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Known Changes to NC Health Insurance in 2018

Wednesday, May 24th, 2017

Between media outlets and elected officials in Washington, there is no shortage of discussion and published content about the future of health insurance in North Carolina and across the country.  However, we still have very little concrete direction about what consumers, insurance companies and the healthcare industry can expect moving forward.  In the beginning of 2017, we provided our thoughts on the health insurance market in North Carolina moving forward.  Now, in May, we have some information about known changes, but uncertainty still exists.

The most recent and significant changes will impact all health insurance shoppers during the coming years Open Enrollment Period.  On April 13th, the Center of Medicare and Medicaid Services introduced final “Market Stabilization” rules for the Individual health insurance market.  From these changes, the Open Enrollment Period is now set to begin on November 1st and end of December 15th for an effective date of January 1st.  This will be the shortest Open Enrollment Period thus far and is the first time only one effective date option is available.  The previous Open Enrollment lasted until January 31st and offered effective dates of both February 1st and March 1st.  This means shoppers will need to make sure they have completed the enrollment process during these new Open Enrollment dates, otherwise, Special Enrollment Period requirements will apply.

Other notable changes impact Special Enrollment Periods and the requirement for documentation to prove Qualifying Life Events in order to enroll in health insurance plans outside the Open Enrollment Period.  This has been a request of insurance companies for several years now and simply requires customers to verify with supporting documentation that a Qualifying Life Event has occurred.

Other major changes are expected, but timelines and impacts of possible changes are very difficult to calculate now.  As we receive further guidance, we will continue to update the consumer community and empower you with the knowledge needed to navigate this constantly changing health insurance market.

For more information on 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.

Open Enrollment is Not Over! – Enroll your BCBSNC Health Insurance Today

Wednesday, December 21st, 2016

bigstock-160858379Open Enrollment is not over, so if you missed the December 15th deadline, you can still enroll your Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina health plan.  BCBSNC has Qualified Health Plans available in all 100 counties of North Carolina and there is still plenty of time to enroll.  At NC Health Plans we are committed to making the enrollment process as easy as possible.  If you are not eligible for a federal subsidy, you can enroll your plan off the Marketplace in a short, simple, 10 minute application.  Or, if you would like to apply for a federal subsidy and enroll your plan through the Marketplace, we can help you do that application over the phone in a matter of minutes.  In fact, generating a quote, determining subsidy eligibility and submitting your Marketplace application has never been simpler!

Keep in mind, Open Enrollment will officially end on January 31st, 2017 and if you want your new health plan to begin February 1st, you must complete your application by January 15th.  Also, remember under the law of the Affordable Care Act, you are required to carry health insurance and if you do not enroll in a Qualified Health Plan by the end of Open Enrollment, you will likely not be able to do so until next year.  You will possibly also face a federal tax penalty.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina is a name you can trust when it comes to your health insurance needs.  Offering health plans to North Carolina residents for over 80 years, BCBSNC has remained steadfast in a rapidly changing health insurance market.  Don’t let another year go by without obtaining a Qualified Health Insurance plan.  For more information on 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.

BCBSNC – The Importance of Maintaining Health Coverage

Tuesday, March 1st, 2016

bigstock_Healthcare_In_The_Unted_States_1719657One of the toughest things about health insurance is understanding the importance of continuing coverage during the months, or possibly even years, when it seems like you never really use your policy.  Now that monthly premiums are on the rise, you may be asking yourself if health insurance is really worth maintaining.  As licensed insurance agents, we often talk with people who obtain health coverage, possibly have a needed surgery or procedure, and then consider cancelling their policy.

Although that may seem like a logical financial decision, it’s important to understand that health insurance is not something you get because you are injured or ill, but rather something you maintain in case you are injured or become ill.  (more…)

BCBSNC Offers $50 Gift Card for Health Assessment

Friday, April 25th, 2014

Gift Card. Vector Illustration$50… from Blue Cross Blue Shield to you!  Current members that are enrolled in individual BCBSNC health insurance plans can take a 15-minute personalized, confidential health assessment right now, and BCBSNC will send you a $50 gift card.  It’s that simple!  Even if you earned $50 last year, you can earn it again.  Then complete a wellness program designed around your needs and earn points to qualify for another $50 gift card.  This is a limited-time offer! Act now by visiting My Members Services- Healthy Outcomes.

Members must be 18 years of age or older to participate.  Health Assessment must be completed within the first 150 days of your plan’s 2014 effective date.  After completing the Health Assessment, you will receive your $50 gift card reward within 5-9 weeks.  You must complete the wellness program components between Jan 1 2014 and Sept 30 2014 and earn at least 120 points in the program to qualify.

Remember if you have an individual health insurance plan with Blue Cross Blue Shield, ACT TODAY!

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.

Understanding How Insurance Works…

Sunday, February 15th, 2009

Health insurance companies use historical data and analysis to predict the medical expenses for any given group of individuals (usually a company’s employees). The premiums they charge are based on the amount of claims they’ve paid in the past and what they expect future claims to cost. When insurers pay out more in claims than they receive in premiums and when future services are predicted to cost more, premiums go up.

As consumers, we are demanding more medical services than ever before. And the cost of these services is going up. These increased costs are passed on to employers in the form of increased premiums. Insurance companies work with employers to adjust services offered, as well as co-payments and deductibles, to minimize the impact of rising costs.

Take time to understand your health plan — it can help save healthcare dollars for you and for all Americans. For example, many health plans offer a reduced co-pay if you choose FDA-approved generic prescription drugs, so you pay less. Because the average total cost of a generic drug is three times less than the brand name, it helps keep costs down in your health plan.

Understanding the basics of how health insurance works and how to make the most of your own health plan can help keep healthcare affordable for everyone.

The content of this post is from BlueCross BlueShield Association’s article “Coverage Basics: How Health Insurance Works”

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 qualified 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.