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Individual Health Insurance

Values of B&D

Values of Bernardini & Donovan

At Bernardini and Donovan, we love serving our clients and partners. And we are dedicated to providing you,  your families, and your businesses with insurance services. We do this by following a dedicated set of values which directs our communication and service.

Helpfulness

We are here to help you. We understand that your health is vital and that many of you need good health insurance to help the cost associated with preventative care as well as care whenever illness or injuries occur. That’s why we want to do everything we can to help you. If you are tired of trying to figure out health care on your own, we are here to answer your questions and walk alongside you to ensure that you get the health insurance that you need.

Knowledgeable

Our health insurance market has been flooded with change over the last few years. To the point that many people cannot keep up. We know that it’s hard to keep up in a niche market, so that is why we do it for you. As you have questions about new policy, your best options for your business or when you are starting Medicare; we are here to give you the most up to date information.

Trustworthy  

Webster’s dictionary defines trust as the “assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something.” We strive to continue to be above board, up front and honest with all of our clients. We seek to communicate effectively and promptly especially when deadlines are so final with health insurance. And we hope to build lasting relationships with our clients. This isn’t a single transaction, but a desire to see you turn to us for any of your health insurance needs.

We want you to succeed and do everything we can to make the health insurance process as easy as possible. Please contact us today if you have questions about your health insurance.

your health insurance and taxes

Your Health Insurance and Taxes

 

Over the last year, we have seen lots of ups and downs as Washington has been looking to make changes to our health care.

We’ve seen bills get through the house to be then stood up in the Senate. There have been a load of rewrites and committees being formed to address these issues. We have seen dramatic days of voting and lengthy interviews afterward about who said yea or nay. So what changes have been made to our healthcare? You may have heard about the individual mandate being suspended under a new tax law for future years, but here is one change that will affect your tax return this year.On October 13, 2017, the IRS reversed a recent policy change in how it monitors compliance with the ACA individual mandate. For our 2018 filing season (filing 2017 tax returns) the IRS will not accept electronically filed tax returns where the taxpayer does not certify whether the individual had health insurance for the year. For paper returns that do not certify compliance with the individual mandate, they may be suspended pending receipt of additional information and any refunds due may be delayed.

To avoid refund and processing delays when filing your 2017 tax returns in 2018, taxpayers should indicate whether they and everyone on their return had health coverage, qualified for an exemption or are paying individual mandate penalty. This process reflects the Affordable Care Act‘s requirements and the Internal Revenue Service’s obligation to administer the law.

We hope that this information has been helpful for you as we are in the thick of tax season. Remember that if you ever have questions about your health care insurance, we love to be able to help you and are only a phone call away. If you have questions about taxes, we recommend talking to a tax preparer as they are equipped to help you understand the tax laws.

Stay Current

Good Questions To Ask Yourself During Open Enrollment

Looking at what health insurance you need can be an overwhelming process. Sometimes you only look at one aspect, like the monthly cost, and find yourself with huge out of pocket bills to pay later. If you are looking to enroll or re-enroll in Covered California this month, these are some good questions for you to ask yourself.

 

Do you like your current plan?

Over the last year have there been any situations that you did not expect to happen with your level of insurance? Or did you have any unexpected bills? Were you happy with your doctor and the care of service provided to you and your family? It’s good to look and see if there were any pain points over the last year. If you know what you didn’t like, you can see if there are any easy ways to fix that for the coming year.

 

Are you planning on having any significant changes this year?

Are you expecting to have a child? Or are you getting married? Both of these are substantial life changes that you can consider in your health insurance. However, it is important to note that these are also considered life altering events that can put you in a special enrollment period where you can change your health insurance to better match your current needs.

 

Are you on any current prescriptions?

If you are on a prescription medicine it will be important to know if your new provider covers these prescriptions or if your current provider is looking to change their policies.

 

How much do you want to pay?

Looking at your budget is crucial. And this is not just looking at your monthly premiums. This question needs to entail what you will pay out of pocket. What does it cost to see your doctor, to get prescription drugs, to go to the emergency room? You should also know what your premiums cover.

If you need help answering any of these questions, please feel free to call us at Bernardini & Donovan.

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.