Your source for health insurance quotes and plans.

  • the Coverage Corner

How therapy can help kids cope with bullying

Over the past several years, modern-day bullying – cyberbullying – has increased due to easy access to the Internet and social media platforms. Bullying is most common for school aged children, and can greatly impact self-esteem and even interfere with social and intellectual development.

If you suspect your child is being bullied, or that your child may be bullying, counseling or therapy could help. Therapy offers a safe place to express feelings of anger, shame, anxiety, isolation, and more. In therapy, bullies may begin to understand the impact of their bullying and can learn how to better communicate with their peers.

Under the Affordable Care Act, all Marketplace health plans must cover behavioral health treatment, including counseling and therapy as well as substance abuse treatment. The Affordable Care Act also includes “mental health parity,” which means mental health services must be treated equally to physical health services.  To find out the details of your mental health coverage and where you can find a therapist in your network, you can check your plan description, visit your insurer’s online portal or call to speak with an agent directly.

If your insurance does not cover therapy, you still have options. Some counselors and therapists do not require insurance coverage for treatment, and you can pay out-of-pocket for each session. In addition to paying privately for counseling, you can reach out to community health providers for treatment. Community treatment centers often offer low-cost options for therapy in your area.

If you’re worried about your child being bullied or bullying others, there are many alternative ways to address the situation at home. However, keep in mind that seeking professional help through counseling or therapy may also be an affordable and effective resource.

Have questions about mental health coverage? We can help. Visit www.gohealth.com or call (888) 322 – 7557 to speak to our licensed agents.

General Healthcare, GoHealth Community, Group Health Insurance, Health Care Reform, Individual Health Insurance, Politics and Legislation, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | | Leave a comment

Health coverage options for college students

Are you heading off to college this fall? If so, health insurance is likely one of the last things on your mind. You’re preoccupied with move-ins, meeting new people, and choosing a major – or two! However, it’s important to make sure you’re covered in the event of an illness, accident, or emergency now that you’re away from home. Below, we talk about health insurance options for college students, so you can brief yourself before Welcome Week begins.

If you’re under 26 years of age…

If you’re under 26 you can be considered a dependent on your parent’s health plan.

Keep in mind that if you’re going to school in a different state from your parents, you should make sure their health plan covers care in your state. If your parent’s provider network does not cover costs in the state you go to school, you may want to consider applying for your own health insurance in the state you decide to go to school. Moving to a different city could qualify you for a Special Enrollment Period, allowing you to apply for coverage outside of Open Enrollment.

If you’re over 26 years of age…

If you’re over the age of 26, you can enroll in a 2018 Health Insurance Marketplace plan starting November 1, 2017. These plans must cover essential health benefits.

Depending on your school, student health plans may be available. You may also qualify for Medicaid depending on your income.

To find out which health plan is right for you, visit gohealth.com or give us a call at (888) 322 – 7557. Good luck in your first semester!

General Healthcare, GoHealth Community, Group Health Insurance, Individual Health Insurance, Politics and Legislation, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | | Leave a comment

Your back-to-school health checklist

After a summer of having the freedom to stay up late, eat sweet summer treats and run wild, kids are in for a wake up call as they return to school. Transitioning into a routine can be difficult for kids, so it’s important to prepare for the first day of school to ease the process. Keep reading for our advice on how to get your kids back on track for a healthy school year.

Schedule appointments

The new school year can also bring new health concerns. Scheduling annual health and dental checkups, vaccinations, vision exams, hearing tests, and even allergy tests before school starts can prevent health complications and illnesses during the school year. If your child has a health issue or allergy, contact the school to ensure it is known and to establish necessary action plans.

Practice and prepare

You can ease your child into their school routine by starting a similar routine a couple weeks before the first day of school. Practice going to bed and waking up a little earlier, as well as removing screen devices at night. Whether your kids are taking the bus, walking, or biking to school, make sure they know their route to school and the rules of the road.

