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Moving? Here’s your health insurance checklist.

Most people understand the stresses that can potentially accompany a big move: finding a good school district for your kids, adjusting to a new neighborhood, settling in to a new routine, and obviously packing up your whole life into a few boxes. Even with all of these changes, it’s important to put your health insurance coverage at the top of your checklist. moving

Moving to a new state or oftentimes within the same state is considered a Qualifying Life Event, which means you may be able to enroll in a new health plan outside of Open Enrollment. Other Qualifying Life Events include having a baby, getting married, and getting divorced.

If you are also starting a new job, make sure that you talk to the human resources department to learn about your new health insurance policy before moving. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, and make sure that your most pressing costs – such as your medications – are covered under any policy changes.

Even if you aren’t leaving your current company, your health insurance options and the cost of your health care could still change. Find out if there are any changes in the group policy or if your health insurance costs differ from city to city. Plan ahead and get educated about what to expect after your big move.

Planning a move sometime in the near future? Or have you experienced a different Qualifying Life Event? Visit GoHealthInsurance.com today or call 888-322-7557 to talk to a licensed agent about your options before you take that next step.

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Health insurance options for recent graduates

Are you about to graduate from college? In addition to getting a job, finding a place to live, and generally figuring out what you want to do with your life, you may also find yourself struggling with how to obtain health insurance.millennials

Fortunately, recent graduates have choices when it comes to enrolling in a health plan. One option for many young adults is to get covered under a parent’s plan until the age of 26. Even if you are married or not living at home, this provision of Obamacare still holds true, as long as your parent agrees.

For others, if your student health plan ends when you graduate, you may qualify for a Special Enrollment Period. This means you can enroll in a qualified health plan outside of Open Enrollment. Getting married, having a baby, and other various life changes would also qualify you for this special enrollment opportunity. But remember: You only have 60 days from the time your student health plan ends to get new health insurance, so don’t delay your enrollment.

But how do you find the right plan that works for your needs? A Catastrophic plan may be the right choice for you. This type of plan is an affordable way to protect against the high costs of injury or illness. Catastrophic plans cover three primary care visits a year, as well as some additional health benefits.

However, a Catastrophic plan is just one option; it may not be your best option. To find a plan that’s right for you, connect with a GoHealth licensed agent. These experts can walk you through the enrollment process and answer any health insurance-related questions you may have along the way.

No matter how you choose to go about it, remember that it’s important to get new health insurance once your current plan ends. Going without health insurance means you could face a very costly fine next year at tax time. All recent graduates should visit GoHealthInsurance.com today or call 888-322-7557 to talk to a licensed agent about your options.

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Your deadline is here! Get health insurance now.

By now, you’ve probably heard that uninsured Americans who did not know about the tax penalty until after the February 15 Open Enrollment deadline were given more time to enroll. Well, that time is finally about to expire. If you qualify, today is the last day to get health insurance!tax penalty

Here’s what you need to know:

  1. Going without major medical health insurance means that you’ll face a fine come tax time next year. This fine only gets bigger year after year, so it can actually be less expensive to enroll in a health plan.
  2. If you don’t get health insurance by tonight, you won’t have another opportunity to do so until Open Enrollment begins again in the fall. That’s a long time risk facing high out-of-pocket medical costs for injuries and illnesses.
  3. GoHealth can help you find the right plan for your budget and medical needs. You can either enroll online yourself or get assistance from a licensed agent over the phone. Either way, you’ll be able to compare thousands of plans and rates side by side.

Don’t wait until it’s too late! Visit GoHealthInsurance.com and get the health insurance you need now.

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GoHealth’s Shane Cruz to participate in the Health Insurance Exchange Summit

Shane Cruz Small

GoHealth’s Chief Technology Officer, Shane Cruz

Health care experts and professionals will gather in Washington DC on May 11 – 13 to discuss the first two Open Enrollment Periods, Medicaid expansion, the important role of private exchanges like GoHealth, and much more about the state of the industry and health reform.

