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Posts Tagged ‘Obamacare’

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.

2019 Open Enrollment for NC Health Insurance

Thursday, October 4th, 2018

Mark your calendars! The Health Insurance Open Enrollment Period for 2019 is rapidly approaching and at NC Health Plans, we are gearing up to assist individuals and families in applying for Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina Health Coverage for 2019. November 1st to December 15th marks a very important time period for health insurance known as the annual Open Enrollment Period. We know that navigating the insurance market can be overwhelming, and we are here to help! As we approach Open Enrollment, it is important to be aware of important dates and information about your 2019 health coverage. Read below to learn more about Open Enrollment Period for 2019.

When is Open Enrollment for 2019?

The NC Health Insurance annual Open Enrollment Period begins on Thursday, November 1st and lasts through Saturday, 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, 2019. This will also be your initial premium due date.

Applying is Easy!

The annual Open Enrollment Period for Health Insurance is the easiest time of year to enroll in an Affordable Care Act-Compliant plan, also known as “Obamacare”. ACA-compliant plans are required to cover the same set of essential health benefits under the Affordable Care Act laws. Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina offers the broad majority of these plans across the entire state.

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. To get started on your application, generate a BCBSNC Health Insurance quote!

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, you can generate a 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, Short Term plans are now offered for up to 360 days of coverage while also offering an additional rider, Health Protector Guard, that will also enhance your benefits. For more information about these plans, generate your Short Term Insurance 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.

Can’t Afford Obamacare? – Private Health Insurance Plans Are Available

Friday, December 30th, 2016

people, business, finances and money concept - close up of businDue to the rising cost of health insurance premiums and stricter guidelines surrounding enrollment periods, many people are turning to non-compliant private health insurance as a long-term solution. These plans are referred to as Short Term or Temporary Health Insurance plans, but many can be issued for a longer policy period. Because these private health plans are not subject to the laws of the ACA, they are less-expensive and can be purchased outside of the annual Open Enrollment period.  For individuals and families who have either missed Open Enrollment or who simply cannot afford an ACA-approved Qualified Health Plan, private health insurance coverage is a viable option. (more…)

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.

Will Presidential Election Results Affect Obamacare?

Thursday, November 10th, 2016

Election Results 2016 ConceptThe Presidential election is officially over and Donald Trump has won, which may leave many Americans wondering what, if anything, will happen to the Affordable Care Act/Obamacare.  Although Mr. Trump suggested during his presidential campaign that he would push for changes in the ACA, those changes will likely not be immediate and will certainly take time to implement.

Open Enrollment 2017 is now in full swing and it’s important to remember that as of today, nothing has changed in regards to health insurance.  ACA/Obamacare plans are still available through BCBSNC in all 100 counties in North Carolina and now is the time to enroll!

For now and in the near future, the Affordable Care Act is the law of the land and Americans are still required to maintain health coverage or face a federal tax penalty.  Keep in mind that the tax penalty for 2017 is $695 per person or 2.5% of your income, whichever is higher, so there is a high cost to being uninsured.  Despite substantial losses, Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina has chosen this year to continue participation in the ACA within North Carolina and is working diligently to provide ACA-compliant, quality health plans to the residents of NC.

Whether you need to make a change to your existing coverage or enroll in a health plan for the first time, at NC Health Plans we are here to help.  We can assist you in estimating subsidy eligibility and offer an online or over-the-phone application process for individuals enrolling through the health insurance Marketplace.  Don’t let another year pass without enrolling the health coverage you need for you and your family.

At NC Health Plans, we understand that your time is as valuable as your health and we work hard to help our customers enjoy the best possible enrollment experience.  For your free rate quote visit www.nchealthplans.com, call 888-765-5400, or click the button below.

How will the Presidential Election Affect NC Health Insurance?

Monday, November 7th, 2016

Election In United States Of America. Voter Holds Envelope In HaThe current presidential campaign is big news, but how might the upcoming election affect the NC health insurance market?  As might be expected, the two presidential candidates, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, have very different ideas when it comes to healthcare policies, leaving many North Carolinians as well as other Americans wondering what might happen to their health insurance in the months to come.

Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton has promised that should she win, she will work to improve the ACA markets by offering additional subsidies to offset the cost of health insurance as well as increase enrollment through aggressive marketing.  She has also suggested that she intends to pursue a public option on the federal Exchange, but many argue this would be a tough sell to Congress, even if the Democratic party takes control.

