Tag Archives: certified covered california agent

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.

How The Health Of California Has Changed In The Last Year

The American Public Health Association and the Partnership for Prevention released their annual report on the health rankings of America on December 10th. The report listed a ranking of all fifty states from healthiest to least healthy as well as information on cancer, preventable diseases, and chronic conditions in the United States.

To calculate their rankings, the organizations considered twenty-seven health metrics, including obesity, immunization rates, infectious diseases, and cancer-related deaths. After compiling the numbers, they released the full ranking with Hawaii emerging as the most healthy state and Mississippi at the bottom of the list.

The report showed that nationally, there has been a 7 percent increase in obesity in the last year and a 3 percent increase in sedentary lifestyles. Fortunately, there was also good news. 3 percent fewer adults are smoking and 4 percent fewer cases of infant mortality were reported, while 5 percent more adolescent American have received the immunizations they need.

California came in 17th overall, with nearly a 1 percent drop in obesity, from 25 in 2013 to 24.1 this year. The number of smokers also decreased slightly, from 12.6 to 12.5 percent. Unfortunately, the number of California residents with diabetes has increased by 15 percent in the last two years.

The report showed that the biggest health challenges Californians face are significant amounts of air pollution, a great inequality in the health status of high school graduates vs. those without high school diplomas, and a moderate rate of violent crime.

Fortunately for Californians who care about their health, a certified Covered California agent like the ones at Bernardini & Donovan Insurance Services can help you get the health insurance you need to care for your body in every season of life. With open enrollment going on right now, do not hesitate to contact Bernardini & Donovan Insurance Services, located in Redlands, California, to secure the best Covered California-compliant protection for you and your family today.

Your Update On Covered California’s Progress In The First Month Of Open Enrollment

The first open enrollment period in 2013-2014 ended up securing 1.2 million enrollees during its six-month period. With this year’s three month period, Covered California aims to keep the 1.2 million enrolled and add another half million of new enrollees. That means they are shooting to have 1.7 million Californians enrolled by open enrollment’s end date of February 15th, 2015.

It looks like they may get close to their goal, as between November 15th (the day this second, current period of open enrollment began) and December 11th 91,600 people who had previously not been enrolled signed up. This is a significant number considering that between November 15th and December 3rd the number of new enrollees was at just 48,950 and during the first month of open enrollment last year a mere 31,000 signed up.

If you are a current Covered California enrollee, you had until December 21st (extended from the original deadline of December 15th) to make changes to your plan, otherwise you will be automatically enrolled in another year of your current plan. If you are now eligible for Medicare, make sure you connect with an enrollment counselor or a certified Covered California agent to get un-enrolled from your current Covered California plan.

Whether you have a current Covered California health insurance plan or are planning to enroll for the first time, these next two months before open enrollment ends will be a critical time to secure the right coverage for you. After February 15th, if you are not properly covered under the new guidelines set forth by the Affordable Care Act, you become eligible for tax penalties.

Bernardini & Donovan Insurance Services, located in Redlands, California, offers expert services and superior care to make sure you are meeting the Affordable Care Act’s requirement and getting the best coverage for you and your family at the best prices. For all of your health insurance needs, contact us today!

What You Need To Know About The Current Open Enrollment Period

As the face of healthcare changes with the Affordable Care Act and Covered California, understanding how those changes affect you can feel overwhelming. You know that there are scary words like deadlines and penalty fees being thrown about, but do you know how to avoid them? That’s what we are here for! The experts at Bernardini & Donovan Insurance Services would like to offer you the following guide to the basics of the current open enrollment period.

When Is It?

The second (and current) open enrollment period for family and individual insurance plans began on November 15th, 2014 and ends February 15th, 2015.

What Is It?

Open enrollment is the period during which individuals, families, and small business can secure health insurance that will meet the new requirements implemented by the Affordable Care Act.

Do I Need To Sign Up?

Unless you have an exemption or are being provided with coverage by your place of employ- yes. Some “qualifying events” (e.g. moving to a new state, marrying, divorcing, having a baby) may allow you to push your deadline back, but to avoid extra hassle it is in your best interest to secure coverage during this period. If you do not, you can be eligible for a penalty fee.

Where Should I Go To Get Covered?

