Is your health provider good? Pros/cons of a popular health care provider + reviews

leading health care providers

health provider good

With over 12.5 million  members, Kaiser Permanente is currently recognized by Americans as one of the leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans.

The thing with Kaiser Permanente is that it’s not just a health insurance company. It’s a managed care organization. Consumers can purchase a health insurance policy and receive medical care from one of the Kaiser Foundation Hospitals and medical centers.

But does its popularity make Kaiser Permanente inherently better than other health care providers in the market? Let’s consider 3 pros and 3 cons of Kaiser Permanente, including some reviews of real KP member experiences:

  • Pro 1: Easy to View Plan Options

  • Pro 2: Variety of Health Insurance Plans

  • Pro 3: Unique Provider Network Approach

  • Con 1: Negative Customer Reviews

  • Con 2: Service Areas
  • Con 3: Limited to Kaiser Permanente Hospitals and Medical Centers

3 REASONS KAISER PERMANENTE IS GOOD

Easy To View Plan Options

The plan selection at Kaiser Permanente is quite admirable. Kaiser Permanente won’t require you to give out personal information like your DOB or parts of your medical history to get even the most basic information about its insurance policy options in your area. You’ll be able to see health insurance options in your area after providing the following information:

  • Whether you are turning 65 during the year

  • If you get insurance through an employer

  • If you’re looking for an individual plan or for a group

  • Your zip code

Getting the cost information for a plan will require further research because the monthly premium depends on several factors, like age. But the initial questionnaire will give you access to brief descriptions of the types of plans available and the overall coverage you can expect.

Variety Of Health Insurance Plans

Kaiser Permanente offers individual, family, and employer-provided health insurance plans. It also offers Medicaid, Medicare, and charitable health insurance to individuals who qualify along with catastrophic plans.

One Oregon KP member wrote:

Kaiser Permanente is the best supplemental insurance provider. I pay $5 copay to see my primary care doctor, $10 to see a specialist, and $25 for urgent care. I only paid a copayment of $125 for a $20,000 surgery. My prescriptions are only $5 for a month’s supply, and $10 for a three month supply.

Employers interested in adding vision and dental insurance to their employee health benefits can offer dental and vision insurance through Kaiser Permanente, too.

Unique Provider Network Approach

One KP member based in West Covina wrote: “Able to communicate with Dr through e-mails and texts. […] Kaiser is like Mini mart, everything you need is available at all facilities.”

As you consider Kaiser Permanente medical insurance plans, keep in mind that it does not offer typical network structures, like Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) or Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) plans.

Instead, Kaiser Permanente has its own facilities and providers for patient care. However, this could be a pro. As one member states: “It is very convenient to have a pharmacy, lab, and x-rays onsite.”

Care received elsewhere is not covered by the insurance provider. We’ll talk more about this in the following section, which focuses on some cons associated with the company that might make you consider other health insurance providers.

3 CONS OF KAISER PERMANENTE

Customer Service/Negative Customer Reviews

Though Kaiser Permanente has received a lot of praise for their customer service, they’ll also received a high percentage of negative reviews on various review platforms.

Most reviewers who left 1-star reviews shared difficulties with claims payments and dissatisfaction with care received from Kaiser Permanente providers. For example:

Long phone wait times, inability to access doctors’ offices to leave message, extraordinarily long wait times to talk to appointment schedulers, same thing for pharmacy inquiries. — Bellflower KP Member

Prepare to stay on the line for 45-minutes only to make a phone appointment 5-days later where they can then make an appointment for you. Seattle, WA KP member

A high proportion of negative reviews is not uncommon for health insurers. However, consider issues found in reviews as you decide whether or not to buy a health plan from Kaiser Permanente.

Service Areas

One major limitation of Kaiser Permanente is the span of states that Kaiser Permanente can work with — or should we say, the lack of span of states.

This company limits itself to just several states out of the 50 in the U.S., which means its health plans aren’t even an option for you if you live outside of these states.

If Kaiser Permanente’s plans are not available in your area, your only choice is to consider another insurance company that does service your area.

Limited to Kaiser Permanente Hospitals and Medical Centers

Unlike most health plans that allow enrollees to choose the provider network structure (PPO or HMO), Kaiser Permanente plans only offer coverage for its hospitals and medical centers.

RELATED READINGS:

Best Company: Is Kaiser Permanente Good?

ConsumerAffairs: Top 1,990 Kaiser Insurance Reviews

The Balance: Kaiser Permanente Health Insurance Company Review

What you need to know about Medicare & home health care

home health care

Medicare home health care costs, payments, and how to make the right decision

home health careAccording to Johnson, Fred Johnson, president and CEO of Team Select Home Care, a national home health agency, there are two primary types of home health care:

  1. Skilled home health care is prescribed by a physician and includes physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy, as well as care provided by a registered nurse.

  1. Non-skilled home health care includes services such as bathing, cleaning and errands. This type of care is typically provided by a certified nurse assistant or home health aide.

