03 May 2017

Changes to Obamacare Enrollment

Changes to Obamacare Enrollment

The open enrollment period for the federal Health Insurance Marketplace gives many people the chance to get affordable insurance for the first time, or renew their health insurance policy for another year. The marketplace gives you the ability to pick and choose insurance plans that work best for you and your family.

Unfortunately, life gets in the way and we might not always be on top of our health insurance game. If you miss the open enrollment period for Obamacare and aren’t covered under a special enrollment period, you may want to look into short-term health insurance options. New regulations may keep you from enrolling in the marketplace if you aren’t ready to buy insurance at the end of 2017.

Short-term health coverage

The importance of short-term health insurance coverage is coming into the spotlight after new regulations regarding Obamacare were put into effect. These new regulations would make it harder to get access to the marketplace if you miss the open enrollment period. You would be locked out of insurance opportunities for part of 2018, and it would be harder to gain access to the marketplace’s insurance options if you want to enroll late.

This brings private insurance back into the insurance game. If you are unable, for some reason, to obtain insurance coverage using Obamacare, you may be able to benefit from private insurance and their short-term health insurance options. This gives you the ability to stay protected while you wait for the open enrollment period to come around again.

New regulations for Obamacare make the yearly enrollment period half as short as it was in previous years. The enrollment period for 2018 health insurance will begin on November 1, 2017, and end on December 15, 2017. For some people, this isn’t enough time to get the insurance coverage they want or need.

Changes to Obamacare

Many people are wondering why there are changes being made to Obamacare and the annual open enrollment period. As the health insurance industry changes in the United States, the Affordable Care Act offered millions of uninsured individuals the chance to be able to afford their own health insurance. This increase in insured policy holders and the creation of the federal health insurance marketplace had an impact on how insurance agencies dealt with their health insurance policy offerings.

The Obamacare market isn’t perfect. There have been higher medical claims than normal, which leads to higher rates and insurance agencies backing out of the marketplace. This destabilization is what the new regulations are hoping to get rid of. Shortening the enrollment period is designed to make people decide on their health insurance plans early, before they need health care as a matter of medical necessity.

If you find yourself locked out of the 2018 health insurance market, there are other insurance options available. Research short-term health insurance coverage in your area to make sure you maintain health insurance coverage. This gives you the chance to regain access to the 2018 health insurance market and choose the health insurance plan that works best for you and your health.

03 May 2017

Student Travel Checklist: Health Insurance

Student Travel Checklist: Health Insurance

If you are getting ready to study abroad, chances are you have a lot of things going through your head. You are waiting for your visa to come in the mail, you’ve bought your airplane tickets, and you’ve enrolled in new classes in a new country. Studying abroad is one of the most fun and memorable experiences that a student can have, but there are some things you want to make sure you take care of before you leave home.

One of these details is health insurance. If you are abroad and get sick or have an accident, you want to ensure that you won’t be stuck paying ridiculous prices for medical care. Travel insurance is always a good idea to have, but a comprehensive health insurance plan can also make your life a lot easier.

Check with your university

When you are looking at travelling abroad, check to see what benefits your abroad and home universities offer you in terms of health care. Your home university may offer a form of student insurance, even if you are abroad. If you are going to study in another country, like the United Kingdom, you pay for health insurance as part of your student visa when you enroll in that university.

Every university and each country are different, but you will likely be offered some form of local insurance when you arrive. If you want to make entirely sure that you have a health insurance policy that will protect you no matter where in the world you go, consider getting a comprehensive health insurance policy before you leave.

Comprehensive health insurance

A comprehensive policy should cover emergency care, travel assistance, medical evacuation, and routine care. You want to make sure that your insurance covers you for regular check-ups you would get if you were at home, and if any accidents should happen while you are abroad. Even if you are only going away for a semester, having health insurance can make you feel a lot better in case anything should happen.

Health insurance plans can vary in cost depending on where in the world you are going. If you are going to purchase your own insurance, make sure it is up to the standards of the country you are going to and the university you will be attending.

Travel tips

When you travel, make sure you have all of your relevant medical information on you and accessible. You should also have a digital backup in case something happens to the physical copies of your immunization record, birth certificate, medical ID, passport, and other essential documents. Know what doctors in your area speak your native language, have emergency numbers in your phone, and know where the nearest medical facility is.

Your health insurance term could vary, but make sure it covers you for the entire time you are away from home. Be sure to keep any medical receipts you may need in case you have to pay out of pocket, so that you can be reimbursed by your insurance later.

28 Feb 2017

California is Considering Adopting a Single-Payer Health Care System

California is Considering Adopting a Single-Payer Health Care System

While navigating through all available health insurance options may be a complicated and difficult process, trying to understand the future of health insurance in the United States is becoming equally confusing every day. While President Trump and the Republican party are dead-set on repealing the affordable care act, also known as Obamcare, citizens all across the country are voicing their displeasure with the uncertainty of health insurance right now.

Despite all of this uncertainty, recent news seems to indicate that the state of California is considering operating on its own and adopting a single-payer health insurance system for residents. This would be a drastic change in the way health insurance operates within the United States. Under a single-payer health care system, the state would designate one agency to serve as the main insurer for health care services. This would mean that all states residents would pay into that one agency, and the agency, in turn, would pay out to doctors and hospitals when emergency and medical care is required.

