Tag Archives: health insurance

Will they, Won't they

Will They, Won’t They – Immunization Edition

If you’ve ever dipped your toe into the vaccination debate you are bound to find some highly impassioned arguments. Each side will call out logical fallacies and pull out research to prove their points. In this blog, we will talk about the objections that are given over getting your child vaccinated.

Parents who chose to not get their children vaccinated will cite research that shows that vaccines have a higher chance of not helping your child become immunized but will instead infect the child.

They will also point out that illnesses that have been wiped out by vaccinations were already in decline by the time the vaccine was invented. For example, polio was already in vast decline because of better hygiene and understanding of how illnesses spread before the vaccine was made public. They will point out that vaccines not only have trace amounts of the bacteria or virus but will also have toxins like formaldehyde or mercury.

But probably the most talked about aspect of vaccine objections is the subject of autism.

In its shortest form, the argument is that vaccines cause autism. Parents may even know a couple who had a happy and healthy child who was vaccinated and changed drastically after the injection. The child has now been diagnosed with autism. While there are many different studies that have shown that there is no direct correlation between vaccinations and autism, this fear has kept many parents from choosing to get their child vaccinated. The theory behind vaccinations is that they are perfectly safe and will help your child from getting a terrible illness. However, many parents are not willing to risk the livelihood of their child on a theory.

Every parent loves their child and wants the best for them. When it comes to vaccines, you need to make the best decision for your child. Talk to your friends, talk to your doctor, talk to your partner, do your research, be informed.  We are in no way trying to pose an opinion in the blog and just want to look at this issue. We care about the health and wellness of all of our clients and hope to help you find the best healthcare for your needs.

Immunizations & What They're For

Immunizations & What They’re For

Immunizations have caused quite a stir in the last past and in some circles are still a point of contention.

An immunization is actually the end product but is synonymous with a vaccine. A vaccine usually comes in the form of an injection that includes small amounts of a bacteria, virus or lab-based protein. The idea behind vaccinations is that when a small amount of this harmful bacteria or virus is injected, the body’s immune system is triggered. It starts to create antibodies that will fight off whatever was in the injection. That way if the person should come in contact with a full-blown strain of the disease the body is more prepared to fight it off or completely keep the body from being overwhelmed by the illness.

 

The majority of people who are given vaccines are children from the ages of 0-6.

During that time, most children will receive a vaccine for Hepatitis B, Rotavirus, Diptheria, Tetanus, Pertussis, Haemophilus influenza type B, Pneumococcal, Poliovirus, Influenza, Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Chickenpox, and Hepatitis A. The reason that these are given to children is because there was a period of time not that long ago when thousands of children would suffer or die from these diseases each year. With the invention of the vaccine for these infections, many of them have become obsolete like the mumps, smallpox or polio. Another reason why these vaccines are recommended is that it is more cost effective to prevent a disease than to treat it. Most of these are highly infectious diseases and to treat a mass amount of people infected by these is very expensive.

While many of you may be aware of the mechanics of immunizations you may have also heard that there is a movement of people who do not want to give their children vaccines. To read more about this topic, please read our next blog “Will They, Won’t They.”

At Bernardini & Donovan, we are dedicated to giving you more information about your health and your health care. If you have any questions about your health care insurance please feel free to call us.

when to see a doctor

When to see a Doctor

Whenever you start to get that scratchy throat or a runny nose; there’s always a moment that you have to decide if it’s time to go to the doctor or wait it out. Do your symptoms need to be treated with some antibiotics or is your immune system strong enough to fight it? If you go to the doctor and get drugs that you don’t need you can be contributing to an antibiotic immunity. However, if you have a bacterial cold, antibiotics will help cut your time sick quickly. So when do you know that you need to go to the doctor?

You should go to the doctor if you….

Have a high fever. 

For adults, a low-grade fever ranges around 100.8. But if you are experiencing a temperature of 102 or higher, than it is likely that your body is fighting off something that is stronger than a cold and you should be looked at by a professional.

Have a cough that lasts over ten days. 

It is most likely because you have a postnasal drip, but it could be indicative of other issues like asthma or GERD. In either case, it is best to see your doctor.

