RAR understands these are challenging times for our members to obtain affordable healthcare coverage that best fits individual needs. Before the Affordable Care Act became law, insurance carriers offered group policies to member associations. The healthcare insurance industry phased out plans offered to associations comprised of independent contractors after the rules and regulations enacted by the ACA. Over the past few years, many healthcare insurance providers have ceased writing individual policies and focus only on group policies. There are discussions in Washington about these providers once again offering group policies to associations, but at this time, they are only addressing this as it relates to associations that have employees and not independent contractors. We will continue to monitor this discussion, and as progress is made, will keep the membership apprised.
Currently, the variety of healthcare insurance providers of individual policies is extremely limited in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Earlier this year, Anthem made the decision to pull out of the Affordable Care Act exchange for individual policies. With this decision, many were faced with losing their healthcare insurance by year end. Under pressure from the government, Anthem decided to come back into the market, but on a limited basis. Anthem will offer plans on and off the Individual exchange in the following cities and counties: Accomack, Alleghany, Augusta, Bath, Bland, Botetourt, Bristol City, Brunswick, Buchanan, Buena Vista City, Caroline, Carroll, Covington City, Craig, Culpeper, Dickenson, Emporia City, Essex, Fauquier, Floyd, Franklin, Franklin City, Frederick, Galax, Giles, Goochland, Grayson, Greensville, Henry, Highland, King and Queen, King William, Lancaster, Lee, Lexington, Madison, Martinsville, Middlesex, Montgomery, New Kent, Northampton, Northumberland, Norton, Orange, Page, Patrick, Powhatan, Pulaski, Radford City, Rappahannock, Richmond County, Roanoke County, Roanoke City, Rockbridge, Russell, Salem City, Scott, Shenandoah, Smyth, Southampton, Staunton, Tazewell, Washington, Waynesboro, Westmoreland, Winchester City, Wise, and Wythe.
In the Greater Richmond Region, Cigna is the only carrier currently writing individual policies. You can visit http://insurememmavirginia.mymarketlink.com to search eligible plans.
The National Association of REALTORS® has partnered with REALTORS® Insurance Marketplace to offer a members’ health insurance exchange at http://www.realtorsinsurancemarketplace.com that will help you navigate through healthcare insurance options available to you based on the demographics you provide. The Marketplace is also staffed with licensed enrollment specialists that can be reached at 877.267.3752. They are there to answer your questions and help navigate through the selection process. This site not only offers information on healthcare coverage, but also on additional insurance coverages such as dental, vision, home, auto, and discounts on prescription medication. Many of these plans are exclusive to Realtors. Here’s a quick video explaining the offerings:
If you are facing the possible loss of insurance coverage due to Anthem’s partial withdrawal from the exchange or just need to obtain an insurance policy that best fits your needs, please visit the Marketplace website. Short-term insurance is available until January 1 if you need to bridge a gap in coverage. Don’t delay, as open enrollment to obtain healthcare insurance ends Friday, December 15.
If you make less than $48,000 annually, visiting https://www.healthcare.gov/ is also recommended because you may qualify for credits offered by the government.