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  • the Coverage Corner

Did you miss the Open Enrollment Period?

If you missed Open Enrollment and do not qualify for a Special Enrollment Period, you still have coverage options. Short-term coverage can help you fill in gaps in your coverage until the next Open Enrollment Period. Other options, like Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program can provide low-cost coverage outside of Open Enrollment Periods. To learn more, keep reading.

 

If you need short-term coverage…

Short-term coverage is available for 1 to 12 months depending on your insurer and state. You can enroll in short-term coverage at any time, regardless of Open Enrollment Periods.

Keep in mind that unlike major medical insurance, short-term plans might not cover pre-existing conditions and may have limitations on coverage. In addition, paying for short-term coverage does not protect you from having to pay the tax penalty.

 

If you can’t afford a short-term plan…

You can apply for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which offer free or low-cost coverage, at any time throughout the year.

To see if you qualify for Medicaid or CHIP, call GoHealth to speak with one of our licensed agents at (866) 909 – 0798.

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Still need 2018 health coverage?

If you missed the Open Enrollment deadline to purchase health insurance, you may have another chance to get major medical health insurance. If you experience a specific Qualifying Life Event, you may be eligible for a Special Enrollment Period in which you can enroll in major medical health insurance.

If you experience one of the Qualifying Life Events listed below, you may be able to enroll in a health insurance plan outside of Open Enrollment. Keep in mind that the Special Enrollment Period for a Qualifying Life Event typically lasts 60 days from the date of the event.

 

Moving to a different zip code

Getting married

Have or adopting a baby

Losing previous health coverage

Getting divorced

A change in income

Gained citizenship

Turned 26 and aged off of a parent’s health plan

Errors with original enrollment

 

To find out if you may be eligible for coverage outside of Open Enrollment, call (866) 909 – 0798. Our licensed GoHealth agents can recommend you plans that fit your unique situation and budget.

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How can I use my coverage in 2018?

If you enrolled in a major medical plan this year, there are many ways in which you can use your coverage to save time, money and maybe even a trip to the doctor’s office. Below, we explain how you can use your health insurance to your advantage in 2018 and how to get started using your plan.

Routine checkups, preventive care, and emergencies…

One of the best things about having health insurance is that you don’t have to wait until your medical issues worsen before you see a doctor or get treatment. Health insurance allows you to get the care you need when you need it. In addition, under the Affordable Care Act, certain preventive health services are covered under your health insurance plan. The 10 essential health benefits most health insurance plans must cover include emergency services, some prescription drugs, laboratory services, pediatric services and more. Take advantage of the freebies your health insurance can offer.

 

Activating your health insurance and choosing your doctor…

To activate your health insurance, you have to pay your first premium. Premiums are monthly payments made to your insurer to maintain your health insurance. To find out how much you’re required to pay monthly and how to pay your bill, contact your insurance provider.

Once your health insurance has been activated, you can choose your primary care physician. To find a doctor in your network, you can contact your insurance provider or your doctor’s office to ask if they accept your insurance. Choosing a doctor in-network could save you out-of-pocket costs for doctor visits and procedures.

 

Still have questions about your coverage? Visit our website for more information or call to speak with an agent directly at (866) 909-0798. 

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How can I stay healthy during the holidays?

Chocolate truffles! Apple pie! Smoked ham! Comfort food, sweets, and good company are holiday staples. For the health conscious however, holiday treats and rich meals can be more of an inconvenience than something to look forward to. Since no one should deprive themselves during the holidays, below are four tips to staying healthy – and happy – during the holidays.

 

Indulge in the most special holiday treats only

Keep your focus on fun, not food over the holidays. Think of choosing your sweets like you would budget your money – don’t overload on sweets that have little value, like store bought cookies or cakes. Instead, choose to indulge in something home-made and special, like grandma’s apple pie. If your calendar is marked for multiple holiday parties, choose a couple to indulge at, but try to eat healthy at the others. Holiday parties can add up quickly, and unfortunately so can the calories.

 

Suggest group exercise with friends and family

It’s hard to stay on track with your workout routine if you’re traveling or staying away from home – and your home gym. Even if you have access to a gym during the holiday season, it can be hard to have the motivation to work out. To stay on track, ask others to join you. After dinner, suggest a group walk around the block. If you’re away from home during the holidays, ask relatives what they do for fitness or ask to join them during a class or at their gym. If you’re flying solo in the fitness game, schedule your workouts ahead of time so you can plan the rest of your day and not feel pressured to skip a workout.