Feel like you have been hit by a truck.

If your illness has made it hard for you to get out of bed, then you may need to see a professional. The winter cold virus can produce body aches; however, if the experience is more along the lines of exhaustion or general weakness, then it is best to go to the doctor’s office. You could have the flu, and there are treatments for that illness.

Have a severe headache. 

Most headaches can be solved if you take a couple of over the counter pain relievers. But If you are having a hard time concentrating and always seem to have a fuzzy or hazy feeling, then this could be a sign of meningitis and should see your doctor right away.

If you need to see your doctor more often than you were expecting when you signed up for health insurance, please make sure to make a note of it and speak to us. We can help you find the best health insurance for your needs during open enrollment.

when to change your plan

When to change our plan

Its July now, and for many of us, we have had our current health insurance plans for seven months out of the year. This timeline has walked us through flu season, allergy season and an extended enough period to get a good read on whether or not your current health insurance plan is a good fit. At this time of year, we always recommend going back over your year and checking off your health needs.How many times did you need to go to Urgent Care?

How many times did you go to the Emergency Room?

How many times did you need to visit a specialist?

How many times did you need to visit your doctor?

Was there any unexpected change to your health this year?

Were there any diagnoses that would potentially need extended lasting care?

All of these questions can have a significant impact on the type of insurance that is best for you and your family. For example, let’s say that you have a Bronze level plan which is known for their low monthly premiums but high costs when you need care. In this last year, you have gone to urgent care more than expected and required more time with your family’s doctor. This plan would not be very affordable for you as you are continuing to pay more out of pocket with each doctor’s visit and care that was provided.

If you have seen significant changes in your health or your family’s health, now is an excellent time to make a note of it. You cannot make changes to your health insurance plan unless there is a qualifying life experience (lose current coverage, changes in household…). But you can make a note of how many times you paid out of pocket for care. If this number is significant enough, we recommend talking to us during open enrollment to change your plan. With information like this written down, we can help you find the best health insurance plans for your needs and finances. Please feel free to call us at any time of the year for any guidance on your health insurance needs.

your kids are covered

Your Kids are Covered

We care about our kids. It’s a natural response. There is something instinctive that kicks in to protect and provide for our children. One of the ways that we want to provide for our kids is to ensure that they have access to see the doctor. Not only when they come home with a rattling cough, but also for yearly check-ups and immunizations. We want them to have access to a dentist for regular check-ups and to ensure that if they have any cavities that they are being addressed now and not turning into a more significant issue. But in wanting to provide all of this for our children, we can run into problems of finances and health insurance coverage. If you are having a hard time providing insurance coverage for your children, there are some options available to you.

 

Medi-Cal and CHIP
These programs provide low cost or no cost health insurance coverage for children in California. These programs take into account your income to help determine the price. For some families, the parents may receive their health insurance through an employer but to add their children to the plan is a significant increase. Sometimes, your children can qualify for health coverage through these programs at a much-reduced rate.

 

Children Only Health Insurance Plans
There are lots of different plans available for children. These programs usually cover check-ups, baby care, school and sports screening and sometimes immunizations. The benefit of these plans is that your child is receiving care ahead of time so they are less likely to get very sick and the doctors aren’t playing catch up after a cold has taken root. These plans usually come in HMO, ECO and PPO formats. Each one has their pros and cons.

 

If you have more questions about health insurance coverage for your kids, please make sure to call us. We are the health insurance experts and can help answer all of your questions.
college students & healthcare

What College Students Need to know about Healthcare

College is an exciting season in one’s life. You are embarking on your first steps of adulthood and walking into higher learning. For many, it is the first time they had to do their laundry or figure out a budgeting system. Baby steps people. One aspect that isn’t discussed that often is a college student’s need for health insurance. It is just as important as getting your textbooks or making sure that your schedule has no early morning classes. While college students do tend to be in the best stages of their health, many incidents can happen during college years that make health insurance a necessity. You can never predict when there may be an accident and you get hurt. Health insurance does help pay for any doctor’s visits for a cold, and it can help pay for mental health care and with any care need for STD’s or pregnancy.

