NCHealthPlans.com Health News » BCBSNC Insurance

Home  |  About Us  |  Terms of Use  |  Contact  

Jerry Ballard & Associates, Inc.
Local: 252-726-5400
Toll Free: 888-765-5400


A name you can trust, an agent you can count on.
Serving North Carolina residents since 1974.

NC Health Plans

Archive for the ‘BCBSNC Insurance’ Category

2020 Open Enrollment for NC Health Insurance

Thursday, October 31st, 2019

The Health Insurance Open Enrollment Period for 2020 begins on Friday, November 1st, and we are ready to assist individuals and families in applying for Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina Health Coverage. November 1st to December 15th marks a very important time period for health insurance known as the annual Open Enrollment Period. Whether you are currently enrolled in a Blue Cross Blue Shield plan, or looking into your Health Plan options for the first time, we are here to help find the best plan for you!  As we approach Open Enrollment, it is important to be aware of important updates, dates and deadlines that relate to your Blue Cross Blue Shield health coverage in 2020.

Blue Cross NC Rate Decreases in 2020

This summer, Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina announced that all 100 Counties in North Carolina will experience Health Care Rate Decreases for year 2020. This rate decrease is an overall average of 5.2 percent for Affordable Care Act plans offered to individuals and families in 2020. There is also an average 3.3 percent decrease for those plans offered to small businesses with one to 50 employees. These rate decreases show a total reduction of $238 million to health care costs in 2020.

Does this mean your premium will decrease next year? Health Insurance premiums will always vary based on your location, age, and federal tax credit/subsidy applied to your premium. Therefore, not every Blue Cross NC member in North Carolina will experience the same amount in rate changes for 2020.

When is Open Enrollment for 2020?

The NC Health Insurance annual Open Enrollment Period begins on Friday, November 1st and lasts through Sunday, December 15th. This time period does not apply to non ACA-compliant plans, or ancillary plans such as dental or vision.

When Will Your Coverage Start?

If you enroll in a BCBSNC Health Insurance plan during Open Enrollment, your coverage start date will be January 1st, 2020. This will also be your initial premium due date.

Is it Affordable?
One of the amenities of the Affordable Care Act is federal tax credits, also known as subsidies. Subsidies are designed to lower the cost of health insurance for low and middle income individuals or families. Subsidies are primarily based on your household income per the number of people on your tax return. To determine if you are eligible for subsidy to help reduce your premium, generate your BCBSNC quote and estimate your subsidy!

For those who are not subsidy eligible, Short Term health insurance could potentially be a more affordable option. While these plans are not ACA-compliant, you may now apply for up to 360 days of coverage under one Short Term application. In addition, there are other plans offering up to 3 years of coverage. For more information about these plans, generate your Short Term Insurance Quote.

How Do You Apply/Renew?

During this time period, anyone shopping for individual or family Health Insurance plans can enroll in ACA-Compliant Health Insurance without having a Qualifying Life Event. In other words, individuals do not need a special reason to apply for health coverage during Open Enrollment. This is the easiest time of year to apply for coverage, and the application process has never been more simple! You can now apply for your subsidy and complete the application process completely online. Existing Marketplace members who need to update their application or change their plan can also complete this process online. CLICK HERE to generate your 2020 rate quote and start your application. You can begin your application or renew your existing coverage for 2020 starting November 1st, 2019.

For more information on North Carolina Health Insurance coverage, please visit our website at www.nchealthplans.com or call our toll free number 888-765-5400 and speak with one of our experienced and professional agents.

 

DENTAL INSURANCE

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2019

Did you know your dental health is linked to your overall health? Daily dental care and routine checkups can help you stay healthy. Blue Cross NC offers affordable dental plans in addition to great health care coverage.

Blue Cross NC plans start as low as $22.95 and pays 100% of in-network preventive care services with no deductible and 100% of the allowed amount on out-of-network preventive care services after $20 copay.  No deductible on in-network preventive care services.