Related reading(s): Forbes: How Much Does Home Health Care Cost?

In general, home health care includes a wide range of health and social services delivered that are given by a variety of skilled health care professionals in your home to treat illness or injury.

These services include skilled nursing care as well as physical and occupational therapy, speech-language therapy, and medical social services.

The home health staff provides and helps coordinate the care and/or therapy your doctor orders.

Along with the doctor, home health staff create a plan of care, which is a written plan for your care. This plan tells what services you will get to reach and keep your best physical, mental, and social well-being. Where possible, home health care helps you get better, regain your independence, and become as self-sufficient as possible.

Related reading(s): Medicare and Home Health Care

Medicare pays for you to get health care services in your home if you meet certain eligibility criteria and if the services are considered reasonable and necessary for the treatment of your illness or injury.

Services covered by Medicare’s home health benefit include intermittent skilled nursing care, therapy, and care provided by a home health aide. Depending on the circumstances, home health care will be covered by either Part A or Part B.

HOME HEALTH CARE NEEDS & BENEFITS

The need for home health care has grown for many reasons. Consider three following benefits of home health care:

  • Medical science and technology have improved. Many treatments that could once be done only in a hospital can now be done at home.

  • Home health care is usually less expensive and can often be just as effective as care in a hospital or skilled nursing facility.

Most patients and their families prefer to stay at home rather than be in a hospital or a nursing home.

WHO QUALIFIES FOR MEDICARE HOME HEALTH & DOES HOW MEDICARE PAY FOR THE SERVICES

Medicare covers your home health care if:

  1. You are homebound, meaning it is extremely difficult for you to leave your home and you need help doing so.

  1. You need skilled nursing services and/or skilled therapy care on an intermittent basis.

    1. Intermittent means you need care at least once every 60 days and at most once a day for up to three weeks. This period can be longer if you need more care, but your care needs must be predictable and finite.

    2. Medicare defines skilled care as care that must be performed by a skilled professional, or under their supervision.

    3. Skilled therapy services refer to physical, speech, and occupational therapy.

  1. You have a face-to-face meeting with a doctor within the 90 days before you start home health care, or the 30 days after the first day you receive care. This can be an office visit, hospital visit, or in certain circumstances a face-to-face visit facilitated by technology (such as video conferencing).

  1. Your doctor signs a home health certification confirming that you are homebound and need intermittent skilled care. The certification must also state that your doctor has approved a plan of care for you and that the face-to-face meeting requirement was met.

    1. Your doctor should review and certify your home health plan every 60 days. A face-to-face meeting is not required for recertification.

  1. And, you receive care from a Medicare-certified home health agency (HHA).

Note: You cannot qualify for Medicare home health coverage if you only need occupational therapy. However, if you qualify for home health care on another basis, you can also get occupational therapy.

When your other home health needs end, you can continue receiving Medicare-covered occupational therapy under the home health benefit if you need it.

Medicare pays your Medicare-certified home health agency one payment for the covered services you get during a 30-day period of care. You can have more than one 30-day period of care. Payment for each 30-day period is based on your condition and care needs.

Related reading(s): Medicare Interactive: Home Health Basics; Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

HOW TO FIND AND COMPARE HOME HEALTH AGENCIES

Ask yourself a few questions.

  • Is the home care agency licensed by the state? Most states require a license and reviews. Request a review through your state health department.

  • Is the home care agency certified by Medicare to meet federal requirements for health and safety? Most home care agencies are not, but some are Medicare certified. If they are not certified by Medicare, ask why not?

  • What type of screenings are performed before hiring staff?

  • Ask for references. Ask for a list of doctors, hospital discharge planners, or other professionals with experience working with the home care provider.

  • Ask for a list of current and former clients.

  • Ask doctors, family and friends for home care recommendations.

Related reading(s): Selecting a Home Care Agency

What free-market healthcare looks like in the U.S. (pros and cons)

free-market healthcare

Overview: Evaluating the disputable pros and cons of a free-market healthcare system.

free-market healthcare

Americans have been debating health care for decades, and establishing a free market in healthcare in the U.S. has been part of the debate for decades. Characterized by opaque pricing, varying levels of quality, and inefficiencies that make getting care confusing for patients and providers alike, the U.S. health care system today isn’t really a free market, but there are some pockets that operate more like one than others.

As health insurance providers, we understand firsthand the complexity of any insurance decision-making process. And whether you’re a consumer or an employer, keeping up with all the changes (federal and state laws, insurance company plans change, and ongoing conversations about what will, what was, and what currently is) could be confusing.

What is free market health care and why the debate

Free market health care is a system where there is minimal or no government regulation. With this minimal regulation, health care providers are free to provide services without needing to satisfy strict regulatory standards and requirements. As a result, health care providers do not need to comply with restrictive government licensing.

