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Archive for the ‘Health Care Reform’ Category

The Essentials of Health Care

Friday, October 3rd, 2014

bigstockphoto_trust_4294608Webster’s Dictionary defines the word essential as “extremely important and necessary,” and Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina couldn’t agree more.  Regardless of the coverage you choose, health care reform requires that qualified health plans include 10 essential health benefits that fall into the following categories that will help keep you and your family healthy and secure.

  • Ambulatory Services
  • Emergency Services
  • Hospitilization
  • Maternity and Newborn Care
  • Mental health and substance abuse services (including behavioral health)
  • Prescription drugs
  • Rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices
  • Laboratory services
  • Preventive/wellness services and chronic disease management
  • Pediatric services, including dental and vision

BCBSNC understands that your health care matters and that these essential services are extremely important and necessary to your overall wellness and peace of mind.  With a variety of health care policies to meet your essential needs, Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina is committed to offering quality health care that more than covers the basics.  To find a BCBSNC health plan you can trust with your essential care, click here.

For more information on health insurance coverage in North Carolina, please visit our website at www.nchealthplans.com or call our toll free number 888-765-5400 and speak with one of our professional agents. Our agency provides coverage for health insurance in North Carolina through Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC). It would be our pleasure to help you navigate through the Health Care Reform changes in accordance with the new regulations of Obamacare. Call us for details.

 

Do you Qualify for a Special Enrollment Period?

Monday, April 21st, 2014

Open enrollment for health insurance has ended; however you may still Questions and Answers signpostqualify for a special enrollment period due to a qualifying event.  Some examples of these qualifying events include:

  1. Marriage, having a baby, adopting a child or placing a child for adoption or foster care, moving outside your insurer’s coverage area, gaining citizenship, leaving incarceration.
  2. Gaining status as member of an Indian tribe. Members of federally recognized Indian tribes can sign up for or change plans once per month throughout the year.
  3. For people already enrolled in Marketplace coverage: Having a change in income or household status that affects eligibility for premium tax credits or cost-sharing reductions
  4.  Losing other health coverage—due to losing job-based coverage, divorce, the end of an individual policy plan year in 2014, COBRA expiration, aging off a parent’s plan, losing eligibility for Medicaid or CHIP, and similar circumstances. Important: Voluntarily ending coverage doesn’t qualify you for a special enrollment period. Neither does losing coverage that doesn’t qualify as minimum essential coverage.

For more information on health insurance coverage in North Carolina, please visit our website at www.nchealthplans.com or call our toll free number 888-765-5400 and speak with one of our professional agents. Our agency provides coverage for health insurance in North Carolina through Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC). It would be our pleasure to help you navigate through the Health Care Reform changes in accordance with the new regulations of Obama care. Call us for details.

 

BCBSNC/Obamacare/Marketplace – LET US WALK YOU THROUGH THE PROCESS

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

doggiesEnrolling in a Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina plan is simple and easy. You can enroll online 24/7.

When you get your free, no-obligation rate quote, we will help you estimate any advance premium tax credit (subsidy) or cost-sharing reduction you may be eligible for through the government.  Your quote will outline the estimated subsidy so you can see the reduced rate.

Next Step: Register through your free rate quote, click the link in your quote to start your healthcare.gov application process.  We will help you select a plan and guide you through the entire process.  Once your subsidy application is completed, we will guide you through the payment process and provide you the payment coupon so you can mail your payment to Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina to guarantee your coverage starts on the effective date you requested.

NOT APPLYING FOR A SUBSIDY.  Apply today and start coverage immediately.  YOU DO NOT HAVE TO GO TO THE MARKETPLACE and we can walk you through these very simple and easy steps.

You only have a limited time to enroll. The annual enrollment period ends 3/31/2014.   As of today, you will have the option for an April 1st or May 1st effective date.  Unless special circumstances apply, you will not have the opportunity to enroll again until  the next Open Enrollment starting Nov 2014 for coverage that starts 1/1/2015. That means you cannot wait for a medical need to enroll.

For more information on health insurance coverage in North Carolina, please visit our website at www.nchealthplans.com or call our toll free number 888-765-5400 and speak with one of our professional agents. Our agency provides coverage for health insurance in North Carolina through Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC). It would be our pleasure to help you navigate through the Health Care Reform changes in accordance with the new regulations of Obama care. Call us for details.

BCBSNC- Blue Select in 2014

Thursday, January 23rd, 2014

BCBSNC wants to help you save. Consider one of our new low cost plan options.  To help lessen the financial impacts of health care reform, BCBSNC has created several new plan options for 2014.

Blue Select is one of those plan options that provides smart choices and health savings.

