12 Feb 2018

Everything You Need to Know About the Children’s Health Insurance Program

Everything You Need to Know About the Children’s Health Insurance Program

It appears a crisis has been averted for the time being. With health insurance and care continually in flux due to the politicized nature of our times, many have lost sight of why we have insurance in the first place.

Insurance offers protection against rising costs and unexpected expenses. Yet some of the most vulnerable within our communities, children from low-income families, rarely can afford or are provided such protections.

That’s where the Children’s Health Insurance Program, or CHIP, comes into play. CHIP sets out to provide health insurance to children that would not otherwise have such protections.

What is CHIP?

Now, CHIP is a little more in-depth than that. The program aims to fill a gap in the health insurance marketplace. If a family makes too much money to qualify for Medicaid, but cannot afford health insurance, then the children may qualify for CHIP coverage.

If a child has CHIP coverage, then a parent won’t be required to have traditional health coverage for said children. The Children’s Health Insurance Program is run on the state level and works closely with a state’s Medicaid program.

Changes Coming Soon

Recently, CHIP was on the brink of disaster. For 114 days, the program was without a budget. States didn’t know how much money they’d receive from the government for CHIP or when they’d get it.

Many states had grieved concerns about the future of the program and if they could afford funding. This was because lawmakers had been using the program as a bargaining tool in larger talks surrounding the budget and immigration.

The Children’s Health Insurance Program had been politicized. One side of the coin tried to attach the bill to budget cuts for Obamacare, while the other side wanted DACA protections included with CHIP.

Neither side got what they wanted with regards to these political issues, yet both realized CHIP must be passed and funded. So, both sides came together and got the bill funded for an additional six years, while also creating a budget for the states.

This was huge for proponents of CHIP, as the current bill now has until 2024 before it comes up for funding, again. This gives states and low-income families a lot of breathing room and protections.

An Insurance Industry Look at the Children’s Health Insurance Program

Nearly everyone inside the insurance industry, along with both Republicans and Democrats, finds huge value in CHIP. The program offers significant benefits to low income to middle class families looking to keep their children protected for a low cost.

The Children’s Health Insurance Program has also been a huge success. Since being implemented over 20 years ago, CHIP has cut the rate of uninsured children in half nationwide. 14% of children in the United States were uninsured in 1997. That number was down to 7% in 2012.

During that same timeframe, the numbers of uninsured adults went from 19% to 21% nationally. As well, many studies have shown that CHIP not only provides health insurance coverage to children, but that the coverage levels are nearly equivalent to the private sector coverage many kids receive through their parents’ employer plan.

The program has had such great success that many in the insurance industry were baffled to see lawmakers using CHIP as a political bargaining tool. Most believed that the program was incredibly effective and here to stay. Thankfully, that has turned out to be the case, as CHIP is locked in until 2024.

Everything You Need to Know About the Children’s Health Insurance Program

The Children’s Health Insurance Program is here to stay for now. While the health insurance industry is currently in political limbo, this is one of the best government-sponsored programs. There is no reason to politicize it or attempt to destroy CHIP at this point. From many viewpoints, that would be a disaster.

We shouldn’t have to worry about that anytime soon. With CHIP getting an extension until 2024, there’s nothing to worry about in the near future. Plus, studies have shown that CHIP is cheaper for the government to manage than other healthcare alternatives. As such, there shouldn’t be many issues moving forth.

To learn more about family health insurance policies or additional insurance options, contact the experts at HealthQuoteInfo.com at 855-881-0430. Our licensed health insurance experts will be happy to answer any questions you have.

31 Jan 2018

Amazon’s New Business Venture Set To Revolutionize Health Care Industry

Amazon’s New Business Venture Set To Revolutionize Health Care Industry

Over the last five years, Amazon has grown exponentially and has successfully entered new markets, which include food, television, fashion, and technology (just to name a few). Amazon’s services are now an integral part of our lives, and it’s revolutionized the technological landscape.

On January 30, 2018, CEO Jeff Bezos announced his company would be partnering with JPMorgan and Berkshire Hathaway to create a company that would provide affordable health insurance to their employees. The news has sent shockwaves through the insurance industry, so we’re going to break down the facts and look at what this move means for the future of American health care.

