It’s Time To Get Health Insurance

It’s Time To Get Health Insurance text overlaying image of a woman holding up a clockWhen it comes to health insurance, most people don’t even think about getting it until they need it. This is because most people are fixated on how expensive health insurance can be. Choosing to wait until you need it rather than getting it while you’re healthy and being prepared can have some serious consequences. What if you get into an accident and don’t have health insurance? If you need surgeries or medical care then you’re stuck footing a pretty massive bill entirely out of pocket. Large medical bills can even bankrupt you! This is just one of many reasons you need to get health insurance sooner rather than later. Below we’re going to look at all the benefits of being prepared for unexpected medical emergencies with health insurance.

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Free Services

Let’s start simple, health insurance doesn’t just help you pay for medical bills. It also comes with free benefits built into your plan that help keep you healthy and can help prevent some of those medical emergencies. Typically, your health insurance plan will offer free services such as:

 

  • Annual physical exams
  • Routine blood work
  • Cancer screenings
  • Blood glucose tests
  • Vaccines
  • Blood pressure monitoring
  • Blood cholesterol monitoring

These services might seem unnecessary when you’re healthy, but if you’d like to stay that way they’re important. These free services help catch diseases and medical conditions before they’re critical (or fatal). The earlier you catch health complications the easier it is to get treated and back to normal. If you hold off on health insurance you could end up sick without care and unnecessarily have to suffer through symptoms when a quick trip to the doctor could have either prevented it or given you symptom relief immediately.

Health Insurance Saves You Money

Health insurance doesn’t just protect your health but it also actually protects your bank account. We know what you’re thinking, “How would it save me money when I’m paying so much money for a premium?”. By having an insurance plan you’ll actually have less out-of-pocket healthcare costs, since your plan will cover significant portions of your medical costs. Not to mention, staying healthy keeps your healthcare cheaper. Consider for a moment how much you would have to pay out of pocket for an unexpected medical emergency. Medical bills can easily cost hundreds to thousands of dollars.

 

Take a broken arm for example, a simple fracture that doesn’t need surgery can cost about $2,500 without insurance,but with surgery that fracture goes up to around $16,000. That’s a lot of money for just one medical emergency. Not to mention health insurance itself is actually cheaper to buy when you’re healthy because you’re not as much of a risk to insure.

Staying On Top Of Medical Conditions

Unfortunately, many Americans suffer from a disease like diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, COPD, or even cancer. Even the healthiest person can suddenly develop a disease, especially if it’s hereditary. You need healthcare in order to control or prevent them from getting worse. Some diseases if left untreated can also start to cause you to develop other illnesses or compromise your immune system, making it harder for you to fight off even the slightest illness like the common cold. Without health insurance, prescriptions, treatments, doctor visits, and hospital stays that are linked to a medical condition can cost tens of thousands of dollars. Your health insurance makes sure that you don’t go broke while trying to care for these health problems. 

 

In addition, the Affordable Care Act requires Marketplace plans to cover pre-existing conditions. This means that even if you already have a diagnosis, you can’t be denied coverage or charged extra just because you have a condition. Since you’ll have access to all the care you need, your health insurance plan helps manage your care for any chronic illnesses you have.

Family Planning

If you plan to start a family, even if it’s not anytime soon, health insurance is a must. Having health insurance before starting a family gives you access to maternity appointments, vaccinations and hospitalizations you’ll need throughout yours or your spouse’s pregnancy. Medical costs linked to pregnancy can easily reach $10,000 and higher. Not to mention, it’s so much easier to simply add your newborn to your existing health plan. Your new baby will immediately have health insurance and you’ll never have to worry about pediatrician bills. Plus as children age they tend to need a lot of healthcare, they can get hurt or sick easily while their immune systems develop, especially once they hit school age. Trust us, flu season is no joke for kindergarteners, you don’t want to be caught without health insurance when it hits.

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Protects You Between Jobs

If you get health insurance through your employer, then unexpectedly losing or having to leave your job can be difficult. When you stop working there, you lose all those health benefits as well. Nonetheless, it doesn’t have to be hard. If you lose your job you may actually qualify for a Special Enrollment Period, so you won’t have to wait for the annual Open Enrollment Period to enroll. This ensures you don’t have to go months without coverage.

 

Another option for small gaps in coverage are short-term health plans. Instead of enrolling in a year-long plan, short-term health plans give you access to health insurance for a few months to make sure you’re always covered, even if you only need it for a little while. They are inexpensive and provide all the essential health benefits during the policy. However, it’s important to note every state handles short term health plans differently. State’s have their own guidelines about how long you can have a short term health plan, and some state’s don’t even allow them to be sold. To learn more about how short term health plans work in your state check out our state by state health insurance guides here

Which Plan Is Best For You?

