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Enroll in Medicaid or CHIP at Any Time

Last-minute insurance seekers rushed to buy Obamacare ahead of the nationwide open enrollment deadline, but not every American is tied to that deadline.  People who qualify for social health care programs like Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) can enroll any time of the year.

THE LOWDOWN ON MEDICAID
Individuals and families may qualify for free or low-cost health insurance coverage through Medicaid. This coverage is designed for some Americans with low-incomes, pregnant women, the elderly, and people with disabilities. Eligibility depends on income, family size and where you live.

Medicaid Expansion
Where you live could make a big difference if you are applying for Medicaid. Some states expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act so that more people are eligible.  In those states, if an individual earns less than $16,105 a year or a family of four earns less than $32,913, they will probably qualify for Medicaid.

In states that did not expand Medicaid, people who earn less than 100% of the Federal Poverty Level may be eligible Medicaid. In other words, if you earn less than about $11,490 a year as an individual or about $23,550 for a family of four, you may qualify.

Apply for Medicaid
If you think you qualify for Medicaid, click here to apply.  If you earn enough money for private health insurance, start shopping for brand-name affordable coverage through GoHealthInsurance.com.

QUICK FACTS ON CHIPWomen's Health Week
Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) provides low-cost health coverage to kids in families that earn too much money to qualify for Medicaid but have difficulty
paying for private coverage for their kids. Some states offer CHIP to parents and pregnant women. Every state offers coverage through CHIP and works closely through its state’s Medicaid program.

Benefits of CHIP
Coverage through CHIP varies by state, but all states provide comprehensive coverage, including:

·         Routine check-ups

·         Immunizations

·         Doctor visits

·         Prescriptions

·         Dental and vision care

·         Inpatient and outpatient hospital care

·         Laboratory and X-ray services

·         Emergency services

Apply for CHIP
You can visit www.insurekidsnow.gov, or call 1-877-543-7669 to see if your family qualifies.

 

 

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There’s Still Time to Complete your Obamacare Enrollment

Good news for health insurance-seekers who had trouble meeting the Obamacare deadline – you may get extra time to enroll!

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The federal government announced a grace period for Americans who had difficulties completing their enrollment by the March 31 deadline, so if you experienced technical troubles or long wait times that kept you from buying Obamacare, you’ll likely get a little leeway to complete your health insurance enrollment.

All you have to do is attest that you attempted to enroll prior to midnight ET on March 31 and you’ll find out if you get extra time to sign up for a major medical health insurance plan. People who enroll in a major medical health plan during the grace period will not face the tax penalty.

If this situation applies to you, you have a short period of time to complete your application (plan for only a few of days).  But don’t delay! Missing this opportunity means you will probably not get an opportunity to apply for tax subsidies and you’ll miss the opportunity to buy a major medical plan that covers pre-existing conditions and preventative care.

If you still need a health plan, GoHealth can guide you through the process and connect you with brand-name, affordable coverage today.

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Five Life Events that Let You Buy Obamacare After The Deadline

If you missed the deadline to purchase Obamacare, you may have another chance. It all depends on your situation. The health care law outlines “qualifying life events” which are life changes that make a person eligible for a special enrollment period to obtain major medical health insurance.

Here are the qualifying life events that could allow you to enroll outside of open enrollment:

  1.  Marriage
  2. Birth, adoption, or placement of a child in your household
  3. Permanent relocation to an area offering different plan options
  4. Change in income or household status that affects tax subsidy eligibility or cost-sharing reductions of your qualified health insurance plan
  5. Loss of other health coverage
    Examples include: job loss, divorce, loss of Medicaid or CHIP eligibility, expiration of COBRA coverage, a health plan becoming decertified.

Note: The following are not considered loss of coverage: voluntarily cancellation, termination of a health plan because of missing premium payments, or losing coverage that is not minimum essential coverage.

Special enrollment periods for qualifying life events typically last 60 days from the date of the qualifying event. If you believe you qualify, visit GoHealthInsurance.com to shop for brand-name quality coverage.

Happy-Family

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The Deadline To Enroll in Health Insurance is Here!

The last day to enroll in a health insurance plan under that Affordable Care Act is March 31, 2014. That’s today! There has been some confusion over the deadline due to the federal government’s recent announcement that people who experience difficulty signing up for a health plan will get a grace period to complete their enrollment, but the details of this grace period have not been clearly defined.

deadline today

What do we know about this grace period?
The federal government’s grace period applies for people who reside in the 36 states that may utilize HealthCare.gov and experienced difficulties such as technical issues or long wait times while attempting to enroll before March 31 at midnight ET. In order to be granted this special enrollment period, consumers must attest under penalty of perjury that they attempted to enroll prior to the deadline.