 

If you are a dependent and under the age of 26, you can still be covered under your parent’s health care coverage. This can be especially helpful if you are staying in the same state to attend college. You will still have access to all of your regular providers. If you are attending school outside of the state that your parents live in, it would be advisable to research the care that is available in that state and make sure that your health insurance will cover your basic needs. Many students do come home and have their doctor appointments while on break, but if an accident should happen it is good to know where you would go to get care.

 

Many schools also offer health care options for their students. These are known as Student Health Insurance Plans (SHIP). This can be very helpful for many students because they can use their financial aid to help pay for their health care premiums. With the programs, many schools have made medical care available on campus which is very convenient. It is also essential to compare the cost of these programs with other marketplace programs because you do want to ensure that you are not spending more money than is necessary for the services rendered.

 

Please contact us if you have any questions about college students and their health insurance needs.
IEHP vs. Molina

IEHP vs. Molina

If you live in the Inland Empire and have needed access to health care but because of your income have had a hard time affording specific marketplace plans you may have come across IEHP or Molina. Both of these institutions are here for the same reason, to provide health services to people regardless of their socioeconomic status. Here’s a little bit more information on each of these companies.

IEHP:

“Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP) is a not-for-profit Medi-Cal and Medicare health plan headquartered in Rancho Cucamonga, California. We are the largest health plan in the Inland Empire, and one of the fastest-growing health plans in the nation. With a network of more than 6,000 Providers and 2,000 Team Members, we provide comprehensive managed health care coverage to more than 1.2 million residents of Riverside and San Bernardino counties. “ https://ww3.iehp.org/en/about-iehp/

IEHP is known for their large selection of doctors, providing overall healthhttps://ww3.iehp.org/en/about-iehp/ options including wellness information, and always looking for quality over quantity in the type of support and healthcare that they offer.

Molina:
Molina’s mission is to treat every person they interact with as though they are interacting with family. Started in 1980 by Dr. David Molina who noticed that low-income families were coming in for care but were lacking necessary information and not getting the right care initially. What started as a low-income clinic grew to a large company that provides coverage in 13 states with 3.5 million members.

Both of these companies are dedicated to providing the best care options for their members. If you need to decide which company is a better fit for you, make sure to look at what doctors are available to accept new clients in your area. There may be plenty of doctors to choose from, but while a doctor may take IEHP or Molina, they may not be accepting any new patients. But both companies are known for treating their members exceptionally well.

If you have questions about your health care coverage, please feel free to call us. We are the healthcare experts and are happy to answer any questions that you may have.

Pros and Cons of Kaiser
Kaiser Permanente is one of the staples of our local health providers.

They have recently built a facility in Redlands and continue to provide health services to our community. But bringing up the name Kaiser Permanente can come with some very mixed results. You’ll find people who love Kaiser and feel that they have never experienced better or more organized care. You’ll also find people with vitriol and fury in their descriptions of the healthcare company. This may be because of the unique type of business model that Kaiser holds to, which is different than any other health provider.

Kaiser not only provides health care through doctors, nurses and specialists; they also provide the health insurance to help pay for that care.

Medical health insurance that is purchased through them makes all of their doctors and facilities available to you. However, you will not have access to anyone outside of their care. If it is an emergency situation, they will cover attention that was received at another hospital.

It is this system that makes people have such polarizing opinions on Kaiser.

For many, they experience a system with a lot of ease. All of your medical records are accessible and ready at any time to any doctor that you may see. The costs are usually lower than other health insurance and care providers. They are dedicated to providing your excellent, whole health care. Their website states “Kaiser Permanente was founded on the radically simple idea that everyone deserves the chance to live a healthy life. That’s why you can find high-quality care and coverage in one place.” But on the rare case that you become ill with something that their specialists cannot find an answer to, and if there is another specialist outside of their system who could better treat you, it is not likely that it would be approved.

We hope that this light perusal of Kaiser Permanente has been helpful. If you ever have questions about your health insurance and what it covers, please always feel free to call us at Bernardini and Donovan.

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.