Call our office today (888-765-5400) and speak with a qualified representative.  You can CLICK HERE to get your free Dental Quote and Apply on Line.  Also, you do not have to wait for an Open Enrollment Period, you can apply all year round.

For more information on North Carolina Health Insurance coverage, please visit our website at www.nchealthplans.com or call our toll free number 888-765-5400 or our local number 252-726-5400 and speak with one of our experienced and professional agents.

 

Meet Our New Team Member, Emily McLaurin

Thursday, October 17th, 2019

We are excited to announce the newest member of our team at Jerry Ballard and Associates, Emily McLaurin. Emily has just finished her appointment and licensing for her North Carolina Health Insurance License. In the short time she has been with Jerry Ballard & Associates/NC Health Plans Agency, we have gained respect and admiration for her loyalty and desire to help our clients with their customer service needs.

Emily previously worked in the banking industry and graduated from East Carolina University in Greenville, NC with a BS Degree in Clothing and Textiles, with a minor concentration in Business. She resides in beautiful Carteret County, North Carolina with her husband and son and also has two grown daughters and a son-in-law. Emily loves living along the Coast in Eastern North Carolina and spending time with her family.

Emily’s exceptionally positive attitude and bright spirit will enhance the experience for all of our Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina clients. She is delighted to help guide our existing and new clients through navigating the health insurance marketplace.  Her wonderful spirit is refreshing to all, but her compassion for the elderly makes it a delight when our seniors call in to go over their Medicare Supplement needs. At Jerry Ballard & Associates, we strive to provide the best customer service for all North Carolinians and Emily is excited to use her customer service background to help meet the needs of all of our clients.

For more information on North Carolina Health Insurance coverage, please visit our website at www.nchealthplans.com or call our toll free number 888-765-5400 or our local number 252-726-5400 and speak with one of our experienced and professional agents.

HOW CAN MEDICARE ADVISORS HELP YOU!   

Thursday, October 17th, 2019

HOW CAN Medicare Advisors HELP YOU!       

Medicare Annual Enrollment Period started October 15th and ends December 7th, 2019.  As one of the top leading Medicare Advisors for Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina we are here to help and guide you.  With so many Medicare plans to consider and countless Medicare Supplement Insurance companies to compare, choosing the right coverage can be difficult. Fortunately, finding and purchasing a Medicare Supplement plan is easier with the help of a Medicare Advisor.

Whether your health care needs are straightforward or complex, Medicare and its various options can be extremely confusing. Simply browsing through Medicare Supplement options can be overwhelming.  When you talk with an independent Medicare Agent your options will become more clear.

Getting Medicare and purchasing a Medicare Supplement plan are decisions you should not take lightly. Whether you are working with a limited budget and you need to keep your costs low or you have growing medical needs and you want to make sure your care is covered, you need the right plan at the right price.  Get your free Medicare Supplement Quote and/or Apply on Line today.

When you work with a Medicare Advisor you will not have to second-guess your decision or worry that you have overlooked important information.  You will have peace of mind knowing you have made the best decision that will protect your budget and your health.

For more information on North Carolina Health Insurance coverage, please visit our website at www.nchealthplans.com or call our toll free number 888-765-5400 or our local number 252-726-5400 and speak with one of our experienced and professional agents.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are you ready for Medicare Open Enrollment 2020?

Tuesday, October 8th, 2019

Medicare Open Enrollment starts October 15 and runs until December 7. While that might seem to be plenty of time to weigh your options and enroll, it is actually less than two months.  It is time to act now and beat the rush before the holidays.

As one of the top Medicare Advisors in the State of North Carolina for Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina, we are here to help you make those decisions.  Whether you are new to Medicare, want to make a plan change or review all available options, we are here to help you.  The Medicare program changes a little bit each year. Knowing what’s new in 2020 could help you navigate the many choices you’ll have during this year’s Open Enrollment.