The government has not clearly defined the time frame of this special enrollment period, so it is highly recommended that consumers make every effort to sign up for a health insurance plan before March 31 to guarantee benefits and compliance with the Affordable Care Act. If you still need a plan, start shopping for coverage as soon as possible at GoHealthInsurance.com.

What’s the significance of the deadline?
Completing your health insurance enrollment prior to midnight ET on March 31 will allow you to secure potential savings through tax credits, purchase a major medical plan with essential health benefits like prescription drugs and maternity care, and avoid the tax penalty for going uninsured. If you miss the deadline, certain benefits  may not be available to you until November 15, 2014 when the next open enrollment period begins. Anyone who chooses not to enroll in health insurance by March 31, may have face a fine. You can purchase a short-term plan after the deadline but those plans can be more expensive and have limited benefits.

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Procrastinators Be Warned: March is Your Last Chance to Buy Health Insurance

Thinking of waiting until next month to sign up for health insurance? Think again. Your opportunity to buy coverage that is in compliance with the Affordable Care Act ends on March 31. That’s just days away!

If you haven’t heard, the health care reform law established a time frame for Americans to purchase health insurance. That time period is called open enrollment. It started on October 15, 2013 and ends on March 31, 2014. Unless you have a “qualifying life event,” you should probably pay attention to the March 31 deadline because if you miss it, you’ll face a tax penalty.

Here are the five qualifying life events that could allow you to enroll after March:

  1. Marriage
  2. Birth, adoption, or placement of a child in your household
  3. Permanent relocation to an area offering different plan options
  4. Loss of other health coverage
    Examples include: job loss, divorce, loss of Medicaid or CHIP eligibility, expiration of COBRA coverage, a health plan becoming decertified.                                                          Note: The following are not considered loss of coverage: voluntarily cancellation, termination of a health plan because of missing premium payments, or losing coverage that is not minimum essential coverage.
  5.  Change in income or household status that affects tax subsidy eligibility or cost-sharing reductions (think discounts offered by the government) of your qualified health insurance planWatch for Health Care Reform

We know, there are more fun things to do than shop for health insurance, but there’s good news. GoHealth makes the process simple and easy to understand. It’s our job
to save you time and money while finding you the best plan for your needs. Get started at GoHealthInsurance.com where you can compare several brand-name health insurance plans at once, then give us a call to enroll in as little as 20 minutes. Don’t put it off  because you only have a few days left!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Three Common Misconceptions About Health Insurance Under the Affordable Care Act

The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Don Quixote, and War & Peace- all these literary works are over a thousand pages. The enacted version of Obamacare falls short to these at 906 pages. No one expects you to read the whole document. It’s not as exciting as the tale of hobbits venturing to Mordor. Just be sure not to believe EVERYTHING you read about Obamacare. There are some common misconceptions that could steer you in the wrong path regarding your health insurance. Here are clarifications of three of those common misconceptions.

 

1. All Americans will have the same health insurance under Obamacare

Obamacare is not a single type of insurance. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) “affectionately” named Obamacare — depending upon who is talking — establishes a standard among healthcare plans. This step is taken to protect patients and citizens across the country. There are standard features including no annual or lifetime limits on healthcare costs. All major medical health insurance plans must also require the same list of “essential health benefits” that Obamacare has established. These benefits include newly covered preventative services or outpatient care, emergency care, prescription drugs, maternity & newborn care and several more. So when someone says they lost their health insurance because of Obamacare, that is likely because their old plan did not  meet the standards of the ACA.

Shocked

 

2. I can only sign up for health insurance on Healthcare.gov.

There are a plenty of other places to sign up for health insurance. GoHealth is one of your other options. We are a private online marketplace exchange that features licensed advisors to give you the best advice on the plan that fits your unique situation. Think of it as walking into the wrong car dealership. You wouldn’t go into a Mini Cooper dealership if you needed a car for a family of 8. At GoHealth we can guide you to the best plan based on both your health and budget needs. Every plan that GoHealth offers will get you covered so that you meet all the guidelines set out by Obamacare. Alternatively, Healthcare.gov is a public online marketplace exchange. Healthcare.gov and other state-run sites cannot assist you to the same extent as our licensed advisors. Agents at these sites are not allowed to recommend specific plans.