Let’s take a look at your options for health insurance plans. There are so many options you’re sure to find one that works for you and within your budget. With health insurance there are two main decisions you need to make, which plan type and which metal tier you want. 

Plan Types

HMOs, PPOs, EPOs, and POS plans are your main types of health insurance. Don’t worry we’ll explain the alphabet soup below. The type of plan you select will determine what your out-of-pocket costs are as well as what your provider options are.

Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs)

This type of health plan typically restricts your coverage to care from their in-network providers. It will only cover out-of-network care during an emergency. They also usually require you to live within their service area. Don’t worry too much about the service area, there’s plenty of companies to go around, no matter where you live you’ll find a plan. With an HMO you select a primary care provider (PCP) who will coordinate all of your care and provide referrals to specialists when you need them. 

Preferred Provider Organizations (PPOs)

Just like HMOs, PPOs have a group of contracted doctors and providers that make up their network. However, with PPOs you do also get some coverage for out-of-network care as well. Although, seeing in-network providers saves you more money since your plan will cover more of these services. PPOs don’t require you to choose a PCP the way HMOs do and you don’t need referrals to see specialists. So, you’ll be in charge of coordinating all of your own care with this plan.

Exclusive Provider Organizations (EPOs)

EPOs also provide you with access to a network of participating providers, with the exception of emergency situations, the majority of EPO plans do not cover out-of-network care. You may or may not be required to choose a PCP, based on your plan. In either case, you do not need a referral from your PCP to see a specialist within the plan’s network.

Point-Of-Service (POS)

POS plans combine PPO and HMO characteristics. Similar to an HMO, the provider network for a POS plan is typically smaller than that of a PPO plan, and similar to a PPO plan, in-network care expenses are typically less expensive. In POS plans, you must choose a primary care physician (PCP) from the network of physicians and other primary care specialists. If you have a POS, you must obtain a referral to see a specialist. However, similar to PPO plans, you have the option of seeing either in-network or out-of-network specialists. However, if you visit an out-of-network provider, your portion of the costs will be higher, and you will be responsible for submitting claims.

Metal Tiers

Since The Affordable Care Act went into effect in 2010, traditional health insurance plans are generally purchased through the Marketplace. When you buy a plan through the Marketplace they are separated into 4 categories: Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. The plans in these tiers are categorized based on their price and how much of your health care you are responsible for vs. how much your health plan pays for. 

Bronze

Bronze plans have the cheapest monthly premiums but the highest deductibles and out-of-pocket costs. With a Bronze plan your insurer covers 60% of your medical expenses and you’re responsible for the remaining 40%. Bronze plans are a good option if you don’t use medical services frequently but need a low-cost plan to protect yourself against severe illness and injury. Since the deductible and cost-sharing percentage are both relatively high, you’ll be responsible for the majority of your care.

Silver

Plans at the Silver tier have moderate monthly premiums and out-of-pocket costs. These plans cover 70% of your medical expenses, while you are responsible for the remaining 30%. These plans are an excellent option for those who are willing to pay a bit more to have more of their routine care covered.

Gold

Although Gold plans have high premiums, the out-of-pocket cost of care is lower than that of higher-tier plans. These plans have low deductibles, and your plan will cover 80% of your care while you pay 20%. If you require extensive medical care, a Gold plan may be a suitable option, as it will cover more of your expenses. 

Platinum

The Platinum tier has the highest monthly premiums of all the tiers. However, despite the high premiums, your out-of-pocket expenses will be the lowest of any plan type, and your insurer will pay more of your expenses throughout the year due to the extremely low deductibles. Due to the fact that these plans cover 90% of your medical expenses, they can be a good deal for those in need of numerous medical services.

Get Insured Today With EZ

Although health insurance may appear expensive, it is important to evaluate a plan’s value and how much you will save over time. When comparing the overall cost of health insurance versus the cost of a medical emergency without coverage, it pays to have protection. In the event of a medical emergency, the last thing you want to worry about is finances. Knowing that your loved ones are protected and can seek care, rather than attempting to “ride it out” due to lack of insurance, is priceless. Speaking of priceless, EZ.Insure can help you compare every plan available to you and make sure you stay within your budget, and we do it all for free! To start, simply enter your zip code into the bar below to get your free instant quotes or give one of our licensed agents a call at 877-670-3557.

