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That's the information at the top of a communication from Florida Blue, a "trade name of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida, an Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association," to one of their individual policy holders.

Why they need a trade name is a puzzlement, but this additional layer of middlemen probably does not come free.

Anyway, to put the rest of the letter in context, let me explain that the policy holder is a gentlemen in his late sixties who has never been gainfully employed and subsists on the inheritance his college professor father left him. At some point, his elder brother, who administers the inheritance, was advised that the gentlemen might qualify for SSI, but the brother insisted the family would take care of necessaries.

I should perhaps also note that the gentlemen has had the gas for his water heater disconnected because he objected to paying the service charge for gas during the summer when he was not using any hot water. Besides, the cat, for whom he maintains his household does not need hot water.

So, to the letter:

Dear (policy holder)

With the new regulations surrounding the Affordable Care Act, we're happy to let you know that you've been designated "grandfathered," which means you can keep your current Florida Blue plan!

You're also able to review new plans now available. To help you decide if changing your plan would be to your benefit, just give us a call or stop in to our office.

That's clearly a ploy to hold on to a member of a captive market.
Tax credit eligibility

You may be eligible for a premium tax credit (subsidy) from the government. You can find out how much you might qualify for by using the online estimator at
Another offer to keep the rube in the fold.
To keep your current plan, do nothing
Your plan will be subject to annual rate adjustments, at which time you will once again have the opportunity to select a new plan. In the future, should Florida Blue plans change, we will notify you in advance. Your current plan will be in effect as long as you continue to pay your premiums on time.
Presumably, that is the context for the "Time Sensitive Information About Your Health Insurance Plan" that is splashed across the front of the envelope, which is probably what motivated the recipient to send the whole kit and kaboodle on to me. He underlined "do nothing" and noted "I am able to do nothing."  Which is both true and false in that he needs a little help.

Florida Blue is thankful.

As always, thanks so much for entrusting us to handle your health insurance needs....

P.S. You may receive information or hear claims about other health plans that sound too good to be true. You can count on us to provide you with expert, accurate information, answer your questions and ensure uninterrupted benefits.

What those benefits are is questionable since some kindney stones cost him a pretty penny a couple of years ago. Never mind that there is no mention of any of the new benefits (annual check up, flue shots, etc.) nor of the fact that since he's over 65, he should/could be enrolled in Medicare.

I'm going to have to assume that crunch time is in December and new plans start in January. It will take at least that long to get particulars. However, the forwarding of the letter is evidence that the gentleman is tentatively inclined to be helped.
Is it likely that he has an actual copy of his policy? No. Does the brother?
Doing nothing is an attractive option to many people.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Florida Blue™ is (7+ / 0-)

    "in pursuit of health™" Whose health is not specified, nor what they will do with it when they catch it.

  •  I thought (0+ / 0-)

    it was against the law to insure someone eligible for Medicare?  Is his Florida Blue plan a supplement by chance?

    •  As I read the letter, it seems to cover their (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eric Nelson

      asses and issues fair warning that his premiums will go up. If he then complains, they can argue they gave him a heads up.
      I offered in early October to consult with him, but he wasn't ready. Having gotten this letter confirmed for him that there is an issue it might be useful to address. The next step is for him to gather some data about his situation. That will doubtless take a while.

      It is very difficult for people with limited social skills to know whether people can be trusted. The safe thing is not to trust anyone. If family proves untrustworthy, at least it's in the family.

    •  Probably Not True (0+ / 0-)

      I was eligible for Medicare (@65 yo) for five years before I retired at 70 1/2 last year, and was able to keep my employer-based health insurance until that retirement.

      Yonder stands your orphan with his gun... Crying like a fire in the sun ~Bob Dylan

      by paz3 on Sun Nov 10, 2013 at 11:34:53 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Interesting. I'm pretty sure the "trade name" is (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    just a dba (doing business as) name, and the disclosure is an industry requirement.

    The grandfathered policies represent business that was done before 3/23/10 when the law was passed and the policy was never changed significantly since then.  To lose its grandfathered status, certain events would have had to occur such as:

    • coverage for a particular condition or illness was eliminated,
    • an annual dollar limit on benefits was imposed or an existing limit was reduced,
    • coinsurance percentage was increased,
    • a dollar co-payment was increased by more than 15 percent,
    • deductibles or out-of-pocket maximums were increased by more than 15 percent.
    • Without any such changes you can't assume anything about the quality of the coverage, as you know. The Insurance company could provide a copy of the policy and it probably is available online, too.  Someone would have to register for access with a policy #.

      I'm commenting because Blue Shield of California is rescinding 115,000 cancellation lettersit sent in October to extend the deadline by 90 days. The question is how they kept books and records to determine whether a policy was grandfathered or not before the cancellation notices were sent.

      Tracking little details about policies relevant to its business is required for an insurance company.  Blue Shield of California said in a notification to policy holders that the methodology for determining grandfathered status is something that the Affordable Care Act left up to insurers to decide.

      People may wonder why this carrier is allowed to remain in Health as a line of business. Everything is backwards to the way it's supposed to be.  The state tip toes around the insurers and it minds its manners because they can withdraw from doing business in the state whenever they like, and the loss of competition would be bad for the market and the exchanges.

      The market being protected is the market where spouses over 50 with household income of $63,000 can't find a policy for less than $12,000 in some counties.

    There is no existence without doubt.

    by Mark Lippman on Sun Nov 10, 2013 at 09:00:08 AM PST

  •  Status quo bias is often times more pronounced.. (0+ / 0-)

    ..the older one becomes. There are difference causes to be sure but one is rooted in mortality, and maybe subconsciously change even for the better reminds us of the ultimate change - death.

    Doing nothing is an attractive option to many people.
    And this; building on apprehensions both republicans & insurance have purposefully amplified/distorted:
    That's clearly a ploy to hold on to a member of a captive market.
    about those letters.. Up-selling - with a video interview with insurance expert Wendell Potter (formerly of Cigna) and an excellent investigation into cancellation letters
    Another offer to keep the rube in the fold.

     - hannah (identifies the Up-selling sales pitch)

    To keep your current plan, do nothing
     Your plan will be subject to annual rate adjustments,
    Yes the deprivators (mingy) are making the most out of status quo bias, the fear of loss. Even more contemptible of the RWNJ/insurance peddlers is that it's the fear of losing ones life that is being used as part of their sales "incentive"

    Thx hannah

  •  I would recommend checking out (0+ / 0-)

    Medicaid, though I guess FlaWrida rejected expanded Medicaid.

    Thump! Bang. Whack-boing. It's dub!

    by dadadata on Sun Nov 10, 2013 at 12:42:45 PM PST

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