Reactionary Responses

Immediately following this announcement, the market reacted, and media outlets are reporting that 10 of the largest health insurance and pharmaceutical companies in the US dropped by $30 billion within two hours of trading. The companies that were the hardest hit include MetLife and UnitedHealth, which were both down by five percent and eight percent respectively.

How Will This New Company Work?

The announcement didn’t provide a lot of details, although this new organization will act as a non-profit as opposed to a traditional corporation. This new endeavor is expected to provide health coverage to nearly 1.2 million employees across the country.

The CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, Warren Buffett said in the press conference “the ballooning costs of healthcare act as a hungry tapeworm on the American economy.” This is in reference to the rising costs of health plans across the country, and how the fate of the Affordable Care Act is seemingly hanging by a thread.

Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan said, “the three of our companies have extraordinary resources, and our goal is to create solutions that benefit our U.S. employees, their families and, potentially, all Americans.” How will these resources be pooled? We’re not entirely sure, but according to Forbes, these organizations have a combined capital of $1.5 trillion.

Structure Of The Company

This venture will be led by three leading individuals from the three companies. This includes Todd Combs, one of Warren Buffett’s chief investors, Marvelle Berchtold, the managing director at JPMorgan, and Beth Galetti, the SVP at Amazon. The focus, in the beginning, will center around utilizing technology to discover new solutions in this industry.

This deal is incredibly exciting and perhaps is a new chapter in US health care realm. While we don’t have too many details to report on, we can certainly agree this announcement will have a profound long-term impact.

26 Jan 2018

The Impact Of The Tax Bill On Us Health Insurance

The Impact Of The Tax Bill On Us Health Insurance

A major bill was officially passed in both chambers of Congress last month, bringing a sweeping reform to the American tax system. Details of this tax bill have caused a political debate across the nation because it repeals the individual mandate of the Affordable Care Act.

This puts the future of Obamacare in jeopardy once again, as the number of uninsured Americans is intended to rise dramatically over the next year. We know there’s a lot of details floating out there, so we’re diving into this topic to cover the basics.

Background Info

Officially called the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, it’s the first significant achievement of the Trump administration since he assumed office. Details of the bill have been in the works for months, as multiple drafts were debated in the Senate. On December 20, 2017, when the bill was officially passed, President Trump held a press conference and said: “it’s always a lot of fun when you win.”

The Affordable Care Act

For months, the government has been trying to pass a repeal-and-replace bill to get rid of Obamacare. This proved to be quite challenging and contentious, as millions of Americans relied on the Affordable Care Act.

Fast-forward to last month and lawmakers had included a portion of the bill that explicitly repeals the individual mandate of the ACA. This means Americans will no longer be financially penalized for not purchasing insurance, meaning healthy individuals don’t need to purchase a plan.

How does this impact the marketplace? Insurance companies benefited from having mandatory enrollment, as it meant more funds could be allocated to the sick to provide health care. This dynamic is now going to change as insurance companies will be forced to increase premiums. An estimate by the Congressional Budget Office predicts the number of uninsured individuals will rise to 13 million people.

Consequences

Some experts have argued this decision is going to take an eventual toll on the Medicaid program, which provides basic health insurance to millions of impoverished Americans. As the price of health insurance increases, more Americans will have to rely on this program.

Tax cuts are also expected to impact the Medicare, which is expected to reduce spending by nearly 4 percent. According to a report by Vox, the last time there was a spending cut to the program, millions of patients lost access to basic treatment services like chemotherapy.

Killing Obamacare

Many political commentators believe this tax bill will ultimately kill Obamacare in the long-run. Earlier in the year, the White House announced the marketing budget of the ACA would be slashed by 90 percent, leaving just $10 million to promote the program.

Opposition

The Democrats have been firmly against this tax reform along with several high profile Republicans. Senator Susan Collins of Maine was a firm opponent because she said it would create chaos in the health insurance marketplace.

The Democratic Party along with several high profile Republicans opposed the tax bill. This included Senator Susan Collins of Maine who voiced her concern about this reform plunging the healthcare marketplace into a state of chaos.

In response to her concerns, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell promised to pass two bipartisan bills to help stabilize the insurance landscape. Several fellow Republicans have voiced their discontent over this idea, as many believed it was redundant to pass two bills to essentially prop up the Affordable Care Act. We’re still waiting to see the outcome of these two bills.

