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Posts Tagged ‘qualifying life event’

North Carolina Health Insurance when Turning 26

Wednesday, August 1st, 2018

If you were born in ‘92, we want to wish you a happy 26th birthday! Another trip around the sun is always something to celebrate and be thankful for, and we hope that this upcoming year is your best one yet! Adults in their mid-twenties find themselves in many different walks of life. Whether you have gotten married, had children, graduated, or simply having fun, there is something all 26 year-olds have in common. That is, that you’re aging out of your parents’ insurance plan!

Health Insurance shoppers at this age often call us with concern, saying, “I have never shopped for insurance before and don’t know what to do or where to start!” We realize that navigating this transition and the insurance market can be stressful and overwhelming.  However, it is not something to put on the back burner or avoid! Here are some helpful things you should know about applying for insurance:

  • You have 60 days!

Turning 26 and aging out of your parent’s health insurance plan is considered a Qualifying Life Event.  This qualifying event will provide you a 60 day window outside the Open Enrollment Period to enroll in a new plan.  Make sure you know when this starts and stops in order to avoid any lapse in coverage.

  • You can save money!

Based on your household income, you may be eligible for a federal subsidy which can greatly reduce the cost of your monthly premiums. Generate a Blue Cross Blue Shield of NC health insurance quote to find out more about whether you are eligible for a subsidy.

  • Don’t go uninsured!

Did you know that under the health care law, you must have qualifying health coverage? Without it, you may face a penalty on your next tax return. In addition, it is important to have protection and quality coverage to maintain your health, or in case of sickness or an accident!

  • Don’t stress! It’s easier than you think!

This process can seem overwhelming. However, it is easier than you think. We are here to help you through the entire application process right over the phone, and it only takes about 25 minutes to apply for health insurance!

As you are thinking about your 26th birthday celebration, remember your health insurance – and don’t let those 60 days slip away! Here’s to many more years of health and happiness!

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.

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…)

Still Uninsured? – What to do About Your Health Insurance Until Open Enrollment

Monday, May 18th, 2015

Enthusiastic family buying online lying down on bedAre you one of the many Americans who missed Open Enrollment 2015?  Despite your best efforts, did February 15th come and go and still you are uninsured?  Perhaps you even missed, or did not qualify for, the Special Enrollment period that was in place until April 30th for those individuals who received a tax penalty on their 2014 tax return.  If so, you are not wholly out of luck, though there are some things you should keep in mind.

Because we are now in the Special Enrollment Period, the rules regarding Qualifying Life Events are in full force.  A Qualifying Life Event (QLE) is some special circumstance in your life that allows you to enroll in health insurance outside of Open Enrollment.  As of now, the federal Marketplace has not announced any further exception to the rules of QLE’s, which simply means that you must have one in order to enroll in a health plan.  It is a good idea to review the full list of Qualifying Life Events and if you have one, or if you anticipate having one in the near future, then that will serve as your opportunity to get insured.  Keep in mind that you must complete an application for health insurance within 60 days of your Qualifying Life Event.

Another thing to note is that if you are uninsured for more than three consecutive months during 2015, you will incur a tax penalty on your next year’s tax return, unless you qualify for an exemption.  It is also a good idea to take a look at the list of exemptions and who might qualify.

Finally, keep in mind that being insured is about so much more than incurring a tax penalty.  It’s about having the coverage you need in case of a medical emergency and also about maintaining your physical and mental health through preventive care maintenance.  Further, having to pay a tax penalty is like throwing your hard earned money out the window because you get nothing in return.  On the other hand, although paying a monthly premium for health insurance may seem like a financial frustration, in the end it is money well spent.  Your most precious commodity is your health and making an investment toward it is always a smart decision.

