Blue Cross of Arizona
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Arizona Family Health Insurance
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Affordable Health Insurance in Arizona
"I was glad that you answered the phone. I know I made a good choice choosing you as my broker and applying with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona. The more I think about it, the more I want to be with a company that has widespread recognition and is everywhere. So thanks again for everything!" - Liza more
Blue Cross® Blue Shield® of Arizona/CIGNA/AETNA
ALERT: Current BCBSAZ Grandfathered and Grandmothered plans are not affected by the upcoming 2017 changes discussed below.
Effective 01/01/2017, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Arizona, Aetna, United Healthcare, HealthNet, and Humana will no longer offer MarketPlace Affordable Care Act (ACA) individual and family policies in Maricopa and Pinal counties, though they will continue offering individual plans in many rural counties throughout the state. Current BCBSAZ ACA individual/family policyholders in Maricopa and Pinal counties will lose coverage effective 01/01/2017, affecting 44,000 members. The most populous cities in Arizona such as Phoenix, Tempe, Mesa, Scottsdale, Gilbert, and Apache Junction are located in Maricopa and Pinal counties. As of August, 2016, there are no health insurance companies offering 2017 Marketplace ACA coverage in Pinal County.
Not Affected/BCBSAZ: Those currently insured with a BCBSAZ Grandfathered or Grandmothered individual or family plan will NOT lose coverage in 2017, and it is highly recommended that such policies be kept in force. Policyholders with individual ACA plans residing outside of Maricopa and Pinal counties will not be affected, though a rate increase in the 60% range is expected. The federal government will now allow those with Grandmothered plans to keep such plans through 2017, as opposed to the previous 04/30/2017 expiration date. Grandfathered individual policies are those purchased on or before the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on March, 23, 2010. Grandmothered individual plans are those purchased after March, 23rd, 2010, but before January 1st, 2014. ACA individual plans are those purchased on or after January, 1st, 2014, and these are the policies being discontinued in Maricopa and Pinal counties. Medicare supplement and group health plans will NOT be affected.
While residents in hundreds of counties throughout the country will have only one health insurance company to choose from for individual policies, it is possible that many Arizona residents may have two or more. In 2017, Cigna will offer individual and family ACA plans in several counties in AZ., including Maricopa County. Mike Higgins is contracted with Cigna, and is also federally certified to assist those that qualify for individual/family plans on the 2017 Marketplace Exchange. Please feel free to call Mike any day or time at 602-405-8769 if you have any questions. Aetna has announced that they will no longer offer ACA plans on the 2017 Marketplace Exchange, but will offer individual plans off the Exchange in most markets. Subsidies are not available for off-Exchange policies. Blue Cross of Arizona will no longer offer individual plans on or off the Exchange in Maricopa or Pinal counties in 2017.
In those counties where individual policies will be sold, most will face rate increases in the 60% range in 2017, no matter the insurer. As mentioned, 44,000 policyholders currently insured with BCBSAZ ACA plans in Maricopa and Pinal counties will lose coverage effective 01/01/2017, along with tens of thousands of other individuals and families that are currently insured with carriers such as Aetna, Humana, United Healthcare and HealthNet leaving the market in 2017. Again, Grandfathered and Grandmothered BCBSAZ individual plans will not be affected, though an average rate increase of 17% for these plans is expected.
BCBSAZ will continue to offer group policies to small and large groups. Small group policies require a minimum of two enrolled, cannot be husband and wife if the only two enrolling, and must include at least one W-2 employee. Premium assistance for up to three years from the Arizona Department of Revenue may be available for groups with less than 25 employees. The company must be based in Arizona, and in existence at least one year. Please call Mike Higgins at 602.405.8769 for further details. Tax credits/premium assistance may also be available to certain small groups through the federal SHOP program, of which Mike Higgins is also a certified broker.
If you are a current Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Arizona member living in Maricopa or Pinal counties, and are insured with an ACA individual/family policy purchased on or after January 1st, 2014, you will need to find other coverage from another insurer by 01/01/2017. To date, the only remaining well known carrier in Maricopa County in 2017 is Cigna. Pinal County, unfortunately, is the first county in the nation with no insurers offering Exchange plans in 2017, though federal and state regulators are attempting to find an insurer that will step in.
The open enrollment period for 2017 is Nov. 1, 2016, through Jan. 31, 2017. You may enroll anytime during the year if you have a qualifying event such as loss of group coverage, divorce, death in the family, etc. Please call Mike Higgins at 602.405.8769 to discuss all options available outside of open enrollment.
THANK YOU: Michael Higgins has been ranked as a Top 10 broker in 2016, according to Ranking Arizona magazine. Ranking Arizona, now in its 19th year, is the largest business opinion poll in Arizona. 1.5 million participants vote each year, with recommendations based on quality of service, and with whom they would recommend doing business. To vote, please click on the, “Top 10 Ranking Arizona,” link on the upper-right of this webpage.
For those living outside of Maricopa and Pinal counties… To generate an instant quote for a Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona individual or family plan during open enrollment simply click on the, “Free Online Quote,” link. No personal information is required. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona online application and submission for individuals and families is also available at no cost to the applicant. Please call 602.405.8769 for an employer group quote. Small group quotes are available over the phone.
As of 01/01/2014, no Arizona health insurance company may deny coverage during open enrollment, (or during the year if an applicant has a Special Enrollment Period qualifying event.) Insurers may no longer apply a rate-up due to pre-existing conditions, or base premium rates on the sex of an applicant. Insurers may base premiums on age, zip-code, and whether one uses tobacco or not, (the PPACA, “Obamacare,” allows up to a 50% rate increase for tobacco use.)
Michael Higgins Insurance, LLC., an independent Arizona health insurance agency, specializes in individual and group health insurance. With decades of experience in the Arizona health insurance market, obtaining the right policy for you is most important to Mike. He will take the time necessary to solve your Arizona health insurance needs, suggesting different approaches or programs that may be beneficial. Along with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Arizona, Mike also offers Aetna, United Healthcare, and Cigna individual and group plans where available.
Term-Life policies are available from many A+ rated life insurance carriers. Please call Mike for a quote, 602.405.8769.
Child-Only policies are now offered by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona in select counties.
Short-term policies are an alternative to child-only policies, and for those seeking coverage for less than 180 days. Here are the Arizona short term plans, and you may apply online if you would like. Please keep in mind that short-term health insurance policies DO NOT qualify as essential coverage under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, (Obamacare.) Being uninsured for more than 90 continuous days triggers an IRS penalty of $695.00, or 2.5% of MAGI, whichever is greater. Under certain conditions the IRS may waive the penalty.
CIGNA/Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona
There is a lot of confusion in the individual and family market, which Arizona health insurance plans are available in 2017, and in which counties. Instead of searching high and low for answers on the Internet, you may find it easiest to simply call Mike Higgins, 602.405.8769, any time, any day.
For further information, 24/7, please call 602.405.8769 and speak with Mike.