16 Jan 2019

Will The Ongoing Government Shutdown Impact Your Health Care Coverage?

Will The Ongoing Government Shutdown Impact Your Health Care Coverage?

As the partial government shutdown enters its twenty-sixth day, many Americans are becoming increasingly worried about how this situation will personally affect them and their families. Despite assurances from the Trump administration that key health care agencies and services remain insulated by previously approved appropriations bills, uncertainty reigns as the political impasse appears to have no end in sight.

The system is built to weather the storm in the short term; however, as the shutdown persists and begins to enter record-breaking territory, a serious public health disaster becomes a real threat. For the time being, the Department of Health and Human Services remains adequately funded to maintain payments for Medicare services, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and other mandatory programs. Similarly, operations carried out by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will continue to operate as normal since the agency’s funding is assured until at least September 30, 2019.

On the other hand, unfunded agencies that perform health-related functions, most notably the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Treasury Department, could eventually have devastating results for millions of Americans if the shutdown drags on unchecked. Crucial accounting functions performed by the IRS to regulate ACA marketplaces, such as processing enrollee applications for federal income-based assistance, could be seriously hampered by a long-drawn-out government shutdown.

Several Democratic leaders in both the House and Senate have joined forces to caution the administration about this potential consequence. In a letter dated January 14, they expressed deep concerns that the federal government’s failure to pay the cost of Advance Premium Tax Credits could result in higher insurance premiums and coverage loss for taxpayers who receive plans through the government-run marketplaces.

07 Jan 2019

What Happens If Insurance Premiums Are Not Paid?

What Happens If Insurance Premiums Are Not Paid?

When you purchase insurance coverage, you have a premium. Any insurance, such as health or life insurance, have premium pricing based on the coverage amount, the age of the insured, and the length of the policy. These premiums are payable based on the arrangements set up when you purchase your policy. You might pay your premiums every month, every six months, or once a year.

The premiums pay for the cost of your coverage. When you purchase the policy, you sign an agreement that indicates the due date for your premiums. If there is a grace period, it will be noted. As an example, your due date might be the 20th of each month. You might have a five-day grace period, which means you can pay your premium plus a late fee within five days of the date and not have a lapse in coverage.

If you don’t pay your health insurance premiums, your insurance coverage will lapse and you will not have coverage when you need it; you’ll have to pay for your medical bills out of pocket. If someone fails to pay his or her life insurance premiums, and he or she dies, then their family cannot claim the life insurance benefits, which can be financially devastating.

What If I Can’t Pay My Premiums?

We all face financial difficulties, such as unexpected expenses or emergencies. If you find yourself in this situation and realize that you can’t pay your insurance premiums, you should consult with your insurance agent. They can make recommendations regarding how to handle the situation. Here are some options regarding your inability to pay your life insurance premiums:

If you have a term policy and you stop paying your premiums, your insurance coverage will lapse.

If you have a permanent life insurance policy or a whole life policy, you have options:

  • You can cash out the policy. Cashing out your policy means you can stop paying your insurance premiums and then collect the cash savings that are available. You will not be covered by the life insurance policy anymore, but you can save some of your policy proceeds using this approach. You might have to pay taxes on a portion of the cash value if the sum you receive exceeds the amount you paid in for premiums.
  • You also have non-forfeiture options. There could be a reduced paid-up option for your life insurance. Using this approach, you can stop paying your premiums and have no cash savings but keep a reduced death benefit. In some cases, you might be able to convert the permanent life insurance policy to an extended term life policy that is for a set time based on your policy’s accumulated cash savings.
  • The third option is that the insurance policy will lapse. You can check with your insurance agent to determine if you can reinstate the policy. Some insurers will allow this if you pay the premium and reinstate the policy within a specific timeframe after it lapsed. To do this, you might have to pass a physical exam and pay back any premiums that you would have paid during the time that the policy wasn’t in force. Annual premiums for reinstating your old policy might be less expensive than the rates for a new policy with comparable coverage.

