Most of the changes to healthcare that go into effect in 2012 apply more to the industry than to individuals. We’ve posted before about changes to age limits on family health insurance plans, as well as pre-existing conditions insurance.
In 2012, however, there are four major changes that will take place:
“Linking payment to quality outcomes:” Relating to Medicare, this law will encourage high-quality care and services by rewarding hospitals that perform well.
“Encouraging integrated health systems:” In this law, doctors are encouraged to form “Accountable Care Organizations,” which are groups that provide great care at a reduced cost.
“Reducing paperwork and administrative costs:” Because healthcare is one of the few remaining sectors that still relies on paper records, this law sets standards for billing to ensure that information becomes securely available an electronic format.
“Understanding and fighting health disparities:” According to this law, federal agencies must collect demographic information to ensure that people of all ethnicities, languages, and races are receiving the same quality of service.
If you’d like to read more about upcoming changes to healthcare, check out the federal government’s website.
After the Affordable Care Act was enacted in September of 2010, 2.5 million young adults under the age of 26 gained access to health insurance.
As we mentioned in an earlier blog post about age limits for family health insurance plans, one of the immediate changes to the Affordable Care Act was to ensure that adults under the age of 26 are able to remain on their parents’ health insurance plan.
Initially the CDC expected that the provision would only affect approximately one million young adults, but the results have already surpassed their expectations by more than double.
COBRA, which stands for the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, allows families that lose their employer-sponsored health insurance to remain on the plan for a certain amount of time, though your former employer will most likely not cover the expense.
COBRA generally applies to those who are on a company plan hosting twenty or more employees, so if you work for a very small business you may not qualify.
To find out more about COBRA Continuation Health Coverage, including recent amendments and changes, visit this site.
If your COBRA is set to expire, contact us today and we can help you find a health insurance plan that you can afford.
As the end of the year nears, many families that purchase health insurance have received notices that their healthcare costs are rising.
This is the last thing we want to hear at the holidays, but in some ways it’s inevitable. Even if your premiums will remain low, you might find yourself faced with other rising healthcare costs if you get sick, injured, or wind up hospitalized.
Here are some tips to help you and your family manage rising healthcare costs.
Take advantage of preventative care: many plans cover preventative care, such as well-child and well-woman office visits. Studies have proven that preventative care can save a substantial amount of money, and overall your health benefits from seeing a doctor before you get sick or injured.
Exercise: experts recommend getting at least thirty minutes of exercise a day. I know it seems like a lot, but there are many ways to ensure that you get in your exercise. One–take a brisk walk in the evening with your family. Two–take six five-minute breaks throughout your day to jump rope, kick a ball, or run around the block. You’d be surprised how easy exercise is when you break it into smaller chunks.
Consider switching to a more affordable healthcare plan: if your plan has become too expensive for you to afford, chances are we can help you find one that matches your budget. You might not be able to remain with the same provider, but you can still find a quality plan that gives you coverage you need and can afford.
Contact us today to find a plan that better fits your budget.
We’ve been receiving quite a few questions lately about family medical insurance, so we’ve decided to begin a series of blog posts to answer some of these frequently asked questions.
Keep in mind that Medical Plan Quotes focuses specifically on health insurance in California, Nevada, and Arizona. If you live in a different state, make sure to seek out information that is specific to your region.
Today we’ll be answering this question: when do you officially drop your son or daughter from medical insurance policy?
How Long Can My Child Stay On My Health Insurance Plan?
Beginning in March of this past year, the Affordable Care Act requires that insurance companies cover children under their parents’ insurance plan until they are 26.
Even if your child is married, in school, not financially dependent on you, lives elsewhere, or is eligible for their employer’s plan, you may still provide health insurance for them under your family medical insurance plan.
The purpose of this is to secure more health insurance access for young adults, who are typically less insured over all than the general population.
If you’re interested in finding out more about our family medical insurance plans, please fill out the contact form to the right so we can get started!
For more information about the Affordable Care Act and what that means for young adult children covered by your family medical insurance, check out this site.
California’s health insurance providers offer a variety of plans for small businesses, self-employed individuals, and families, as well as child-only insurance plans.
A majority of people who visit our site are interested in Kaiser Foundation Health Insurance plans. We are more than happy to help families and businesses find the perfect plan for their needs and budgets, whether it’s a Kaiser plan, a Health-Net California plan, or any of the other California health insurance companies we work closely with.