 

3. I am healthy so I’m not going to get health insurance and instead pay the small fee.

No one plans on getting sick or injured but emergencies happen and most of the time there is nothing we can do to avoid them. Health insurance gives you the peace of mind that you are covered if something ever does go wrong. One of the best strategies to staying healthy is to prevent illnesses from occurring. Preventive care is an essential health benefit of Obamacare. Screenings and tests can catch illnesses in an early stage and this may save your life. These services are now covered by the ACA.  Being healthy is a byproduct of being smart about your health; don’t take chances. Also, the fee for going uninsured (1% of your household’s income or $95 per adult, whichever is greater) increases every year. Couple this with unexpected medical bills and you could find yourself in heaps of debt.

Now that you know the truth behind common falsehoods plaguing the concept of health insurance you can confidently enter into a plan. And you did it without scanning over 900 pages of material. If you would like to learn more about health insurance plans check out GoHealth.  We are ready to do our part to make it easy to shop for health insurance. Our licensed agents are standing by to help you understand your options and enroll before the national enrollment deadline under the Affordable Care Act, March 31.  Did we mention our advice is free? Speak with us today!

 

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Kathy’s Story: Despite Cancer and Technical Troubles, She’s Insured

Kathy G. Dark Background with Quote

Securing health insurance was no easy task for Kathy G. of Missouri.

Kathy had been uninsured for the past seven years after insurance carriers repeatedly denied her coverage. Kathy says she previously had skin cancer and even though her case was minor, it stood in the way of coverage.

As soon as open enrollment began on October 1, she knew she could buy coverage despite her pre-existing condition, so she logged onto her computer to shop for insurance. She was eager to secure coverage for Jan. 1 but technical difficulties on other insurance marketplace websites prevented her from enrolling in a plan.

It wasn’t until Kathy came across GoHealth that she found a website that worked and she successfully signed up for insurance.

“When GoHealth told me my insurance application went through, I literally cried,” says Kathy. “I was so happy.”

On New Years Eve, the day before her brand-name insurance plan took effect, Kathy wrote an email to the GoHealth Licensed Insurance Advisor who assisted her saying,“It is only because of you, I will have health insurance tomorrow for the first time in years.”

 

 

 

 

 

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Eight Ways to Qualify for an Exemption to the Tax Penalty for Going Uninsured

In less than 30 days, the deadline to enroll in a plan through the Affordable Care Act will be upon us. This year, the individual shared responsibility payment, otherwise known as a tax penalty, will go into effect and if you’re uninsured for more than three consecutive months, you’ll be faced with paying the penalty. With medical bills as a leading cause of personal bankruptcy in the U.S, not having health insurance could prove to be a very costly mistake.
Health Care Reform Changes

If you don’t qualify for an exemption to the Affordable Care Act’s mandate to purchase qualifying health coverage, then you will be subject to a tax penalty that will be applied when you file your 2014 income tax return.

The tax penalty will increase over the next three years as follows:

2014:
1% of total household income or $95 per adult ($47.50 per child), whichever is greater.

2015:
2% of total household income or $325 per adult, whichever is greater.

2016:
2.5% of total household income or $695 per adult, whichever is greater.

However, there are certain circumstances which exempt you from the tax penalty:

  1. You’re uninsured for less than three months of the year
  2. The lowest-priced coverage available to you would cost more than 8% of your household income
  3. You don’t have to file a tax return because your income is too low (Learn about the filing limit.)
  4. You’re a member of a federally recognized tribe or eligible for services through an Indian Health Services provider
  5. You’re a member of a recognized health care sharing ministry
  6. You’re a member of a recognized religious sect with religious objections to insurance, including Social Security and Medicare
  7. You’re incarcerated, and not awaiting the disposition of charges against you
  8. You’re not lawfully present in the U.S.

If you miss the March 31 deadline, you’ll be subject to the penalty unless you qualify for an above mentioned tax penalty exemption. To ensure you are exempt you can enroll in a health insurance plan and also enjoy the benefits and peace of mind that comes with being insured.

To compare your health insurance options and enroll in a plan before the March 31 deadline, visit the GoHealth Marketplace.

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10 Benefits Your Insurance Covers Whether You Like It Or Not

In many ways, health insurance has become standardized. Before you awake the horrifying memories of Scantrons and filling in test bubbles, just hear us out.

A 30-year-old male does not need the same health insurance benefits as a 40-year-old woman with a child on the way.  That’s a fact. However, under the Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), their insurance plans must cover the same 10 Essential Health Benefits. It’s a new standard because of  health care reform, and the change could bring you new benefits or save you money.

Here are the 10 services that must be covered by certain health insurance plans starting in 2014.