Donald Trump, on the other hand, has made it clear that he intends to shrink, though likely not completely abolish, the Affordable Care Act considerably.  Ending the individual mandate, eliminating ACA reforms such as minimal essential benefits and restructuring federal subsidies are a few of the ways he would likely begin.  Most experts agree that abolishing the Affordable Care Act would be a near impossibility now that millions of Americans are insured under ACA plans; however, under a Trump administration Americans would probably see a substantial overhaul of the current law.

With the presidential campaign in full-swing, one thing is for certain.  The Affordable Care Act, or “Obamacare,” is a hot topic and one that many Americans say is at the top of their list in terms of policy concerns for 2017.  At NC Health Plans, our goal is to help the residents of North Carolina navigate the ever-changing health insurance market and we will continue to do so whatever changes may come in 2017.  We make it our business to stay up-to-date on market changes as well as federal laws affecting health insurance, and strive to give our customers the information and tools needed to choose and enroll a health insurance plan with confidence and ease.

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.

 

What is Open Enrollment and Why is it Important?

Thursday, October 6th, 2016

Store Owner Turning Open Sign In Shop DoorwayOpen Enrollment is the yearly period when people in the United States can enroll in individual or family health insurance plans. 2016 Open Enrollment ended January 31, 2016 and Open Enrollment for 2017 begins November 1, 2016 and will last until January 31, 2017.  This is a very important time period because if you miss Open Enrollment, you may not be able to enroll in a health insurance plan unless you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period.  To qualify for a Special Enrollment Period you must have a Qualifying Life Event, some of which include losing employer-sponsored coverage, having a baby, or getting married.

Since Open Enrollment 2017 is just around the corner, now is the time to begin considering your NC health insurance options. 2016 has brought significant changes to the insurance marketplace.  Both United Healthcare and Aetna announced this year that they will be pulling out of North Carolina for 2017.  This means that Blue Cross Blue Shield NC may very well be the only company offering health plans in all 100 counties in North Carolina.  Cigna has filed for plans in a few select counties throughout the state as well.

The Open Enrollment Period offers residents of NC the opportunity to enroll in health insurance or make changes to their current policy.  New rates for 2017 health plans will be available by November 1st and at that time, you will be able to submit an application for coverage.  Keep in mind that plans will not be effective until January, 2017 so if you are currently uninsured, you may want to consider temporary coverage until the end of December, 2016.

Under the Affordable Care Act, federal subsidies will also be available for 2017 health plans for NC residents who qualify and will be based on the Federal Poverty Level Chart.  NC Residents who fall between the 100% and 400% federal poverty level and who do not have employer coverage available to them can apply for a subsidy to help reduce the cost of their health insurance.

Open Enrollment is an important time of year to obtain the health coverage you need for you and your family for 2017. 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.

 

What is a Health Insurance Marketplace and How Does it Affect Me?

Friday, September 16th, 2016

Health InsuranceWith Open Enrollment 2017 just around the corner, you may be hearing a lot of talk about the Health Insurance Marketplace.  You also may be wondering exactly what a Health Insurance Marketplace is and how it will affect you and your ability to enroll in a health plan. Basically, a Health Insurance Marketplace, also called a Health Exchange, is an organization set up to facilitate the purchase of health insurance in each state under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare.  Some states have elected to run their own Marketplace or Exchange, while other states are a part of the federal Exchange.  North Carolina is a part of the federal Marketplace.

For North Carolina residents who do not have access to employer based insurance, the Marketplace (Exchange) provides access to individual health plans offered by private insurance companies.  As of September 1, 2016, the only company in North Carolina considering continuing offering health plans on the Marketplace in 2017 is Blue Cross Blue Shield of NC.  If you are applying for a federal subsidy or premium tax credit you are required to enroll a Marketplace plan.  All Marketplace plans offer ten essential benefits, including preventive care, and ask no health questions regarding preexisting conditions. (more…)

NC Health Insurance Weathers Marketplace Changes

Monday, September 12th, 2016

Attachment-1The NC Health Insurance landscape has changed dramatically since the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was signed into law in 2010 and implemented in 2014.  Otherwise known as Obamacare, the ACA was the single biggest change in health insurance history since Medicare took effect in 1965.  Over the last six years, North Carolinians have seen significant changes in how they purchase health insurance, what is available to them as consumers, how health insurance effects their taxes, and how much it will cost to insure themselves and their families.  In fact, in 2015 health insurance in North Carolina saw some of the biggest rate increases in history with the average cost of plans increasing over 25%.