The debate usually boils down to: Which path would improve access to care and lower costs — a more centrally-planned health care system or a more free-market approach? Today we’ll be focusing on the pros and cons of the latter: a free-market approach to the healthcare system.

Related reading(s): Free Market Health Care; Does the U.S. have ‘free market’ health care?

Some pros and cons of free-market healthcare

ARGUMENTS THAT SUPPORT FREE MARKET IN HEALTHCARE

  • Improved cost and quality of healthcare resulting from little to no government involvement

  • Flexibility to develop policies that accommodate numerous consumer preferences for healthcare financing and delivery

Improved Cost and Quality of Healthcare Resulting From Little to No Government Involvement

Some argue that to improve the cost and quality of healthcare, the government should get out of the way and let the free market reign. Thus, the biggest advantage of “free market health care” is the fact that it requires little or no government involvement.

Healthcare regulations at all levels of government can increase price, limit

choice, and stifle competition — which, in combination, lead U.S. healthcare to fail to provide its full value.

Flexibility to Develop Policies That Accommodate Numerous Consumer Preferences for Healthcare Financing and Delivery

A key goal for the healthcare marketplace is to provide effective, high-value care to all Americans. Recent health policy changes at the Federal and State levels have sought to give consumers more control over their medical expenditures so they can seek greater value for their health investment.

In Chapter 5 of the Economic Report of the President (2021), it’s argued that free-market healthcare aims to foster healthcare markets that create value for consumers through the financing and delivery of high-quality and affordable care. Government mandates can reduce competitive insurance choices and raise premiums.

By focusing on choice and competition, States are encouraged to provide flexibility to develop policies that accommodate numerous consumer preferences for healthcare financing and delivery.

ARGUMENTS THAT OPPOSE FREE MARKET IN HEALTHCARE

  • Free-market healthcare is a concept, not a system; insurance is based upon risk pools, not competition

  • There is no evidence that giving consumers “skin in the game” prompts them to become more astute healthcare consumers

Free-market Healthcare as a Concept, Not a System; Insurance is Based Upon Risk Pools, Not Competition

According to one Family Law attorney, ““free market health care” is a concept, not a system.” In theory, by increasing competition and making the environment “friendlier” to health insurers, the cost of health insurance will decrease. The main problem with the theory of free market health insurance is the fact the insurance is based upon risk pools, not competition.

For health insurers, premiums are determined by the probability of the members in the risk pool needing health care. For health insurance companies, cost savings come from managing or manipulating the risk pool. For example, by removing people with “pre-existing conditions,” an insurer can create a healthier risk pool with fewer payouts and thereby lowering the premiums. Therefore, free market health care cannot even attempt to insure everyone.

The advantage of increasing the number of insurers in a given market is questioned by many as there are no practical examples of any significant decreases in premiums.

By comparison, it has been shown that when the health insurance industry is deregulated, the cost of insurance decreases. However, that decrease in cost comes at a price: more “loopholes” for insurers not to pay claims. It costs less because it is worth less.

Related reading(s): Many disadvantages of ‘free market’ health care

There is No Evidence That Giving Consumers “Skin in the Game” Prompts Them to Become More Astute Healthcare Consumers

Because of the structure of our healthcare system, consumers are, for the most part, unable to make informed decisions that in other markets can lead to increased competition for consumers’ spending. There are many reasons for this, including information asymmetry, healthcare not viewed as a commodity and the need for third-party payers.

You can read more about this argument in the article, “Rethinking Consumerism in Healthcare Benefit Design.”

Free COBRA health insurance ends Sept. 30: 3 options for the unemployed

COBRAs premium health insurance ends Sept 30

Overview: Unemployed? Here are 3 things you could do when your COBRA’s premium health insurance ends Sept. 30

  • Switch to an Affordable Care Act policy once your free coverage ends

  • Qualify for a special enrollment period (SEP)

  • Talk to your plan administrator and/or former employer

COBRA health insurance ends Sept. 30When Sept. 30 rolls around, it’ll be goodbye to that premium health coverage from COBRA and hello to many, many questions (and a bit of financial panic for the unemployed). But we’ll start by saying you shouldn’t panic — there are options that unemployed individuals could and should begin to consider now.

Keep these things in mind: It’s true that after Sept. 30, the group health plan can charge the usual COBRA premium for the coverage. And the premium assistance lasts through Sept. 30 but may end sooner if you reach the end of your maximum COBRA continuation coverage period which is, generally, 18 months.

3 HEALTH INSURANCE OPTIONS FOR THE UNEMPLOYED AFTER SEPT. 30

Option 1: Switch to an Affordable Care Act policy once your free coverage ends.

The special enrollment period for Affordable Care Act coverage ends Aug. 15. Here’s why it’s a useful option: ACA policies — by contrast to COBRA coverage — are typically subsidized with tax credits that make the coverage more affordable.