In addition to preparing for the expected, it’s also important to prepare for the unexpected. Practice what to do in an emergency and make sure your child knows who to contact and how to get help in an emergency.

Ease Anxiety

After a long summer, it’s normal for kids and parents to feel anxious for the first day of school. To ease anxiety, make sure your child is getting enough exercise, sleep and nutrition in the days leading up to the start of the school year. In addition, talking about what to expect on the first day of school and planning outfits, lunches, and packing supplies ahead of time can also ease anxiety.

 

 

 

General Healthcare, GoHealth Community, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | | Leave a comment

August is National Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month

August is National Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month. While you’re likely focused on back-to-school shopping and planning, this is a reminder to schedule your annual eye exams as well. Eye exams are especially important at a young age, since good eyesight leads to better learning.

How can an eye exam help my child?

Eye exams can identify a number of complications that are easily treated early on. Children’s eye exams can not only tell you if your child needs corrective lenses, but can also spot astigmatisms and “lazy eyes” and correct them.

When should I schedule my child’s first eye exam?

The American Optometric Association (AOA), recommends that a child’s fist eye exam should be at six-months old. At this age, doctors can ensure that your child’s eyes are developing normally.

The AOA suggests school-aged children receive annual examinations, especially outside of school-offered vision screenings. As children grow, their eyes can change quickly, so annual checkups are a great way to spot and track any changes.

How can I pay for my child’s eye exam?

Paying for glasses and contacts can be expensive. However, vision insurance can help cover the costs of eye exams, as well as part of the costs associated with glasses and contacts.


How can I get the most out of my vision insurance?

There are multiple ways to get the most out of your vision insurance aside from scheduling annual checkups. At your checkup, ask to try on glasses so a doctor can give you accurate measurements for your glasses size. Consider buying glasses and contacts online rather than at the eye doctor. Purchasing online is most often the cheaper route, and sites like Warby Parker even offer a free home try on package.

Have questions about vision insurance? We can help! Call (888) 322-7557 or visit our website to speak with a licensed agent who can explain your options.

General Healthcare, GoHealth Community, Group Health Insurance, Individual Health Insurance, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | | Leave a comment

Health insurance terms you should know

Have you ever felt intimidated by health care and health insurance terms? If so, you’re not alone. Studies show that only about one in 10 people in the U.S. have a proficient level of health literacy. However, understanding health terms can save you time, money, and stress.

That’s why we created a health insurance dictionary including important terms to know. Happy learning!

 

GoHealth’s Health Insurance Dictionary

Affordable Care Act (ACA)

Known officially as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, the ACA is the healthcare reform legislation signed into law by President Obama is 2010.

Coinsurance

Similar to a copay, but it’s a percentage of the cost you owe to see your doctor, not a set price. Coinsurance can end up costing you more money, because unlike a copay, you don’t know how much any given doctor’s visit could cost. Like copays, coinsurance does not count toward your deductible. However, they both count toward your out-of-pocket maximum.

Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA)

COBRA is a federal law that enables you to temporarily keep a group insurance plan through your employer should you leave your job or change to part-time hours.

Copay

The set amount of money you pay when you go to the doctor. Your copayment will depend on the type of plan you choose. Copays do not count toward your deductible but they do count toward your out-of-pocket maximum.

Deductible

The amount of money you have to pay out of pocket when you see a doctor before your health insurance starts to help with costs. Your deductible amount will depend on the type of plan you choose. Plans with lower monthly premiums usually have higher deductibles, but plans with higher monthly premiums have lower deductibles. If you anticipate going to the doctor often, a plan with a lower deductible could be in your best interest, since you’ll have to pay out-of-pocket until you reach your deductible. Keep in mind that deductibles reset and can change every year.

Dependents

Dependents are those that receive coverage on their family members plan. Under the Affordable Care Act, dependent coverage for children must be made available until age 26.

