15 Mar 2019

3 Ways Technology is Improving Healthcare

3 Ways Technology is Improving Healthcare

 

Modern advancements in technology are changing how Americans work and spend their free-time. It’s also hugely transforming the health industry both in the offices of health practitioners and in our homes.

Electronic Health Records (EHRs)

Electronic Health Records (EHR) facilitate countless advances in medical diagnostics and treatments making it easier to share and transfer patient records. The goal of using EHR is to deliver high-quality care for all. Many systems have been connected and data can be transferred quickly. Using data from patient records can also be used to improve quality outcomes through their care management programs.  

Telemedicine / Telehealth

Telemedicine refers to methods of advancing healthcare based on telecommunications technologies. Not only is this advancement incredibly convenient, but it’s also a way for rural areas and those with limited mobility to meet virtually with their doctor. Another added benefit is the cost benefits for both providers and patients. According to the Alliance for Connected Care, telehealth services can save up to $100 per visit.

Wearable Technology & Remote Monitoring Tools

Remote monitoring tools are an incredible advancement for those who suffer from chronic illnesses or heart diseases. These products can help patients monitor their health from home saving them both time and money. Advancements in items like pacemakers also send data to health centers so they can be monitored from a distance. There are also very popular with those who want to take an active role in their health. Huffington Post projects that by 2018 130 million wearable devices will be sent to consumers.

Find out how you can better protect yourself with extended Medicare coverage by contacting the professionals of healthquoteinfo.com at 1-855-614-5057.

3 Ways Technology is Improving Healthcare

01 Mar 2019

Is Short Term Medical Insurance Creditable Coverage?

Is Short Term Medical Insurance Creditable Coverage?

Short Term Medical Insurance Plans are a type of Major Medical insurance giving individuals the health coverage they need for a specific period, usually up to 364 days. It is unlike regular health insurance and does not have time limits. Under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), Short Term health insurance is considered creditable coverage.

When it comes to health insurance, creditable coverage means you had a prior health insurance policy in place and will get credit for it when applying for a new plan. Having a creditable health insurance policy in place could mean the difference between coverage for pre-existing conditions or no coverage.

Should You Consider a Short Term Medical Plan?

In the past, Short Term medical coverage was not a creditable option because of the Affordable Care Act or ACA. Considered to be “catastrophic policies,” Short Term health insurance plans do not cover the Ten Essential Health Benefits that ACA individual policies are mandated to cover. Those Ten Essential Health Benefits include:

  • Emergency services
  • Ambulatory patient services
  • Hospitalization
  • Mental health and substance use disorder
  • Maternity and newborn care
  • Prescription drugs
  • Rehabilitation services
  • Laboratory services
  • Preventive and wellness services
  • Pediatric services, including oral and vision care

Short Term coverage is not intended for everyone. It is an affordable option for those who are in overall good health, no other chronic conditions, or complex medical needs. If you have requirements such as mental health care, maternity coverage or different complex medical situations, ACA Plans may better serve you. Short Term Medical Insurance works for those who:

  • Are in between major medical plans.
  • Missed the Open Enrollment for ACA Plans.
  • Looking for a less expensive option than COBRA.
  • Aged out of a parent’s health plan, are a student or recent graduate.
  • Recently retired, but too young for Medicare.
  • Can’t afford coverage under the ACA.

It is important to keep in mind if you are considering Short Term Medical Insurance that you understand you must reapply after each term. Plus, you could be denied for pre-existing conditions. Insurers may review up to five years of your medical history.

Short Term Medical Insurance Will No Longer Incur a Tax Penalty

Before 2019, those who held Short Term medical coverage were subject to a tax penalty for not having an ACA policy. After a new Executive Order was signed in 2017 by President Trump to roll back restrictions on Short Term plans, not only were Short Term plans extended to 364 days from 90 days, but those who carried them would no longer be penalized in 2019.

While you may no longer face a tax penalty for carrying a Short Term plan, it’s important to keep in mind that Short Term policies are not comprehensive. You still may find coverage gaps, like coverage for pre-existing conditions. However, if you are a healthy individual and looking for immediate protection, you can benefit from Short Term coverage. For example, many plans provide drug discount cards, but no prescription coverage. While maternity complications may be covered, Prenatal Care and Newborn Care may not be. In addition, most plans do not cover Preventive Care, but some may cover selected benefits through cost sharing.