Blue Select features a tiered network to help you save money. This plan offers:
+ A large network with two tiers of providers to choose from
+ Prescription drug requirements

For more information on health insurance coverage in North Carolina, please visit our website at www.nchealthplans.com or call our toll free number 888-765-5400 and speak with one of our professional agents. Our agency provides coverage for health insurance in North Carolina through Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC). It would be our pleasure to help you navigate through the Health Care Reform changes in accordance with the new regulations of Obama care. Call us for details.

Information from a BCBSNC publication on 8/12/13.

BCBSNC Blue Value in 2014

Friday, September 13th, 2013

BlueCross BlueShield wants to help you save. Consider one of our new low cost plan options. To help lessen the financial impacts of health care reform, BCBSNC has created several new plan options for 2014.

Blue Value is one of these options.  The coverage you need, the savings you want. Blue Value features the lowest costs of all our plans. This plan offers:

+ Quality, cost-effective coverage
+ A limited network of providers and pharmacies
+ Prescription drug requirement

For more information on health insurance coverage in North Carolina, please visit our website at www.nchealthplans.com or call our toll free number 888-765-5400 and speak with one of our professional agents. Our agency provides coverage for health insurance in North Carolina through Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC). You may qualify for a 15% healthy lifestyle discount if you are in excellent health. Call us for details.

Information from a BCBSNC publication on 8/12/13.

Key points to Remember about Your BCBSNC Grandfathered Plan

Wednesday, September 11th, 2013

If you like your Grandfathered Plan, keep it. Automatic renewal will continue coverage. If you switch to a new 2014 BCBSNC plan, subsidies may save you money. Not switching may mean you are “leaving money on the table”.

BCBSNC will be sending you your new 2014 rate in September. Starting October 1, you can go to Member Services to link to the Health Insurance Marketplace to confirm subsidies. You can compare your rate from our September rate letter to the rate of a new 2014 plan with subsidies. This side by side comparison will help you decide what is best for you.  Remember, changes to your plan must be made by December 15, 2013 for the plan to be effective January 1, 2014.

For more information on health insurance coverage in North Carolina, please visit our website at www.nchealthplans.com or call our toll free number 888-765-5400 and speak with one of our professional agents. Our agency provides coverage for health insurance in North Carolina through Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC). You may qualify for a 15% healthy lifestyle discount if you are in excellent health. Call us for details.

Information from a BCBSNC publication on 8/12/13.

How do Subsidies like Cost-Sharing Reductions Work?

Monday, September 9th, 2013

Cost-Sharing Reductions are only available to those who qualify. Again, they do not apply to Grandfathered Plans. If you qualify, you will want to take advantage of both Cost-Sharing Reductions and Advanced Premium Tax Credits. You can use them both to maximize your savings.Cost-Sharing Reductions are only available to individuals who are ineligible for public coverage and are unable to get qualified health insurance through an employer.

COST-SHARING REDUCTIONS:

2014 plans will be grouped into four metallic levels: Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum. In order to take advantage of Cost-Sharing Reductions, you must choose a Silver plan. They help lower out-of-pocket expenses, such as deductibles, co-pays and coinsurance.

Cost-Sharing Reductions are only available for households with incomes thatare between 100% and 250% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL).

For example, let’s say you go to the doctor and are charged $100. Normally with a Silver plan you might have a co-pay of $25, but because
you qualify for Cost-Sharing Reductions and you chose a Silver plan, you may have a co-pay as low as $5.

Cost-Sharing Reductions can also lower deductibles. For example, a $3,500 deductible may be lowered to $500.

With Cost-Sharing Reductions, you essentially pay for a Silver plan but receive the richer coverage of higher metallic level plans, thereby reducing your out-of-pocket expenses. If you qualify for Cost-Sharing Reductions, you should take advantage of this cost savings benefit.

For more information on health insurance coverage in North Carolina, please visit our website at www.nchealthplans.com or call our toll free number 888-765-5400 and speak with one of our professional agents. Our agency provides coverage for health insurance in North Carolina through Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC). You may qualify for a 15% healthy lifestyle discount if you are in excellent health. Call us for details.

Information from a BCBSNC publication on 8/12/13.

Changes to NC’s Small Employer Group Health Coverage Reform Act Related

Monday, September 2nd, 2013

Federal and NC Definitions Now Aligned

Date: 08/23/2013

Recently, the North Carolina (NC) legislature passed House Bill 649, which made changes to NC’s Small Employer Group Health Coverage Reform Act in order to align federal and NC definitions related to small employer group health plans – specifically, those definitions included as part of the Affordable Care Act.

