What Are Your Options During Open Enrollment:

open enrollment

Insurance EnrollmentTis the season for giving thanks, festive gatherings, and open enrollment! This is the time in which you have the option to either make changes to your health insurance plan or to switch it out with a new one. So, as we approach 2020, be sure to evaluate your healthcare needs, your coverage plan, and your available options.

When is Open Enrollment?

The period in which open enrollment takes place depends on how you get your insurance. For Medicare recipients, open enrollment spans October 15th to December 7th. Individual plan enrollment extends between November 1st to January 31st. However, if you’d like for you plan to be effective on January 1st, you must enroll by December 15th. Medicare begins from October 15th until December 7th. And if your employer covers you, this period varies and depends on your company.

If you are covered by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), open enrollment is dependent on your state. So if you live in California, this period spans from November 1st until January 31st. Finally, if you are eligible and would like to opt for Medicare or the Children’s Health Insurance Program, you can enroll at any time of the year. See if you qualify for either of these programs here. 

Your Health Insurance Options During Open Enrollment: 

  1. Renew your current policy if needed. You have the option to keep your current health insurance if you are satisfied with your coverage. In this case, you may not need to do anything during open enrollment. However, be sure to look out for any changes to your policy. In the case of modifications, consider how they might affect your particular coverage needs. And if you find that you do require change, open enrollment is the ideal time to do so.
  2. Buy an individual plan. You can do this through a marketplace or via an individual policy provider. If you decide to sign up on the marketplace exchange in California, you must qualify for the tax subsidies that will assist in paying for your premiums. Your family size and income determine your eligibility for this.
  3. Make changes to an employer-based group plan. Most people are insured through their employers. In this case, open enrollment will not affect you. That’s because this season will only pertain to the government-run marketplaces and the Affordable Care Act plans. However, you will need to sign up or renew your coverage during the particular time in which your company has its own open enrollment. Each company will have its own specified renewal dates. Your responsibility at this time is dependent on the policies of your employer. Some will automatically renew your coverage every year, while others will ask you to sign up each time. Also, keep in mind that employer health care providers change with some consistency, so make sure you know what you’ll receive with each change.
  4. Change your medicare plan. If you’d like to opt for different coverage within your medicare plan, do so during open enrollment (from October 15th to December 7th for medicare.) The open enrollment period that is specific to government-run marketplaces will not affect you.
  5. If you are not satisfied with the health coverage plan you initially selected, there is one more opportunity for you to make changes to your plan.  This comes during the year’s final open enrollment, happening January 1st until March 31st.

Open enrollment and all things insurance are a common source of holiday headaches. But don’t let the complicated slew of options get you down this season. For all of your insurance inquiries and needs, do not hesitate to call on us at Bernardini and Donovan. We are experts in health care coverage and are here to care for you and your family. Reach out today!

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It’s That Time of Year Again

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.

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I Missed The Open Enrollment Deadline! What Now?

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.

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4 Clear Advantages Of Working With A Broker During Open Enrollment 2015

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!

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“Metal Level” Insurance Categories: Explained!

Open enrollment 2015 is finally upon us! Now is the time to be consumed with thoughts of health care in order to financially prepare yourself for the future. If you are preparing for the important decision of selecting your new health plan, you are probably aware that there are a number of different insurance categories to choose from. The categories differ based on how medical expenses will be shared between you and your plan.

Five main categories currently exist, and are known in the health care world as “metal levels”. The different levels take an individual’s monthly premium, coinsurance, copay, deductible, and out-of-pocket maximum into consideration. Here is a break down of the metal levels:

  • With a bronze level plan, you will pay approximately 40%, while your health plan will cover 60%.
  • In a silver plan, the costs are split into 70%, and 30%. You will pay the 30%, and your health care plan will pay about 70%.
  • With a gold level plan, you will only pay about 20%! Your health plan will cover the remaining 80%!
  • A platinum level health plan will pay all but 10%. The remaining 10% will be up to you.
  • Catastrophic coverage plans are only applicable for individuals under the age of 30! Those with this type of plan will also need to qualify for a hardship exemption. Catastrophic coverage plans pay under 60% of health expenses.

In order to choose the right plan for your needs, at a price that you can afford, you must consult with a Certified Covered California Broker. These individuals have the experience necessary to provide you with quality health care advice. Contact Bernardini & Donovan Insurance Services to get in contact with a broker, and make the open enrollment process much easier!

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Important Open Enrollment 2015 Deadlines!

2014 is quickly coming to a close! The middle of November has passed, which means we are in the midst of open enrollment season. If you have not already taken the time to evaluate your current, and future health care needs, now is the time to do so. Knowing what you do and do not need in a health plan will make the selection process much easier.

In order to secure your new health plan, you need to make sure you meet the appropriate deadlines. You are only allowed to go 3 months with a gap in your coverage before you will be ordered to pay an expensive fine. In order to avoid this, and save yourself some time and money, familiarize yourself with these important dates:

  • Open enrollment 2015 officially begins on November 15th of 2014.
  • The final day to enroll for a health plan that will kick in on January 1st, 2015 is December 31st, 2014.
  • All health plans purchased through the 2014 Marketplace will cease to be effective beginning December 31st, 2014.
  • January 1st, 2015 is the first date that new health coverage can begin.
  • Open enrollment 2015 will close on February 15th, 2015.

Make sure that you do not miss any of these crucial deadlines. Do not take the risk of being under or uninsured for any amount of time. You will surely regret it when you are in the face of a health care-related emergency!

The best way to navigate the 2015 Marketplace is to first contact a Certified Covered California Broker. These individuals have the knowledge and experience necessary to guide you through the complex, and often confusing world of health care. They can dispense quality advice that will make choosing the right plan for you much easier. Certified Covered California Brokers can even find ways to save you money! Please contact Bernardini & Donovan Insurance Services to speak with a licensed agent today!

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