Special Enrollment Period

The ACA reform has brought with it restrictions on when individual health insurance plans can be purchased. Every year there is an open enrollment period during which time those who are uninsured can enroll in a plan or those with a plan can make a plan change. The open enrollment period this year is November 1, 2016 through January 31, 2017. Outside of this open enrollment period, you’d need to experience a “qualifying life event” to enroll in coverage.

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Keeping your health plan current.

A belated Happy New Year!

Now that your health insurance is in place for another year, I hope it provides you the peace of mind you were looking for and that you’ll have little need of it.

What’s important now is to keep your plan active. A plan termination due to an unintended non-payment can be costly, and not just for the potential exposure to high health care costs. If your plan is canceled, you could be unable to restart coverage until next January. In addition to lack of insurance, you could be fined for not having ACA-compliant coverage. Continue reading

Best ways to check if your providers participate in the network for “off-exchange”, non-CoveredCA plans.

Ensuring your “must have” providers are in your health plan’s network is not as easy as it should be. Some PPO carriers have gone to narrower networks (namely Anthem Blue Cross, Blue Shield and CIGNA) so it’s important to check provider participation. Although carriers each have a provider search tool on their website, search tools are not always easy to use or up-to-date.

Before finalizing your health insurance carrier and plan decision, you’ll want to take several steps to make sure your providers take your plan. Although the following suggestions are not fail proof, they can provide some peace of mind that your providers are likely “ in-network”. Continue reading

Open Enrollment starts November 1!

The annual health insurance open enrollment period is fast approaching! This is the time when individuals and families already enrolled in ACA-compliant coverage can review their health insurance and make a plan change, and when those without coverage can enroll as well.  This year, more than ever, it is important to be informed of the changes coming to your specific plan and California’s health insurance marketplace in general.  Read your carrier renewal packets thoroughly!

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Dental Insurance – Is it worth it?

If you are like the millions of Americans who don’t have dental insurance provided by an employer, you may wonder why there aren’t more “reasonable” insurance products available in the individual market.  There is no shortage of individual dental plans; all medical insurance companies offer them.  But after looking more closely many people conclude correctly that it just doesn’t add up.  So how come? The devil is in the details. Continue reading

What to do while “locked-in”.

Many of us in individual health plans are unable to make a plan change outside of open enrollment.  Unless you have a qualifying event, such as a change in family status, a move, or the loss of group health insurance, you may have to wait until open enrollment (November 1, 2015 – January 31, 2016) to make a plan change.  While “locked-in” here are some tips on how to improve your health, stay informed and save money: Continue reading