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I Missed Open Enrollment: Now What?

Although there is still one last chance for some people to get health insurance, for many, the time to enroll in a health plan has passed.MissedOpenEnrollment1

However, missing the Open Enrollment deadline doesn’t mean you have to go uninsured until next year. There are multiple options if you don’t have health insurance, but still want to get covered.

Special Enrollment Period

If you experience a major life change, you may qualify for a Special Enrollment Period, which means you can enroll in a major medical health plan outside of Open Enrollment. These Qualifying Life Events include getting married, moving to a new location, and having or adopting a baby. Remember: You only have 60 days from the time your event occurs to get coverage, so take action quickly.

Short-term coverage

Many uninsured people think they can afford to wait to get coverage until 2016, but that’s simply not the case. You never know what medical emergencies you might face. Short-term coverage is a great temporary solution to protect you and your family against expensive medical bills due to unexpected injury or illness. GoHealth can assist you in finding a short-term plan at any time throughout the year.

Alternative to COBRA

Facing a change in job status means you can enroll with GoHealth instead of electing COBRA. Although many people believe COBRA is their best option, coverage under COBRA can be very limiting and very expensive. Enrolling in a plan through GoHealth may be the better option. GoHealth provides you with more plan options and the best rates available.

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Do I Need to See a Doctor? 5 Symptoms You Must Get Checked Out

It’s not uncommon to have a headache, feel tired, or have some minor aches and pains throughout the day. But when do these symptoms become signs of a greater health problem?  Most temporary ailments are manageable and quickly subside, so they should not raise any red flags. However, any persistent or intense discomfort should be reported to a physician immediately.

The following five symptoms should be carefully monitored, as they can be signs of more serious health problems.

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1. Headaches

Everyone will experience a headache at some point, but don’t discount the pain as nothing to worry about. Headaches can be a sign of a much larger health problem, such as a sinus infection or a neurological disorder. Even brain tumors, meningitis, and hemorrhaging can first present themselves as headaches. However, it’s important to note that these cases are rare, and they usually present with much more obvious symptoms, as well.

2. Fatigue

Chronic fatigue may be your body’s warning sign, letting you know a more worrisome health problem exists. If you are constantly exhausted, sluggish, sleepy, or even have impaired memory, there is a chance you may be experiencing conditions such as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or mononucleosis. Speak with your doctor about your options for testing for more serious health problems.

3. A Persistent Cough

A cough lasting more than eight weeks is considered chronic, and it can be a sign of asthma, bronchitis, numerous infections, or even cancer. Aside from its potential implications, persistent coughing can also cause other health issues, such as muscle soreness, loss of sleep, inability to control urination, and difficulty breathing. Seek out a doctor’s opinion if you have a cough that is interrupting your daily routine or lasts longer than two months.

4. Rashes or Skin Abnormalities

Rashes that appear out of nowhere may be signaling an abnormality, and they should always be addressed. Rashes may be a response to a mild allergic reaction, such as a new laundry detergent. In other cases, they may become chronic, be contagious, or demonstrate that you have developed a severe allergy. There are also life-threatening illnesses associated with rashes, so never assume that the rash will go away without medical treatment.

5. Rapid Weight Loss

If you suddenly lose a significant amount of weight without explanation, this could be a sign that your body is not functioning properly. If you have not drastically changed your diet or exercise regimen but are rapidly losing weight, see a physician immediately. Infections, gastrointestinal disease, cancer, and organ failure can all cause your body weight to plummet, and the prognosis for these health problems tends to be better if they are treated early on.

Remember: It’s important to note that these symptoms may be perfectly normal, but it’s always a good idea to get them checked out if you’re concerned. Speak with your doctor about your options for treatment, if necessary. For more information about how to find a doctor in your health plan network, click here.

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GoHealth Breaks Down King v. Burwell

King v. Burwell p1King v. Burwell p2

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Recently Engaged? 6 Questions to Ask Your Future Spouse

Did you just recently get engaged? Congratulations! Not only is this an exciting time in your personal life, but it will also affect the decisions you make about your future health care.engagement

Before you say, “I do,” ask your future spouse these questions to make sure that you are on the same page about your health care needs and coverage.

  1. Do you have a family history of disease?

If your future spouse has a family history of disease, he or she may need to prepare now in order to catch potential health problems in the future. It is important to know which services are covered by your current health insurance plan, especially if you or your future spouse are at a higher risk of disease.