If you are still uninsured and do not foresee having a QLE in the next few months, you may still qualify for Short Term Coverage.  Although not ideal in most circumstances and though it will not offer you the same level of benefits as an individual health plan, Short Term Coverage can be an effective way to fill in the gap between now and this year’s Open Enrollment which begins in November.  Short term coverage has some limitations and will not save you from the tax penalty in that it does not meet the Affordable Care Act’s 10 essential requirements, but it is still better than having no coverage in case of a medical emergency.

The bottom line is you do have options.  Although you may not be able to secure your first choice in health plans outside of Open Enrollment, you can be insured in the interim.  Also, this is a great time to begin doing research about the Affordable Care Act, what subsidy might be available to you and how that subsidy might affect your federal income tax.  Use this time to research the various health plans available to you and also what kind of network works best for you and your family.  Open Enrollment begins again in November, which believe it or not, is only 5 months away.  Even if you cannot obtain coverage during Special Enrollment, this is a great time to arm yourself with all the information and knowledge you will need to make the very best choice possible come Open Enrollment.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of NC is committed to helping the residents of North Carolina secure and maintain the health coverage you need.  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.

 

ACA Special Enrollment Period

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

bigstock--Free-Quote-blue-button-32217869The annual enrollment period is closed for 2014.   But, you can still get a quote and apply if you have a Qualifying Life Event so you can enroll during our Special Enrollment Period.  Otherwise, you will not have the opportunity to apply until our Open Enrollment which starts 11/15/2014 for a 1/1/2015 effective date.  When completing the Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina application, you will have the option to select which Qualifying Life Event may be applicable to you.  If you have extraordinary circumstances, you should talk with the Marketplace to determine if you can enroll without one of the Qualifying Life Events outlined below.  Please call our office 888-765-5400 to talk with one of our qualified representatives who can help guide you through the process of applying and assist you in determining if you could be subsidy eligible.

Special circumstances for enrolling outside of the open enrollment period include:

•Loss of minimum coverage (employer coverage, government plans, etc.)

•Adding a dependent through birth, adoption or marriage

•Gaining citizenship

•Enrollment/non-enrollment errors by the federal Marketplace or the US Department of Health and Human Services

•Qualified health plan violates the material provision of its contract with the individual

•Newly eligible for a subsidy or a change in the amount of subsidy you are eligible for

•Moving to a new state

•American Indian/Alaska Native status (may change once a month)

•Other exceptional circumstances

 

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.

What Constitutes a Qualifying Life Event?

Monday, September 15th, 2014

bigstockphoto___155599Negotiating new terminology is one of the toughest parts to understanding all the recent changes in health care policies and procedures.  Terms like “open enrollment,” government subsidies,” and “qualifying life event (QLE)” can be confusing even to the most thorough students of health insurance and the Affordable Care Act.  When applying for health coverage, however, understanding these terms and how they can affect your health care options is an absolute imperative.

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.  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.  If you do not have one of these Qualifying Life Events, you may not purchase health insurance during Special Enrollment and must wait until the Open Enrollment Period.  This is not a Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina policy, but rather a policy of the federal government under the Affordable Care Act with which BCBSNC must comply.

Basically, a Qualifying Life Event is a specific circumstance that has altered your life—and there are strict guidelines to determine exactly what qualifies.  For example, a recent  marriage, divorce or birth of a child are all events that would make you eligible to enroll in health coverage during a Special Enrollment period, so long as you enroll within 60 days of that life altering event.  Losing previously held health insurance involuntarily is another example of a Qualifying Life Event, as is changing your permanent place of residence. If your income increases so that you are no longer eligible for Medicaid, you are also able to enroll in new coverage during a Special Enrollment Period.  Because the list of Qualifying Life Events is so varied, however, it is worth investigating whether you qualify to enroll during a Special Enrollment period.

Although the terminology can be confusing, it is important for you to understand what constitutes a Qualifying Life Event because it can have a huge impact on your ability to purchase health insurance.  In addition, the effective date of your coverage will depend on your QLE and the date of your application.

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.