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Enrollment Made Easy – Get February 1st Coverage in Minutes!

Monday, January 4th, 2016

Attachment-1If you are one of the many Americans who waited… and waited… and waited on hold with the Federal Marketplace trying your best to enroll in health insurance by the December 15th deadline, but were still unable to complete the process, we can help! Although the deadline has passed for a January 1st effective date, Open Enrollment is still happening and you can be enrolled in a Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina health plan starting February 1st in just minutes!  We offer a simple, straight-forward, and short application you can do online or over the phone with one of our experienced and professional agents and we are happy to help you choose a plan, submit an application and assist you through enrolllment. (more…)

Missed the Deadline for 2016 Open Enrollment? – You Can Still Apply!

Friday, December 18th, 2015

sign up or apply now blue icon and subscribe here for membershipAlthough the deadline for 2016 health coverage with an effective date of January 1st has already passed, Open Enrollment is not over yet!  In fact, this year’s Open Enrollment continues through January 31st, 2016 and you can still apply in as little as ten minutes.  If you have a Qualifying Life Event (QLE), you may still be able to get a January 1st effective date, but for most people, that effective date will no longer be available.  Here are the remaining important dates to keep in mind:

If you want your coverage to begin February 1st, you need to submit your application by midnight, January 15th.

If you want your coverage to begin March 1st, you need to submit your application by midnight January 31st.

The only thing that can change these effective dates is if you have a Qualifying Life Event (QLE) that makes you eligible for a Special Enrollment Period.  Qualifying Life Events include things like loss of minimum essential coverage through an employer or through Medicaid, a marriage, a move and more.  Check out the list of Qualifying Life Events, but keep in mind that your QLE must have occurred within the last 60 days in order for you to be eligible. (more…)

Is Health Insurance Necessary?

Friday, December 11th, 2015

Businessman ThinkingWith the cost of health insurance on the rise and everyone scrambling to try and find a plan they can afford, more and more people are asking:  Is health insurance even necessary?  It’s a fair question and one that demands an answer.

First of all, it’s important to keep in mind that under the Affordable Care Act, you are now required by law to be enrolled in a health insurance plan.  If you go three consecutive months uninsured, you will incur a tax penalty and the tax penalty for 2016 has increased substantially. In addition to the tax penalty, however, you will also be responsible for any and all health care expenses you and your family have in a given year, which is really the important consideration.  Recently, in fact, I had an experience that got me thinking long and hard about the importance of being insured. (more…)

Reduce BCBSNC Monthly Premium – Apply for a Federal Subsidy

Thursday, November 19th, 2015

Rate Hike words in green letters on a calculator display to illuWith the cost of health insurance on the rise, you may find yourself looking for ways to help cut the cost.  One of the provisions of the Affordable Care Act is that the federal government now offers federal tax credits, or subsidies, to low-to middle-income individuals and families in order to help reduce the cost of health insurance. Your federal subsidy is an advance premium tax credit and is applied directly to your monthly insurance premium. Government subsidies can substantially reduce the amount you pay for your Blue Cross Blue Shield NC health plan. (more…)

Cost of Prescription Drugs Affecting BCBSNC Premium Rates

Thursday, November 5th, 2015

bigstockphoto_medication_and_prescriptions_311655Under the Affordable Care Act, health care costs have risen across the board for both consumers and insurance companies, as well as health care providers.  Increased visits to the Emergency Room and an increasing number of ACA members with chronic health issues have put a strain on the health and health insurance industry alike.  A recent review of Blue Cross Blue Shield NC claims data showed that of the many higher health care costs among ACA business, prescription drug costs rose more than any other category of medical care in the first half of 2015.  In fact, prescription drug costs rose 33% in just one year, with a prescription claims average of $96.70 per month for each ACA customer January – June of 2015.  Although pharmaceutical companies are currently being reviewed for how they price new prescription drugs, that 33% increase has still greatly affected the cost of health insurance.

There are viable reasons the cost of prescription drugs are on the rise.  There are many new and improved medications as well as specialty drugs that can be very expensive to develop and administer.  Maintenance drugs for chronic conditions are also pricey and being used more than ever.  For example, the Mayo Clinic cited that cancer drugs have risen from an average price of about $10K a year in 2000 to more than $100K in 2012!  Although those drugs may be more effective and have less side effects, they are also more expensive.  New diabetes drugs as well are retailing at about $400 a month, whereas the older class of diabetes drugs were as little as $4 a month for the generic brand.  Again, with every advantage in new prescription coverage comes an increased cost to the consumer and the insurance company.

On a national level, the realities of the Affordable Care Act and its impact on the health insurance market are being fully realized as ACA customers experience more chronic conditions and continue to use their health benefits more often and at a higher rate than could have been accurately predicted.  This has affected the cost of health insurance, as insurance companies all over the nation fight to stay solvent.  In fact, Tennessee’s two largest health plans available on the ACA exchange requested a 2016 rate increase of 36-44% based on 2015 claims data and the Oregan insurance commissioner actually ordered several companies’ rates to be higher than requested because of concerns that the companies would simply fold otherwise.

As Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina prepares for 2016, consumers will likely see a rate increase in their monthly premiums and may be asking why.  The answer is simple.  The price of health care and prescription drugs is on the rise and new ACA consumers are using their benefits at a higher rate for more expensive services.  As always, BCBSNC is committed to offering members the very best coverage available at a price that is competitive in this new market and will continue to provide the residents of North Carolina health coverage they can depend on.