The Importance of Insurance Coverage

Life insurance and health insurance coverage are both essential. Even if your coverage lapses, you should arrange to pay your premiums and get coverage reinstated or purchase a new policy as quickly as you possibly can. Your insurance agent can help you determine the best way to proceed through this kind of situation.

To learn more about life insurance or health insurance, contact the professionals at HealthQuoteInfo.com at (855) 614-5057. Our licensed insurance experts will be happy to answer any questions you have.

02 Jan 2019

Does Vision Insurance Cover LASIK Eye Surgery?

Does Vision Insurance Cover LASIK Eye Surgery?

According to the Vision Council of America, approximately 75% of adults use some sort of vision correction. If you’ve worn glasses or contacts all your life, you understand how appealing the prospect of going frame and lens free really is. Although this is a largely cosmetic concern for many, for others, glasses can get in the way of carrying out work tasks, while contacts irritate the eyes after years of use. 

The cost of more permanent solutions, however, such as LASIK eye surgery can be a barrier. The average cost of LASIK surgery in the US in 2017 was $2088 per eye, and while 41% of refractive surgeons offer special financing and payment plans to make LASIK more accessible, it’s only natural for health plan holders to wonder if insurance might cover any part of their LASIK surgery.

Vision insurance and LASIK coverage

Vision insurance may be of some help with covering the cost of your LASIK procedure. However, vision benefits are designed to reduce a patient’s costs related to routine preventative eye care, and this mostly relates to eye exams and prescription eye wear, although some plans do offer additional savings. 

Some of the larger vision insurance carriers offer specific laser vision correction benefits including: 

  • discounts on laser vision correction procedures, 
  • discounts of up to 50% on procedures performed by in-network surgeons, 
  • and frame benefits for non-prescription sunglasses after vision correction surgery. 

Regardless of your insurance plan, you should anticipate paying for at least part of the cost of a LASIK procedure.

Do Employee Benefit Plans Cover LASIK?

While in the past, many employee benefit plans provided vision care packages that covered the cost of glasses and contacts, laser vision correction was never on this list. Now, however, more companies are offering either full or partial coverage for vision correction procedures. However, because LASIK isn’t considered a medical necessity, rarely is its entire cost covered. 

Rare cases in which medical insurance plans might fully cover refractive or laser eye surgery include: refractive errors resulting from an injury, from surgery, or particularly severe refractive errors. However, coverage under these circumstances is generally inconsistent and you should always check with your provider first. Rare cases aside, some employers do actually make arrangements with a given LASIK center for a special price, so that their employees might benefit. 

Additionally, some large employers offer subsidized health plans that cover partial LASIK costs. If you work for a major company, do inquire about possible benefits that might cover corrective eye surgery!

Speak to a licensed HealthQuoteInfo agent at 1-855-614-5057 to find out all about your LASIK and other vision correction coverage options today!

02 Jan 2019

Can I Have Health Insurance Coverage from Two Different Plans?

Can I Have Health Insurance Coverage from Two Different Plans?

When it comes to health insurance, it turns out that more can be better. In some cases, people are eligible for multiple health insurance policies through their parents, their workplace, or their spouse’s insurance company. Having dual coverage can be extremely beneficial for obtaining more health insurance coverage, in addition to potentially saving you money.

In certain situations, individuals are eligible for two or more health insurance policies that work together to create a broader network of coverage. Individuals who are covered by their employer’s insurance, people under the age of 26 who are still covered by their parents’ insurance, and married couples have the opportunity to take advantage of dual health insurance coverage in some cases.

How Does Dual Coverage Work?

Dual health insurance coverage works when there are two or more health insurance policies that you qualify for. One of these insurance policies is considered your primary insurance policy, and the other insurance policy is your secondary insurance. If you have health insurance through your job, and so does your spouse, your primary insurance policy comes from your job, and you could be eligible for coverage under your spouse’s insurance policy, too. Their policy would be your secondary health insurance policy. 

Your primary health insurance policy has deductibles, out of pocket costs, and percentages of medical care they will pay for. Your primary insurance will take your medical bill and take care of the qualifying costs without worrying about if you have secondary health insurance or not. Then, your secondary insurance will kick in to cover what is left of the bill, if applicable. 

