Tag Archives: california

Health Insurance for Children

With the recent twists and turns of the Affordable Care Act, there have been many changes to health insurance. While most people talk about how this will affect the health insurance needs of adults, not many people think about how it can help children. The Affordable Care Act has made it easier than ever for children to be covered with the right health insurance policy.

In order to sign up for health insurance, adults have to wait for an open enrollment period or have a qualifying life event. However, children are able to get covered with the right health insurance plan at any point in the year through Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, also known as CHIP. Both federal and state programs offer low cost or free health care to children, which help to bring the number of uninsured children to record lows.

Many private health insurance providers are now offering the same services that CHIP and Medicaid are offering, including various preventive care services that come at no cost. These preventive services include immunizations, autism screenings, depressions screening, obesity screenings, and more to help ensure the health of children across the country.

All health insurance plans are now required to offer 10 services, including vision and dental care for children, as well as maternity and newborn care. It is important to keep in mind that insurance companies do not have to offer dental and vision care to children who are over the age of 19, so look carefully when deciding on the right policy to fit your needs.

Contact the insurance experts at Bernardini & Donovan Insurance Services in Redlands, California for all of your child health insurance needs. We will work with you to ensure that you have the right amount of coverage for everyone in your family, all at the right price.

Benefits of an Independent Insurance Agent

Trying to find the right health insurance policy can be very stressful. With all of the health care policies available, it can be difficult to ensure that you choose the right policy. Working with an independent insurance agent can help to make the process much easier. There are many benefits of working with an independent insurance agent, including:

  • Independent agents work for you – while an independent agent’s paycheck comes from the insurance company that they belong to, they actually work for you not the company. They will put all of your interests above the insurance company that they work for, which will help to ensure that you will always be able to get the help that you need.
  • They are able to offer more options – independent insurance agents work with many different affiliates, which allows them to offer you a variety of choices. With the abundance of insurance policies that they are able to offer you, you can feel confident that the policy that you choose will work best for your needs.
  • They will help to make insurance less complicated – insurance can be a very complicated matter. Instead of doing all the research on your own to figure out which policy is best for you, your independent insurance agent will work with you to help make sure that you fully understand the policy that you are investing in.
  • They can help you save money – much like independent insurance agents are able to offer you many different policies that come with a variety of coverage options, they are able to offer you policies at different price points so that you can invest in a policy that fits with your budget.

For all of your health care needs and to ensure that you invest in the right policy, contact the experts at the independent insurance agency of Bernardini & Donovan Insurance Services in Redlands, California.

Health Insurance Special Enrollment Period

If you missed out on signing up for health insurance during open enrollment, do not worry! The Federal government has recently announced that they are opening a special enrollment period for those who were not able to sign up for health insurance during open enrollment. This special enrollment period runs from March 15th to April 30th and is the last time that you will be able to sign up for health insurance coverage for 2015. While this special enrollment period only applies to the 37 states that are covered through the federal marketplace, state-run exchanges are expected to follow.

In order to qualify for the special enrollment period, people will have to prove that they only became aware of the tax penalty for not having health insurance when they were filing their taxes. While the special enrollment period will not reverse the fine for not having health care, it will give people a chance to get the right health care plan for their needs.

Under the Affordable Care Act, everyone is required to have a health insurance plan, or face a financial penalty. However, many people were not aware of the penalty for not having health insurance until they started filling out their tax return for 2014.

The government also recently accounted that the wrong information to help calculate whether they received too much or too little of a subsidy for last year was sent out to 800,000 people. People who have been affected should have already been notified by phone or email, and need to wait to file their taxes until they receive a new 1095-A form, which was sent out in early March.

For all of your health insurance needs and to ensure that you have the right amount of health care under Covered California, contact Bernardini & Donovan Insurance Services in Redlands, California.

Why You Should Work With Bernardini & Donovan

At Bernardini & Donovan Insurance Services, we understand that finding the right health insurance policy can be confusing and difficult, which is why we are here to help. We strive to simplify all of the health care needs of each of our clients to ensure that you and your loved ones are able to get the perfect health care coverage to fit your specific needs.

Health care has been brought to the forefront of the insurance world thanks to the passing of the Affordable Care Act. All of our licensed agents and brokers have years of experience in the health care world, and are here to help you find the right policy to ensure that you have the right amount of coverage. No matter if you are looking for a policy to just cover you, or are looking for coverage for all of your employees, we are here to help.