 

Schedule quality alone time

While you may only see your relatives a handful of times a year, family obligations shouldn’t consume your days during the holidays. Take some time alone to de-stress and schedule alone time to read a book, workout, shop, or sip some coffee and relax. You’ll be less irritable and have better quality conversations if you have a clear, calm mind. Give yourself a break from the commotion when it’s convenient.

 

Make and bring your own food

If your healthy options are limited, bring your own recipes! Ask relatives to join you in cooking your favorite health conscious appetizers and desserts. If you’re going to a party, consider bringing your own health-conscious dessert so you know you can count on at least one healthy choice at the party.

The holidays should be enjoyed by all, but you can still be happy and healthy. When it comes down to it, try not to stress about what you eat during the holidays. There’s always time to get back on track and back into a routine after the holiday season.

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LAST DAY to enroll in health coverage!

Today – December 15, 2017 – is the last day to enroll in a major medical health insurance plan. If you’re a healthy individual, you may be questioning why you should get health insurance. However, even if you don’t get sick often, having health insurance could save you costs on routine checkups and preventive care. In addition, major medical insurance typically covers those with pre-existing conditions.

Did you know that you could be living with a pre-existing condition and not know it? If you have any of the conditions below, it may be in your best interest to enroll in a health insurance plan to save on costs associated with the management and treatment of your condition.

  • Acne
  • Anxiety
  • Diabetes
  • Asthma
  • Sleep apnea
  • Depression
  • COPD
  • Extreme obesity
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Cancer

The list above is not the full list of qualifying pre-existing conditions. Some conditions that qualify as a pre-existing condition may even surprise you. To talk to a GoHealth agent about your most affordable option, call (866) 909 – 0798.

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How do I avoid the tax penalty?

A recent GoHealth survey found that 95% of people don’t know the last date to enroll in health insurance coverage this year. If you miss the deadline, you may not be able to enroll in health insurance until next year, unless you experience a qualifying life event. It’s important to know the deadlines so you can secure affordable coverage for the upcoming year.

The last day to enroll in major medical insurance is December 15, 2017. If you want to avoid the tax penalty, you must enroll in a qualifying health insurance plan before this deadline.

 

How do I enroll in health insurance?

Enrolling in health insurance can seem intimidating, but that’s where GoHealth comes in. GoHealth has licensed agents available who can recommend plans that fit your needs and your wallet. Unlike other enrollment sites, GoHealth can walk you through a variety of plans and make suggestions based on your family size, your income, and your preferences.

To begin the process of enrolling in a health insurance plan, simply call (866) 909 – 0798 to talk with one of our agents or click here to begin the process online.

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The Standoff: Health Benefit Plans vs. Short-Term Coverage

If you’re unable to enroll in major medical health insurance, you still have options. Two of the most common types of coverage are short-term coverage and health benefit plans. But which plan is right for you? Which plan will be the most affordable? Every situation is unique, so below we compare health benefit plans to short-term health insurance to help you make the right decision for you and your family.

 

Understanding Health Benefit Plans

Before you decide to purchase a health benefit plan, it’s important to understand what these types of plans do and do not cover. A health benefit plan does not qualify as the type of coverage required by the ACA, meaning that you may still have to pay the tax penalty if you purchase a standalone health benefit plan.

Compared to major medical insurance, health benefit plans cover a much more limited set of illnesses, medical procedures and hospital visits, so be sure to read your policy carefully to see what your plan will cover. Keep in mind health benefit plans typically do not cover pre-existing conditions or the 10 essential health benefits required by the ACA.

However, health benefit plans do not have a deductible. With a health benefit plan, there are less surprises when it comes to paying your medical bills. Health benefit plans make a fixed payment to you when you’re treated for a medical illness or injury, so you always know how much you’ll have to pay out-of-pocket.

 

Understanding Short-term insurance

Similar to health benefit plans, short-term health insurance does not meet the ACA’s minimum required coverage, meaning you may still have to pay the tax penalty even if you have short-term coverage.