Essential health benefits
The Affordable Care Act requires health plans to cover benefits in ten categories. Non-grand fathered health plans must cover pediatric care, hospitalization, maternity care, newborn care, care for mental health and substance use disorders.

Flexible Spending Account (FSA)

Money that is taken out of your paycheck and put toward an account owned by your employer. This money can only be spent on your health care expenses, but it does not roll over year to year or if you change jobs. Therefore, if you know for certain you will have health care costs this year, this might be an option.

Grandfathered health plans
Health insurance plans that were purchased on or before March 23, 2010. These plans do not have to abide by any provisions of the Affordable Care Act.

Health Insurance Marketplace

Otherwise known as the affordable insurance exchange, these exchanges exist at the state and federal levels and allow individuals, families, and small businesses to evaluate their health coverage options and compare plans based on prices and coverage. You can enroll in coverage during Open Enrollment, which happens once per year.

Health insurance plans in the health insurance marketplace are divided into four categories: Bronze, Silver, Gold, or Platinum. To find out which type of plan is right for you, visit our website or call (888) 322 – 7557 to speak with a licensed agent.

Health Savings Account (HSA)

Money that is taken out of your paycheck and put toward an account you own that can be spent only on health care expenses. The money taken out of your paycheck is tax-free and can roll over year to year.

In-network provider

A doctor that is approved by your insurance company. You can look online or call your insurance provider to find a doctor in your network. Going to a doctor in your network can save you money, but how much money depends on your plan.

Medicaid
Government-funded health care program that helps provide coverage for individuals and families with low incomes and with disabilities.

Medicare
Federal health care program for people over the age of 65 and younger people with specific disabilities.

Open Enrollment

The time period in which you can choose and sign up for next year’s health insurance. This year, Open Enrollment for coverage in 2018 starts November 1, 2017. Outside of Open Enrollment, the only way you can purchase health insurance is if you’ve had a qualifying life event.

Out-of-pocket maximum

The maximum amount you can spend on health care in a given year. Once you reach your out-of-pocket maximum, you’ll no longer have to pay copays and coinsurances for essential health benefits. However, for non-essential health benefits, the insurance provider might have limits on how much of your care it will cover.

Out-of-network provider

A doctor not in your network. Seeing a doctor outside of your network outside of an emergency may result in higher out-of-pocket costs.

Premium

Your monthly bill for health insurance. To activate your health insurance, you must pay your first premium. Your monthly premium will depend on the type of plan you choose. Failure to make premium payments could result in loss of health coverage.

Preexisting condition
Specific illnesses or conditions that you had prior to purchasing health insurance. Under the Affordable Care Act, health insurance plans can no longer deny coverage or charge you more due to pre-existing conditions.

Preventive services
Preventive services are services that prevent illness and disease. Preventive services include routine check-ups, mammogram screenings, colonoscopies, blood pressure screenings and certain vaccines. The Affordable Care Act requires that preventive services be 100% covered by your health insurance plan.

Qualifying Life Event

A specific change in your living situation – like getting married, having a child, or losing health insurance – that can make you eligible for a Special Enrollment Period.

Special Enrollment Period

The time outside of the annual Open Enrollment Period where you can sign up for health insurance if you experience a qualifying life event.

Have questions about any of these terms? Visit our GoHealth.com or call (888) 322 – 7557 to speak with one of our experts.

General Healthcare, GoHealth Community, Group Health Insurance, Health Care Reform, Individual Health Insurance, Medicare, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | | Leave a comment

How to choose between a PPO and HMO health plan

PPO, HMO, POS, EPO… SOS! Understanding health insurance terminology, abbreviations, and deadlines can be overwhelming when trying to choose a health insurance plan. Understanding the details, however, can save you time, money, and stress.

Below, we discuss the differences between the two most popular types of health plans: Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) and Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) to help you make an informed decision about which type of health insurance plan is best for you and your family.