1. Outpatient Care
To start, outpatient care refers to medical services that do not require an overnight stay. Outpaitent Care is performed in qualified medical centers, usually not in hospitals. Leaving out an overnight stay already astronomically reduces the costs of your medical services. An overnight stay in an American hospital can costs more than $4,000 on average. Important outpatient services include: Wellness & prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation. All the services provided occur in one location and the staff is well-qualified. This type of care is now covered under the ACA and can save you both time and money.

2. Emergency Care
No one plans on hurting themselves but it happens. You don’t enter into a basketball game thinking: “I really want to break my leg this game.” The last thing you want to worry about in an emergency is if your insurance is going to cover it. With a major medical health insurance plan, you can have peace of mind. Gas may be expensive but ambulance bills can be stunning. A 15 minute, nine mile ambulance ride could cost you over $1,700. In cases of emergency, the ACA includes the costs of ambulance rides under coverage. Life is unpredictable; the safest person could find themselves in the hospital the next day for circumstances beyond their control.

3. Hospital Stays
We just got through preaching to you how expensive a night in the hospital can be. Coverage under the ACA is different because annual dollar limits on essential health insurance benefits will not be allowed. Some emergency care procedures do not require a hospital stay but others may require a night in the ICU. The Affordable Care Act has you covered either way.

4. Mental Health Coverage
Admit it- you’ve cited “mental health day” as a reason you did not come into work. There is some scrutiny involved with mental health but those who are affected by mental illnesses know just how important care can be. We all have stressors in life but unexpected events, like a death in the family, can make us feel hopeless. Anyone can be Womens Health Careaffected by mental health issues and now everyone with insurance will be covered for mental health matters.

5. Prescription Drugs
Almost everyone will take a prescription drug at some point in their life. Prescription drugs treat short-term and long-term illnesses and help avoid making a bigger deal out of a once-easily treatable illness. With insurance, prescription drugs are covered.

6. Rehab Services
We’ve already established that coverage for emergency services is vital. Sometimes our emergencies are resolved but have lasting effects. Recovering from a car accident can include not only a night in the hospital but months of physical therapy. Most injuries heal with time and effort; 2014 major medical insurance plans are required to cover rehab service, giving you the freedom to achieve your full wellness again.

7. Lab Services
Lab services are a necessity for proper diagnosis. Pinpointing the exact cause of an ailment can be obtained through lab tests. Processing these exams can come with hefty fees because they involve many complex steps. Only qualified professionals can conduct them. ACA required that the fees associated with lab services are covered.

8. Free Preventive Care
Preventive medicine is the best way to prevent serious health problems. Routine screenings can save you the stress of a surprise illness and can cut the cost of your medical bills drastically. Monitoring your health is essential to your well-being. You will never know you are at risk unless you take the steps to check for warning signs. Take advantage of covered preventive care services to help you find those warning signs.

9. Maternity & Newborn Care
It may seem like Maternity and newborn care may not to affect males, but that is not the case. It affects the women in their lives and it affects their children. A baby is fragile and it needs the proper care to be healthy. It is a parent’s main goal to provide for their children. They need their parents’ support the most when they are new to this world. Health care reform aims to make maternity and newborn care more accessible.

10. Pediatric Care (including Vision and Dental)
This last Essential Health Benefit goes along with the previous component but applies after your child has grown out of the newborn stage. Certain health insurance plans in the past may have covered doctor fees but left the expenses of glasses or filled cavities up to the parents. The ACA makes pediatric care an essential to all qualifying plans. This measure aims to protect your child’s well-being and it can save parents hundreds if not thousands of dollars.

Combine all these services and one can see just how important they are to the maintenance of a healthy lifestyle. Your health is always the most important thing in your life but requiring these components in a health care plan also saves you money. Benefits that may seem inapplicable to your life could end up saving it.

 

 

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15 Minutes with GoHealth Saved Michigan Man Thousands of Dollars

Perry Bonner Quote Color Background 2.19.2014

 

For the first time in 15 years, Perry B. of Grand Rapids, Michigan is insured.

“It’s an incredible feeling knowing that if I get injured or become ill, I’m covered,” says Perry.

He enrolled in a brand-name health insurance plan for himself and his wife through GoHealth. His premium costs him $54.76 a month.

Perry is a father of three and makes a living as a social worker. Like the majority of people shopping for private insurance this year, Perry qualified for a tax subsidy that lowers the cost of insurance. The subsidy saves him $380 every month.

Perry learned about his eligibility for lower costs after connecting with a licensed insurance advisor from GoHealth.  He says within 15 minutes, his insurance advisor answered his questions and signed him up for a plan.

“The best thing about it – it was simple.”

Most people shopping for individual or family health insurance qualify for savings. Visit www.gohealthinsurance.com to see how much you might save today. 

 

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