According to Fortune, the tax reform also ushers in the following changes:

  • The corporate tax rate is reduced from 35% to 21%
  • The top tax rate for families and individuals will be reduced 39.6% to 37%
  • The child tax credit will increase from $1,000 to $2,000 for certain families

For more information about health insurance plans, reach out to HealthQuoteInfo at 855-881-0430. Our agents are capable of answering all of your questions and help find a plan that’s suited to your needs.

27 Sep 2017

Chaos on Capitol Hill – Republicans Discard Graham-Cassidy Bill

Chaos on Capitol Hill – Republicans Discard Graham-Cassidy Bill

The proposed Graham-Cassidy bill has lost support from key senior Republicans, meaning it won’t pass a vote that was expected to take place this week.

Over the course of the past 24 hours, Senator Susan Collins from Maine publically declared the bill was “deeply flawed,” according to a report by BBC News. This comes on the heels of President Donald Trump saying he would promise money to the state of Maine in a bid to incentivize Collins.

This news presents itself as a huge setback for the Trump administration and the Republican party, who’ve tried unsuccessfully for months to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. Keep in mind, Donald Trump campaigned heavily on the promise to get rid of Obamacare, and this latest information demonstrates that he’s incapable of doing so.

There were other senior Republicans who came out against the bill, which includes Sen. John McCain of Arizona and Rand Paul of Kentucky. The main reason why these high-profile senators rejected the proposal is that it slashes Medicaid funding drastically, which serves as an important lifeline for millions of impoverished Americans.

The bill was written by Sens. Bill Cassidy (Louisiana) and Lindsey Graham (South Carolina) and was seen as a last-ditch effort. This is because a previous bill called the Better Care Reconciliation Act was voted down at the beginning of summer, revealing a divide amongst the Republican party.

Details of the Graham-Cassidy bill were murky and very unclear from the beginning. According to several reports in the media, the bill would allow insurance companies to discriminate against individuals based on the pre-existing conditions, which is something Obamacare outlawed.

Public opinion also decreased dramatically for the bill, especially since talk show host Jimmy Kimmel publically condemned the bill and called out Senator Bill Cassidy for allegedly lying on television. The politician had appeared on Kimmel’s show in the past and said he would ensure a new health care bill would protect those with pre-existing conditions.

Cassidy’s appearance came shortly after Kimmel announced his newborn son was born with a rare heart condition and made a public plea that Americans deserve health care equality. A recent CBS poll also indicated that approximately 20 percent of Americans approved of the bill, while a whopping 52 percent were firmly against it.

The Senate held the first meeting on Monday to discuss the proposed bill but it was swarmed by protesters. Approximately 181 people were arrested and removed from the hearing room, while many protesters were reportedly in wheelchairs.

We understand that the health care landscape is extremely complex and confusing. If you have any questions, we strongly recommend phoning one of our agents here at HealthQuoteInfo. Simply dial 855-881-0430 and get your questions answered today!

23 Aug 2017

The Cost of a Dental Cleaning without Health Insurance

The Cost of a Dental Cleaning without Health Insurance

A crucial component of your overall health involves taking care of your teeth and gums, which means it’s essential to visit the dentist regularly and remember to properly brush and floss. Sadly, millions of Americans neglect their oral health and wait until there’s an emergency before taking action. A segment of the population does not have health insurance, meaning they have to pay out of their pocket for regular dental services. So, we’ve created this guide in regards to how much a routine cleaning will cost you if you’re uninsured.

What Does A Routine Appointment Involve?

The human body naturally produces a substance called plaque that coats the teeth and gums. Plaque cyclically forms after 24 hours and if it’s not properly removed, it hardens and starts to decay over time. A regular cleaning prevents this build up and is the only way to properly remove the callous substance.

During a normal check-up, the dentist will also ask for a few x-rays, which can provide a view of what’s happening beneath the surface. You typically have to wear large goggles and a heavy piece of lead armor to ensure the rays don’t penetrate your upper body. The results can indicate if you have a rotten or decaying tooth that’s going to need a filling, extraction or other types of dental intervention.

How Much Does It Cost?

The truth is that it really varies depending on where you live in the nation. Some states are less expensive compared to others and it usually has something to do with the number of dentists in the area. For example in a big city, there are tons of dental offices, which create competition and naturally drive down the price of routine cleanings. However, in a small town, it’s usually the opposite, as there may be only one dentist to serve the entire population, which therefore drives up the price.

