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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 Special Enrollment Period

If you missed out on signing up for health insurance during open enrollment, do not worry! The Federal government has recently announced that they are opening a special enrollment period for those who were not able to sign up for health insurance during open enrollment. This special enrollment period runs from March 15th to April 30th and is the last time that you will be able to sign up for health insurance coverage for 2015. While this special enrollment period only applies to the 37 states that are covered through the federal marketplace, state-run exchanges are expected to follow.

In order to qualify for the special enrollment period, people will have to prove that they only became aware of the tax penalty for not having health insurance when they were filing their taxes. While the special enrollment period will not reverse the fine for not having health care, it will give people a chance to get the right health care plan for their needs.

Under the Affordable Care Act, everyone is required to have a health insurance plan, or face a financial penalty. However, many people were not aware of the penalty for not having health insurance until they started filling out their tax return for 2014.

The government also recently accounted that the wrong information to help calculate whether they received too much or too little of a subsidy for last year was sent out to 800,000 people. People who have been affected should have already been notified by phone or email, and need to wait to file their taxes until they receive a new 1095-A form, which was sent out in early March.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Understanding The SHOP Marketplace

Small business owners across the country have been experiencing change as they are now legally required to comply with new regulations and requirements under the Affordable Care Act. Since the world of health insurance and health care has transformed completely, choosing the right small business health insurance plans to best protect your team is more challenging.

If you missed the open enrollment deadline on February 15th and are beginning to panic since you have not properly set up your small business plans, do not fret! We can still write you a policy for your small business.

A unique entity known as the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) Marketplace allows small business owners to obtain the coverage they are required to offer their team, despite missed deadlines. When utilizing plans offered in SHOP, you have the luxury of avoiding restricted enrollment periods and offer deadlines.

There are many benefits of utilizing the SHOP Marketplace in addition to full luxury to pick and alter coverage as you please. If you are currently satisfied with your insurance agent, feel free to enroll with them! The SHOP Marketplace does not require that you change agents; therefore, you can go through this process with the agency you trust most.

The SHOP Marketplace is the perfect way to obtain health insurance and comply with all requirements set forth by the Affordable Care Act if you have 50 or fewer full time employees. The same goes for nonprofit organizations, however, if you are self-employed you cannot utilize the SHOP Marketplace.

Please do not hesitate to give us a call if you are in need of enrolling for a SHOP plan for your small business. Contact Bernardini & Donovan Insurance Services in Redlands for all of your California health insurance needs. As Covered California experts, you can rest assured that we will be your guiding hand in the realm of health insurance and health care.

How The Health Of California Has Changed In The Last Year

The American Public Health Association and the Partnership for Prevention released their annual report on the health rankings of America on December 10th. The report listed a ranking of all fifty states from healthiest to least healthy as well as information on cancer, preventable diseases, and chronic conditions in the United States.

To calculate their rankings, the organizations considered twenty-seven health metrics, including obesity, immunization rates, infectious diseases, and cancer-related deaths. After compiling the numbers, they released the full ranking with Hawaii emerging as the most healthy state and Mississippi at the bottom of the list.

The report showed that nationally, there has been a 7 percent increase in obesity in the last year and a 3 percent increase in sedentary lifestyles. Fortunately, there was also good news. 3 percent fewer adults are smoking and 4 percent fewer cases of infant mortality were reported, while 5 percent more adolescent American have received the immunizations they need.

California came in 17th overall, with nearly a 1 percent drop in obesity, from 25 in 2013 to 24.1 this year. The number of smokers also decreased slightly, from 12.6 to 12.5 percent. Unfortunately, the number of California residents with diabetes has increased by 15 percent in the last two years.

The report showed that the biggest health challenges Californians face are significant amounts of air pollution, a great inequality in the health status of high school graduates vs. those without high school diplomas, and a moderate rate of violent crime.

Fortunately for Californians who care about their health, a certified Covered California agent like the ones at Bernardini & Donovan Insurance Services can help you get the health insurance you need to care for your body in every season of life. With open enrollment going on right now, do not hesitate to contact Bernardini & Donovan Insurance Services, located in Redlands, California, to secure the best Covered California-compliant protection for you and your family today.

Your Update On Covered California’s Progress In The First Month Of Open Enrollment

The first open enrollment period in 2013-2014 ended up securing 1.2 million enrollees during its six-month period. With this year’s three month period, Covered California aims to keep the 1.2 million enrolled and add another half million of new enrollees. That means they are shooting to have 1.7 million Californians enrolled by open enrollment’s end date of February 15th, 2015.

It looks like they may get close to their goal, as between November 15th (the day this second, current period of open enrollment began) and December 11th 91,600 people who had previously not been enrolled signed up. This is a significant number considering that between November 15th and December 3rd the number of new enrollees was at just 48,950 and during the first month of open enrollment last year a mere 31,000 signed up.

If you are a current Covered California enrollee, you had until December 21st (extended from the original deadline of December 15th) to make changes to your plan, otherwise you will be automatically enrolled in another year of your current plan. If you are now eligible for Medicare, make sure you connect with an enrollment counselor or a certified Covered California agent to get un-enrolled from your current Covered California plan.

Whether you have a current Covered California health insurance plan or are planning to enroll for the first time, these next two months before open enrollment ends will be a critical time to secure the right coverage for you. After February 15th, if you are not properly covered under the new guidelines set forth by the Affordable Care Act, you become eligible for tax penalties.

Bernardini & Donovan Insurance Services, located in Redlands, California, offers expert services and superior care to make sure you are meeting the Affordable Care Act’s requirement and getting the best coverage for you and your family at the best prices. For all of your health insurance needs, contact us today!