  1. Do you want to have children?

If you and your future spouse decide to have children, you will need to know the types of prenatal and maternity care that are covered by your current health plan. Additionally, be sure to explore your options for getting health insurance coverage for your children, as well.

  1. Are we going to be on the same health insurance plan?

Managing multiple health plans in one family can be done, but it will take organization and some preparation. Before you start comparing health insurance policies, be sure to consider whether your plans would allow you and your future spouse to visit the same hospital network, fill prescriptions at the same pharmacy, and if you have different health care needs.

  1. How much money do we earn together?

Consider your joint income, so you can establish a budget for your health care that works for you both. For example, picking a plan with a lower premium may save you money in the short-term, but it could leave you with high out-of-pocket expenses should unforeseen circumstances arise. GoHealth’s licensed insurance advisors can help you find the best plan for you and your family.

  1. Do you have any unhealthy habits that need to be addressed?

Explore the types of preventive services your health plan offers at no extra cost to you. For example, smoking cessation, vaccinations, and weight management may all be covered thanks to your health plan. You and your future spouse can take advantage of these services to prevent future illnesses and live your healthiest lives.

  1. Do we want to enroll in a new health plan?

Getting married is considered a Qualifying Life Event, which means you can enroll in health coverage together or separately outside of Open Enrollment. It’s important to have this discussion in advance of your wedding date as you only have 60 days after your qualifying event to make this change.

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Low-carb alternatives to your favorite comfort foods

Comfort foods all have something in common: They are absolutely delicious! Although these dishes may recall pleasant memories of Mom’s cooking, they are often high in calories and carbohydrates, which can leave you feeling sluggish and stuffed.

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Try these easy, low-carb alternatives to your favorite comfort foods for satisfying cooking that meets your diet goals.

  1. Zucchini Noodle Lasagna

You won’t miss the noodles in this meaty, cheesy lasagna that’s packed with fresh zucchini. Use two or three thinly sliced zucchinis to replace normal lasagna noodles. Try this recipe in the summertime when farmers’ markets and gardens are bursting with vegetables.

  1. Gluten-Free No-Mac and Cheese

Think it’s not macaroni & cheese without the macaroni? Think again! This pasta-less cauliflower mac recipe is all the proof you need. The cheesy, creamy sauce full of coconut milk complements the vegetable perfectly. We guarantee that your dinner guests will ask for more.

  1. Cauliflower Pizza Crust

Channel your inner chef, and try making your very own pizza “dough” for this recipe. It tastes delicious, and it takes less time to prepare than traditional pizza dough. Roasted veggies and goat cheese are tasty, low-carb toppings for your homemade masterpiece. If you prefer a more conventional pizza, load it up with marinara and mozzarella.

  1. Low-Carb Southern Fried Chicken

Craving fried chicken just like grandma used to make? Try this low-carb version of the classic recipe, which is sure to please your taste buds while meeting your diet goals.

  1. Roasted Eggplant Bruschetta Slices

What’s the best thing since sliced bread? The low-carb alternative: eggplant! This elegant spin on bruschetta is a healthier version of the Italian classic. While the eggplant roasts in the oven, mix the remaining ingredients and reflect upon how nice you are being to your body.

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Open Enrollment Tax Extension: You have one more chance!

Thanks to a recently announced extension, if you did not have health insurance in 2014 and are subject to a fine come tax time, you will have the opportunity to enroll in coverage from March 15 to April 30. So if you were unaware of the individual mandate that requires all Americans to get health insurance or face a fine, this is your second chance.tax extension

This special enrollment period is available to those who did not know about the tax penalty until after Open Enrollment ended on February 15. Not only does the extension provide people with another opportunity to get health insurance, but it also offers them the chance to avoid facing a tax penalty for next year.

Unfortunately, even if you take advantage of this special enrollment period, you will still owe a fee for the months you were uninsured and did not receive an exemption in 2014 and 2015.

Most importantly, however, this special enrollment period will allow you to avoid facing any additional fines and ensure that you have the health insurance coverage you need.

Note: This extension is separate from last week’s announcement, which allowed those who were “in line” to get health insurance to complete their enrollments.

For more information or help enrolling once the tax season special enrollment period begins on March 15, visit GoHealthInsurance.com or call 888-322-7557.

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Eat Your Heart Out! 5 Foods to Fuel Heart Health

February is American Heart Month, which aims to increase awareness about heart disease in the United States in order to prevent heart attacks and strokes. While the number of deaths due to heart disease has decreased in recent years, it is still the leading cause of death in the United States. There is good news: Eating healthy can help prevent cardiovascular disease.chocolate heart

Here are five foods that you can easily incorporate into your diet to keep your heart healthy.