Preferred Provider Organization (PPO)

These plans include coverage for both in-network and out-of-network doctors. With a PPO plan, you don’t need to choose a primary care doctor, nor are you required to get a referral in order to see a specialist. While you have the freedom to go to any doctor or clinic, you will likely have to pay more during an out-of-network visit. For this reason, look for doctors and services in your network whenever possible.

PPO plans are generally more expensive because of their flexibility. You will likely pay copayments or an annual deductible with a PPO plan.

 

Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) 

These plan require that you choose a primary care doctor who you will have to contact first should you need a referral. This means that if you need to see a specialist, get lab work, or need preventive screenings like colonoscopies and mammograms, you’ll need to go through your primary care doctor first. Emergencies do not require a referral, but typically out-of-network coverage is not covered by HMO plans.

HMO plans typically have less out-of-pocket costs and lower deductibles, as well as lower costs for prescription drugs and office visit co-pays. However, keep in mind that if you see a doctor or go to a clinic that is not in your network, you will have to pay for every expense out-of-pocket.

Do you still have questions or are you unsure which plan is right for you and your family? You can call (888) 322-7557 to speak to a licensed agent or visit gohealth.com for more information.

General Healthcare, GoHealth Community, Health Care Reform, Individual Health Insurance, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | | Leave a comment

Three of the most popular travel insurance options for 2017

Are you planning a big trip in the near future? Before you get preoccupied booking hotels, Airbnb’s, airfare and sight-seeing activities, it may be worth your time to look into your travel insurance options as well. Whether you’re going across the country or across the world, having travel insurance could save you money should your travel itinerary change before or during your trip. Below, we take a look at some of the most popular travel insurance options for 2017.

 

Baggage/Personal Item Loss and Delay

Whether you’re traveling with designer clothing, expensive camera equipment or memorable gifts, having baggage and personal item loss insurance can cover lost, stolen or damaged personal items. However, it’s important to remember that this type of insurance is often included in travel insurance policies or by your airline, so do some research before you purchase additional coverage.

Trip Cancellation

Trip cancellation insurance can reimburse you for flights, hotels and more should you need to cancel your trip altogether. However, it’s important to read the details of your trip cancellation policy because there are some reasons trip cancellation will not cover you. Regardless, it’s better to pay a little extra to be safe rather than sorry.

Medical Evacuation and Repatriation

Traveling to a tropical destination that may be prone to natural disasters? If you’re the adventurous type, you could benefit from having medical evacuation and repatriation insurance. This insurance covers transportation costs to appropriate medical treatment or your return home in the event of an emergency.

 

If you’re wondering when to purchase travel insurance, research says the best time to buy is between 10-14 days before you take off. Curious if travel insurance is right for your upcoming trip? Visit gohealth.com or call (888) 322-7557 to talk through your best options with a licensed agent.

 

General Healthcare, GoHealth Community, Individual Health Insurance, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | | Leave a comment

5 Simple Tips for Healthy Travel

by Elyse Janikian

Whether you’re staying local, or going cross country for a getaway, travel often has a way of bringing your health and fitness streak to a halt. The purpose for travel is to escape everyday life, whether that is lounging in your hotel room for some quiet time, or indulging in local foods. So you might be asking: “What is the point in trying to stay healthy on vacation anyway?” Here are some easy ways to keep your health and fitness streak strong, no matter where you go.

1: BEFORE YOU LEAVE, HIT THE GYM

While it’s easy to skip gym sessions you planned a few days before vacation, sticking to your routine before vacation could allow you to slack off while you’re away! Try spending an extra 30 minutes in the gym to make up for some additional downtime you might take in the days to follow. Fueling your body with exercise, hydration and healthy food before you leave will allow you to indulge once you’re on vacation.