At Bernardini & Donovan Insurance Services, we do more than just find you the right insurance policy. We work to build strong and long lasting relationships with each of our clients to ensure that they are comfortable talking about their policy and asking any questions that come up about the coverage that their policy provides.

With expertise in Group Health Insurance, California Health Insurance, California Life Insurance, and Long Term Care, we can help you find the policy that best meets your needs.

Contact Bernardini & Donovan Insurance Services in Redlands, California for all of your health insurance needs and to ensure that you invest in the right amount of coverage.

Preparing Your Small Business For Tax Season

With tax season just around the corner, small business owners must consider whether or not they will be taking advantage of the small business health care tax credit. New changes surrounding the small business health care tax credit mean that you simply cannot sign off on the paperwork from last year. To ensure that you are in complete understanding of your responsibility in regards to this tax credit, allow the following informational points to guide you:

  • Starting in 2014 and continuing to following years, the maximum tax credit increases to 50 percent of paid premiums for small business employers. However, the maximum tax credit increases to 35 percent of paid premiums for small tax-exempt employers.
  • In order to be eligible for the small business health care tax credit, you must pay premiums on behalf of your team that has enrolled in a qualified health insurance plan. These plans must be obtained through the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP).
  • You can be eligible to take advantage of the small business health care tax credit for two consecutive taxable years.
  • To claim the tax credit, you must file Form 8941 – Credit for Small Employer Health Insurance Premiums. This will guide you through the process of calculating the tax credit.
  • As a small business employer, you may be eligible to carry the tax credit back or forward. In order to determine your eligibility, seek guidance from a Certified Covered California agent, such as the experienced and knowledgeable professionals at Bernardini & Donovan Insurance Services.

Rather than leaving yourself unprotected, seek the care you deserve today! Contact Bernardini & Donovan Insurance Services in Redlands for all of your California health insurance needs. As Covered California experts, you can rest assured that we will be your guiding hand in the realm of health insurance and health care.

Understanding Eligibility Of The Special Enrollment Period

With the deadline for the second Obamacare open enrollment period now in the rear view mirror, many individuals who failed to obtain health insurance before the deadline will soon be receiving penalties in the mail. Due to the enactment of the Affordable Care Act, each and every one of us is now required to obtain health coverage or receive a penalty.

If you want to avoid penalties, you must obtain health insurance. However, there is one way out of this requirement: the special enrollment period. The special enrollment period provides an individual with varying circumstances a second chance at enrolling for health care. However, you must experience one of the many qualifying life events in order to be eligible for the special enrollment period.

Life events that may make you eligible to take advantage of the special enrollment period and avoid penalties include:

  • Getting married changes your tax situation and health care needs, so you can take advantage of the special enrollment period.
  • Likewise, having a baby, adopting a baby, and placing a child in adoption or foster care all make you eligible for the special enrollment period.
  • Do not fret if your existing health coverage drops or changes, as you will be able to obtain new health insurance during the special enrollment period.
  • Permanent moves that change your coverage area or coverage requirements allow you to obtain health insurance during the special enrollment period.
  • If your citizenship status changes you can obtain health insurance during the special enrollment period.

Rather than leaving yourself unprotected, seek the care you deserve today! Contact Bernardini & Donovan Insurance Services in Redlands for all of your California health insurance needs. As Covered California experts, you can rest assured that we will be your guiding hand in the realm of health insurance and health care.

Understanding Penalties Under Obamacare

Since fees were not implemented during the first trial of enrolling in the new health insurance marketplace, the first Obamacare open enrollment period proved to fall short of successful. However, now that enforced penalties mean that you will be faced with a fee if you do not have health coverage, it seems that many enrolled before February 15th passed.

If you failed to obtain health coverage before the open enrollment deadline passed, you will be faced with a penalty until the third Obamacare open enrollment period arrives. Therefore, it is important that you understand why you are being penalized and how much. Gathered are some helpful guiding points for determining how much your penalty for not enrolling for health insurance will be:

Failing To Have Coverage In 2015:

Two calculations are made to determine your penalty amount. Of the two below, you will need to pay the higher amount.

  • $325 per person in your household, $162.50 per child under 18 years old – The maximum penalty an entire family can be charged is $975.
  • 2 percent of your household annual income – In this calculation, the amount above your tax filing threshold is considered, approximating about $10,000 per individual. The most a family can be charged is the national average premium for a bronze plan.