For more information on Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina insurance coverage, the Marketplace and healthcare gov to apply for your subsidy, 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.  Let us help you navigate through the Health Care Reform changes in accordance with the new regulations of The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obama care.

 

 

BCBSNC Rate Increase for 2016 – Call Us 888-765-5400

Monday, November 2nd, 2015

Stethoscope Heart With Us Flag And ChartA few weeks ago, Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina announced a requested rate increase for all 2016 BCBSNC health policies.  Since that time, NC health plans has received numerous calls from concerned customers regarding the proposed rate increase, with the number one question being why?  Here’s the answer. (more…)

BCBSNC – OPEN ENROLLMENT BEGINS NOVEMBER 1st

Thursday, October 29th, 2015

Closeup of a doctor holding a tablet computer with a chalkboard

If you did not get health coverage previously under the Affordable Care Act, you can enroll in a Blue Cross Blue Shield of NC health plan for next year starting November 1st.  In addition, if you are already enrolled, you can make a change to your existing coverage or renew your plan for 2016.  Open Enrollment will end January 31st, 2016 and if you do not enroll in a plan during this time, you will not be able to obtain health coverage until 2017 unless you have a Qualifying Life Event.

There are at least three key components to choosing an ACA plan that is right for you and your family: Benefits, premiums and the network of doctors and hospitals. (more…)

Blue Cross Blue Shield NC – The Future of Health Insurance

Wednesday, October 21st, 2015

Step Into The Future.

If you are part of the generation that remembers the movie Back to the Future II, you may recall that today, October 21, 2015, marks the day that Marty McFly and Doc Brown went from 1985 into the future in a rigged out DeLorean.  That was 30 years ago and although the movie may have gotten us thinking about what the future might look like, most of us never could have imagined some of the changes that have taken place not only in technology, but also in industry.  In fact, the last few years have marked the single biggest change in the health insurance industry the United States has ever seen.  With the induction of the Affordable Care Act, both insurance companies and insurance consumers have had to rethink health coverage and how it can be purchased and provided.

Despite the changes, however, Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina has continued to provide quality health insurance for the residents of North Carolina and is working hard to offer ACA-compliant, qualified health plans both on and off the federal Marketplace.  If you and your family are still uninsured, Open Enrollment is just around the corner, beginning November 1st, 2015 and running through January 31st, 2016.  During that time, anyone can apply for health coverage for any reason and you cannot be denied coverage based on preexisting conditions.

For assistance with an application for Blue Cross Blue Shield of NC health coverage or for help in claiming your federal tax credit, visit us at NCHealthPlans.com or call us toll free at 888-765-5400!  The future has arrived and no American need remain uninsured!

For more information on Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina insurance coverage, the Marketplace and healthcare gov to apply for your subsidy, 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.  Let us help you navigate through the Health Care Reform changes in accordance with the new regulations of The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obama care.

 

 

 

 

 

Open Enrollment Is Just Around the Corner – Be Prepared with BCBSNC!

Friday, October 9th, 2015

Are You Ready? card with colorful background with defocused ligh

 

Believe it or not, Open Enrollment is just around the corner and being prepared is half the battle!  This year, Open Enrollment begins November 1st and runs through January 31st, so if you are currently uninsured, you will be able to apply and obtain coverage very shortly.  Although Open Enrollment will not begin until November, you can begin preparing even now.  In fact, there are a number of questions you can ask yourself, as well as some important pieces of information you can gather so you are ready to successfully navigate Open Enrollment 2016. (more…)

Just Married? – BCBSNC Special Enrollment May Apply

Monday, September 28th, 2015

Newlyweds with guest on their garden party

If you are recently married, congratulations!  You just took a big step in your life and with that step comes big changes.  In fact, getting married within the last 60 days qualifies as a “Life Event” under the rules of the Affordable Care Act, which means you are eligible to enroll in a Qualified Health Plan during the Special Enrollment Period.  Although Open Enrollment 2016 will not begin until November 1st, your recent marriage may allow you to purchase health insurance now. (more…)

We Have You Covered with Blue! – 5 Reasons You Need an Insurance Agent

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015

Businessman Holding Umbrella Over Paper Cutout People

As an insurance agent with NCHEALTHPLANS.COM/JERRY BALLARD & ASSOCIATES, which has been in business and serving North Carolina residents since 1974, I hear many questions.  Most recently, people have asked one in particular:  “why do I need an insurance agent?”

Here are 5 important reasons you need an insurance agent: (more…)

Can I Enroll in Health Insurance? – Understanding Special Enrollment

Thursday, September 10th, 2015

Student thinking with question marks on blackboard. Asian femaleBy now, most of us have heard the terminology, but what exactly is a Special Enrollment and what constitutes a Qualifying Life Event?

Under the Affordable Care Act, there are two different periods in which an individual may apply for health insurance.  The first is referred to as Open Enrollment and during this time any person may apply for health coverage for any reason, as well as make changes to any existing health insurance policy.  During Special Enrollment, however, there are more restrictions and a person is required to have what is referred to as a Qualifying Life Event (QLE) in order to acquire health insurance.  (more…)