Short-term coverage is just that – short term. A short-term health plan can range from one to 12 months of coverage. Short-term coverage is ideal for those looking to bridge an insurance gap until they can enroll in a major medical plan during Open Enrollment or during a Special Enrollment period. Unlike a health benefit insurance plan, short-term plans typically have a deductible, but these plans may cover a higher percentage of your medical costs.

 

So, which type of coverage should I choose?

Health insurance is not one-size-fits-all. To talk to a GoHealth agent about which type of plan is right for you and your family, call (866) 909 – 0798.

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Time is running out: Medicare Open Enrollment 2017

The Medicare Open Enrollment period is coming to an end on December 7, 2017. If you’re 65 or older, now is the time to look into additional Medicare coverage options available to you. While you’re not required to re-enroll in Medicare each year, during the Medicare Open Enrollment period, you can complete the following:

  • Change from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan
  • Change from a Medicare Advantage plan back to Original Medicare
  • Change Medicare Advantage plans
  • Find a new Medicare Advantage plan that offers prescription drug coverage
  • Join a Medicare Prescription Drug plan
  • Switch from one Prescription Drug plan to another

Before you choose a Medicare plan, review the checklist below so you can be sure you’re getting the right type coverage at an affordable price.

  • Have you researched what type of Medicare you need?
  • Will you need help understanding how Medicare works?
  • Do you currently have health insurance coverage?
  • Do you have a primary care physician?
  • How many times a year, on average, do you see a doctor?
  • Do you see a specialist for any current health conditions?
  • Will you need Medicare prescription drug coverage?
  • Do you need a plan just for yourself or for others, too?

Still have questions? GoHealth’s licensed agents are available to you at no cost. Call (866) 909 – 0798 or visit www.gomedicare.com for more information.

 

This information is for educational purposes only. Medicare has neither reviewed nor endorsed this information.

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GoHealth: Your personal health insurance shopper

With only three weeks left of Open Enrollment, many people are wondering how to save money on health coverage. In fact, one of the biggest questions this season is: How do I find the most affordable health coverage?

With various health plans to choose from, selecting a plan can be overwhelming and the process can seem intimidating.

That’s where GoHealth comes in. GoHealth is here to help you make the right decisions regarding your health insurance. At GoHealth, our licensed health insurance agents understand that health insurance is not one-size-fits all. Unlike other health insurance enrollment sites, GoHealth’s agents are able to make recommendations based on your unique situation to find you a plan that fits your health needs and your budget. You can think of GoHealth as your personal health insurance shopper.

Are your ready to start saving money on health insurance? Check purchasing health insurance off of your holiday to-do list and call to speak with a GoHealth agent today: (866) 909-0798.

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Common Health Insurance Questions: How do I find a doctor in my network?

We’re about halfway through this year’s Open Enrollment Period, and it’s clear that everyone still has questions about health insurance.

We turned to our health insurance experts to gather the most-asked consumer questions. To start, we’re going to focus on a big one: How do I find a doctor in my network?

Below we explain how to figure out which doctors are in your network, and offer solutions for choosing a plan that allows you to see a doctor of your choice.

 

How do I know if my plan covers my doctor?

There are a variety of ways to find out if your doctor is covered by your health plan. To start, you can call your doctor’s office and ask if they accept your health insurance. You may want to do this before enrolling in a plan, just to be sure.

In addition, you can contact your health insurance company directly before you schedule a doctor’s appointment. Many health insurance companies also allow you to create a profile on their website where you can search for doctors in your area that are in-network.  Check with your insurance provider by contacting their customer service number on the back of your health insurance card.

 

Which type of plan allows me to choose my doctor?

While there are a variety of plans to choose from, the major difference between a Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) plan and a Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) plan is that HMO plans require you to choose a primary care doctor in your network. This is the same for any specialists you may need to see or lab work you might need. While these plans have lower out-of-pocket costs, they also require you to select in-network doctors and specialists.

If having the ability to see any doctor you want is at the top of your list,, a PPO plan might be best choice for you. This type of plan includes coverage for both in-network and out-of-network doctors, meaning you can likely choose to see any doctor you wish. Keep in mind that since these plans are more flexible, they can also be more expensive.

 

In the end, there are many health plans to choose from and many factors to consider before making your final decision. The key to finding the right plan is to understand your current and future health care needs. To speak with a licensed agent who can help you find coverage that fits your needs, call (866) 909 – 0798.

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