Failing To Have Coverage In 2016:

Each year, the penalty for not obtaining health insurance will increase. You can expect the following increases in 2016 if you still do not have health coverage:

  • $695 per person in your household
  • 5 percent of your household annual income

Rather than leaving yourself unprotected, seek the care you deserve today! Contact Bernardini & Donovan Insurance Services in Redlands for all of your California health insurance needs. As Covered California experts, you can rest assured that we will be your guiding hand in the realm of health insurance and health care.

Understanding The SHOP Marketplace

Small business owners across the country have been experiencing change as they are now legally required to comply with new regulations and requirements under the Affordable Care Act. Since the world of health insurance and health care has transformed completely, choosing the right small business health insurance plans to best protect your team is more challenging.

If you missed the open enrollment deadline on February 15th and are beginning to panic since you have not properly set up your small business plans, do not fret! We can still write you a policy for your small business.

A unique entity known as the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) Marketplace allows small business owners to obtain the coverage they are required to offer their team, despite missed deadlines. When utilizing plans offered in SHOP, you have the luxury of avoiding restricted enrollment periods and offer deadlines.

There are many benefits of utilizing the SHOP Marketplace in addition to full luxury to pick and alter coverage as you please. If you are currently satisfied with your insurance agent, feel free to enroll with them! The SHOP Marketplace does not require that you change agents; therefore, you can go through this process with the agency you trust most.

The SHOP Marketplace is the perfect way to obtain health insurance and comply with all requirements set forth by the Affordable Care Act if you have 50 or fewer full time employees. The same goes for nonprofit organizations, however, if you are self-employed you cannot utilize the SHOP Marketplace.

Please do not hesitate to give us a call if you are in need of enrolling for a SHOP plan for your small business. Contact Bernardini & Donovan Insurance Services in Redlands for all of your California health insurance needs. As Covered California experts, you can rest assured that we will be your guiding hand in the realm of health insurance and health care.

Discerning The Aid You Can Secure For Your Health Insurance

With the Affordable Care Act (ACA) changing healthcare in the United States, it can be difficult to understand exactly what kind of support the government can offer you. According to the ACA, the government now offers subsidies to make healthcare more affordable for eligible parties. These are tax credits that are available for lower income families and individuals.

To qualify for subsidies, you must live in the United States, be a citizen of the US or lawfully residing in the country, not be in jail, and have a household income level of four times the federal poverty level or less. This means that if your Modified Adjusted Gross Income is between 100% and 400% of the Federal Poverty Level you can qualify for tax credits to help you cover the expense of your health care.

How much reimbursement can you expect? The subsidies are based on a sliding scale. The government will determine what percentage the amount you pay for your health insurance is of your income, and offer increased subsidies the higher the percentage is. The sliding scale is based off of the cost of the second least-expensive silver-level plan that is available in your area.

If you would like help from the experts to discern if you qualify for a subsidy, a certified agent like the ones at Bernardini & Donovan Insurance Services is here to aid you. To understand what the ACA means for you, how not to miss an important deadline, and how to save on your premiums, do not hesitate to contact Bernardini & Donovan Insurance Services today. Located in Redlands, we are here to help you secure the best protection for you and your family today.

Understanding What Qualifies Coverage As Affordable

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has changed the face of healthcare in the United States in an effort to make securing health insurance affordable for every American. What, exactly, qualifies as affordable coverage? It cannot just be a vague idea, as the government now requires all businesses that employ a certain number of people to offer affordable coverage to their employees. So how, then, is affordability defined?

According to ACA standards, a plan is considered affordable if it costs 9.5 percent or less of the individual it covers income. As an employer, how can you know if your plan will be affordable for your employees? There are a few safe harbors you can use to avoid being hit with penalty fees.

First, you can reference Box 1 on your employee’s W-2, where he or she will have to report his or her taxable income. Secondly, you can base affordability off your employee’s rate of pay on the first day of coverage under that plan. And finally, you can rest easy knowing your plan is affordable if your employee’s paid share is not more than 9.56 of the federal poverty level for a single individual. These safe harbors enable you to protect your employees by ensuring they are able to afford the protection they need, and protect your business from penalty fees.

Do not be left wondering if the plans you offer as a business or the plan you secure as an individual will be complaint with ACA regulations, only to be hit with tax penalties in April. To have a certified agent come alongside you to help you navigate the changing face of health care, contact Bernardini & Donovan Insurance Services today. Located in Redlands, we are here to help you secure the best protection for you and your family. To get the health insurance you deserve this year, call us today!