To be sure the policy you secure meets the Affordable Care Act’s guidelines, you should contact a certified Covered California agent. Bernardini & Donovan Insurance Services in Redlands, California can be your guide to the changing healthcare industry. Our team of experienced agents understands the new requirements and can help you make sure you meet them so you can avoid penalty fees. Contact us today to get great healthcare coverage at the right price!

Get The Coverage You Need By December 21st

If the hectic holiday season has made it difficult for you to secure the coverage you need this month, Covered California has a gift for you. Were you hoping to lock down coverage that will begin at the first of the year? If you have begun the application process, you will have until December 21st (rather than the original deadline of December 15th) to finish the application process.

Why the change? The executive director of Covered California, Peter Lee, says that a later date allows people some grace time for completing what he understands can be a complicated process for first-time users. Covered California knows that if you have never secured insurance before, you will want to sit down with a professional to help you understand the kind of coverage you need.

Meeting with a pro has been difficult for some people, and many enrollment counselors and insurance agents have been booked solid for the last couple of weeks. With hold times of nearly twenty minutes when calling a Covered California service center, the extra days until the deadline will make the sometimes time-consuming process of securing coverage less of a burden.

Whether you are one of the thousands of new enrollees (91,600 signed up between November 15th and December 11th) or are just looking to renew your existing policy, take advantage of these extra days to make sure you are getting comprehensive coverage for the lowest premiums.

To speak with a certified Covered California agent, contact Bernardini & Donovan Insurance Services, located in Redlands, today. Our team is committed to securing the best health insurance coverage for you at the most competitive rates in the industry. For all of your Southern California health insurance needs, connect with our team during this open enrollment period to get the peace of mind that comes with great coverage and avoiding Obamacare penalty fees.

When it comes to your health, you want to ensure that you will be protected no matter what unforeseen health problem may come your way. In order to do so, you must purchase a health care plan. It can be difficult to find a comprehensive plan that fits nicely into your budget. The Marketplace offers a variety of health care plans that benefit most individuals.

As of November, open enrollment 2015 is currently in session. Millions of Americans are navigating the Marketplace, attempting to evaluate their health care needs. The deadline by which you must select your health plan is February 15th, 2015. Even if you are well aware of this deadline, there is always the chance that life throws you a curveball, and you miss it. If this happens, what should you do?

First things first, do not stress! Here is some information about the Obamacare offseason that may put your mind at ease:

  • Do not cast away your incomplete application in despair! You should continue to complete your application, even if the deadline has passed. The administration has been known to make exceptions for special circumstances.
  • If you happen to have recently gotten married, divorced, or adopted a child, you may qualify for a special enrollment period.
  • Consider enrolling in Medicaid. There is no deadline for Medicaid enrollment.
  • If you were turned down for a special enrollment period, and believe that the decision was made unfairly, you can make an appeal. Visit the HealthCare.gov website to learn more about the appeal process.
  • Consider purchasing a health care plan through the private market.

For more information about open enrollment 2015, deadlines, or private health care plans, please contact a Certified Covered California agent from Bernardini & Donovan Insurance Services, located in Redlands California. We have the experience necessary to assist you with all of your health care needs.

November is in full swing, and you may be feeling the stresses associated with choosing the correct health care plan. Luckily, you do not have to go through this alone. The insurance professionals at Bernardini & Donovan Insurance Services in Redlands are here for you!

We can help to alleviate some of the pressure, and make open enrollment much easier. Our brokers can assist you with navigating the Marketplace, and providing a number of additional benefits. Here are a few reasons why you should not attempt to steer through the complex open enrollment process without the assistance of a Certified Covered California Broker:

  • Your insurance broker will be able to tell if you qualify for certain savings that you may otherwise be unaware of!
  • The Marketplace is full of an overwhelming amount of information. Unless you are a health care pro, it will take you hours upon hours to fully grasp, and find all of the information you need. A broker can help expedite this process. Time is money, and we are sure that you would appreciate a few extra hours to use elsewhere.
  • Brokers earn their living by making sure that you are satisfied. They will not stop working until you have a plan that fits perfectly into your lifestyle, and budget.
  • If you fail to work with a broker, you risk settling on a plan that is not comprehensive enough to cover you in your time of need.

In order to locate a Certified Covered California broker in Redlands California, please give the insurance professionals at Bernardini & Donovan Insurance Services a call! We offer a number of health plans for individuals, families, groups, those with critical illnesses, children, and more. One of our licensed agents will gladly provide you with a free quote, and can promise that you will not have to sacrifice comprehensive coverage for price!