We can help you apply on line, handle your application through the mail or make an appointment to visit our office for a one on one meeting.  Whatever method is easiest and most helpful to you is what we do to help eliminate the stress and confusion.

To get your free rate quote and/or apply on line, CLICK HERE TO GET STARTED!

For more information on North Carolina Health Insurance coverage, please visit our website at www.nchealthplans.com or call our toll free number 888-765-5400 or our local number 252-726-5400 and speak with one of our experienced and professional agents.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina Announces Rate Decrease for 2020

Tuesday, August 6th, 2019

Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina is excited to announce filing for a 2020 rate decrease with the North Carolina Department of Insurance.  This is a big step in Blue Cross of NC’s movement toward making healthcare more affordable to North Carolinian’s.

Blue Cross NC Rate Decrease for 2020

For the second year in a row, Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina has filed to decrease rates for coverage starting in the new year. This rate decrease is an overall average of 5.2 percent for Affordable Care Act plans offered to individuals and families in year 2020. There is also an average 3.3 percent decrease for those plans offered to small businesses with one to 50 employees. These rate decreases show a total reduction of $238 million to health care costs in 2020.

“We want to be a national model for health care transformation, where insurers and providers are jointly responsibly for delivering better, simpler, more affordable care,” said Patrick Conway, President and CEO of Blue Cross NC. “The hard work is not done, and we must continue building on these successes if we are going to truly make health care affordable for everyone in North Carolina. What these rate reductions show is that the move to value is working – when the focus is on quality and accountability, costs go down and the customer wins.”

Does this mean your premium will decrease?

Health Insurance premiums will always vary based on your location, age, and federal tax credit/subsidy applied to your premium. It is important to know that the overall rate decrease is an average for all counties in North Carolina. Therefore, not every Blue Cross NC member in North Carolina will experience the same amount in rate changes for 2020.

As of now, the Federal Tax Credits or Subsidies will still be available in 2020 to enrollees with a household income between 100 and 400 percent of the Federal Poverty Level. Nearly 90 percent of existing Blue Cross NC enrollees are subsidy eligible. To determine if you may be subsidy eligible, CLICK HERE to generate a quote online and discover how subsidies can greatly reduce the cost of your monthly Health Insurance premium.

When is the 2020 Open Enrollment Period?

The Open Enrollment Period will begin on November 1st, 2019 and ends December 15th, 2019. This is the time of year where anyone can enroll in a Blue Cross Blue Shield of NC plan without needing a Qualifying Life Event. We know the importance of understanding your health coverage and understand that the Health Insurance market can be confusing. If you are an existing member or considering enrolling in a Blue Cross Blue Shield of NC plan during the Open Enrollment Period, we are happy to help you through the process. Rate quotes for 2020 plans as well as renewal information for existing members will be available in October.

For more information on North Carolina Health Insurance coverage, please visit our website at www.nchealthplans.com or call our toll free number 888-765-5400 and speak with one of our experienced and professional agents.

Know your Network- Blue Cross NC Health Insurance in 2019

Friday, May 24th, 2019

When shopping the health insurance market, you will discover many terms used to describe health insurance plans. As you read about options with Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina, one of the most important terms to understand is that used to describe the network. The “Network” refers to the group of doctors and medical facilities which accept your plan. Knowing and understanding your network helps predict what to expect when utilizing your health plan throughout the year. As you learn about network options through Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina, you will be able to better determine what plan is best for you and your family. Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina names each plan after the associated network.

Blue Advantage and Blue Select

Blue Advantage and Blue Select are the names used to describe the largest network of doctors and hospitals available under Blue Cross NC plans. The Blue Advantage network is the broadest network, with over 95% of doctors and hospitals in North Carolina. Like Blue Advantage plans, Blue Select plans are also a broad network plan. However, the Blue Select network is broken down into two tiers. Blue Select policy holders will find that a bit more management is required when determining a facilities tier. For example, one may have different copayments for specialist visits depending on if they visit a Tier 1 or Tier 2 provider.