The Academy of Dental CPAs and Dental Economics did some research in 2016 and compiled an average price based on the region. Here are the results.

Northeast region

  • Comprehensive exam:  $101
  • Cleaning: $110

Mid-Atlantic

  • Comprehensive exam: $90
  • Cleaning: $95

Midwest region

  • Comprehensive exam: $85
  • Cleaning: $92

Southern US region

  • Comprehensive exam: $84
  • Cleaning: $88

Mountain region

  • Comprehensive exam: $89
  • Cleaning: $97

What If You’re Insured?

Routine dental services are usually 100 percent covered, whether you have a job-based plan or one that you purchased through HealthCare.gov or the state-based exchange. Insurance companies typically allow for two visits a year that involve cleaning, fluoride treatment, and x-rays. Remember the insurance company is looking to save money in the long run, which is why they’re willing to expend money on preventative measures.

Do You Have More Questions?

If you’re looking for dental coverage and are still slightly confused about the subject, call one of our agents today at 855-881-0430! Here at HealthQuoteInfo, it’s our mission to serve you and provide the latest advice regarding health insurance. We understand it can be confusing at times, which is why our agents are ready to respond to any questions or concerns.

 

 

26 Jul 2017

4 Steps on How to Find the Right Doctor

4 Steps on How to Find the Right Doctor

The most common questions anyone has when moving to a new area is the request for a new doctor. Social media has become a hot spot for doctor recommendations, whether it be a person has moved into a new area, or has a pain or ailment that requires a specialist. However, while reaching out to friends and family is a key component to finding a doctor in the area for your medical needs, it is not the only part of the process, and most definitely not the first part of the process. In reality, there are four distinct steps to finding the right doctor, which will result in a perfect match for you and your physician when done together in order.

Check Your Coverage

Your health insurance coverage should always be the first step when looking for any type of medical related answer. In the case of finding the right doctor for you, it is important to first see who is in your network of approved providers. There is no sense going to a physician who you will leave because you cannot afford to keep seeing him or her. Most health insurance provider lists offer the ability for you to look for specific qualifications, like a female gynecologist or a doctor who speaks Spanish in his office. This feature will help you narrow down your search and the resulting options prior to moving onto step 2.

Ask Your Friends and Family

Once you have the list of approved providers that meet your needs, turn to social media, your friends, and your family. Ask for recommendations from your list of approved providers. Find out if anyone has dealt with any of the physicians on your list and then ask their thoughts. Attempt to eliminate more than one doctor from your list, leaving you with only a handful of options. Make sure you ask the questions that matter most to you, such as the potential physician’s specialties, bedside manner, and availability? Many people may also want to ask for appointment wait times and whether the staff is as friendly and competent as the doctor. One bad staff member can ruin the entire practice.

Make a Preliminary Decision

Now that you have asked your friends and family and done your online research, it is time to make a list of the top three. This is your first, second and third choice. Should the first choice not be a good match, move onto the next, until you find the perfect fit. Now, start with your first pick and do your research. Determine how close the doctor is to your home and office. Call the office to see how the staff deals with new and existing patients over the phone. Analyze how you are treated and the ease in which the appointment is made. You may even use this time to ask pertinent questions of the provider’s office, such as the normal hours for appointments, how available the doctor may be, and what types of equipment and tests can be done in the office while you wait. Depending on the answers to the questions, you may choose to stop with this doctor or call the next on your list. Make a meet and greet appointment to get a better feel for your choice of physicians.

Visit the Doctor

The final step in this process is to make an appointment to allow you the opportunity to meet your potential physician and see if he is a match. This is the opportunity to test his bedside manner, sense of humor, and his overall knowledge. From this meeting, you should walk away knowing whether the doctor is a good fit for you and your family. If you dread the thought of having to go back to his office, thank him for his time and call the next doctor on your list. However, if the visit goes well, make sure to add the doctor’s information to your contact list in your phone and continue with your day.

Should the physician be a family physician, it may be a great idea to bring your entire family to the meet and greet appointment. Make sure your spouse and children relate to the physician, and the physician can relate to them. Otherwise, you may find yourself repeating the process sooner than you had hoped.