Health Insurance California: FAQs
1. What if I don’t qualify for Medi-Cal, but I have a low budget to work with? This is very common right now, but your situation is not hopeless! Your family may make above the Medi-Cal income limits, but you feel like you can’t afford any other plan. We can help.
When you contact us, we will work closely with you to find a plan that fits your budget, whether it’s through Kaiser Permanente, Anthem, or another California health insurance provider.
2. What if I am losing my current coverage? Our California health insurance experts will work with you to find a new plan as quickly as possible so that you and your family don’t have to go through a period of being uninsured.
3. What if I recently moved to California? Do I need new insurance? In many cases your insurance plan will change when you move from one state to another, depending on your coverage. For example, Kaiser Permanente plans are different according to region, so you should contact your provider to find out the details, especially if you’re on an HMO plan.
If, however, you’ve decided that you’d like to apply for a different plan altogether after moving to California, we’ll be happy to help you pick a California health insurance program that’s perfect for you and your family.
The best way to find out more about California health insurance plans and options is to contact us directly, by filling out the form on the right side of this page. We pride ourselves on our prompt responsiveness and thoroughness.
Health care reform is the phrase given to any type of changes made to the health care system, with the goal of creating a health care system that better serves the population.
What Is Health Care Reform in Today’s Context?
Currently, health care reform in the United States focuses on two laws recently passed: The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Public Law 111-148) and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010.
The health care reforms that will be implemented as a result of these laws can best be summed up as follows:
expanding Medicaid eligibility for people making up to 133% of the federal poverty level
subsidizing insurance premiums for people making up to 400% of the FPL ($88,000 for family of 4 in 2010) so their maximum “out-of-pocket” payment for annual premiums will be from 2% to 9.8% of income
providing incentives for businesses to provide health care benefits
prohibiting denial of coverage and denial of claims based on pre-existing conditions
establishing health insurance exchanges
prohibiting insurers from establishing annual coverage caps
support for medical research
Some people are concerned about the costs associated with health care reform, while others praise it for creating improved accessibility to health insurance for people who have been denied or unable to purchase insurance because of cost prohibitions.
If you’d like to learn more about how health care reform will affect pre-existing conditions insurance, please check out our other blog posts and subscribe to our RSS feed for regular updates.
There may be several reasons you’d want to change your health insurance plan or provider. Perhaps you’ve realized that your plan offers more coverage than you need; maybe you’re switching to a plan with a higher or lower deductible. Whatever your reasons, switching providers or plans is relatively easy.
Change Health Insurance Plans
If you’re unhappy with your current individual health care plan, but you’d like to remain with the same provider, then we suggest contacting your provider directly to discuss your options. You might consider switching to an HSA or a plan with a higher deductible but a lower premium.
If your employer is making a company-wide health insurance change, then they will most likely take care of all the necessary steps; however, they might require you to fill out new forms. Make sure to check with your HR person to verify that you and your family have submitted all the necessary paperwork to maintain your coverage.
Change Health Insurance Providers
Your health insurance provider might not have a plan that fits your budget. In the current economic climate here in the U.S., we often encounter families that need a provider that can work with their limited finances.
Here at Medical Plan Quotes we’re experts in finding you a provider and a plan that fit into your budget. Whether you’re looking to change to a Kaiser Permanente plan, a Health Net California plan, or any of California’s other major providers, we have access to a myriad of health insurance plans and providers to help you make the right decision for your family.
Please fill out the contact form to the right to find out how Medical Plan Quotes can help you smoothly change health insurance plans or providers.
Starting in December of 2013, insurance providers will be precluded from refusing to insure you based on a pre-existing condition. Until then, however, the State of California provides pre-existing conditions insurance to qualified individuals through a federally funded plan, the California Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP).
CA’s Pre-Existing Conditions Insurance Plan
Information about PCIP
You can apply for the plan for yourself if you are over the age of eighteen, and for someone under the age of eighteen if you are the legal guardian.
In addition to being a California resident, you must have been uninsured for at least six months (including Medi-Cal), and you must have proof that you’ve been denied individual coverage within the last 12 months based on a pre-existing condition.
For more information, please visit the State of California’s PCIP website.