide coverage for the screening, diagnosis, and treatment of autism spectrum disorders.
12/16/2010 Rhode Island Office of the Health Insurance Commissioner officials met representatives of 44 other states and numerous employees of the federal Health and Human Services Department in Washington DC this week for a two-day working meeting to discuss the next steps in establish a government-run health insurance exchange under the American Health Benefit Exchange Model Act. Their attendance at this meeting was paid for by a $1 million federal grant awarded by HHS in September to the state for research how to set up an insurance exchange. Two states (Alaska and Minnesota) declined to participate, saying that it was a waste of taxpayer money. Four other states (not identified in press reports) that received federal grants did not send representatives to the meeting. Attendees included representatives of 16 states that are suing the federal government in an attempt to overturn the federal health reform law; specifically the requirement that forces individuals to buy health insurance on the insurance exchange or pay a hefty tax fine.
In its initial federal grant request for the insurance exchange project, Rhode Island said that it would: 1) Create an Interagency Task Force to assure activities supported by grant are appropriately coordinated. 2) Compare cost and benefit of State run Exchange versus federally run Exchange, 3) Create an operations plan which provides staffing plan, 4) Coordinate eligibility and enrollment with Medicaid, 5) Develop a product design and contracting plan, 6) Create a data and evaluation plan, and 7) Put in place information system requirements support.
The meeting reportedly did not address the role of the commercial health insurance exchanges on the implementation of new competing government systems. The model act does not address inter-state insurance exchange proposals nor insurance sales across state lines. Federal officials admitted that they may not be able to provide further guidance until 2012. Meanwhile, most states are motivated to continue to meet requirements to obtain additional funding promised by the federal government for the establishment of insurance exchange by 2014. Freedom Benefits has previously voiced the opinion that the huge amount of money being spent to set up alternate insurance sales system technologies could be better used providing health benefits to the public. We proposed on the Universal Health Insurance blog that adequate commercial insurance sales systems are already in place that could be modified in a public/private partnership to make health insurance more affordable.
5/14/2010 Diabetes Coverage: A new resource to help find health insurance for diabetics in Rhode Island is now available at Freedom Benefits.
This web site is independently owned and managed by Tony Novak operating under the trademarks "Freedom Benefits", "OnlineAdviser" and "OnlineNavigator". Opinions expressed are the sole responsibility of the author and do not represent the opinion of any other person, company or entity mentioned. Tony Novak is not an agent, broker, producer or navigator for any federal or state health insurance exchange but may provide uncompensated advice, reviews and referrals to these official resources. Novak is compensated as an accountant, adviser, affiliate consultant, marketer, reviewer, endorser, producer, lead generator or referrer to some of the other commercial companies listed on this site. Information is from sources believed to be reliable but cannot be guaranteed.