Ultimately, with a primary and secondary health insurance policy working for you, you could see your out of pocket medical costs decrease or go away altogether. However, your secondary policy won’t change your deductible from your primary insurance policy; it will only help with the remainder of a medical bill. 

Can I Have Health Insurance Coverage from Two Different Plans?

In short, yes, you can have health insurance coverage from two different plans. Here are a few situations in which someone might find that having two health insurance policies is both helpful and applicable:

  • Adults with insurance from their job who are under the age of 26: In this case your employer’s insurance is your primary policy, with your parent’s insurance covering you as a secondary policy. If your parents are insured, their health insurance will cover you until the age of 26. 
  • Adults with insurance from their job and who are covered by their spouse’s job insurance: Your work insurance will be your primary policy, while your spouse’s insurance is your secondary policy. 
  • Kids can be insured through their parents: in this case, the parent with the earliest birthday in a calendar year is considered the primary insurance, while the other parent’s insurance is secondary.
  • Adults age 65 years or older: if you are employed at a company with 20 people or more, your employer’s insurance will be your primary policy and Medicare will be secondary. If you work at a company of 20 people or less or are not employed, then Medicare is often your primary insurance. There are exceptions to the rule, so always check with your insurance company or companies before assuming coverage.

The Benefits of Dual Insurance

Different insurance companies can offer various amounts of coverage for the same procedure. For instance, Insurance Company A might cover 30% of a medical procedure, while Insurance Company B might allot 80%. This means that between the two companies, as your primary and secondary insurers, your medical visit could be entirely covered by your health insurance. 

Additionally, if you qualify for coverage under your spouse’s insurance, you may be able to file a claim under their insurance if you are unemployed and no longer receive insurance from your job. 

To learn more about obtaining health insurance through different plans, contact the professionals at HealthQuoteInfo.com  at (855) 614-5057. Our licensed insurance experts will be happy to answer any questions you have.

02 Jan 2019

Does Dental Insurance Cover Braces?

Does Dental Insurance Cover Braces?

Straight teeth and beautiful smiles aren’t just cosmetic. More and more, meaningful dental health and upkeep are becoming understood as an integral part of a complete health regimen—for children and adults alike. Orthodontia, however, can be quite pricey, and finding dental insurance that covers braces for adults can be a challenge.

The run-down on dental insurance

Most major health insurance companies have limited orthodontic coverage under someof their plans, but many of their policies do not cover any orthodontic treatments at all. For thoseunder 18, dental insurance is considered an essential health service and is covered by most plans, but insurance companies are not obligated to provide dental insurance to adults. Currently, providers fulfill their obligation to minors by offering an option to purchase dental insurance which meets Affordable Care Act (ACA) criteria, but whether you purchase it is up to you. This remains in place presently, even amid confusion and upheaval with regard to the ACA. Still, some of these plans cover the full cost of topical fluoride, sealants, and preventive care, but the patient’s parents remain partly responsible for fillings.

Brace yourself: the limits of orthodontic coverage

For children, dental insurance that covers braces may be required in certain states, but this is often dependent on the specifics of the situation. For example, braces are more likely to be covered if they’re needed to help a child chew properly rather than simply to improve their appearance. While some dental insurance plans cover orthodontics for adults, coverage typically fails to extend to cases where treatment is sought after for purely cosmetic reasons. For this reason, some choose to opt for a plastic alternative to metal braces known asInvisalign. While this tends to be slightly more expensive, some dental insurance policies will cover a portion of the cost.

Finding the right plan

If you discover that your current policy doesn’t cover orthodontics, it’s probably time to supplement it with a more inclusive plan. Certain Medicare Advantage plans that cover dental may be purchased as an alternative to Original Medicare, but it’s important to do your research first. Discount plans or dental savings plans, while not considered dental insurance, allow you to accessdental services (including adult orthodontia and cosmetic procedures) from network dentists at significantly lower prices. Unsurprisingly, these programs are becoming more popular. A discount plan may be a good choice if you already have dental insurance but no orthodontic coverage, or if you have reached your plan’s maximum annual or lifetime payout.