This development should come as no surprise to anyone considering progressives within California have been pushing for a single-payer health care system for the longest time. In 2006 and 2008, bills to establish a single-payer health care system were eventually vetoed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. However, the pending Obamcare repeal and potential of millions of citizens losing health insurance galvanized those within government circles to bring about discussions of revolutionizing the health care system. Early estimates seem to indicate that the proposed change to the health care system would cost state taxpayers around $40 billion within the first year, which would make it quite a costly endeavor at the state-level without any federal funding or assistance.

It remains to be seen how far this mandate will be pushed in the coming months, but with the repeal of the Affordable Care Act on the horizon, state officials in California are exploring options to ensure access to health insurance for as many residents as possible.

21 Feb 2017

How Donald Trump’s Presidency Will Affect Health Insurance in 2017

How Donald Trump’s Presidency Will Affect Health Insurance in 2017

During Donald J. Trump’s election campaign, he promised to give Americans a better health reform that will be beneficial for everybody. He promised to make health insurance plans less costly without raising taxes, by using money that is already in the system. So it should not come as a surprise to anyone that he signed an EO to urge his administration to dismantle the Affordable Care Act as soon as possible.

 

But the order by itself will not allow Mr. Trump to completely abolish Obamacare. Keep in mind that any major changes to the health law will need new legislation. Therefore, the EO should be perceived more as a mission statement instead of a mandate that can immediately change the law.

The President and Republican leaders are discussing a feasible replacement for the current health law. He promised the public that his team will create a health care reform that is significantly better than the ACA and would pave the way for insuring more citizens and lowering their health care costs.

In the meantime, here are a few possibilities of what could happen to the ACA in the upcoming few months:

 

  1. The coverage mandate of the ACA will continue to be in effect.

Despite President Trump’s EO which calls for federal agencies to do everything they can to “waive, defer, grant exemptions from or delay the implementation of any provision or requirement of the Act that would impose a fiscal burden,” on businesses and individuals, without approval from the Congress, he does not have the authority to eliminate those requirements.

 

  1. There will be limited changes to the 2017 insurance coverage, if any at all. Individual Exchange Plans have already been approved by the state regulators for the entire year of 2017. Therefore, even if the health law does get repealed, changes in the pricing and benefits of health plans will require approval by the state regulators by the year 2018.

 

  1. Costs will increase immediately.

Although provisions are not likely to change in 2017, insurance premiums may rise especially for those who rely on subsidies to lower their insurance costs.

 

  1. Premiums and coverage will probably change in 2018.

If the ACA gets abolished, it could cause a shift in benefit structures. The current plans may also be canceled and the benefits you enjoy now may no longer be available next year.

26 Aug 2016

Short Term Medical Insurance vs. Major Medical Insurance

Short Term Medical Insurance vs. Major Medical Insurance

For a lot of people, health insurance is a complicated subject. With Obamacare added into the mix, it gets even more confusing. In today’s post, we will take a closer look at the differences between short-term medical and major medical insurance so you’ll know which option is best for your needs.

  1. Major Medical Insurance Plan – This insurance covers all the benefits required by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) such as outpatient care, emergency services and hospitalization. You can find a complete list of the essential health benefits here.
  2. Short-Term Medical Insurance Plan – Also known as bridge health insurance, these plans provide coverage for a short amount of time when you are transitioning into a new job or moving to a new location.

Coverage for Each Plan

Major Medical Insurance Plans

These insurance plans cover group health insurance and insurance for individuals and families. The former is offered by employers to their workers, while the latter is purchased by an individual or family on a non-government website.Read More

01 Jun 2016

Options for Health Insurance Outside Open Enrollment

Options for Health Insurance Outside Open Enrollment

The registration period for open enrollment insurance has ended, but if you missed the registration period there is still a chance for you to get covered in the insurance marketplace. The insurance world in the United States has changed a lot in the last few years, and the advent of ObamaCare has changed things even more.

If you missed the Open Enrollment period for insurance in 2016, there are still opportunities to become insured.

Special Enrollment Period

There is a Special Enrollment Period for people who have had extenuating circumstances in their lives that may have kept them from registering for insurance at the right time.

This Special Enrollment Period can include people who have experienced a recent life change including getting married, having a child, or losing existing health care coverage. Individuals who qualify for the Special Enrollment Period can still register in the Marketplace and find the insurance they need. Proof of a life change might have to be presented if a person wants to purchase insurance from the Marketplace under the Special Enrollment Period.

Medicaid & Children’s Health Insurance Program

Individuals that weren’t able to enroll during Open Enrollment may be able to get health insurance through Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program. Medicaid is available for individuals who fall below the poverty line, but if an increase in income occurs they can sign up for a regular major medical plan.

Native Americans and natives of Alaska

Native Americans and natives of Alaska can enroll in the insurance Marketplace any time of the year, and can change insurance plans once a month if needed. Those individuals who qualify for Medicaid coverage may also apply for an insurance policy at any time throughout the year.

Nevada Residents

Residents of the state of Nevada have more opportunities to find health insurance coverage in the Marketplace. Off-exchange plans are available in Nevada year round, but coverage can take up to 90 days to start under some carriers.

Short-term insurance

Short-term insurance, some limited-benefit plans, accident insurance supplements, short-term medical insurance and other medical discount plans aren’t regulated by the ACA and are policies that are still available as insurance options for the remainder of 2016.

There are still opportunities to find insurance coverage in 2016 if you missed the Open Enrollment Period. These are just a few of the options available for anyone who might still be seeking insurance.