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Our Check *Was* in the Mail

Thanks, Obamacare!Remember when I told you about a great provision in the health care law requiring health insurance companies to spend your premium dollars on health care and not administrative costs or profits? My last blog post explains the whole deal.

An estimated 12 million Americans will receive rebates from health insurers totaling over $1 billion. And guess what? I got one! Well, sort of.

My health insurance company is CareFirst BlueChoice; it is the plan I receive as an employee of the National Women’s Law Center. A few weeks ago, I received a notice in the mail that CareFirst did not spend the legally required amount of premium dollars on care.

Check out the notice here. The accompanying letter says, “This letter is to inform you that CareFirst BlueChoice, Inc. will be rebating a portion of your health insurance premiums. This rebate is required by the Affordable Care Act—the health reform law.” [Some lovingly call it ObamaCare] If a health plan spends too much on administrative costs, as CareFirst did, it has to pay a rebate. Maybe next year they will get their act together and just charge lower premiums, which would be good too.

I already started thinking of ways to spend this new-found cash…But alas, the rebate actually goes to my employer because that is how I receive my health insurance. So I didn’t get the check—but NWLC did! I like this provision.

As an aside, one thing I won’t be spending extra money on is preventive care. Stay tuned for more details next week. Not only do insurance companies have to spend our dollars on actual health care, but thanks to the health care law, women are already receiving certain preventive services at no additional out of pocket costs. Check back on August 1st for more details!

In the meantime, do you want to see if you will receive a rebate? Check out this neat calculator that will help determine if your insurance company owes you or your employer a check. This self-employed woman in Arizona got a rebate and said, “It was a surprise...”

Something may be in the mail… As Stevie Wonder would say, Signed, sealed and delivered.