Important changes affecting BCBSNC employer groups beginning January 1, 2014 include:

Sole Proprietorship Change

Self-employed individuals (or sole proprietors) with no common-law employees are no longer eligible for non-grandfathered small employer health plan coverage; conversely, a sole proprietor is eligible for group coverage if there is at least one common law employee (e.g., non-family member, etc.) employed.

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The Cost of Change: How the Affordable Care Act (Health Reform) Impacts you

Friday, August 2nd, 2013

Are you ready for Health Care Reform?  Click the link below for a simple to understand presentation that may prepare you for 2014.  Our office is ready to assist you with purchasing new coverage and guiding you through the application process this fall.  Do you qualify for a subsidy?  Have you or any of your family or friends been denied coverage for health reasons?  Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina will be in the exchanges well as outside of the change.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o84Xz3_BQjc&feature=youtu.be

For more information on health insurance coverage in North Carolina, please visit our website at www.nchealthplans.com or call our toll free number 888-765-5400 and speak with one of our professional agents. Our agency provides coverage for health insurance in North Carolina through Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC). You may qualify for a 15% healthy lifestyle discount if you are in excellent health. Call us for details.

Wall Street Journal Previews ACA Rate Impact

Wednesday, July 31st, 2013
Posted by BCBSNC Date: 03/22/2013 A version of this article appeared March 22, 2013, on page A1 in the U.S. edition of The Wall Street Journal, with the headline: Health Insurers Warn on Premiums.

The Wall Street Journal has published a story that focuses on insurers’ efforts to educate brokers about the impact of the Affordable Care Act on premiums. BCBSNC is one of several health plans mentioned in the story.

Key Points About This

It’s important to remember that any numbers being thrown around are speculation – we have not finalized rates for the products we will sell on the Exchange yet.

The ACA has some good goals – covering more people and providing more benefits – and paying for these things will mean higher premiums.

The ACA requires health insurers to cover 10 new categories of essential health benefits – this adds cost.

There are also 8 new taxes and fees that will directly impact premiums.

And we’ll be adding many new customers – many of them sicker than our current customers. We expect this to mean higher medical expenses.

All of this means premiums that are higher than what we see today. Subsidies will offset these costs for some, but many customers will still pay more than they do today.

This summer, we will have tools available to help our customers evaluate their specific circumstances and determine whether they are better off keeping their current plan or shopping on the Exchange for a new plan. (more…)

Blue Cross Grandfathered Plans and Options

Wednesday, July 24th, 2013

As we begin to look towards health care reform, it will be important for you to decide whether to keep your grandfathered Blue Cross Blue Shield plan or to switch to a new Non Grandfathered plan.

You have flexibility. If you like your current plan, you ca stay with it.   For may people, this will be the best course of action because it may be the least expensive option.

You may qualify for a premium tax credit that can be applied to health insurance premiums; however, premium tax credits cannot be applied to your current grandfathered plan.  It may still be in your best interest financially to stay with your grandfathered plan.

Before moving forward, you should take the time to evaluate both the benefits of staying with your current grandfathered plan and the benefits of 2014 BCBSNC health care reform compliant plans.

The choice is yours. Remember, avoid the penalty and keep a plan.  It is important to note: once you leave a grandfathered plan, you cannot go back to it.  If you have questions, we’re here to help.

For more information on health insurance coverage in North Carolina, please visit our website at www.nchealthplans.com or call our toll free number 888-765-5400 and speak with one of our professional agents. Our agency provides coverage for health insurance in North Carolina through Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC). You may qualify for a 15% healthy lifestyle discount if you are in excellent health. Call us for details.

The information in this article was taken from “Health Care Reform is Coming” from BCBSNC on April 2013.

States brace for web barrage when health reform goes live

Monday, July 22nd, 2013

NEW YORK — About 550,000 people in Oregon do not have health insurance, and Aaron Karjala is confident the state’s new online insurance exchange will be able to accommodate them when enrollment under President Barack Obama’s healthcare reform begins on October 1.

What Karjala, the chief information officer at “Cover Oregon,” does worry about, however, is what will happen if the entire population of Oregon — 3.9 million — logs on that day “just to check it out,” he said. Or if millions of curious souls elsewhere, wondering if Oregon’s insurance offerings are better than their states’, log on, causing Cover Oregon to crash in a blur of spinning hourglasses and color wheels and an epidemic of frozen screens.

Multiply that by another 49 states and the District of Columbia, all of which will open health insurance exchanges under “Obamacare” that same day, and you get some idea of what could go publicly and disastrously wrong.

Obamacare, formally known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), could fail for many reasons, including participation by too few of the uninsured and a shortage of doctors to treat those who do sign up. But because its core is government-run marketplaces selling health insurance online, the likeliest reason for failure at the opening bell is information technology snafus, say experts who are helping with the rollout.

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