06 Jun 2017

Health Insurance Rates in Connecticut Expected to Rise in 2018

Connecticut health insurance rates are at risk of rising for 2018. Insurance companies have sent off their proposals to the State Department of Insurance, which would see group plans increase between 8% and 31% and individual plans raised between 15% and 31%. Insurers justify these increases to the rise in health care services being provided. These increases, along with the possibility of the Republic Healthcare Bill, place certain patients at risk of losing health care coverage. Furthermore, cuts and scale backs would see a decrease in access and quality care.

Read more here.

03 May 2017

Buying Health Insurance for a Baby or New Born

Buying Health Insurance for a Baby or New Born

When it comes to being a new parent, the last thing on your mind is health insurance. You are making sure that your baby is healthy and ready to go home with you when the time is right. As a new parent, life can be overwhelming for a period of time. Finding the right insurance for your new born is essential for their health and your peace of mind.

So many things happen in the beginning of a baby’s life- they need certain immunizations, checks for their eyes and ears, and regular check-ups to make sure they are growing and developing in the ways they should be.

Check your existing health insurance

If you have a comprehensive health insurance plan, your new born will be covered under your health insurance plan for 30 days. Having a baby is a qualifying health insurance event, which gives you a month to officially register your child under your existing health insurance plan or switch to a new policy.

If you want to add your new born to your health insurance policy, you can call your health insurance agent and ask them about adding your child to your policy. Make sure to ask about how much this will cost, and you’ll likely need to have your kid’s birth certificate and social security number ready. Insurance companies will retroactively cover care that your child may have received before you purchased their health insurance within the first 30 days.

Secondly, you might find that switching health insurance plans is your best option. Since you have 30 days to compare other health insurance options, take a look at what other options are for your family. If you have insurance through your employer, talk to HR to see how adding in a new person on your insurance could affect your rates.

Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)

The Federal Children’s Health Insurance Program, or CHIP, is a low-cost health insurance option for families who don’t qualify for Medicaid. Every State offers CHIP, which also covers women who are pregnant.

In order to see if your child qualifies for CHIP, you can fill out an application on the Health Insurance Marketplace. You can do this anytime during the 30 days you have when your baby is born, as this is your special qualifying period. Your individual State can then contact you about the health care options you have for CHIP.

CHIP covers routine check-ups, prescriptions, immunizations, emergency services, doctor visits, dental and vision, inpatient/outpatient care, and lab and x-ray services.

CHIP covers routine doctor and dental visits. You may have to pay co-pays for other health care services under this program. Depending on what State you live in, you may have to pay a monthly premium. No matter what, you’ll never have to pay more than 5% of your family’s yearly income.

Health insurance for your baby

When it comes to getting health insurance for your new baby, there are many options you can take. Whether you use your existing health insurance, insurance from your employer, or Federal programs like CHIP, your child will be able to have comprehensive insurance for their childhoods.

03 May 2017

Options for Health Insurance After Losing Your Job

Options for Health Insurance After Losing Your Job

Losing your job can be incredibly stressful. If you’ve lost your job recently, you may be focused on finding a new one or what you will do with your newfound free time. One important thing to think about is your options for health insurance if you lose your job.

There are typically two main kinds of health insurance you can take advantage of if you lose your job. You can buy health insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace, or you can extend your employer’s insurance using COBRA coverage.

The Health Insurance Marketplace

The Health Insurance Marketplace is the federal health insurance marketplace set up by the Affordable Care Act. This marketplace allows you to see affordable federal and state options for health insurance.

Although there is an open enrollment period for the health insurance marketplace, losing your job counts under the special enrollment period. This means you can apply for health insurance whenever you need to during the year. This also qualifies if you leave your job or otherwise forfeit the insurance your employer had for you.

Your new health insurance coverage may not start immediately, but it will start the first day of the month after you lose your employer’s health insurance. Filling out an application on the health insurance website can also let you see how you could save money on health insurance based on your yearly income.

COBRA insurance coverage

After you lose your job, you may be able to keep your health insurance through COBRA continuation coverage. COBRA allows you to stay on your employer’s health insurance for about 18 months after you quit or are fired. You do still have to pay your insurance premium and a small fee for continuing coverage.

During your COBRA coverage, you can choose to switch to a health insurance marketplace plan if you find a better insurance deal. One of the benefits of COBRA coverage is that you have time to find an insurance plan with plenty of time to get the rest of your life in order, or to find a new job that provides you with health insurance.

The importance of health insurance

Having health insurance is incredibly important. The health insurance options available offer a base level of coverage, so you will be able to find a health insurance plan that meets your needs. The Affordable Care Act has made it possible for millions of people to be able to afford health insurance, which means there is likely a plan out there for you.

Lapses in coverage can incur penalties. If you lose your job, don’t elect for COBRA coverage, and don’t take advantage of your special enrollment period in the health insurance marketplace, you may have to pay a fee at the end of the year for the time period you weren’t insured.

In the end, having health insurance can decrease worries you may have about getting sick or injured unexpectedly. Even if you do lose your job, there are health insurance options you can take advantage of that will protect you throughout the year.

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.

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