Understanding Your Options

Life happens, plans change, and maybe Short Term medical coverage is the best solution for your current situation. After all, some coverage is better than no coverage.

Before you buy, here are some things to consider:

  • Read the plans fine print, know what it covers and doesn’t cover.
  • Understand what you will pay out of pocket.
  • Know what the dollar cap on coverage or the lifetime benefit maximum is.
  • Make sure doctors, and the preferred hospital is in the network.
  • Choosing Short Term medical coverage over COBRA will mean you will not be eligible for COBRA after the plan expires.

If you are ready to learn more about the protection Short Term Medical Insurance can provide, contact the professionals with HealthQuoteInfo.com at 1-855-614-5057. Our licensed insurance experts will be happy to answer any questions you have.

 

24 Feb 2019

How to Pick the Best Health Insurance for Your Small Business

How to Pick the Best Health Insurance for Your Small Business

If you own a small business, you understand the challenges of establishing a benefits package. The most important aspect of your benefits is medical coverage. You want health insurance with the right deductible and copays along with the best possible coverage to ensure you and your employees have access to high-quality health care when you need it.

Choose the Best Health Insurance Company

You want to make sure you choose a well-established and reputable company to provide quality medical coverage for your business. Here are some tips for choosing the best health insurance company for your small business:

  • Check the overall company satisfaction ranking. Ranking companies like J.D. Power, recognize insurance companies based on several factors – overall satisfaction, information and communication, provider choice, customer service, and cost and coverage benefits.
  • Check their reviews for customer satisfaction, customer service, and claims handling. A company’s reviews can help you choose which company is the best fit for you. You want an insurance company who will work efficiently with your benefits coordinator. You also want the company to be a good fit for your employees. Search the company’s website and read their current client reviews.
  • Evaluate the cost of coverage. You want to have the best coverage at the best possible price. Using a site like HealthQuoteInfo can help you evaluate a company based on cost.
  • Talk to other small business owners. Other small businesses in your area deal with the same issues as you are when it comes to insurance. Talk with these owners and find what has worked for them.

Choosing the Best Health Insurance Plan

After you have looked at insurance companies for your small business, you must now select the type of medical coverage you will want to include in your employee benefits package.

  • First, think about what kind of Health Insurance your employees need. How many employees you have will help determine the type of plan you choose. When you elect to offer health insurance to your employees be aware of the laws that govern who is eligible.
  • You should carefully go over the policy. Determine if you will be able to use the medical provider of your choice or if you will have to choose a provider that is in a specific network. Review out of pocket costs for copays, deductibles, premiums, and coinsurance. Also, see if there are specific medical procedures that aren’t covered by the plan.
  • Know your budget up front. With your business electing to offer coverage you then need to determine if there will be any cost-sharing; a portion you will pay, and the employee’s portion. Look for a health care plan that offers the coverage needed that falls within your specific budget. When your budget increases, you can change your coverage to ensure more of your health insurance costs are covered.
  • Narrow your options down to several potential plans, then compare them. When you use a side-by-side comparison, it is easier to determine which plan will work best for your small business needs. Look at the quality of coverage you will receive for your premiums. It is good to know the policy you are considering will cover the medical expenses you are going to incur.

After you have chosen the best health insurance company and the best plan for your company, the challenging part is over. You have made an important decision and have moved your small business in the right direction.

The next step will be to apply, complete the paperwork, purchase the plan, and then explain the process to your employees and walk them through their paperwork. Having the right health insurance plan will help you retain current employees and attract new ones because now you have the upper hand with an excellent employee benefits package.
To learn more about Health Insurance Coverage for small businesses, contact the professionals with HealthQuoteInfo.com at 1-855-614-5057. Our licensed insurance experts will be happy to answer any questions you have.

20 Feb 2019

What are the Types of Insurance Plans Offered in the USA?

What are the Types of Insurance Plans Offered in the USA?

If you are planning to change your health insurance coverage, you should know there are several different health insurance plans offered in the U.S.A. It is crucial you understand the difference between these insurance types and how they can be beneficial to you or your family. While choices for a new health insurance plan will vary, your specific health care needs and budget will help you narrow down the choices and make a worthwhile decision.

Major Medical Health Insurance Plans Available in the United States

Under the Affordable Care Act, health insurance plans must offer a minimal amount of coverage so that no one can be turned down. Doing so allows for health insurance to be available to everyone. These major medical health insurance plans are available in several formats. The three main types are HMO, PPO, and EPO plans.