Blue Value

The Blue Value network option is a more limited network than Blue Advantage or Blue Select. However, enrolling in a Blue Value plan can help you save money. Where these plans lack in flexibility to see a broad network of doctors and facilities, you will find that Blue Value options offer lower monthly premiums. If your zip code falls  within the Triangle region of North Carolina, you will find the Blue Value plans are with UNC Health Alliance. Doing your research and checking to see if your doctor is in-network is necessary when enrolling in a Blue Value plan. If you are planning on visiting a specific doctor, specialist, or medical facility, it is a good idea to call the provider to confirm the network.

Blue Local

Blue Local with Atrium Health is the most limited of the four BCBSNC networks. This network with Atrium Health (also known as Carolinas HealthCare System) is available to Charlotte-area residents, including Anson, Cabarrus, Cleveland, Gaston, Lincoln, Mecklenburg, Rowan, Stanley, and Union County. Like the Blue Value network, enrolling in a Blue Local plan will be a less expensive plan option, but have a more restrictive network. If you were to visit a doctor or facility outside of Atrium Health, then you would pay out-of-network rates.

Understanding these four network options will give you a great advantage when navigating available health insurance plans. A little research could potentially translate to savings on monthly premiums and the cost of care. CLICK HERE to generate a custom quote and discover what BCBSNC network options are available to you.

For more information on North Carolina Health Insurance coverage, please visit our website at www.nchealthplans.com or call our toll free number 888-765-5400 and speak with one of our experienced and professional agents.

North Carolina HMO vs PPO Health Insurance Plans : What’s the Difference?

Monday, April 8th, 2019

When it comes to choosing a Health Insurance Plan, it is great to have options. However, having options in the Health Insurance market can quickly become overwhelming. Two types of health plans that shoppers often find themselves choosing between are HMO and PPO Plans. One of our most commonly asked questions from Health Plan shoppers is: “What is the difference between a HMO vs PPO plan?” There are many terms that are used to describe these types of health plans, and understanding them is key when determining which plan is right for you.

Health Maintenance Organization (HMOs)

The term HMO stands for Health Maintenance Organization. HMOs are regarded as a managed health care system, which provide prepaid medical services with little out of pocket expense. With an HMO plan, the subscriber will be required to see a Primary Care Physician (PCP) that is in network with their HMO plan. These plans have networks of medical providers, and subscribers must seek treatment from these providers. There are no out of network benefits under an HMO plan. Some HMO plans may also require your Primary Care Physician give you a referral in order to see a specialist. Because these types of plans have more restrictive networks, subscribers will generally have lower premiums and low deductibles under these plans.

Preferred Provider Organizations (PPOs)

The term PPO stands for Preferred Provider Organization. These plans are an arrangement under which a group of independent doctors and hospitals become preferred providers in an area. PPO plans offer more flexibility and choices when it comes to choosing your doctor or hospital. Like HMOs, PPOs also have a network of providers. However, there are fewer restrictions on seeing providers who are not in network. Under a PPO plan, you will also usually have the benefit of seeing a specialist without a referral from your Primary Care Physician. Because PPO plans are more flexible, premiums tend to be higher, and it is common to have a deductible.

Point of Service (POSs)

Point of Service Plans (POS) are a hybrid plan that combine features of PPO and HMO plans. These plans are designed so the member can choose (at the point of service) which part of the plan they would like to utilize. If the subscriber stays in network with this plan, they will have HMO benefits. If the member sees an out of network provider, they will be responsible for the out of network rates. Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina offers a variety of Point of Service health plans. CLICK HERE to generate a custom quote and discover your plan options.

What do these plans have in common?

