You Have Enrolled In A Plan, But Want To Switch…What Now?

Being a first-time health care policy owner can be stressful, and confusing! What happens if you select a health plan, and then decide that you wish to change it? Are you out of luck, or is there something you can do? We are here to help answer your questions like these! Here are a few pieces of enlightening health care information:

  • You are allowed to change your plan, as long as it falls within the open enrollment window, which spans from November 15th, 2014 to February 15th, 2015.
  • There may be an overlap period where you will live with your previously selected health care plan before your second choice plan kicks in. It is smart to discuss this time period with an insurance agent who specializes in health care.
  • To change your health plan during the open enrollment period, your first step should be to log into your online marketplace account.
  • Next, you should navigate through the “My Plans and Programs” section, to the “End/Terminate All Coverage” tab. Click “Eligibility & Appeals”, then “Continue to Enrollment” where you are welcome to compare and contrast different health plans that you are eligible for.
  • Pay attention to the start date of your policy once you reach a decision.
  • If you have troubles with the process, you should get in contact with one of our certified Covered California agents here at Bernardini & Donovan’s Insurance Services to help you find the right plan for you!

We hope this information has eased your mind if you think you may want to change your plan before the enrollment period is over. If you have health care questions that need answers, please get in touch with the skilled insurance agents at Bernadini & Donovan Insurance, located in Redlands! We are an experienced insurance agency who cannot wait to fulfill all of your healthcare needs!

3 Advantages Of Teaming Up With A Health Insurance Agent!

With November on our tails, we will soon be consumed with thoughts of health coverage. The time has come to sit down, and critically evaluate our current and future health care needs. Finding the right coverage is an art of sorts. You want to make sure you can afford the plan, but that the plan will do its job in keeping you adequately covered. In order to master this art, you will need to team up with a health insurance agent. Here are just a few of the many reasons why this is a good idea:

  • The open enrollment process is only a couple of years old. While many adjustments have been made to make online enrollment less challenging, it is not a guarantee that all individuals will not run into technical difficulties. A certified Covered California agent here at Bernardini & Donovan Insurance Services is well versed in the process, and can help you overcome any speed bumps you may encounter.
  • Many individuals take less than 15 minutes to evaluate their options for a plan, and settle before thoroughly understanding how their decision could affect their life. An agent will not let you make this hasty, and unwise decision.
  • Health insurance agents have years of experience with health care, and are familiar with scenarios where an individual’s coverage was not enough. They can use this expertise to guide you in the right direction, and ensure you are not taking any risks.

You need a certified and experienced insurance agent to guide you through the process. Their assistance can help you to avoid overpaying for your plan, or having to settle for less coverage than you need. Never sacrifice coverage for price when collaborating with an agent! Please reach out to the experienced insurance professionals at Bernadini & Donovan Insurance for any assistance you may need.

Open Enrollment 2015: Where To Start?

With open enrollment 2015 right around the corner, you may be stressed out, especially if this is your first time applying for health coverage. However, there is no need to fret! We are here to break down the process and help you understand the often-confusing subject of health care. Here are a few useful tidbits of information to help ease your mind:

  • The only way to apply for health care before November 15th is to qualify for a Special Enrollment Period.
  • Your current health coverage will end on December 31st of 2014 if it was purchased prior to November 15th, 2014.
  • To apply online for health coverage, you will first need to make an account. Be prepared with a username and password that are secure, and memorable.
  • You can begin filling out your application on the 15th of November.
  • Be prepared to answer questions regarding your income, current health plan, how many individuals are in your household, and more.
  • After your application has been filed, you will be presented with the coverage options that you are eligible to take advantage of.
  • Once you have evaluated your options, you should select the plan that best suits your lifestyle.
  • Your next and last step is to enroll in the plan of your choice, and to pay your first premium before the payment is overdue.
  • Get in touch with one of one of our certified Covered California agents here at Bernardini & Donovan Insurance Services to help you through the process!

