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Its that time of year again

It’s That Time of Year Again

The leaves are soon going to change, and we are transitioning into a busy holiday season as well as saying goodbye to 2017. But in the midst of shopping and holiday parties, there is an additional thing to consider. From November 1st to January 31st, Covered California has open enrollment.

In the past year, we’ve watched while there have been many attempts at changing the way our healthcare system works. But for now, it looks like things are staying the same. So during this time, it will be essential to ask yourself a few questions: Am I happy with my current provider? Was there anything in the last year that was particularly difficult for me? Were there any unexpected costs associated with my healthcare? Do I get along with my doctor? Am I getting the best care for my particular needs? Were there any changes to my health this year that will cause me to need additional attention in the future? Was there any significant life changes that happened recently that will cause me to need extra coverage for dependants? Am I getting the most out of my health care coverage?

All of these questions are excellent and need to be considered with your health care. At this time you have an option or changing your health plan to one that could better fit your needs; whether those needs be that you require different types of deductibles or that you need a lower monthly premium. If you would like to change doctors, it is always good to do some research ahead of time. A quick call to a doctor’s office can let you know if they are accepting new patients and what medical insurances they accept. It would not be good to switch coverages just to find out afterward that they doctor you want will not be able to take your insurance.

As always, if you have any questions about your health insurance, we are always here to answer them. We love helping you find the best coverage for your needs.

Health Insurance for College Students

What a College Student Needs to Know About Health Insurance (Part 1)

College can be such a crazy season. Not only are you being challenged more than ever academically, for many students it is their first foray into the adult world. No more is mom around to take care of laundry or make sure that you’re eating a balanced meal (hello Freshmen 15). And to help college students better understand more about health insurance, we thought we could cover some key things college students need to know about health insurance.

Why you need health insurance

Many college students may be under the thinking that they are young, healthy and in no need of health insurance. But that is just not the case. Young people are just as much at risk, and at times more so to need medical care as the rest of the population. Young people, while only making up 14% of the US population also makeup over 50% of all vehicular accidents injuries. Also, one in five young adults will suffer from a chronic illness. A recent study showed that young adults (ages 18-25) are the most likely to suffer from mental illness. Youth does not equate health.

And if you do happen to fall anywhere in these demographics and do suffer from an unexpected illness, accident or mental health issue, medical insurance can be a great help to you. College students also have higher rates of getting STD’s and unexpected pregnancies. Health care is expensive and having insurance can keep you from being in medical debt before graduation.

What kind of coverage you can get

First and foremost, college students can remain on their parent’s health insurance plans until the age of 26. This applies not just to college students, but even if you’re married or financially stable. This coverage can be beneficial because you do not need to foot the bill for this coverage and there is an opportunity for excellent coverage. There can be some issues if your parents suddenly lose their insurance. But if that happens make sure to read our next blog for more ways you can get coverage as a college student.

How To Stay Young Part 2

How To Stay Young – Part 2 

In our previous blog, we discussed some basic ways to help your health and to keep your body working as well as possible. But we just scratched the surface. Below you will find some more helpful tips to keep your body working and youthful.
Stop overeating 
This piece of advice comes from centenarians – yup, that’s people who are living into their 100’s. One common factor that these centenarians have is that they do not overeat. Overeating was considered wasteful, so many of them eat until they feel 80% full. At that point, they stop. They have developed an excellent system to actually understand their body’s cues of when they are hungry and when they are not.
Wine is your friend
The key to this piece of advice is moderation! Drinking too much leads to a whole host of problems. But wine has a compound called resveratrol which seems to slow aging. It can help in good heart health, but studies are being done on the effect of good bone health, less inflammation and lessening the probability of cataracts. Cheers to that!
Try for a plant based diet
If you’re anything like us, this seems the hardest tip of all! We just love some good BBQ! But, studies show that a plant-based diet reduces the risk of cancer, heart disease, and strokes. As you get older, the animal proteins you ingest seem to accelerate your aging. So by replacing the protein with beans, soy, and nuts; it seems to slow the aging effect.
These are of course just suggestions, and you should talk to your doctor before making any grand changes to your lifestyle or diet. Gandhi once said that “It is health that is real wealth. And not pieces of gold and silver.” We have to say that we agree. We want to value our health and find the wealth of living a full life. Even making small changes to your health can have lasting effects.
How to Stay Young

