Tag Archives: Obamacare

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.

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.

If you are one of the many Americans who missed Obamacare’s first open enrollment period, it is important that you start preparing so that you can be ready when the second open enrollment period arrives. If you miss this second period, you will be forced to pay a penalty for each month that you do not have health insurance. Unless you qualify for the special enrollment period, you could be paying hefty penalties for several months until the third open enrollment period arrives.

The second Covered California open enrollment period starts on November 15, 2014 and will end on February 15, 2015. During this time, you must obtain health insurance in order to avoid the penalty. During the weeks leading up to the second open enrollment period, you will want to gather all important documents such as birth certificates, proof of citizenship, etc. If you find the market exchange confusing, an insurance broker can guide you through this complicated process.

We understand how confusing the laws and regulations surrounding Obamacare can be, especially if you have never purchased health insurance before. Many individuals who are inexperienced in purchasing health insurance benefit immensely by using a broker. Insurance brokers such as the experienced brokers at Bernardini & Donovan Insurance Services guide you through each step of the health insurance process, free of charge. Our experience makes us the perfect candidates to sit down and compare varying plans and policies with you, to ensure that you obtain the most affordable policy possible.

Contact Bernardini & Donovan Insurance Services in Redlands for all of your California health insurance needs. We are extremely knowledgeable in all regulations and laws surrounding the Affordable Care Act, which is why we are the perfect team to guide you in your health insurance endeavors. We can help ensure that your health insurance complies will all new rules and regulations.

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As the various insurance implications surrounding Obamacare continue to affect both individuals and small businesses, it is important that you make sure that you are complying with the Affordable Care Act. Depending on the size of your small business and the amount of full-time employees that you have, you may be required to offer them health insurance. As we observe how recent health care reform is affecting our California small businesses, there are some trends that are worthy of acknowledgement:

  • Obamacare has contributed to the growth of consumer-driven health care. As a consumer-driven industry, employees and patients are acting as medical consumers and controlling how their health care allowances are spent. Since the responsibility of controlling health care choices is transferred to the employees, small business employers benefit from consumer-driven health care.
  • As a small business employer, it is important that you educate yourself of the various health insurance options available to you. When it comes to small businesses and health insurance, you have the luxury of offering your employees tax-free money so that they can make their own health insurance purchase.
  • The entire way employee benefits work is altered by recent health care reform. Rather than providing your employees with a group health insurance plan, you now have the luxury of offering your employees a health care allowance instead. If you have experienced the inability to offer your employees group health insurance in the past due to failure to meet minimum requirements, you can now offer employees this commodity, tax-free!

Contact Bernardini & Donovan Insurance Services for all of your California business’ health insurance needs. We understand that the various implications surrounding Covered California may have you confused, and that is why we are available to dispel any myths and reveal only the truth.

As the next open enrollment period fast approaches, many state insurance exchanges are preparing for the overflow of traffic. Most state insurance exchanges have begun preparing for the second Obamacare enrollment period by adding new carriers. However, Covered California did not follow the trend, rather they chose to decrease in size. Yes, you heard right!

As one of the largest states in America, many were surprised to hear that Covered California only had 13 carriers at the start of the first open enrollment period. This year, Covered California will only have 10 carriers. For any other state, 10 carriers would suffice. Of the 10 Covered California carriers, only 4 of them are major insurers with Kaiser Permanente, Blue Shield of California, Health Net, and Anthem Blue Cross.

As if your freedom of choice was not taken with the implementation of Obamacare in the first place, forcing all Americans to obtain health insurance, you now have even less choice. Many regions throughout California are forced to depend on the only insurance carrier available to them, eliminating choice altogether.

Many insurance experts are fearful of the lack of choice Covered California has provided. Since the lack of varying insurance carriers eliminates competition fears continue to rise about the success of Covered California. One main concern that many insurance experts have brought to everyone’s attention is the insurance carrier’s ability to raise prices for insurance. The purpose of Obamacare is to provide Americans with affordable health care, however, the lack of multiple participating carriers gives contributing carriers the ability to raise prices, because there is a lack of many other health insurance options.

We understand that the various implications surrounding Covered California may have you confused, and that is why we are available to dispel any myths and reveal only the truth. Contact Bernardini & Donovan Insurance Services for all of your California health insurance needs.

Despite common initial reaction to recent health care reform, health insurance brokers are still important, if not more important when it comes to the health care industry. With the majority of California residents still wondering how the Affordable Care Act will affect their lives, insurance brokers are able to help individuals and small businesses navigate through the various health insurance regulations. Gathered are 5 reasons why your insurance broker will become even more vital of an asset to you:

  1. If you are one of the many individuals who will be purchasing health insurance for the first time, your insurance broker will be able to answer any questions you may have, and guide you through the process of successfully enrolling in health care.
  2. Your insurance agent will be able to tell you whether or not your existing health insurance plan can become a grandfathered plan where you can keep it. You can even ask your insurance agent to help you determine which plan is the most cost effective and which provides the most benefits to you.
  3. As a small business owner, you may be able to purchase SHOP coverage through your insurance broker. Likewise, your insurance agent can help make sure that you are following all new rules and regulations under Obamacare, and help you assess the various health insurance options.
  4. As a small business owner, you can utilize the various benefits of having an employee benefits broker by your side. Your insurance broker will be able to manage your health care costs while ensuring that your organization complies with all rules and regulations.
  5. Most importantly to note, your insurance agent has been in the industry far longer than any health care reform navigator, therefore, they will best be able to assist you.

We understand that the various implications surrounding Covered California may have you confused, and that is why we are available to dispel any myths and reveal only the truth. Contact Bernardini & Donovan Insurance Services for all of your California health insurance needs.

With the introduction of Covered California, better known as Obamacare, many individuals and businesses are left wondering how the implications will affect their lives. Health exchanges have been put in place, providing individuals and businesses with a specific place where they can purchase health insurance through Covered California.

Although these health exchanges have been put in place, many Californians will continue purchasing health insurance from insurance companies, brokers, and private health exchanges. Since the majority of California residents who purchase health insurance will not qualify for government tax subsidies, many individuals would prefer to avoid purchasing health insurance from the state exchange service.

If you choose to purchase health insurance on an off-exchange plan, you will still be receiving top quality care. This is because the off-exchange plans are required to follow the 10 essential health benefits, offering the following 10 necessities:

  • Services during emergencies
  • Outpatient care without hospital admittance
  • Hospitalization
  • Maternity care and newborn care
  • Care for those with mental health and substance abuse problems
  • Prescription medications
  • Rehab and rehabilitative services
  • Laboratory facilities
  • Pediatric care
  • Preventative care

While there are still options for health insurance, it is now required by law that you obtain health insurance. Under the recent health care reform, all individuals must have health insurance. Likewise, there are a variety of legal requirements businesses must abide by now. If you have more than 50 full-time employees, you are now required by law to offer those employees health insurance. The next open enrollment period is fast approaching, so be sure to get informed so that you can make the appropriate health insurance decision based on your unique needs.

We understand that the various implications surrounding the Affordable Care Act may have you confused, and that is why we are available to dispel any myths and reveal only the truth. Contact Bernardini & Donovan Insurance Services for all of your California health insurance needs.