We hope that these tips have proven useful to you! For any additional answers to your health insurance questions, contact the insurance professionals at Bernardini & Donovan Insurance Services, located in Redlands! We cannot wait to assist you, today!


How To Prep For Open Enrollment 2015!

Before we know it, November will be nipping at our heels! Along with November comes Open Enrollment 2015! It is time to start thinking about your health insurance needs. During this time, you have the opportunity to adjust your current health insurance policy, or purchase a new one altogether. Being prepared for open enrollment now, will lead to less stress headaches come November. Here are a few things to think about before next month rolls around:

  • Be prepared to have the addresses for every individual that will be covered under your policy.
  • You will need to have your social security number on hand.
  • If you are a legal immigrant, you should have your immigration documents handy.
  • Be prepared with your pay stubs or W-2 forms to verify your employment and income status.
  • Try to find an estimate of your household income for the last year.
  • Be equipped with the insurance policy of your existing health coverage.
  • If you or anyone in your household is eligible for an employer-sponsored health plan, you should complete the employer coverage tool prior to open enrollment.
  • Make sure you know the start and end dates for open enrollment. The first day is November 15th, 2014 and open enrollment ends on February 15th, 2015. Make sure you do not miss any of the deadlines!
  • Contact your certified Covered California agent at Bernardini & Donovan Insurance!

If you still have questions about the open enrollment process, or your current health insurance, please contact the trusted agents at Bernardini & Donovan Insurance! We are located in Redlands, California, and are prepared to find you a comprehensive health plan that meets all of your needs. As healthcare continues to increase in price, so does your need for an advocate in the health insurance world. Let us be your advocate, and contact us, today!

ACA Extension to Individual Health Insurance “Keep Your Plan” Rules

Responding to intense consumer (and voter) allegations of promises not kept, the Obama administration announced another extension for those wanting to keep current individual and small group health insurance plans. People can keep current, non-compliant coverage plans for the next two years. During Congressional debate about adopting the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the President promised Americans "if you like your current plan, you can keep it."

However, as the implementation date of the ACA approached, the White House changed its position. After many insurance companies issued termination notices, in November 2013, to insured people and groups, the President allowed a one-year extension of non-compliant healthcare plans.

However, consumer and small employer dissatisfaction continued. In March 2014, the White House announced a further extension increase from one to two years. The Department of Health and Human Services, Treasury Department and the IRS have issued "regulatory guidance" to help you understand this latest policy change.

The two-year extension to the Affordable Care Act allows you to keep otherwise non-compliant plans through October 1, 2016. This applies to both individual health insurance and small group health insurance plans already in force.

For more information about changes in the Affordable Care Act, contact Bernardini & Donovan Insurance in the Redlands, California area. Their professionals can explain these confusing changes, in simple English, in small group and individual health insurance plans. Bernardini & Donovan Insurance Services understands these ACA changes and can help you comply with ACA requirements.

Contact a Certified Covered California Agent Today!

If you are one of the millions of Californians in need of health insurance, you should consider a certified agent as your go-to for the numerous questions you might have lingering about the Affordable Care Act or Covered California.

Certified agents are trained and subsequently certified to help you with your individual or small group health insurance needs.  They know the state and federal laws better than anyone, and are ready to answer any quandaries you might have.

Additionally, since certified agents are registered through Covered California, you can verify the identity of the individual you are working with before you hand over your sensitive personal information.  This is just one more way to protect yourself from predators who lurk amidst the insurance system.  The Covered California Service Center is always available for this kind of verification via their business office: (800) 300-1506.

For more information about individual health insurance or small group health insurance in Covered California, contact a certified agent at Bernardini & Donovan Insurance

Open Enrollment Deadline Looms: Make Certain You’re Covered

The Affordable Care Act has made healthcare available to anyone who needs it and has created penalties for those not enrolled in a healthcare policy.  Make certain that you’re not fined for failing to acquire the proper insurance in 2014; check your coverage before the March 31st open enrollment deadline.