1. Salmon

Salmon contains large amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, which lower the risk of arrhythmia and the build-up of plaque in the arteries. In an effort to get the most out of this flakey, pink fish, try eating salmon at least twice a week. If you’re not a salmon fan, you can take Omega-3 dietary supplements instead.

2. Oatmeal

Oatmeal is high in soluable fiber, which acts as a sponge in the digestive tract to soak up and eliminate cholesterol. Try eating old-fashioned or quick-cooking oats to get the full health benefits, rather than instant oatmeal.

3. Yogurt

Yogurt may protect against gum disease, which can increase a person’s risk for heart disease.  Experts believe that the probiotics in yogurt may help counter the growth of unfriendly bacteria in the mouth, improve digestion, and boost immunity.

4. Dark Chocolate

Yes, really chocolate! Daily dark chocolate consumption can reduce the risk of nonfatal heart attacks and strokes in people at high risk for these health problems. It contains polyphenols, which may help with blood pressure, clotting, and inflammation.

5. Popcorn

Popcorn is full of polyphenols, which are a type of antioxidant linked to improving heart health. This popular snack has three times more polyphenols than kidney beans and four times more than cranberries, which are the highest vegetable and fruit sources. Popcorn is also a whole grain, which as we all know is an important dietary staple. People who eat plenty of whole grains tend to be leaner and have a lower risk of heart disease than those who don’t.

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Pay Your Premium to Activate Your Coverage

Open Enrollment has finally come to an end (sort of), which means you should have enrolled in the health plan of your choice by now. Many people think that simply completing an application means they have health insurance. However, your coverage will not take effect until you’ve paid your first month’s premium directly to your insurance company.PayFirstPremium1

Here are the steps you need to take in order to make sure your health insurance is active:

  1. Confirm that your health insurance application is complete.
  2. Pay your first month’s premium directly to your insurance provider.
  3. Look out for your health insurance card and start taking advantage of your plan!

Once you pay your first month’s premium, consider setting a monthly reminder to ensure you maintain your coverage throughout the year.

If you started your application but were unable to finish due to technical difficulties or long wait times, you have until this Sunday, February 22 to complete your enrollment. Make sure you have the coverage you need!

To learn more about how to pay your monthly premiums or how to contact your insurance company, contact GoHealth at 888-322-7557.

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Open Enrollment Extension: GoHealth is open!

If you’re not already covered and tried to enroll, you still have time!

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During the last weekend of Open Enrollment, many people faced long hold times or technology glitches that made it difficult for them to complete their applications on time. If this happened to you, GoHealth can help you complete your enrollment now.

Make sure you qualify for this special enrollment period:

1. You’re not currently enrolled in marketplace coverage, and you didn’t previously have 2015 marketplace coverage that was terminated.

2. You tried to enroll during Open Enrollment, but could not complete the process due to a technical issue or long wait times. This means that you were “in line” and intended to complete your enrollment before February 15.

Remember: This offer will only be available for a short period of time. It’s important to get enrolled as soon as possible.

If you couldn’t complete your application because of technical difficulties or long wait times, and you were already in the process of getting health insurance, you can complete your enrollment with GoHealth online or by calling (888) 322-7557.

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Your Last Chance to Get Health Insurance is Here!

That agonizing work project. Your electric bill. Filing your taxes. That final paper for your favorite class. So many important things in life have hard deadlines. Open Enrollment is no different.deadline

And the deadline to get 2015 health insurance has finally arrived.

If you don’t have a health insurance plan for you and your family, today is the last day to secure coverage during Open Enrollment. If you miss this deadline, you will not only miss out on coverage for the year, but you could also face a fine and exorbitant out-of-pocket medical costs.

The Affordable Care Act does offer some exceptions to this Open Enrollment deadline. If you have a Qualifying Life Event this year – like having a baby, getting married, aging out of coverage under your parents’ plan or losing a job with health benefits – you may qualify for a Special Enrollment Period. However, we don’t recommend that you wait for one of those life events. It’s important to get coverage now.

No more room for excuses. Whether you’ve been feeling overwhelmed, have been too busy or are a really skilled procrastinator, today is the last day to tackle this deadline. You will feel a sense of relief once you check this off your to-do list.

Don’t just meet the deadline, beat the deadline! Click here to get coverage with GoHealth.

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