HMO’s, PPO’s and POS plans all have provider networks. A network refers to the list of doctors, hospitals, labs, and other providers that are contracted with the health plan. The difference in these plans network options is the size of the network, and whether or not the plan offers out of network benefits. Each of these types of plans also offer coverage for emergency services both in and out of network.

At NC Health Plans, we understand that making decisions within the Health Insurance market can be confusing. Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina offers a variety of health plans for both under 65 and Medicare shoppers. Give us a call to speak with one of our professional agents and discover what health plan will work best for you or your family.

For more information on North Carolina Health Insurance coverage, please visit our website at www.nchealthplans.com or call our toll free number 888-765-5400 and speak with one of our experienced and professional agents.

All You Need to Know About Blue Cross NC Medicare Supplement Plan G

Tuesday, March 19th, 2019

For many years, Medicare Supplement Plan F has been the most popular Medicare Supplement plan. However, many Medicare beneficiaries are now choosing Plan G. Plan G has increasingly become the more popular Supplement plan as Plan F will no longer be offered in 2020 due to the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015.  In many scenarios, Plan G can offer significant yearly savings with very rich benefits.

What is the difference between Plan F and Plan G?

Medicare Supplement Plan G is nearly identical to Plan F except for one difference-the Part B deductible. The Part B deductible in 2019 is $185. The Plan G does not provide coverage for this deductible which means the member would be responsible for paying the Part B deductible ($185 in 2019) out of pocket when incurring Medical expenses for things like doctor’s office visits.  Once the Part B deductible is met, the Plan G pays exactly the same benefits as the Plan F.

Will I save money with Plan G?

Lower premiums are a primary reason why many Medicare beneficiaries are choosing Plan G. In recent years, the monthly premiums for Plan G have been significantly less than Plan F premiums. Plan G has also incurred lower rate increases in recent years.

What does Medicare Plan G pay for?

Medicare supplement Plan G will pay for your hospital deductible as well as other copays and coinsurance under Medicare.

What does Medicare Plan G not pay for?

Medicare Supplement Plan G does not pay for the Part B Deductible.  It also does not include any prescription drug coverage like most other Medicare Supplement plans.  Most Medicare Supplement beneficiaries also enroll in standalone Part D prescription plans for drug coverage.

Is plan G the most popular Medicare supplement?

In recent years, the Blue Cross NC Plan G has become the most popular Medicare Supplement.  Due to Plan F being discontinued for new enrollees in 2020, most insurance companies have strategically made the Plan G a more competitively priced and more attractive plan.

Why should I choose plan G?

Once Plan F is discontinued in 2020, Plan G is going to offer you the greatest benefits under any of the Medicare Supplement plans. Plan G is the most popular Medicare plan because of its wide range of coverage and minimal out of pocket exposure, while offering lower monthly premiums when compared to Plan F.

If you are turning 65 or considering switching your Medicare Supplement plan this year, give us a call and speak with one of our professional Medicare specialists. We are happy to discuss how Medicare Plan G will benefit you, and assist you through the application process. CLICK HERE to request a personal Medicare Supplement quote and discover your Medicare Supplement plan options.

For more information on North Carolina Health Insurance coverage, please visit our website at www.nchealthplans.com or call our toll free number 888-765-5400 and speak with one of our experienced and professional agents.

Kennon Wainwright Recognized as Top BCBS Medicare Agent in North Carolina

Wednesday, January 30th, 2019

At NC Health Plans, we strive to assist our customers with their Health Insurance needs throughout every phase of life. One of our top priorities is aiding those in the Medicare, over 65 market and helping this group of North Carolinians understand their options within Medicare. We are very proud to announce that our agency manager, Kennon Wainwright, has now ranked two years straight within the top Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina Medicare Advisors. In 2018, Kennon ranked Number 2 in the state of North Carolina for top performance in assisting Medicare Supplement customers.  He also ranked Number 4 in the state for Medicare Advantage. He is now a member of the Exclusive Century Club, due to his top sales and services to Medicare Beneficiaries. Kennon is honored to serve so many North Carolinians as they make these important Medicare decisions. He quickly recognizes this opportunity would not be possible without the support of the NC Health Plans team and the strength of Blue Cross Blue Shield NC products and brand.