In one particular case, a spouse lost their job and was on COBRA continuation coverage for health insurance. They didn’t have to pay the premiums (through Sept. 30) as a result of the American Rescue Plan (passed in March). The question was asked if there was anything available on Oct. 1 if the spouse was still unemployed by that time.

The American Rescue Plan requires employers to pay COBRA premiums for eligible former employees for April through September. The employers will be reimbursed through a tax credit. (The subsidy may last fewer than six months if someone’s COBRA eligibility ends before September, or if they become eligible for group coverage through their job or their spouse’s job.)

When the premium-free coverage ends, the spouse would qualify for a special enrollment period that allows them to switch to an Affordable Care Act policy. Not only that, but anyone who is unemployed at any point during 2021 will qualify for a premium-free comprehensive policy through the ACA for the rest of the year.

Related reading(s): What you need to do when free health insurance for unemployed people ends Sept. 30

Option 2: Qualify for a special enrollment period (SEP) to enroll in individual market health insurance coverage, such as through a Health Insurance Marketplace®.

When your COBRA premium assistance ends, you may be eligible for a SEP to enroll in coverage through a Health Insurance Marketplace®, or to enroll in individual health insurance coverage outside of the Marketplace. You may also qualify for a SEP when you reach the end of your maximum COBRA coverage period. Below are links to additional information.

  • For more information about enrolling in Marketplace coverage, see:

    • HealthCare.gov

    • Or you can call 1-800-318-2596 (TTY: 1-855-889-4325).

If your state has its own Marketplace platform, find contact information for your State Marketplace here:

You may apply for and, if eligible, enroll in Medicaid coverage at any time. For more information, go to:

Related reading(s): FAQS ABOUT COBRA PREMIUM ASSISTANCE UNDER THE AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN ACT OF 2021

Option 3: Talk to your plan administrator and/or former employer

Karen Pollitz, a senior fellow with the Kaiser Family Foundation, said some employers and COBRA administrators were still working out the details. If you believe you are eligible for the subsidy that ends after Sept. 30 and haven’t received a notice with the required forms, you can notify your former employer. In more detail, Pollitz encourages individuals to:

  1. Notify their former employer

  1. Fill out and sign this form, published by the Department of Labor

    1. Turn the form into your plan administrator if you’re already enrolled in COBRA

    2. Send the form to your former employer if you’re trying to sign up

Pollitz said if you have a relationship with your provider, you could also ask if it’s possible to wait a little longer to bill your insurer until the COBRA coverage kicks in.

Related reading(s): Stimulus Provides Free COBRA Health Insurance for Unemployed; What You Need to Know

DO YOU HAVE A TRUSTED HEALTH INSURANCE AGENT TO GUIDE YOU WHEN YOUR PREMIUM HEALTH INSURANCE ENDS?

Remember: The Affordable Care Act is over 60,000 pages long. Medicare is written over tens of thousands of pages. And Insurance Laws and Regulations are profoundly extensive. So if you’re wondering what to do when COBRA’s premium health insurance ends, we can help.

We understand that there is not a single “best” plan when it comes to health insurance — and it’s even more complicated when unemployment is involved. And we understand that your needs are unique.

This is where we come in. Contact us to get your questions answered! We’ll offer our expertise in health insurance so you’re taken care of during these complicated times.

https://www.bdhealthinsurance.com/

Debunking 3 common U.S. health insurance myths

common U.S. health insurance myths

Preview: Let’s take a look at 3 popular myths about US. health insurance that might take you by surprise.

Health insuranceHere are some topics of conversation (aka “myths”) we’ve heard people discuss about health insurance in America that need major clarification:

  • The relationship with age and health insurance

  • Is Canada better than the U.S. when it comes to health insurance?
  • Outrageous out-of-pocket costs on top of premiums

Health insurance myth 1: Young and healthy individuals do not need health insurance

After the 2020 pandemic, this myth has likely deceased; however, we’re aware that conversations about health insurance often included this notion.

Research shows that people between 18 and 34 tend to be at their healthiest. So we’re not surprised that those in their early or mid-20s usually do not require much medical attention  However, since many in this age bracket feel that they tend to “not need” medical attention, that also means that many feel they do not need to buy health insurance.  But this is not true.

Young and healthy individuals can become sick. As we mentioned earlier, after the COVID-19 outbreak, many young people fell sick due to the virus and had to be hospitalized. For those who didn’t feel that they “needed” health insurance, this often meant that they would have to pay out-of-pocket.

Even if one isn’t sick or does haven’t signs of preexisting illnesses, buying health insurance early — before one develops any illness — ensures that there isn’t a waiting period. In case of any pre-existing illnesses, there is a waiting period of two to three years in health insurance for such diseases. During that period, if the policyholder is admitted to the hospital due to any ailment related to that disease, it won’t be covered by the health insurance company.

The rundown: Age shouldn’t and doesn’t determine whether a person should buy health insurance.

Related article(s): 6 Health Insurance Myths Busted

Health insurance myth 2: Canada has a better health care system than the U.S.

