5 Health Insurance Facts You Need To Know Today!

Call volumes are increasing as we get to the last few days of the 2015 Open Enrollment season.  I wanted to provide a few answers to questions we are receiving and wanted to put them in one post.  Can you believe that January is already in the rear view mirror?  We've had several great calls this week and all of them have common themes.  I spoke quite a bit about taxation and the impact changes of income will have on subsidies in last week's post.  If you have questions about these items, please refer to Taxing Questions for 2015.  Let's dive in!

5 - Preventative Care Is Free

One of the greatest improvements in healthcare that has come from the Affordable Care Act's passage has been the provision to require that preventative care services are "free".  (Free is in quotes because you are paying for them!)  The ACA's preventative care mandate makes it a requirement that health insurance carriers provide annual physicals, well-woman exams, mammograms, and even preventative colonoscopies to policy holders.  If you own an ACA plan you need to take advantage of the embedded benefits of your policy and schedule a physical today.

4 - You Can Still Make A Change Of Your Current Plan Till 2/15/15!

We are getting phone calls from clients and other shoppers that already have health insurance plans they purchased earlier in this Open Enrollment Period, but feel like they want to make a change.  Most of these callers don't think it is possible, but it is!  You have until 2/15 to get this done and it does take a few administrative steps to get things squared away.  Please don't hesitate to call us and we'll help you through the process.  If you are staying with your same carrier or if you have a Marketplace plan, you need help getting this done efficiently and you need someone that will monitor the process on a daily basis.  Please click Contact Us and we'll make sure you the get plan you desire.

3 - Don't Wait To The Last Minute!

I'm not sure why, but we all have a tendency to put off looking at our health insurance choices till the drop dead date.  Waiting adds stress and also constricts our ability to provide in-depth analysis and allow you to weigh your choices.  We love to present all of your options and ensure you know what you are getting.  Let's get started early so we can ensure you have time to make a great choice for your family!  Get a Quote Now!

2 - Dental and Vision Insurance Is Still Available After Open Enrollment Closes

It seems strange to me that several carriers prevent clients from obtaining coverage like dental and vision insurance once open enrollment closes.  We have access to great dental and vision providers that offer stand-alone plans.  Yes, it is easier to have a Blue Cross dental plan if you have a Blue Cross medical insurance plan, but Blue Cross will not allow you to add coverage to your medical coverage once open enrollment passes.  Let us help you find the best plan at affordable rates.  Contact us at 713-422-2935 today!  We've also begun providing VSP Vision Insurance and they are the leading vision insurance provider in the nation.

1 - Grandmothered Plans Can Be Kept As Long As Your Carrier Keeps Them Around....Or 2017

A friend of mine contacted us this week and asked if they needed to dump their old non-grandfathered plan with United Healthcare.  His plan was purchased after March of 2010, but United Health has allowed them to keep it even though it is not compliant the Affordable Care Act and doesn't provide the 10 Essential Minimum Health Benefits.  He likes this plan because it has a high deductible and is cheap!  The technical name for this type of plan is called a Grandmothered Plan.  Unlike a Grandfathered plan that can stay in existence forever without complying with the ACA, a Grandmothered plan is an old health insurance plan that can remain active until the health insurance company terminates it or until 2017.  Most carriers like Aetna and Blue Cross have terminated their Grandmothered plans and forced clients to move to an ACA plan during this year's open enrollment.  Humana and United Health have happily allowed our clients to keep their policies in force.  As long as clients retain their Grandmothered plan, they qualify for "Transitional Relief" and have an exemption from the ACA mandate.  These policy owners will need to indicate on their tax return that transitional relief is their basis for not having an ACA compliant plan.

While many folks immediately think that their Grandmothered plan is the best for them and they don't plan on switching out, it is important to evaluate your coverage and compare it to your medical situation.  For example, I know my friend is planning on have a child in the next year or so.  His Grandmothered plan doesn't provide maternity coverage and he has a large $10,000 deductible.  While they don't plan on getting pregnant in 2015 it would be wise to move plans when they were having a baby as they may actually save by transitioning to an ACA plan in the at that time.  The major point we're trying to make here is simply that there are still plans out there that you can keep that may be more affordable than an ACA plan, but you must re-evaluate the options and your situation every year.  Just don't assume everything remains the same because we know that even if everything else is constant, health premiums aren't and so you've got to analyze the costs of your plan annually!

Give us a call today at 713-422-2935, we want your health insurance search to be easy, peaceful and want you to have the ability to obtain as much information as possible.  Our staff is here to assist you.  Simply click Contact Us or Get A Quote Now!  You only have a few days left to obtain coverage for the 2015 year, don't delay!

Jason Bohmann