Tag Archives: open enrollment

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.

Forgot To Sign Up For Health Insurance? Special Enrollment Period Is Now Open!

It is not too late to sign up for health insurance! Even though the open enrollment period ended on February 15th, Covered California and the Federal government are offering a new special enrollment period for those who were not able to sign up for health care coverage during open enrollment.

In order to qualify for the special enrollment period, you must prove that you were not aware of the tax penalty for not having health insurance in 2014, or that you may now be facing a penalty for not having health insurance during the beginning of 2015. The special enrollment period opened on March 15th, and will stay open until April 30th to give people the chance to sign up for health coverage.

It is important to keep in mind that while you now have a chance to sign up for health coverage if you are not already enrolled in a plan, the special enrollment period will not get rid of any penalties that you already have to pay. To attest that you did not know about the penalty for not having coverage, you must select “Informed of Tax Penalty Risk” on the drop down menu on the Covered California website.

In addition to the special enrollment period, there are other qualifying life events that may help to qualify you for a special enrollment period. Some of the most common qualifying life events include getting married or divorced, having or adopting a child, or moving to a state that does not offer the same health care plan that you are currently enrolled in.

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

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.

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.

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!

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