And so the debate rages on, and with good reason. Many people in the U.S. believe Canada’s healthcare system is superior to the U.S. for various reasons (lower costs, more services, universal access to health care without financial barriers, and superior health status). So, we completely understand this debate.

However, there’s a limit on what you can get with the Canadian healthcare system. Matt Tassey, a spokesman for LIFE, says, “Universal health care isn’t better; it’s just different.” Tassey many Canadians have come to the U.S. for care because they can actually get it. There is no rationing (in America) of any sort, so they can just write a check.

Americans may complain about the high cost of health care in the U.S., but there are two sides to every situation. In this case, Canadian healthcare isn’t necessarily “better.” Especially if Canadians have come here to the U.S. to receive various treatments.

Related article(s): 7 Health Insurance Myths Debunked

Health insurance myth 3: I will have to pay huge amounts out of pocket

We can’t deny that when it comes to health insurance, many people have to pay more than just their premiums. Some of these additional costs include the following:

  • A deductible. This is the amount that you must pay out-of-pocket before your health insurance pays for services. This amount resets each year.

  • A copayment. This is a flat fee that you pay each time you go to the doctor or fill a prescription and is usually printed right on your insurance card.

  • Co-insurance. Coinsurance is your share of costs for healthcare services and is generally figured as a percentage. Coinsurance usually kicks in once you’ve met your deductible.

For the 2021 plan year: The out-of-pocket limit for a Marketplace plan can’t be more than $8,550 for an individual and $17,100 for a family. The good thing is that there is a cap that’s placed on out-of-pocket costs for marketplace plans.

Once your out-of-pocket maximum is reached, your insurer has to pay the rest. For most people, $8.550 or $17,100 is a huge amount. However, if you think of what your costs would be without healthcare coverage, those amounts are pretty tame.

For example, the average cost for each death in a motor vehicle accident is $1,130,000. Meanwhile, the average cost for each nonfatal disabling injury is $61,600. Of course, this is a generalized statement (costs vary from state-to-state and with other factors included).

Nonetheless, there’s no denying that the cost of an accident is a lot. As such, most folks would choose the out-of-pocket maximum amounts over accident figures any day!

Related article(s): Top 5 Health Insurance Myths

The evolution of American health insurance services over the last few decades

evolution of American health insurance services

Overview: How health insurance has evolved for Americans in recent years.

evolution of American health insurance services evolution of American health insurance services

evolution of American health insurance services

From illness trends to the implementation of technology, changes in America health insurance services remain slow, complex, and constant much like the overall healthcare system.

Various healthcare proposals have been introduced over the years, but it’s the complexity of the healthcare industry in its entirety — environmental and technological factors — that remain the primary causes to changes in health insurance services in America.

  1. Increase in technology & cost of medical services

  2. Managed care & ability to select a doctor

  3. Extending Medicare coverage for prescription drugs
  4. How health care will change in the future (technology & more)

1. New technology; increased cost for health insurance

One primary change in American health insurance services is the increased cost for health insurance as a result of new technological treatments. Maybe back in the day, you could get away with surgery and a hospital stay without health insurance but now… not so much. (That goes without saying.)

This goes in tandem with the tremendous medical technology now available. If patients want to reap the benefits of these technologies, they must be willing to accept the ever-increasing medical costs that come with it.

2. Managed health care; limited doctor selection

As the cost for health insurance has risen there’s been a move toward managed health care. This move, in turn, has changed the health American insurance industry and services by creating limited flexibility for someone to choose a doctor.

Managed health care is a term that refers to health plans that involve selective contracting between insurers, health care providers, and employers to direct employees to a specified group of cost-effective health care providers.

This rapidly-changing revolution has affected everyone from physicians and hospitals to patients and insurance carriers.

Says Marc Maraccini, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at North Texas Healthcare Network: “Fifteen years ago, it used to be that a person had an insurance provider that covered almost anything with no questions asked. But this process made it difficult for employers to estimate how much they would pay for their employees’ health care. This is because a physician or hospital could charge almost any amount for a procedure or prescription.

A managed care plan has caused most people to receive coverage through their employer over the last decade. This practice saves money because unlike traditional plans, managed care plans contract directly with the health care providers to set payment for services.

Related article(s): The Evolution of Health Insurance

3. Medicare updated to include prescription drug coverage

In the early 2000s, one major change health insurance services saw was the update to Medicare to include prescription drug coverage. This idea  that was initially proposed by George W. Bush eventually turned into the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003 (sometimes called Medicare Part D). Enrollment was (and still is) voluntary, although millions of Americans use the program.

For a detailed timeline of the evolution of the American health care industry from Colonial Times (1700s) to now (21st Century), take a look at the related article below.

Related article(s): The History of Medicine and Organized Healthcare in America

4. Changes to expect for the future of health care services for Americans

As the baby boomer generation approaches retirement, thus qualifying for Medicare, healthcare spending by federal, state, and local governments is projected to increase.