2: RESEARCH HEALTH & FITNESS OPTIONS IN YOUR DESTINATION CITY

Find out if the hotel or Airbnb you booked has an onsite gym or workout room. Does the area you are staying in have any outdoor fitness activities nearby? Does the room come stocked with any sort of snacks? If you are staying in a hotel or Airbnb with a kitchen, stop at a local market and buy fresh, local food to avoid junk food temptations. This is also a great way to save money!

3: FOOD PREP

While meal prepping is something many people do to save time during the work week, prepping snacks for vacation is a great way to save money and stay healthy. Try packing a bag of almonds or protein bars ahead of time for a long day of air travel.

4: BRING THE GYM WITH YOU

Even if your hotel has a gym, there’s a chance it could be small, crowded, or not stocked with the workout equipment you’re used to. To avoid these obstacles, bring a small bag with some exercise bands, light weights, or a yoga mat. Bringing the gym with you allows you to work out wherever and whenever you can.

5: TAKE IT ALL IN

Health and fitness aside, you are on vacation! Take in all the city has to offer. If certain places on your list are nearby, walk there instead of taking public transportation. Even though it might be faster to order an Uber, walking to your destination allows you to stumble upon some places you may have not planned on seeing (this also is a great way to come across local markets and food).

 

General Healthcare, GoHealth Community, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | | Leave a comment

National UV safety month: What you need to know about UV rays

Summer is arguably the best of the four seasons: warmer weather, longer days, and shorter work hours (if you’re lucky) make for more time outside and in the sun. Whether you’re at the pool, the beach, or going for a run in the sun, it’s important to know how to protect your skin from the sun’s UV rays.

Did you know that July is National UV Safety Month? Ultraviolet (UV) radiation comes from the sun and is invisible to the human eye. However, it is responsible for both sun tans and sunburns. Knowing UV levels and what they mean for your skin could save you from a sunburn or skin cancer down the road.

UV rays are measured on a scale of 0 to 11+. The strongest UV possible is ranked at 11 or above. UV rays are strongest in the summertime between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. UV strength also increases in higher elevations. Unlike the sun, UV rays can easily pass through some types of clouds, so it’s important to protect your skin even on cloudy days.

The amount of UV a person is exposed to depend on the strength of the UV rays, the length of time spent in the sun, and whether the skin is protected. If you plan on spending time in the sun this summer, get familiar with the UV index scale. You can check the UV index at any time on your weather app or on your local weather channel’s website.

Read more health education on our blog and Facebook.

 

Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

Why following the Mediterranean diet is better than a quick-fix cleanse

With trendy diets and cleanses widely available and advertised online, a healthy diet with lasting results can be hard to find. Diets that promise extreme weight loss or cleanses that promote great skin rarely produce lasting results. In fact, drastically cutting calories or drinking vegetables for a week could leave you with nutritional deficiencies and negatively impact your weight and your skin. For weight loss and a healthier body, you should choose a diet or lifestyle that is manageable and not restrictive.

If you want to be healthier, prevent disease, and lose weight, try the Mediterranean diet. In recent studies, the Mediterranean diet has been linked to reduced risk of Alzheimer’s, breast cancer, depression and heart attacks. In addition, the Mediterranean diet is said to promote a longer life and is relatively easy to follow.

So, what can I eat?

The Mediterranean diet emphasizes a heavy intake of fruits and vegetables, as well as whole grains, nuts, fish and seafood, herbs and spices, and red wine in moderation. In addition, the diet recommends exercising often and portion control. You can find the recommended portions of each food group online.

What can’t I eat?

The Mediterranean diet doesn’t restrict food groups entirely, but encourages limiting foods like butter, red meat, and sweets. All and all, the Mediterranean diet models the saying: “everything in moderation.”

The Mediterranean diet is proof that eating a well-rounded diet can be healthier than any quick cleanse or strict diet. Would you try the Mediterranean diet? Let us know in the comments below.

 

General Healthcare, GoHealth Community, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | | Leave a comment