29 Jul Insurance CO-OPs: How to Navigate the Loss of Land of Lincoln

One of the changes to have come from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was the creation of CO-OP insurance plans.  These Consumer Oriented and Operated Plans were intended to be an alternative to traditional health insurance plans offered on ACA-mandated health care exchanges.  Most of these CO-OPs have failed or are about to fail.

In the state of Illinois, Land of Lincoln has been a popular insurance option for many who have visited the healthcare exchange for coverage.  Blue Cross Blue Shield dropped one of their very popular plans from the Illinois exchange in 2016, which led many to Land of Lincoln due, in part, to their wide physician network.  Many physicians and patients are now left wondering what is next.  Here are a few tips on how to navigate the loss of Land of Lincoln, much of which is from a letter to patients on Land of Lincoln’s website:

  • Patients should continue to pay their premiums to Land of Lincoln in order to ensure they remain eligible for enrollment in 2016 into a new plan
  • Land of Lincoln coverage for individuals will end October 1, 2016
  • The state of Illinois is working with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to set up a special enrollment period to allow for continuation of coverage under a different plan in 2016
  • Per the letter on Land of Lincoln’s website, individual insureds who enroll in a new exchange plan prior to their loss of minimum essential coverage, will have no gap in coverage or any financial assistance they are receiving. If they wait until after they have lost coverage, there will be a gap in coverage and any financial assistance they are eligible for
  • The letter also states that providers will be paid for services provided per their agreements with Land of Lincoln. It is important that providers continue to provide healthcare services to these patients.
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