HMO (Health Maintenance Organization) Plans

HMO plans are some of the most popular in the U.S. With this type of policy, the entire network of providers agrees to offer their services to you. You will need to select a PCP (primary care provider) from those that are available to provide you with basic health services and care. Most HMOs offer coverage for Preventative Care; however, to be seen by a Specialist, you will need a referral. Co-payments are required for all non-preventative medical visits, and there may also be an annual deductible.

PPO (Preferred Provider Organization) Plans

With a Preferred Provider Organization Plan (PPO), you and your family have the option to see any health care provider within the company’s network. This includes Specialists which you can see without a referral. In most cases, you are not required to choose a PCP with a PPO plan. There is usually a co-pay required for all non-preventative visits as well as an annual deductible. Those who see a Specialist regularly tend to prefer this type of health care plan.

EPO (Exclusive Provider Organization) Plans

With an Exclusive Provider Organization Plan or EPO, users have access to all providers within the network, including Specialists. While a PPO plan offers some coverage outside your network, an EPO plan typically will not, except in an emergency. EPO plans are suitable for individuals who are okay with limiting themselves to providers within a network.

Additional Health Insurance Options for U.S. Residents

Along with the three most popular health insurance options in the United States, HMO, PPO, and EPO plans, there are also several others for you to consider.

POS (Point of Service) Plans

A Point of Service or POS plan is a combination of an HMO and PPO. This plan will have you seeing a PCP for routine checkups and referrals. You can also have access to out-of-network providers if you are willing to pay a higher out-of-pocket cost. This is a versatile plan that is good for those who are willing to pay more for flexible coverage.

HDHP (High Deductible Health Plan) Plans

A High Deductible Health Plan offers cross categories of HMO, PPO and EPO coverage. This type of program has a high deductible you will need to meet prior to when your health insurance coverage goes into effect. These plans are suitable for individuals who need a low monthly premium and those who don’t plan to use their coverage extensively. These plans may be compared to a Health Savings Account.

Short-Term Health Insurance Plans

A Short-Term Health Insurance Plan doesn’t comply with the Affordable Care Act. But, if you missed the Open Enrollment Period, this type of policy can provide you with temporary coverage. There are limited benefits with this plan, and you may not receive the amount of essential coverage you need, especially if you have a severe health condition. This type of plan may exclude coverage for pre-existing conditions as well as preventative care. You should only consider this type of coverage for temporary use.

Gap Insurance Plans

A Gap Insurance Plan can offer individuals an emergency safety net when they have unexpected medical costs. If you don’t already have a significant medical policy such as an HMO or PPO, you can receive Gap Insurance coverage in the event of a severe health issue. You may also be eligible for Gap Insurance if you have a Short Term or Major Medical Policy, as a supplement source of protection. Gap Insurance plans can include Critical Illness Insurance, Accident Insurance, and Fixed-Benefit Indemnity Medical Insurance.

Ancillary Dental and Vision Plans

Out of all the insurance plans described here, most do not offer routine dental and vision care. Therefore, you may need a separate Dental and Vision plan to help cover the cost of this type of care. Be sure to consider the benefits of this coverage before you enroll and determine how much you or your family can benefit from it since Dental and Vision Plans are often very costly.

To learn more about the different insurance plans offered in the United States, contact the professionals of HealthQuoteInfo.com at 1-855-614-5057. Our licensed insurance experts will be happy to answer any questions you have.

20 Feb 2019

What is the Health Insurance Mandate and Why Does it Exist?

What is the Health Insurance Mandate and Why Does it Exist?

You have probably heard about the health insurance mandate by now, but may not be clear on what it is. The health insurance mandate is the health care reform act that passed and became law in 2010, and included an individual mandate that was taken in effect in 2014. The mandate is officially known as the Affordable Care Act but is widely referred to as Obamacare. Through 2018, this law imposed a penalty on anyone who did not have the health insurance coverage required by the law.

Why Does the Mandate Exist?

The mandate rationale was that health insurance, just like any other insurance coverage, works by the creation of risk pools. These risk pools are groups formed by those who have insurance coverage. In the typical risk pool, all members will pay insurance premiums, while only a few of them will need to use the insurance and file medical claims. If a risk pool for health insurance is big enough and has adequate healthy members paying insurance premiums, then there will be enough funds left to cover the cost of the claims for those who become ill.

Who Must Have Health Insurance According to the Health Insurance Mandate?