Shane Cruz, Chief Technology Officer of GoHealth, will serve as a panelist on “Web Broker Entities and Private Exchanges Serving the Individual Market.” His expertise as President of the Association of Web-Based Health Insurance Brokers will lend well to this particular panel discussion. In addition, it was under Cruz’s leadership that GoHealth became the first Web-Broker Entity to enroll Americans in subsidized health insurance under the Affordable Care Act.

Joining Cruz on the panel are John Barkett of Extend Health, Samuel C. Gibbs III of eHealth, Chini Krishnan of GetInsured, Pete Nakahata of PTN Consulting Group, LLC, and Christopher E. Condeluci, ESQ. of CC Law & Policy.

Cruz’s panel is set to take place on Tuesday, May 12 at 3:15 ET. For more information on his panel and the summit, visit http://www.healthinsuranceexchangesummit.com/index.html.

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I Have Short-term Coverage. Can I Still be Fined?

The Affordable Care Act requires that most Americans pay a fee for each month they go without health coverage. To avoid the penalty, you must maintain minimum essential coverage throughout the year or get an exemption. Many people think that any type of health insurance will keep them from paying this costly fine, but most health plans sold outside of Open Enrollment do not count as minimum essential coverage, including short-term health insurance. short term

What is short-term health insurance?

Short-term health insurance provides a temporary solution to fill gaps in your health coverage.  If you miss Open Enrollment, a short-term plan will fill the gap until the next Open Enrollment Period begins, so your financial security is not jeopardized if you get sick or injured.

Does short-term coverage meet ACA requirements?

Short-term health insurance is ideal for people looking to bridge an insurance gap; however, a short term medical policy does not meet ACA requirements. Consequently, some medical services may be excluded from this coverage. Additionally, short-term health plans typically do not limit the amount you can pay out-of-pocket for medical services in a year, but they may limit the maximum amount the insurer will pay for your medical services in a year.

Can I avoid the tax penalty with a short-term plan?

Having short-term coverage does not exclude you from facing the fine for going uninsured. Because a short-term plan does not qualify as creditable coverage under the rules of the Affordable Care Act, enrollees will face a penalty for not having health insurance coverage.

How do I enroll in a major medical plan?

If you are still uninsured or have a short-term plan, speak with one of GoHealth’s licensed insurance agents today to find the best major medical plan for you before time runs out. Call (888) 322-7557 to speak directly with an advisor, or start shopping online.

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Your Travel First Aid Kit Guide

We’ve all been there: You’re finally on a beach, somewhere warm, away from the chaos of your everyday life… and you come down with a cold. Or worse, a stomach bug. These illnesses can show up at the most inconvenient times, so it’s always wise to bring a medical kit with you on vacation. travel first aid

What you choose to include in your travel first-aid kit depends on where you’re headed. If you’re traveling abroad, be sure to inquire about the quality and extent of health care facilities in every country you’re visiting. If you need help, start with the U.S. State Department website, which contains information about finding medical services abroad.

It’s also vital to carry enough of your prescription medications with you to last your entire trip. Keep your prescriptions in your carry-on bag so you don’t risk losing them if your baggage is lost. Lastly, carry a copy of your prescriptions with you, so a doctor in the host country can write you another prescription, if necessary.

The contents of a medical travel kit should be tailored to your needs based on the type of travel, how long you’re traveling for, and your destination. If you decide to assemble your own kit, here are a few basics you can include:

  • Pain control / fever reducer
  • Antiseptic wipes
  • Oral antihistamine
  • Band-Aids, gauze pads, and first-aid tape
  • Blister Care
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Antidiarrheal medication
  • Antacids
  • Insect repellent
  • Scissors and tweezers
  • Water purification tablets

For more information, check out your options for health insurance while traveling abroad, or call GoHealth at 888-322-7557.

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What is a Qualifying Life Event?