Open enrollment 2015 is finally upon us! Now is the time to be consumed with thoughts of health care in order to financially prepare yourself for the future. If you are preparing for the important decision of selecting your new health plan, you are probably aware that there are a number of different insurance categories to choose from. The categories differ based on how medical expenses will be shared between you and your plan.

Five main categories currently exist, and are known in the health care world as “metal levels”. The different levels take an individual’s monthly premium, coinsurance, copay, deductible, and out-of-pocket maximum into consideration. Here is a break down of the metal levels:

  • With a bronze level plan, you will pay approximately 40%, while your health plan will cover 60%.
  • In a silver plan, the costs are split into 70%, and 30%. You will pay the 30%, and your health care plan will pay about 70%.
  • With a gold level plan, you will only pay about 20%! Your health plan will cover the remaining 80%!
  • A platinum level health plan will pay all but 10%. The remaining 10% will be up to you.
  • Catastrophic coverage plans are only applicable for individuals under the age of 30! Those with this type of plan will also need to qualify for a hardship exemption. Catastrophic coverage plans pay under 60% of health expenses.

In order to choose the right plan for your needs, at a price that you can afford, you must consult with a Certified Covered California Broker. These individuals have the experience necessary to provide you with quality health care advice. Contact Bernardini & Donovan Insurance Services to get in contact with a broker, and make the open enrollment process much easier!

2014 is quickly coming to a close! The middle of November has passed, which means we are in the midst of open enrollment season. If you have not already taken the time to evaluate your current, and future health care needs, now is the time to do so. Knowing what you do and do not need in a health plan will make the selection process much easier.

In order to secure your new health plan, you need to make sure you meet the appropriate deadlines. You are only allowed to go 3 months with a gap in your coverage before you will be ordered to pay an expensive fine. In order to avoid this, and save yourself some time and money, familiarize yourself with these important dates:

  • Open enrollment 2015 officially begins on November 15th of 2014.
  • The final day to enroll for a health plan that will kick in on January 1st, 2015 is December 31st, 2014.
  • All health plans purchased through the 2014 Marketplace will cease to be effective beginning December 31st, 2014.
  • January 1st, 2015 is the first date that new health coverage can begin.
  • Open enrollment 2015 will close on February 15th, 2015.

Make sure that you do not miss any of these crucial deadlines. Do not take the risk of being under or uninsured for any amount of time. You will surely regret it when you are in the face of a health care-related emergency!

The best way to navigate the 2015 Marketplace is to first contact a Certified Covered California Broker. These individuals have the knowledge and experience necessary to guide you through the complex, and often confusing world of health care. They can dispense quality advice that will make choosing the right plan for you much easier. Certified Covered California Brokers can even find ways to save you money! Please contact Bernardini & Donovan Insurance Services to speak with a licensed agent today!

Being a first-time health care policy owner can be stressful, and confusing! What happens if you select a health plan, and then decide that you wish to change it? Are you out of luck, or is there something you can do? We are here to help answer your questions like these! Here are a few pieces of enlightening health care information:

  • You are allowed to change your plan, as long as it falls within the open enrollment window, which spans from November 15th, 2014 to February 15th, 2015.
  • There may be an overlap period where you will live with your previously selected health care plan before your second choice plan kicks in. It is smart to discuss this time period with an insurance agent who specializes in health care.
  • To change your health plan during the open enrollment period, your first step should be to log into your online marketplace account.
  • Next, you should navigate through the “My Plans and Programs” section, to the “End/Terminate All Coverage” tab. Click “Eligibility & Appeals”, then “Continue to Enrollment” where you are welcome to compare and contrast different health plans that you are eligible for.
  • Pay attention to the start date of your policy once you reach a decision.
  • If you have troubles with the process, you should get in contact with one of our certified Covered California agents here at Bernardini & Donovan’s Insurance Services to help you find the right plan for you!

We hope this information has eased your mind if you think you may want to change your plan before the enrollment period is over. If you have health care questions that need answers, please get in touch with the skilled insurance agents at Bernadini & Donovan Insurance, located in Redlands! We are an experienced insurance agency who cannot wait to fulfill all of your healthcare needs!

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