As Open Enrollment 2017 approaches, North Carolina, as well as many other states across the nation, are experiencing a new upheaval as some of the largest insurance companies in the U.S are pulling out of the ACA Market altogether.  In April 2016, United Healthcare announced that it would pull out of most of the nation’s exchanges, including North Carolina, which was a big hit to the residents of the state, leaving only two companies offering individual health insurance plans.  A statement by UnitedHealth Group cited a “smaller overall market size and shorter-term, higher-risk profile within this market” as the reason the company chose to exit.

But that was just the beginning.   (more…)

Questions about Obamacare? We have the Answers

Monday, August 29th, 2016

Health care reformAs Open Enrollment 2017 approaches, you may still have questions about health insurance under the Affordable Care Act (otherwise known as Obamacare) and what you need to do to make sure you and your family have the coverage you need at the most cost-effective price available.  Having a licensed agent as your point of contact is one of the best ways to get the answers you need.  Below are some of the questions we are most frequently asked here at NC Health Plans along with our answers:

  1. Do I have to have health insurance?  Yes you do.  Under the Affordable Care Act, you are required by law to carry health insurance or be subject to a tax penalty.
  2. How much is the penalty for not having insurance?  In 2016, the tax penalty is $695 per person or 2.5% of your income, whichever is higher.  The penalty will likely increase in 2017.
  3. Can I be exempt from the penalty?  Yes.  Under certain circumstances, you may obtain a tax exemption.  Visit the government website for a complete list of tax exemption reasons.
  4. Do I qualify for a federal subsidy?  You may.  Federal subsidies are based on your Modified Adjusted Gross Income (predicted for 2017) and the number of people on your tax return.  For help determining whether or not you qualify, visit www.nchealthplans.com or call 888-765-5400 to speak with a licensed agent.
  5. What if my income changes over the course of the year?  You are required to update any income changes with the federal Marketplace.  A failure to do could result in you having to pay back a portion of your premium tax credit.
  6. Do I have to enroll through the federal Marketplace (Exchange)?  No; however, you do have to have an ACA compliant plan to avoid a tax penalty. You do not have to get your plan through the federal Marketplace and Blue Cross Blue Shield offers plans both on and off the Marketplace so if you do not qualify for a federal subsidy, you may want to apply directly.

Obtaining health insurance doesn’t have to be a headache.  At NC Health Plans we utilize the most up-to-date online and telephone application process available to help make the enrollment process easy and are available to answer any questions you may have about your health insurance needs.  2017 quotes for BCBSNC health insurance will be available November 1st, when Open Enrollment begins.  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.

LAST WEEK OF OPEN ENROLLMENT 2016 – Enroll in BCBSNC Insurance Quickly

Monday, January 25th, 2016

The final week of Open Enrollment has begun and with it, your final chance to enroll in Blue Cross Blue Last Chance And Last Minute With Clock Signs, Blue And Red DrawnShield of North Carolina health insurance without experiencing a Qualifying Life Event.  If you are still uninsured, here are some very important things to keep in mind:

  1. Under the Affordable Care Act, you are required by law to have health insurance.  If you do not have obtain health insurance for 2016, you will receive a tax penalty when you file your 2016 taxes, unless you have an exemption.  Tax penalties for 2016 have increased substantially.
  2. In addition to receiving a tax penalty, if you are uninsured in 2016, you will be responsible for all of your routine and unexpected health care needs, which can quickly amount to thousands upon thousands of out-of-pocket expenses.
  3. Applying for health insurance doesn’t have to be difficult.  We can help you choose a plan, discuss benefits and walk you through the enrollment process.  You can apply easily and quickly online or over the phone with one of our experienced agents.  Visit our website or call 888-765-5400.
  4. Any coverage is better than zero coverage.  Even the least expensive plan available to you will provide you with coverage, including preventive care covered at 100%, and set a limit on your out-of-pocket expenses should you experience and illness or accident.  The least expensive Qualified Health Plan will also keep you from being penalized come tax time.
  5. Don’t wait until the last minute!  The closer we get to the application deadline of January 31st, the more time-consuming and frustrating this process will become.  Deadlines often create technical issues and long wait times and can even keep you from submitting your application on time.
  6. If you miss the January 31st deadline, you may not be able to enroll in health insurance until the next Open Enrollment, which will likely begin in November 2016.

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.

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.