Along with policy and technological changes, the people who provide healthcare are also changing. Providers are an important part of the healthcare system and any changes to their education, satisfaction, or demographics are likely to affect how patients receive care.

In the future, healthcare providers are more likely to focus their education on business than ever before. A large-scale analysis of Harvard Business School’s physician graduates indicates substantial growth in the number of physicians pursuing M.B.A. degrees in the last decade. This growth may result in more private practices and healthcare administrators.

Healthcare technology trends that focus heavily on patient empowerment will be on the rise (artificial intelligence, VR/AR, 3D-printing, robotics or nanotechnology). For example, the introduction of wearable biometric devices provide patients with information about their own health. Telemedicine apps allow patients to easily access care no matter where they live. These types of new technologies are focused on monitoring, research, and healthcare availability so patients will be able to take a more active role in their care.

With advances in digital healthcare technologies, healthcare workers have to embrace emerging healthcare technologies with an open mind in order to stay relevant in the coming years.

Related article(s): How We Can Expect The Healthcare Industry to Change in The Future and 10 Ways Technology Is Changing Healthcare

Human Resources for insurance agencies: Partnering with ThinkHR to minimize risk management for Bernardini & Donovan health insurance employees and offer HR expertise

Human Resources for insurance

In efforts to maximize our health insurance services, the Bernardini & Donovan team is excited to collaborate with ThinkHR, the industry-leading, end-to-end people risk management service that helps develop employees and ensure compliance

We are pleased to introduce to you the new Bernardini & Donovan human resources client service, ThinkHR! If you are involved with employee issues, this is a value-added benefit to save you time and money. ThinkHR was created to help businesses manage risk before, during, and after it is exposed and has since dealt with over 3.7 million issues and counting! More than 300,000 businesses have benefited from ThinkHR’s end-to-end people risk management solution (PRM), and the B&D team is excited to be part of that growing number.

The reality is that people risk is inevitable. However, just because it’s inevitable doesn’t mean nothing can be done to minimize it. As such, ThinkHR recognizes the significant risks centered around business employees and has thus introduced a comprehensive, end-to-end people risk management solution. With a combination of the best live advisors, innovative technology, and comprehensive and instructional content, ThinkHR is revolutionizing the world of human resources for businesses such as Bernadini & Donovan.

With a goal to help organizations address all potential people risks and help its partners strengthen their client relationships involving guidance on preparing for and managing those risks, we believe ThinkHR will benefit the Bernardini & Donovan team professionally and in other ways. The goal is to help us win more business through a comprehensive, all-inclusive, user-friendly PRM solution.

Understanding PRM: How having a human resources partner will benefit B&D as a health insurance company in the future

People Risk Management fills a critical need for businesses of all sizes by helping them build and maintain a strong culture, drive employee engagement and performance, and mitigate the numerous people-centric compliance risks that exist in every organization.

Bernardini & Donovan will now be able to ensure an effective PRM solution by integrating the 3 primary critical components into our day-to-day relations: content; technology; live advisors. We now have access to regulatory updates to handbook policies and interactive and engaging training along with guidance on preparing for and managing those risks; a handbook builder for easy creation and maintenance, a learning management system with powerful training content, and key deployment technologies to create a great user experience; live expertise and guidance that HR and business leaders need when more is needed to solve a difficult employee situation than content and technology.

The scope of HR topics handled by the ThinkHR live team, and more

HR professionals use ThinkHR tools to be more effective in their roles, while all employers benefitting from the crisis averted with the end-to-end PRM solution. We also have access to ThinkHR Live, where a team of HR experts is standing by to answer employee questions and provide advice. This phone-based support service is available from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. central time each business day so employees can utilize this tool at their convenience.

The B&D team will also have access to ThinkHR Comply, an online resource center for all of workforce questions and issues. Additionally, we’ll have access to ThinkHR Learn, an online training platform to develop employees and help ensure compliance!

With so many components making up the PRM solution, we’re excited to partner with ThinkHR to ensure our future HR needs are addressed and handled accordingly. For more information on the ThinkHR PRM solution, visit their website at https://www.thinkhr.com/

B&D: Expanding Our Health Insurance Services to Colorado

Health Insurance Services to Colorado

Health insurance in colorado“Without the many years of loyal support from our thousands of clients in California, this opportunity to expand into the Colorado Health Insurance market wouldn’t be possible.”—Adrian Donovan, B&D Co-owner

Bernardini & Donovan Health Insurance Services is excited to announce that we will be expanding our services from California into Colorado with a second B&D office! This second office will be located in Douglas County in a town called Parker, an outlying district of the city of Denver.

“The California and Colorado health insurance markets are very similar,” says B&D Co-owner, Michael Bernardini.

We know this expanding our health insurance services into Colorado will naturally pose several questions from our clients, so the B&D team has compiled a brief list of potential questions and answers for your convenience!