How To Stay Young

Our society seems to hate the idea of aging. We see it in the countless hours of ads and commercials spent on selling gray-b-gone hair color, under eye serums and every type of cream to get rid of marks, blemishes or discolorations. This blog is not being written in the hopes of selling you any such miracle treatments. However, We do want to talk about some small habits you can take on to help you feel younger or to help your body age better.
Don’t Stress
Stress has a way of eating away at you. When you worry and stress there are actual physical changes in your body that can accelerate the aging process.
Work out your mind
Have you heard the term use it or lose it? That applies here! Even in children, there are studies that show that over the summer break children lose a significant portion of what they learned over the school year. But as we age, our brains need the cognitive exercise to help stay nimble and alert. Small things like doing puzzles or brain games can make a huge difference in improving memory.
Eat your best fat
For many years marketers enforced the idea that we need to stay away from fat as they sold us low-fat options for all of our favorite foods. However, fat is our friend! Well, the good kind of fat. Omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon and seeds will help you by maintaining bone density, reduce inflammation, stabilize your mood and boost your immune system. All of these are key pieces to help us age better and to not expedite the aging process in our bodies.
Move More
Exercise is just a staple for healthy living. But the more you move, the better your body feels. Exercise helps to tone your muscles and helps your bones. Not only does it help your body it helps your brain! “Walking for just 10 minutes a day lowers your risk of Alzheimer’s by 40 percent,” says Gary Small, MD, director of the UCLA Center on Aging.
Some of the best health insurance you can get is by just taking care of yourself. There’s no need to go overboard, but by making small changes, you can have a lasting impact that will change the rest of your life.
Best Tips to Stop Smoking

Best Tips To Stop Smoking

One of the best things you can do for your health is to quit. Over the years we have all seen the effects that smoking can have on a body. From increase to heart disease to developing of lung cancer, smoking causes severe deterioration to your health. Here are some helpful tips to help you or someone you love to stop smoking:
Know why you are quitting. 
You cannot quit successfully on a whim. It’s best for you to know why you are making this choice and that will motivate you to start this journey as well as help you when you feel discouraged and think about picking the habit back up.
Be prepared
Quitting cold turkey is not something to be taken lightly. You want to ensure that you are as prepared as you can be. Cleaning your house is a great place to start. Wash your clothes and clean your carpets. Cleaning anything that could still have the smell attached to it will help you not have any reminders of smoking. Talk to your doctor and find out about alternative ways to help you quit. There are classes, medication, nicotine replacements, or support groups all available to you to help you stop.
Pick up a new hobby
It’s good to try and find something that will take your mind off things while also utilizing the time that you used to put towards smoking. Exercise is a great hobby to pick up because it also releases dopamine which can replace the dopamine release you got from smoking. Studies show that in just two weeks after not smoking your lungs are functioning at a greater capacity than when smoking. This makes exercise more fun, and you can celebrate the markers of your healing body.
You can find more information about quitting smoking here: www.betobaccofree.hhs.gov/quit-now/index.html. We hope that these tips will help you as we are all seeking to grow in our health and live our best lives.

There are so many benefits to having health insurance. From the simple fact that when you are feeling not at your best you have a place to go to get some care. Even having the peace of mind of knowing that when your baby won’t stop coughing you have an expert at hand who will give you everything you need to take care of your little one. But did you know that there are many additional benefits to your health insurance besides your basic doctor visits, prescription drugs and hospital care.

  • Online access – How many times have you lost your ID card and need to call to get a new one mailed to you. With online access you can print out a new ID card immediately. You can also see your claims, changed doctors, and never be on hold for over an hour again. You can do all of these and more online.
  • Gym Membership – Many insurance companies are now offering gym memberships, discounts on gym membership or even reimbursement on a gym membership if you check in a certain number of times at the gym per month. They may also offer discounts on gym equipment. So if you are looking to invest in an elliptical or a treadmill check to see if you get a discount.

  • Diet plans – You may find a discount on certain weight loss and diet plans such as Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig or Nutrisystem.

  • Homeopathic Medicine – more insurance programs are covering homeopathic remedies such as acupuncture or chiropractic care. If they don’t completely cover it they may also offer to add it on for a small fee.
  • 24 hours nurse care – small children always seem to get every cold that is out there. And with this service you can call a nurse hotline and get advice if it is enough of an emergency situation to go to urgent care or emergency room.

  • Employee Assistance Program – get financial advice for today or for your future financial planning.

  • Mental Health – Talk to someone via telephone as well as in person visits if needed.

Health insurance costs are continuing to go up but there are other benefits available to you that adds to the value to your health insurance plans.

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.

Why You Should Work With Bernardini & Donovan

At Bernardini & Donovan Insurance Services, we understand that finding the right health insurance policy can be confusing and difficult, which is why we are here to help. We strive to simplify all of the health care needs of each of our clients to ensure that you and your loved ones are able to get the perfect health care coverage to fit your specific needs.

Health care has been brought to the forefront of the insurance world thanks to the passing of the Affordable Care Act. All of our licensed agents and brokers have years of experience in the health care world, and are here to help you find the right policy to ensure that you have the right amount of coverage. No matter if you are looking for a policy to just cover you, or are looking for coverage for all of your employees, we are here to help.

At Bernardini & Donovan Insurance Services, we do more than just find you the right insurance policy. We work to build strong and long lasting relationships with each of our clients to ensure that they are comfortable talking about their policy and asking any questions that come up about the coverage that their policy provides.

With expertise in Group Health Insurance, California Health Insurance, California Life Insurance, and Long Term Care, we can help you find the policy that best meets your needs.

Contact Bernardini & Donovan Insurance Services in Redlands, California for all of your health insurance needs and to ensure that you invest in the right amount of coverage.

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 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.