To learn more about the best route to coverage for all your dental and orthodontic needs, call a licensed agent HealthQuoteInfo.com at 855-614-5057. We’re happy to help!

02 Jan 2019

Do Employers Have to Offer Health Insurance to All Their Employees?

Do Employers Have to Offer Health Insurance to All Their Employees?

Keeping up with changing healthcare regulations can be a difficult task for employers. As an employer, you’re probably wondering if you are required to provide health insurance for all your employees. The answer depends on how many full-time-equivalent (FTE) employees your company has. 

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) doesn’t mandate group health insurance for small businesses with less than 50 FTEs. Large companies with more than 50 FTE employees are still required to provide minimum essential coverage. Regardless of a company’s size, 2019 offers several health benefit options for employers to choose from.

Employer Health Insurance Requirements Explained

Under the ACA, all applicable large employers (ALEs) are mandated to provide health insurance coverage to at least 95% of full-time employees. Large employers typically have more than 50 FTE employees. In California, Colorado, New York, and Vermont, a large employer has more than 100 FTE employees. Small and mid-sized businesses may have to provide health benefits, depending on the number of full-time-equivalent employees they have. 

The number of full-time employees combined with the number of FTE employees will reveal the total number of FTE employees. 

• A full-time employee is considered an employee who works an average of 30 hours per week or 130 hours per month.

• Average part-time employee hours are calculated together to reveal how many FTE employees a company has.

Small businesses with under 50 employees won’t have to pay the penalty for not offering health insurance coverage. However, there are still many options for small and mid-sized businesses to participate in healthcare programs and provide competitive benefits.

Employer Health Insurance Options for 2019

Health insurance remains the top benefit employers can offer their employees. Even if your small business isn’t required to provide group health insurance, doing so can help your business grow. The following options can offer an affordable solution for every type of business.

Group Health Insurance – Traditionally, group health insurance policies were the standard choice for companies of all sizes. While this option may be more affordable for mid-sized and large companies, it’s usually too expensive for small businesses.

QSEHRA – The qualified small employer health reimbursement arrangement (QSEHRA) is a tax-free allowance that reimburses small businesses offering health insurance. Employees are free to choose their coverage and receive reimbursement from the employer’s contribution.

Integrated HRA – This option is a combination of group health coverage and a reimbursement benefit program. An integrated HRA doesn’t reimburse employees for individual coverage. Instead, this plan pays for the costs of deductibles and coinsurance that are part of the group policy. 

Small Business Health Insurance – For small businesses that want to offer more comprehensive health insurance benefits, an insurance specialist may be the best option. Custom-tailored plans can provide coverage specifically designed to meet the needs of your workforce. Find out more about small business health insurance here. 

Supplemental Coverage – Basic health coverage doesn’t cover employees in all medical situations. Supplemental coverage can cover the cost of copayments, deductibles, and any other gaps in your group policy. Different types of plans offer vision, dental, disability, critical illness, cancer, and accident insurance. Learn more about supplemental coverage here. 

Employee benefits play an increasingly significant role in how employees choose their workplaces. Health, dental, and vision policies are some of the most highly sought-after employee benefits on the market. One way businesses can remain competitive and attract a talented workforce is by providing a flexible benefits coverage plan.

Finding a Policy to Meet All Your Employees’ Needs

For health insurance coverage that meets all your employees’ needs, a one-size-fits-all approach won’t always work. Today’s workforce contains five generations working side-by-side. With a wide range of employee healthcare needs, flexible benefits options are becoming increasingly popular.

Traditional group coverage plans can work for large businesses but are impractical for small and mid-sized companies. Additionally, minimum participation requirements can make it even more challenging to administer group benefits. A personalized coverage program can provide all the protection your employees need without compromising your bottom line.

To learn more about small business health insurance options for 2019, contact the professionals at HealthQuoteInfo.com at (855)614-5057. Our licensed insurance experts are happy to answer any questions you have.