What can our B&D Colorado clients expect in our new office? You can expect to receive the same great service on the same products from group and business health insurance plans to individual family health insurance plans to Medicare coverage—except now we are providing all of these services to the people of Colorado.

Why expand the B&D business into Colorado? With any business, company, or service, the goal is always to increase client retention, customer satisfaction, and services process. By moving to Colorado, the Bernardini team believes we will be able to focus on the growth of Bernardini & Donovan, including the new opportunities that come with serving a new market and reaching new clientele. Plus, Colorado is beautiful!

How was this expansion made possible? “This is a huge opportunity for our company and I’m excited to be taking it,” Adrian Donovan says. “Michael and I have consistently looked at ways to expand our services.” So, with careful thought and consideration, we have decided that exploring the Colorado health insurance market is the right move to make! B&D co-owner Adrian Donovan will be moving to Colorado; he will be heading up to the Colorado office at the beginning of August and will be opening operations there. He will work out of both offices so that he will be able to continue to serve his clients in California while growing the new office in Colorado.

Who do we contact for details? All contact details for Bernardini & Donovan team members will remain the same!

“It has been an exciting challenge to learn the differences between California and Colorado and to acquire a license to become a health insurance agent in Colorado.”—Michael Bernardini

Bernardini & Donovan is forever grateful to our clients who have made this growth possible during these uncertain times as we navigate through COVID-19! If you know businesses, individuals, or families seeking healthcare coverage in the state of Colorado, the B&D team welcomes all! Parker has easy access to the Denver metropolitan area and is known for its unique Western-Victorian downtown and its hometown feel and, now, high-quality B&D Colorado health insurance services! But the unique downtown and hometown environments are not the only reasons Bernardini & Donovan have expanded into Colorado.

“The B&D team will always remain thankful to those who support us. Now, we hope to earn an opportunity to help the friends and family in Colorado, too.”—Bernardini & Donovan

B&D: Expanding Our Health Insurance Services to Colorado

Health and medical insurance“Without the many years of loyal support from our thousands of clients in California, this opportunity to expand into the Colorado Health Insurance market wouldn’t be possible.”—Adrian Donovan, B&D Co-owner

Bernardini & Donovan Health Insurance Services is excited to announce that we will be expanding our services from California into Colorado with a second B&D office! This second office will be located in Douglas County in a town called Parker, an outlying district of the city of Denver.

“The California and Colorado health insurance markets are very similar,” says B&D Co-owner, Michael Bernardini.

We know this expanding our health insurance services into Colorado will naturally pose several questions from our clients, so the B&D team has compiled a brief list of potential questions and answers for your convenience!

What can our B&D Colorado clients expect in our new office?

You can expect to receive the same great service on the same products from group and business health insurance plans to individual family health insurance plans to Medicare coverage—except now we are providing all of these services to the people of Colorado.

Why expand the B&D business into Colorado?

With any business, company, or service, the goal is always to increase client retention, customer satisfaction, and services process. By moving to Colorado, the Bernardini team believes we will be able to focus on the growth of Bernardini & Donovan, including the new opportunities that come with serving a new market and reaching new clientele. Plus, Colorado is beautiful!

How was this expansion made possible?

“This is a huge opportunity for our company and I’m excited to be taking it,” Adrian Donovan says. “Michael and I have consistently looked at ways to expand our services.” So, with careful thought and consideration, we have decided that exploring the Colorado health insurance market is the right move to make! B&D co-owner Adrian Donovan will be moving to Colorado; he will be heading up to the Colorado office at the beginning of August and will be opening operations there. He will work out of both offices so that he will be able to continue to serve his clients in California while growing the new office in Colorado.

Who do we contact for details?

All contact details for Bernardini & Donovan team members will remain the same!

“It has been an exciting challenge to learn the differences between California and Colorado and to acquire a license to become a health insurance agent in Colorado.”—Michael Bernardini

Bernardini & Donovan is forever grateful to our clients who have made this growth possible during these uncertain times as we navigate through COVID-19! If you know businesses, individuals, or families seeking healthcare coverage in the state of Colorado, the B&D team welcomes all! Parker has easy access to the Denver metropolitan area and is known for its unique Western-Victorian downtown and its hometown feel and, now, high-quality B&D Colorado health insurance services! But the unique downtown and hometown environments are not the only reasons Bernardini & Donovan have expanded into Colorado.

“The B&D team will always remain thankful to those who support us. Now, we hope to earn an opportunity to help the friends and family in Colorado, too.”—Bernardini & Donovan

Do You Need Your Own Health Insurance After 26?

HEALTH INSURANCE AFTER 26

 HEALTH INSURANCE AFTER 26Many have wondered what to do about health insurance after they turn 26. For many young adults, you might also wonder: Can you stay on your parent’s health insurance after 26?