Do you have a baby on the way? Can you hear wedding bells in the near future? What about a big move for you and your family? Life is full of big and unpredictable events, but there is always comfort in knowing that should one of these situations arise, it provides an opportunity to get the health insurance you need.

We’ve outlined all of the different Qualifying Life Events that would present a unique opportunity to enroll in health insurance outside of Open Enrollment.

Qualifying Life Events Infographic NEW

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It’s Tax Day! What You Need to Know About Being Uninsured

Today is April 15, which means we’ve finally reached the tax return filing deadline. Today is also the first day that many Americans will feel the costly effect of going uninsured. Under the Affordable Care Act, most Americans must have health insurance coverage or face a fine. tax fine

Although you still have a few weeks to take advantage of the tax extension special enrollment opportunity and avoid the fine for next year, let’s take a look at what might happen if you choose to completely forgo coverage.

What is the tax penalty for being uninsured?

If you could afford health insurance but chose not to enroll in 2014 coverage, you probably saw a hefty fine show up on your tax return. This could be as much as 1 percent of your income. The tax penalty for not having health insurance in 2016 will be 2.5 percent of household income or $695 for every adult, whichever is greater. This fine is expected to continue to increase every year.

How do I pay the tax penalty?

You will pay the fee for being uninsured on the federal income tax return you file for the year that you do not have health insurance coverage. If you did not have coverage in 2014, you should have filed Form 8965. This form allows you to claim an exemption from the requirement to have insurance or to calculate your penalty for the months that you weren’t covered.

Can I still get health insurance?

Fortunately, there is still time to avoid the tax penalty for next year. Thanks to a recently announced enrollment extension, you may have the chance to enroll in coverage through April 30. It is also possible that you may qualify for an exemption, meaning you will not have to get coverage and you will not face a fine.

How do I get started?

If you are still uninsured, speak with one of GoHealth’s licensed insurance advisors today to find the best health plan for you. Call (888) 322-7557 to speak directly with an advisor, or start shopping online.

 

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Can I Use My HSA Funds to Pay My Premiums?

Many of you might have a Health Savings Account (HSA) and realize that you have more funds in the account than you need. Maybe you’re not even sure what an HSA is at all. What can the money in your HSA account be used for?

In some cases, you can use the funds in your HSA to pay health insurance premiums. The more you understand your HSA, the more you can make your tax-free money work for you. Let’s take a closer look.moneysack

What is a Health Savings Account?

An HSA is a tax-exempt account that you or your employer can contribute money to, and then you can put those funds toward qualified medical expenses. In order to become eligible for an HSA, you have to enroll in a high deductible plan. Your HSA money is yours to keep and will continue to grow tax-free each year.

Qualified medical expenses, as defined by the Internal Revenue Service could include:

  • Hospital services
  • Prescription drugs
  • Long term care
  • Birth control
  • Health institute treatment

What about health insurance premiums?

A health insurance premium is the monthly fee charged by an insurance company for coverage. The amount of money charged for your insurance premium is determined by your age, health, residence, and more specific details.

Your HSA money can be used toward insurance premiums, but only specific types, such as long-term care coverage, health coverage while you are unemployed, and federal health care continuation coverage, also known as COBRA. If you are 65 and older, HSA funds can also be used to pay for any health insurance, except Medicare Supplement policies.

However, if you try to use your HSA money to pay for general major medical premiums, that would be considered a nonmedical withdrawal and would face taxes and penalties.  Before you decide to use your HSA funds to pay your premiums, make sure your plan qualifies.

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What’s the difference between short-term and major medical coverage?

If you missed the Open Enrollment deadline, you may still have one last chance to enroll in major medical coverage. However, when searching for coverage options, you may also come across what’s called short-term health insurance. The two might sound similar, but their details can actually be very different.

We’ve outlined the variations between major medical and short-term health insurance in the chart below to help you find the right plan.

Short-term vs. Major medical chart NEW

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