The liquidation of CoOportunity Health insurance plan has raised a lot of questions for plan participants. Natalie Duy of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (MMS) is one of the people trying to answer some of those concerns. “The current CoOportunity members will be receiving a letter form our agency — CMS or it may say it’s coming from the marketplace — that will give them instructions on exactly what they need to do,” Duy says. “And they need to read that letter very carefully, because it is going to give them some deadline they need to be aware of.”
Duy says those in the CoOportunity plan will have up until April 29th to change. “They will have a special election period that will allow them to change plans. The sooner the better though, because anything that they’re paying towards out-of-pocket for deductibles or what-have-you for CoOpportunity will not carry over to the new plan that they choose for 2015. So, it’s best to pay sooner so whatever money they pay out of pocket will go toward the plan they choose ultimately for 2015,” Duy explains.
She says there are some other important financial issues involved. “Come March first CoOpportunity will no longer have the classification of a qualified health plan,” according to Duy. “So, what does that mean? That means that anyone in CoOpportuinty that is eligible for the advanced premium tax credits and the cost-sharing reduction, will not have those.”
You can sign up for a new health care plan at www.healthcare.gov, or Duy says you can apply for a new health care plan on the phone. “That number is 1-800-318-25-96. There are customer service representatives available there 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week,” she says. Duy has this tip for getting through on the phone.
She says you should try to call outside of normal business hours, as they are very busy right now, especially with the end of the normal open enrollment period ending February 15th.
Julie Brooks also works for MMS and says there are local “assisters” available to help you through the process. “If they go to www.localhelp.healthcare.gov , it’s pretty easy, they just put in their city and state or zip code and it’s going to pull up all the assistors in their area. It’s going to give them the telephone numbers where they can pick up the phone and make an appointment and sit down with someone,” Brooks says. “We encourage folks to do that, because a lot of people when they make these decisions they want to sit next to someone and see it on the screen themselves.”
You can also find out more information about CoOpportunity on the Iowa Insurance Commissioner’s website.