With the health insurance mandate, all U.S. citizens and permanent residents, except some who are exempt, are required to have insurance coverage. This includes those who are healthy. The healthy help broaden the risk pools so premiums will be low enough to ensure everyone can afford coverage; including those who have chronic, and costly medical conditions. Those who are exempt include:

  •   Individuals who would pay more than 8% of their income for health insurance coverage, after considering subsidies and employer contributions
  •   Families with incomes that are so low they don’t require a tax return
  •   People who are forbidden to have health insurance coverage based on religious grounds
  •   People are incarcerated for crimes
  •   Native American tribal members
  •   Undocumented immigrants

What are the Health Insurance Coverage Requirements?

If you fall into the category of people that must maintain health insurance coverage, make sure you have the right kind of coverage. The health insurance coverage you buy must meet the Federal definition of what is called “essential care.” Examples of plans that qualify as meeting the requirements of essential care include:

  •   Medicare
  •   Medicaid
  •   Employer’s health insurance plans
  •   Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
  •   Tricare (for members of military services and their families)
  •   Veterans’ medical benefits
  •   Individual health care policies that provide minimum levels of coverage or benefits
  •   Any plans that existed before enactment of the law that were “grandfathered” in

The health insurance mandate requires that all major medical health plans and qualified health plans meet the Minimum Essential Coverage standards. This means they must have an actual value of 60% or more and they must cover 10 essential health benefits. What are the 10 essential benefits that must be covered by your medical insurance plan?

  •   Laboratory services
  •   Emergency services
  •   Prescription drugs
  •   Mental health and substance abuse disorder services
  •   Maternity and newborn care
  •   Pediatric services, including vision and dental care
  •   Rehabilitative and habilitative devices and services
  •   Ambulatory patient services
  •   Preventive and wellness services with chronic disease management
  •   Hospitalization

Of course, plans that offer these benefits have varying deductibles and copays as well as differing premiums. You will need to choose a plan that meets your family’s needs, and that fits into your budget as far as premiums and out-of-pocket expenses go.

What Happens If You Don’t Have Coverage to Meet the Mandate Requirements?

If you don’t have health insurance, you will have to pay the cost of your medical care out-of-pocket. Just one serious illness or injury could be financially devastating. You will also have to pay up at tax time. As of 2014, tax penalties for not having the proper health insurance coverage started accruing. These penalties were to phase in during a three-year period.

This aspect of the law penalizes taxpayers who don’t have coverage for themselves and their dependents. However, legislation that was passed near the end of 2017 ended those penalties starting with the 2019 tax year. But, through 2018, most people who are required to maintain health insurance coverage are still penalized if they don’t have it. Those who qualify for an exemption for the 2018 tax year will not have to pay the fine for not having the required coverage.

To learn more about health insurance plans that adhere to the health insurance mandate requirements, contact the professionals at HealthQuoteInfo.com at 1-855-614-5057. Our licensed insurance experts will be happy to answer any questions you have.

20 Feb 2019

How Can I Lower my Health Insurance Costs in 2019?

How Can I Lower my Health Insurance Costs in 2019?

Health insurance requirements differ between people and families, but one thing every health insurance consumer has in common is the desire to lower their payments. With rising deductibles and premiums, even those with employer-sponsored health plans are sharing more of the cost of health insurance. But there are ways to minimize your share of the cost. Here we will look at some strategies that can help.

Shop Around with an Agent or an Online Tool

Online health insurance finders are convenient and offer easy access to several health insurance plans. You’ll just need to answer a few questions, and the site gives you the options that suit your needs. The advantage of an online insurance locater is that they can help you find the best coverage and price in a short amount of time, 24 hours a day.

Enlisting the help of an independent insurance agent is another route that can help you save money on your health insurance premium. An independent agent has access to many insurance companies and know the products inside and out. One advantage of using an independent agent over an online tool is if you have any questions or concerns about specific health insurance options, they serve as a trusted professional.

Take Advantage of Special Government Sponsored Programs

The federal government provides subsidized health insurance plans for qualifying individuals and families. Participating in a supported program can help lower your health insurance premium.

The most common programs are Medicare, Medicaid, and the Children’s Health Insurance Plan (CHIP). You must be 65 years old to apply for Medicare coverage, but Medicaid and CHIP programs are based on financial need.

Medicaid and CHIP are available for enrollment at any time throughout the year for qualified individuals.