Bernardini & Donovan Insurance Services

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Benefits of Working with an Independent Insurance Agency

There are many challenges to purchasing the right health insurance coverage. The more you know about how the industry works, the more capable you’ll be in making smart decisions concerning your health care needs. When purchasing health insurance, you have a choice of working with either an independent agency or a captive agency. An independent agency will offer you policy options from a variety of different insurers, giving you greater choices for evaluation. A captive agency works with only one insurance carrier. This limits the number and variety of health plans from which you can choose. Working with an independent agent offers you greater flexibility in the company you choose. In the event you are dissatisfied with a certain insurer, your agent can suggest alternative companies within their jurisdiction, enabling you to retain his services to acquire the better coverage you seek. Working with a variety of top insurance carriers provides independent agents with greater knowledge and experience

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If I Buy My Own Insurance, Do I Need to Work with an Exchange?

As the Affordable Care Act takes effect, more people will be looking into purchasing their policies from an exchange. This does not, however, limit your choices. You are free to buy your own individual health insurance on the private market if you so choose. Getting coverage on the private market has its advantages and disadvantages. If you already have coverage, you can simply extend your grandfathered policy to meet the new health insurance requirements. Grandfathered policies may not offer all the benefits of newer Obamacare plans, but premium costs are lower and they do meet many people’s current health care needs.  Not all insurance companies have maintained grandfathered plans, so you may be forced to purchase Obamacare plans if you wish to remain insured. You can also buy a policy off the exchange if you’re getting health coverage for the first time. You will need to research plans and prices to ensure you get

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Buying Insurance Through a Broker or Agent

With 2014 almost upon us, more people will be searching for health insurance coverage. You can purchase coverage through an insurance agent or broker or the state exchanges. The following explores some of the differences in purchasing coverage through these two mediums. Buying your coverage through an exchange gives you access to federal subsidies if your income falls beneath 400% of the official poverty line. However, if you don’t qualify for these subsidies, it may be more convenient for you to purchase your coverage directly from an agent or broker. Many insurers are offering coverage comparable to Obamacare standards to include mental health and maternity benefits at competitive costs. In addition, individuals who already have insurance coverage can continue with their grandfathered policies and avoid the extra expense of an Obamacare policy. Using an exchange, you can easily compare insurance features and prices online. However, the enrollment process is more time

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Purchasing Coverage: What Are Your Options Outside the Exchange?

The Affordable Care Act mandates that all Americans must obtain some type of health insurance before January 1st, 2014. For those who do not wish to use a Health Marketplace or Exchange option, policies can still be purchased from private insurance brokers and agents as long as the policies meet the guidelines put in place by Obamacare. The Affordable Care Act stipulates that all policies sold by agencies outside the exchange must meet or exceed the requirements of exchange policies at an affordable cost to the consumer. It also requires insurance companies to offer policies that fall within two higher level categories such as “gold and silver” or “elite and premier”. These types of policies may be more affordable in the long run for individuals who rarely seek medical attention. Individuals who want to explore their health care options outside of the state exchange, can call Bernardini & Donovan Insurance Services.

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Individual Health Insurance: How will Covered California make it easier for me to compare different health plans?

Covered California is a health insurance marketplace, which will make it easier individuals to compare an array of qualified health plans from private insurance companies. The marketplace will allow you to shop for individual health insurance through Covered California exchanges online, over the phone or in person to select the perfect insurance option for your budget and health needs. How will Covered California allow me to compare individual health insurance plans? There will be four levels of coverage offered: Bronze Silver Gold Platinum With the increase in ranking, the medical expenses covered in each category go up, with platinum being the highest ranked, making it compare plans in the same category or across categories. For expenses happening at the time of receiving health care services – doctor visits or emergency room trips, for example, the health plans covering more medical expenses tend to have lower costs when receiving care but

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Covered California SHOP Exchange

Starting in January, 2014, the Covered America SHOP (Small Business Health Options Program) will help California small businesses provide affordable small group health insurance for their employees through the program’s small business health insurance marketplace. The SHOP exchange will make it easy to offer employees a large selection of health plans generally only available to larger employers. Small-business owners may enroll in the Covered California plans beginning on October 1, when the exchange is launched, for coverage effective Jan. 1, 2014. Depending on which of the 19 pricing regions they reside in, employers and employees will be able to choose between 3 or 4 carriers. SHOP plan choices will have good provider networks, a standardized set of benefits and a choice of insurers at competitive prices. While rates will vary based on the region, the premiums for Covered California SHOP insurance coverage is fairly comparable to 2013 small-group market rates,

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