With the spread of COVID-19, health care is more critical now more than ever. One shouldn’t skip health insurance to save money simply because they think that they’re young and healthy…that mindset could be misleading and ultimately dangerous. The fact of the matter is: Sooner or later, everyone needs health insurance. So, what options are available when it comes to finding health insurance for 26-year-olds?

If you’re 26 and need health insurance coverage, we at Bernardini & Donovan can help. We offer health and medical insurance services in the Inland Empire and are happy to assist individuals who have questions about health insurance for 26-year-olds.

Being properly informed about health insurance might not be the first thing on the minds of young adults. And it could be easy to overlook those conversations if someone is on their parents’ health insurance plan. But, once adulting kicks in, graduating, moving out, getting a job, and turning 26–it’s important to consider what health insurance options exist for you.

Can You Stay on Your Parents Health Insurance After 26

If you’re under 26, you may be able to get covered on a parent’s health insurance plan. This applies to you even if you are at school, not living at home, eligible for an employer’s plan, or not financially dependent on your parents. It even applies to you if you are married. However, after you turn 26, things change.

The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare or the ACA, opened the door for many people to get health insurance who previously didn’t have access. A provision of the law allows young adults to stay on their parents’ health insurance until age 26. As a result, millions of young adults became eligible to have health insurance on their parents’ plans who wouldn’t have qualified otherwise.

This, however, this means you need to start considering options for health insurance before your 26th birthday because your coverage on your parent’s plan ends, and eventually you do need your own coverage.

If your 26th birthday is right around the corner, you might have a lot of questions to consider, especially if you’ve never had to purchase your own insurance and if you’re struggling financially.

The marketplace. Bernardini & Donovan is a Certified Agent of the Health Insurance Marketplace. We can help you independently compare health insurance plans based on what’s important to you. We are a storefront for the Marketplace and that means we offer capabilities beyond ordinary agents. Our experts will explore if you can get lower costs on your monthly premium and if you qualify for lower out-of-pocket costs. For those who are on a budget, you’ll also find out if you qualify for free or low-cost coverage available through different sources.

Applying for coverage. After you select the plan that is right for you, our team will guide you through the application process. You’ll need your income information, ID, proof of citizenship or lawful presence, social security information, and ZIP code.

Regardless of when your parents’ plan ends your coverage, if you’re 26 and need health insurance, you’ll have a 120-day special enrollment window in which to buy a new health insurance policy on the marketplace for ACA plans. During this time, which begins 60 days before you turn 26 and ends 60 days after, you can purchase a new medical plan. If you are buying an individual plan that is not on the ACA marketplace, you have 30 days after you turn 26.

While talking about health insurance could be intimidating, there are also practical resources available for assistance. If you’re in the Riverside area or surrounding areas, the Bernardini & Donovan team can offer health insurance guidance. Receiving assistance on these matters might benefit you especially during the recent pandemic where there are heightened concerns surrounding people’s health.

What to do About Health Insurance After 26

Now that it’s established whether or not you can stay on your parent’s health insurance plan after turning 26, what are your options? When you’re ready to purchase your own health insurance, you have several options. You can enroll in a health insurance plan offered by your school or you can speak to someone in Human Resources about enrolling in a healthcare plan provided by your employer.

Student health insurance: If you’re attending a college or university, you may be able to enroll in that school’s student health insurance plan. These plans tend to be relatively inexpensive and are a good option if your parents don’t have health insurance, you don’t want to stay enrolled under their plan, you’re 26 and need health insurance or other reasons.

You can find out if your school offers health insurance options by poking around your school’s website or calling the financial aid office.

Employer health plan: If your employer offers coverage, it’s a good idea to look at what they offer.

Keep in mind that you don’t have to wait until you’re 26 to enroll in one of the health insurance plans offered by your employer. Depending on where you live and what you can afford, the coverage your employer offers may suit your situation better than your parents’ insurance plan.

Short-term health plans: Health plans that last less than a year can help you bridge the gap until you enroll in a regular health plan. Just keep in mind that short-term plans won’t provide the same comprehensive coverage as a traditional insurance plan and are best only in case of a major medical event.

Nonetheless, this option might be the most feasible for those who don’t know what to do about personal health insurance, aren’t sure about their finances, but still need coverage.

26 and Need Health Insurance? You’re Covered

At Bernardini & Donovan, our job is to simplify your health insurance needs. With our health insurance services, you can enjoy the peace of mind knowing that you have health insurance.

Now more than ever before, the issue of healthcare has been thrust into our everyday lives. For a lot of people, the more you hear about the issue of healthcare, the more complicated it appears to be.

With more than 30 years of experience in the health insurance field, the Bernardini & Donovan team is proud to have established long-lasting and trusted relationships with all of the major carriers throughout California and Colorado.

If you’re 26 and need health insurance coverage, or you’re no longer on your parent’s coverage and have questions on what to do, Bernardini & Donovan Insurance Services has the answers to any questions you may have.