What You Need To Know About The Current Open Enrollment Period

As the face of healthcare changes with the Affordable Care Act and Covered California, understanding how those changes affect you can feel overwhelming. You know that there are scary words like deadlines and penalty fees being thrown about, but do you know how to avoid them? That’s what we are here for! The experts at Bernardini & Donovan Insurance Services would like to offer you the following guide to the basics of the current open enrollment period.

When Is It?

The second (and current) open enrollment period for family and individual insurance plans began on November 15th, 2014 and ends February 15th, 2015.

What Is It?

Open enrollment is the period during which individuals, families, and small business can secure health insurance that will meet the new requirements implemented by the Affordable Care Act.

Do I Need To Sign Up?

Unless you have an exemption or are being provided with coverage by your place of employ- yes. Some “qualifying events” (e.g. moving to a new state, marrying, divorcing, having a baby) may allow you to push your deadline back, but to avoid extra hassle it is in your best interest to secure coverage during this period. If you do not, you can be eligible for a penalty fee.

Where Should I Go To Get Covered?

To be sure the policy you secure meets the Affordable Care Act’s guidelines, you should contact a certified Covered California agent. Bernardini & Donovan Insurance Services in Redlands, California can be your guide to the changing healthcare industry. Our team of experienced agents understands the new requirements and can help you make sure you meet them so you can avoid penalty fees. Contact us today to get great healthcare coverage at the right price!

Get The Coverage You Need By December 21st

If the hectic holiday season has made it difficult for you to secure the coverage you need this month, Covered California has a gift for you. Were you hoping to lock down coverage that will begin at the first of the year? If you have begun the application process, you will have until December 21st (rather than the original deadline of December 15th) to finish the application process.

Why the change? The executive director of Covered California, Peter Lee, says that a later date allows people some grace time for completing what he understands can be a complicated process for first-time users. Covered California knows that if you have never secured insurance before, you will want to sit down with a professional to help you understand the kind of coverage you need.

Meeting with a pro has been difficult for some people, and many enrollment counselors and insurance agents have been booked solid for the last couple of weeks. With hold times of nearly twenty minutes when calling a Covered California service center, the extra days until the deadline will make the sometimes time-consuming process of securing coverage less of a burden.

Whether you are one of the thousands of new enrollees (91,600 signed up between November 15th and December 11th) or are just looking to renew your existing policy, take advantage of these extra days to make sure you are getting comprehensive coverage for the lowest premiums.

To speak with a certified Covered California agent, contact Bernardini & Donovan Insurance Services, located in Redlands, today. Our team is committed to securing the best health insurance coverage for you at the most competitive rates in the industry. For all of your Southern California health insurance needs, connect with our team during this open enrollment period to get the peace of mind that comes with great coverage and avoiding Obamacare penalty fees.

When it comes to your health, you want to ensure that you will be protected no matter what unforeseen health problem may come your way. In order to do so, you must purchase a health care plan. It can be difficult to find a comprehensive plan that fits nicely into your budget. The Marketplace offers a variety of health care plans that benefit most individuals.

As of November, open enrollment 2015 is currently in session. Millions of Americans are navigating the Marketplace, attempting to evaluate their health care needs. The deadline by which you must select your health plan is February 15th, 2015. Even if you are well aware of this deadline, there is always the chance that life throws you a curveball, and you miss it. If this happens, what should you do?

First things first, do not stress! Here is some information about the Obamacare offseason that may put your mind at ease:

  • Do not cast away your incomplete application in despair! You should continue to complete your application, even if the deadline has passed. The administration has been known to make exceptions for special circumstances.
  • If you happen to have recently gotten married, divorced, or adopted a child, you may qualify for a special enrollment period.
  • Consider enrolling in Medicaid. There is no deadline for Medicaid enrollment.
  • If you were turned down for a special enrollment period, and believe that the decision was made unfairly, you can make an appeal. Visit the HealthCare.gov website to learn more about the appeal process.
  • Consider purchasing a health care plan through the private market.

For more information about open enrollment 2015, deadlines, or private health care plans, please contact a Certified Covered California agent from Bernardini & Donovan Insurance Services, located in Redlands California. We have the experience necessary to assist you with all of your health care needs.

November is in full swing, and you may be feeling the stresses associated with choosing the correct health care plan. Luckily, you do not have to go through this alone. The insurance professionals at Bernardini & Donovan Insurance Services in Redlands are here for you!

We can help to alleviate some of the pressure, and make open enrollment much easier. Our brokers can assist you with navigating the Marketplace, and providing a number of additional benefits. Here are a few reasons why you should not attempt to steer through the complex open enrollment process without the assistance of a Certified Covered California Broker:

  • Your insurance broker will be able to tell if you qualify for certain savings that you may otherwise be unaware of!
  • The Marketplace is full of an overwhelming amount of information. Unless you are a health care pro, it will take you hours upon hours to fully grasp, and find all of the information you need. A broker can help expedite this process. Time is money, and we are sure that you would appreciate a few extra hours to use elsewhere.
  • Brokers earn their living by making sure that you are satisfied. They will not stop working until you have a plan that fits perfectly into your lifestyle, and budget.
  • If you fail to work with a broker, you risk settling on a plan that is not comprehensive enough to cover you in your time of need.

In order to locate a Certified Covered California broker in Redlands California, please give the insurance professionals at Bernardini & Donovan Insurance Services a call! We offer a number of health plans for individuals, families, groups, those with critical illnesses, children, and more. One of our licensed agents will gladly provide you with a free quote, and can promise that you will not have to sacrifice comprehensive coverage for price!