If you have not previously helped a parent or spouse with Medicare, then this topic can often be very foreign. We recognize the importance of understanding your transition into Medicare, and meeting your health care needs. We also understand that with so much information to read online, navigating the Medicare market can be overwhelming. Speaking directly with one of our professionals, like Kennon, can make this confusing topic easier to understand. It is important to learn how each part of Medicare will affect you, and discover which plans will meet your needs as you make this transition.

If you are turning 65 or transitioning to Medicare, we would be happy to help you through this process. Give us a call to discuss your BCBSNC Medicare plan options. To get started on this process, CLICK HERE to generate a custom Blue Cross NC Medicare quote.

For more information on North Carolina Health Insurance coverage, please visit our website at www.nchealthplans.com or call our toll free number 888-765-5400 and speak with one of our experienced and professional agents.

NC Health Plans Designated to 2019 Marketplace Elite Plus Circle of Champions

Friday, January 11th, 2019

At NC Health Plans, we want wish you a very Happy New Year. We hope that 2019 brings you health and happiness! As the New Year begins, we would like to proudly announce that we have been designated to the Health Insurance Marketplace Elite Plus Circle of Champions for enrolling 500+ North Carolinians in coverage beginning January 2019. This is the highest achievement attainable for helping customers enroll in affordable health insurance through the Marketplace and we look forward to assisting more North Carolinians as we move into the Special Enrollment Period for 2019.

The health insurance Marketplace, or healthcare.gov is where individuals and families can apply for government subsidies to assist with the cost of health insurance. Subsidies can greatly reduce the cost of health insurance for those who qualify based on their yearly income. Now that we are outside of Open Enrollment for 2019, Special Enrollment Period has begun. You can still apply for Qualified Health Insurance if you have a qualifying life event. The most common Qualifying Life Events include losing coverage, getting married, having a child, or moving. Generate a quote to discover if you may be eligible for a subsidy during Special Enrollment Period.

Navigating the Health Insurance market can be confusing, and we are happy to assist you with every step of the way. We take pride in helping fellow North Carolinians apply for affordable health care through Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina. Thank you for a great year, and we hope to continue serving many of you in 2019.

For more information on North Carolina Health Insurance coverage, please visit our website at www.nchealthplans.com or call our toll free number 888-765-5400 and speak with one of our experienced and professional agents.

NC Health Plans Designated to Marketplace Elite Circle of Champions

Monday, October 29th, 2018

NC Health Plans is proud to announce that we have been included in the Health Insurance Marketplace Elite Circle of Champions. This means that we have been designated the top achievement award for helping North Carolina residents enroll in Marketplace coverage through Healthcare.gov. Now that Health Insurance Open Enrollment Period for 2019 has arrived, we are ready to assist more North Carolinians in applying for affordable Qualified Health Care!

Healthcare.gov, also known as the Health Insurance Marketplace, is the avenue that individuals go through to apply for government subsidies to be applied towards their Health Insurance premiums. Subsidies are designed to lower the cost of health insurance for low and middle income individuals or families. These government applications can often be overwhelming and confusing, and we are happy to help you through this process. Our website provides consolidated Health Insurance applications, and we can help you apply for your subsidy right over the phone. CLICK HERE to generate a quote and discover if you are eligible for a subsidy.

We are proud to be recognized as a top leader and guide in helping individuals apply for affordable Health Insurance through Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina and we look forward to helping North Carolinians in the upcoming 2019 Open Enrollment Period, which starts November 1st and ends December 15, 2018.

For more information on North Carolina Health Insurance coverage, please visit our website at www.nchealthplans.com or call our toll free number 888-765-5400 and speak with one of our experienced and professional agents.