After March 31st, you will have to wait until the next open enrollment period to enroll in, or change, a policy.  You also risk paying a fine for failing to acquire insurance.  This is particularly important if you have a family; you’ll want to make certain that you are covered in the event of an emergency before the emergency occurs.  The last thing you need in a stressful situation is to find out that your coverage isn’t what you thought it would be.

For more information about individual health insurance or Covered California, contact a certified agent with Bernardini & Donovan Insurance

Individual and Family Health Insurance: The Value of Using an Agent

With 2014 just around the corner, and everyone being required to have health insurance or pay a fine, many individuals all over the country are trying to figure out the best plan for them and/or their family. Unfortunately, it’s no easy task with so many different insurance companies and health insurance plans out there. Because of this, many are turning to a professional agent for help.

Why would someone need the help of an agent? An agent can be very helpful when trying to find the best health insurance plan, especially when you’ve never shopped for insurance before or are not very familiar with insurance terms. The value of an agent is truly indescribable.

You see, when you purchase individual health insurance from your place of employment, there is an individual on-site that can answer any questions you have. A professional agent can do the same when you are purchasing on your own. An agent can help you fill out the initial application for health coverage and can even assist in filing of claims in the future. Should you be turned down for insurance from one company, an agent can assist you in the next steps – something you may otherwise not have known.

If you need assistance in choosing family or individual health insurance, contact Bernardini & Donovan Insurance Services to speak to a certified Covered California agent that can help ensure you choose the right plan for yourself and/or your entire family based on plan details, cost and your personal situation.

If I Buy My Own Insurance, Do I Need to Work with an Exchange?

As the Affordable Care Act takes effect, more people will be looking into purchasing their policies from an exchange. This does not, however, limit your choices. You are free to buy your own individual health insurance on the private market if you so choose.

Getting coverage on the private market has its advantages and disadvantages. If you already have coverage, you can simply extend your grandfathered policy to meet the new health insurance requirements. Grandfathered policies may not offer all the benefits of newer Obamacare plans, but premium costs are lower and they do meet many people’s current health care needs.  Not all insurance companies have maintained grandfathered plans, so you may be forced to purchase Obamacare plans if you wish to remain insured.

You can also buy a policy off the exchange if you’re getting health coverage for the first time. You will need to research plans and prices to ensure you get suitable coverage at an affordable price. One disadvantage of buying a policy on the private market is that you cannot qualify for government subsidies. If your income makes you eligible for these benefits, an exchange-based policy can help you save on health care costs.

If you have questions about the exchange, the certified agents at Bernardini & Donovan Insurance Services are here to help guide you through the exchange to make sure you get the coverage you need.


Individual Health Insurance: How will Covered California make it easier for me to compare different health plans?

Covered California is a health insurance marketplace, which will make it easier individuals to compare an array of qualified health plans from private insurance companies. The marketplace will allow you to shop for individual health insurance through Covered California exchanges online, over the phone or in person to select the perfect insurance option for your budget and health needs.

How will Covered California allow me to compare individual health insurance plans?

There will be four levels of coverage offered:

  • Bronze
  • Silver
  • Gold
  • Platinum

With the increase in ranking, the medical expenses covered in each category go up, with platinum being the highest ranked, making it compare plans in the same category or across categories.

For expenses happening at the time of receiving health care services – doctor visits or emergency room trips, for example, the health plans covering more medical expenses tend to have lower costs when receiving care but a higher monthly payment.

You can choose to pay a lower monthly cost and pay more when you need medical care, or a higher monthly cost so that when medical care is needed, you pay less. You are able to choose the level of coverage that best suits your personal budget and needs.

Finding the perfect individual health care insurance plan can be confusing. For more information about how individual insurance through Covered California can benefit you and your family, contact the Redlands insurance experts at Bernardini & Donovan Insurance Services.

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