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Only 15 days left! – NC Health Insurance for 2016

Saturday, January 16th, 2016

Closing Soon ClockIf you are like me, it probably seems like 2015 came and went in a flash!  Between the holidays and a new year, you may find yourself still not enrolled in health insurance.  If you missed the December 15th deadline for January 1st coverage and you also missed the January 15th deadline for February 1st coverage, you have yet another opportunity to enroll in health insurance for 2016! Open Enrollment will not officially end until January 31st and for the next 15 days, you can still submit an application and have coverage that will begin March 1st.  If you miss this deadline, however, you may be unable to enroll in a 2016 health insurance plan, which means not only will you be uninsured, you will likely incur a tax penalty.

Keep in mind that the 2016 tax penalty has increased to $695 per person or 2.5% of your annual individual income, whichever is greater.

The good news is you can still submit an application online in as little as ten minutes and if you are applying through the federal Marketplace, we are happy to assist you in submitting your application over the phone.  Give us a call at 888-765-5400.  We can assist you in choosing the plan that best suits your family’s needs and help you determine whether or not you qualify for a federal subsidy to help reduce the cost of your health plan.  Don’t let another year go by without obtaining health insurance for you and your family!

For more information on Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina 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.

Apply for Health Insurance and a Federal Subsidy in Ten Minutes or Less!

Monday, December 28th, 2015

render of easy button, isolated on whiteAre you one of the many Americans who qualify for a federal tax credit under the Affordable Care Act?  If so, you can now complete and submit your application in less than ten minutes!  If you attempted to apply for a subsidy in past years, you may have encountered long wait times, confusing online applications and the frustration of poor communication regarding your application, payment deadlines and policy information.  But that is no longer necessary.  Through a simple, straight-forward, and fast online application, you can now easily enroll in health insurance through the federal Marketplace. (more…)

Blue is for Carolina – NC Among States with Highest Rates of Uninsured

Friday, April 3rd, 2015

Bodie Island Lighthouse Cape Hatteras National Seashore Outer BaDespite the current Administration’s push to make health insurance a top priority, according to a recent Gallup Poll study, North Carolina ranks among the states that still have the greatest population of uninsured residents. In fact, NC had an uninsured rate of 16.1 percent in 2014, ranking it among the top five states in the nation with the greatest amount of residents who still have no health insurance.  Although many residents in 2014 did take advantage of the Affordable Care Act, purchasing subsidized health plans through the federal Marketplace, a large portion of the population did not.

Changes in the law regarding health insurance as well as changes in state programs such as Medicaid have created quite a stir in the last few months and left many North Carolina residents scratching their heads wondering what to do.  Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina is committed to helping residents of NC obtain quality, cost efficient health coverage both on and off the federal Marketplace.  In fact, every Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina health plan is ACA (Affordable Care Act) approved and offers the 10 essential benefits required under the law.  In addition, BCBSNC has a wide variety of health plans available on the Exchange for members who qualify for a federal subsidy.  Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina has an uncontested presence in the state, providing accessible networks in all 100 counties in NC.  Furthermore, unlike other insurance companies offering subsidized plans on the Marketplace, BCBSNC plans are not HMO’s, meaning you will still have coverage even if you happen to go out of network.

With or without the law and the tax penalties associated with being uninsured under the Affordable Care Act, living without health insurance is never a good idea.  Life happens and even the healthiest and most cautious among us can’t control the unexpected.  BCBSNC wants to make sure the residents of North Carolina are covered for routine preventive care and also in case of medical emergency.  Experience the benefits of being a Blue Cross Blue Shield of NC member and help make North Carolina among the nation’s leaders in insured residents.

For more information on Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina health 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.

 

You May Still Be Able to Enroll – Marketplace Grants Extension

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

last chance or opportunity time on clock is ticking away now orThe Health Insurance Marketplace has announced that despite the fact Open Enrollment ended at midnight, February 15th, you may still be able to obtain health insurance for 2015.  The Insurance Marketplace is granting this extension for anyone who missed the deadline due to either technical issues or unusual call volume that made it impossible for you to complete your application by the deadline.  A Special Enrollment Period has been set for February 16-February 22 by the federal government for all those who may have had trouble on the government website or experienced an extensive Call Center wait on February 13, 14 or 15.

This Special Enrollment Period may apply to you:

1.  if you tried to enroll in health coverage by the deadline, but did not complete the enrollment process because of unusual wait times at the Call Center or…

2.  if you tried to enroll, but were unable to complete enrollment due to a technical issue, such as being unable to submit your application because verification sources were down.

If either of these apply to you, you may still be able to get coverage.  To finish your enrollment, you must attest to the truth of one of the above statements with the federal Marketplace and this opportunity will only be available until February 22. 2015.  In order to determine if you eligible for this Special Enrollment Period, you should contact the Marketplace directly.  If you do determine you are still eligible to enroll, we would be happy to help you pick your Blue Cross Blue Shield of NC health plan and guide you through the steps to complete the enrollment process.

Please note that this Special Enrollment Period is intended to help consumers enroll for 2015 health insurance for the first time.  It is not applicable for customers who are already enrolled in a plan through the Marketplace and simply want to switch to a different plan now.  Changes to your health insurance policy are now subject to the rules of Special Enrollment including Qualifying Life Events.

For more information on Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina health 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 Ending Soon – February 15th Application Deadline

Thursday, February 12th, 2015

Calendar On Desk - February 15ThThe Open Enrollment period for 2015 and your once-a-year opportunity to enroll a new Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina health plan or make changes to your current plan is coming to a close February 15th.  Open Enrollment began November 15th, but if you are one of the many Americans still trying to obtain health insurance for 2015 or if you still need to make changes to your health insurance policy, there is still time.

Here are four different scenarios that may apply to you:

Members with Grandfathered Plans:

A Grandfathered Plan is a health plan that was in place on March 23, 2010 and has had no changes made to it.  These plans are exempt from many of the Affordable Care Act requirements; however, you do have the option to change to an ACA plan.  Keep in mind, though, that once you give up your Grandfathered plan you will not be able to get it back.  Carefully consider the costs and benefits of your current plan and compare it against the available ACA plans before making a decision to change.

Members with Transitional Plans:

A transitional plan is a health plan that was purchased between March 24, 2010 and October 1, 2013.  These plans were originally supposed to be canceled on January 1, 2014 because of the new ACA requirements, but the administration decided at the last minute that members could keep these plans for two additional years.  Like with Grandfathered Plans, you may decide to switch to an ACA plan but remember, a new plan may cost more than your current plan, even with a subsidy applied.  Be sure to weigh your options carefully.

Members with ACA or Subsidized Plans:

ACA plans include many of those purchased on the Health Insurance Marketplace for 2014.  If you have one of these plans, there are some important questions you need to ask.  You want to consider how much you want to pay out of pocket for premiums and deductibles and also you need to consider the size of your network.  If you received a subsidy in 2014, you need to visit the Marketplace and update your subsidy qualifications.  If you don’t, you might not receive as much subsidy as you deserve and could wind up paying more than necessary for your health plan.

Members with ACA or Non-Subsidized Plans:

If you did not receive a subsidy in 2014 and you would like to make changes to your plan, you can still see if you qualify for a subsidy.  Again, consider the plans carefully, including the size of your network, out of pocket costs and monthly premiums.

FEBRUARY 15, 2015 is the last day you can apply for a 2015 plan or make changes to your current plan before the end of the Annual Enrollment Period.  After February 15, you will be subject to the rules of Special Enrollment involving Qualifying Life Events.

For more information on Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina health 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.