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The Benefits of Using EZ.Insure

Comparing and finding the best health insurance, Medicare Supplement, or Medicare Advantage plans can be a complicated process. Many people jump around different sites thinking that this will help them get the best price, but they are wrong. Shopping around like this can take up a lot of time , and it gives your information to tons of different companies. At EZ.Insure, we make it quick and easy and we make sure you work with one, and only one, agent who is there to make your life easier. Our purpose is to provide the best products and services at a fair price.

EZ.Insure provides ou something other agencies do not- your own personal agent.
EZ.Insure provides ou something other agencies do not- your own personal agent. No jumping around, and not hassle.

There are many advantages to using EZ.Insure, one being receiving your very own knowledgeable advisor. You will not be bounced around from one agent to the next, instead, you will be assigned to and receive help from just one. Every one of our licensed advisors is highly trained and knowledgeable about your region’s health insurance options. The agent will be able to explain all the benefit options because we make sure to pair you with someone who works in your specific area! Your advisor will assist you in applying for coverage that meets all of your needs, within your budget. Because of these attributes, we assure you the best experience in customer service.

What EZ.Insure offers:

No Obligation– When using EZ.Insure, you can cancel your plan at any time. You can even cancel during the underwriting process, and up to 10 days after you receive your policy. Insurance companies will not charge you until you are approved. Most importantly, you are not obligated to buy a plan until you are ready. You can utilize your personal advisor as much as necessary, to search and compare plans without any obligation to purchase until you are certain you found the right plan.

Protected Privacy– People should never worry about your information being sold or traded when doing business. While some businesses break that ethical code, EZ.Insure does not. We will never sell, trade, or give away your personal information to anyone, unless related to the processing of your application. We ensure confidentiality at all times with the use of advanced privacy technologies.  When you fill out our form along with quotes, you will immediately see the contact information of the agent you are being to assigned to. This ONE agent is the only person that will receive your information so you do not have to worry about dozens of agents calling and competing for your time.

Expanded Choices– EZ.Insure provides a wide selection of plans in your area so you can make the most informed decision for your healthcare needs. We do not benefit from whichever insurance company you choose to use. Our main goal is to provide you with plans from financially secure companies that provide the best service to their members. With all the plans we have to offer, you are sure to find a plan that meets your personal needs.

Our customer's needs are what is important to our team
Our customer’s needs are what is important to our team. EZ.Insure values providing the best plan at the most affordable price.

Fast Quotes– You do not have to wait for a long time to receive a quote, because once you answer a few quick questions, you will instantly get a list of plans to choose from. You can enter your zip code in the bar below to start getting quotes, it’s that simple.

Cost Effective– EZ.Insure can help you find plans with great benefits that cost less, even if you already have coverage. With our agency, you are guaranteed to save money.

At EZ.Insure, we are continuously researching the best information and technology to pass onto our customers. We offer more guidance than any other agency out there with our well equipped and informed agents in the industry. You will never have to worry about being bounced around from agent to agent, or receiving subpar information. Be informed of the top plans for your circumstances with the best price. Why do it the hard way, when you can do it the EZ way?

Start saving time and money by simply entering your zip code above to see quotes now or you can give one of our agents a call at 888-350-1890, or emailing us at replies@ez.insure.

Basic Health Plans Threatened By Federal Cuts

Since President Trump and the Department of Health and Human Services cut cost-sharing reductions in October, some states have brought a lawsuit against the government. The lawsuit centers on the loss of federal funding, which jeopardizes basic health programs.

The Basic Health Program offers an alternative coverage plan for people with household incomes between 133 and 200 percent of the federal poverty level. The ACA included this as an option to make coverage more affordable. New York and Minnesota were the two states in which these programs were offered in order to provide a “standard plan” for those who didn’t qualify for employer coverage or other government programs. It is estimated that they offer comprehensive coverage for more than 800,000 low-income people.

The attorneys general of New York and Minnesota filed the suit against the government for over $1 billion a year lost from funding the basic health programs. The two states estimate that New York will get about $1 billion less funding in 2018 to run its Essential Plan, and Minnesota will get about $130 million less to run MinnesotaCare.

“The abrupt decision to cut these vital funds is a cruel and reckless assault on New York’s families — and we will not allow it,” state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said in a statement trumpeting the suit. “I won’t stand by as the federal government continues to renege on its most basic obligations in a transparent attempt to dismantle the Affordable Care Act.”

“For each dollar Minnesota sends to Washington, D.C., we get just 53 cents back,” Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson said in a statement. “This lawsuit seeks to avoid Minnesota losing hundreds of millions of dollars of payments in the coming years.”

The administration told the states it would stop paying the “cost-sharing reductions component” of the basic health program funding, but continue to pay premium tax credits.

The two states have submitted proposals to restore the funding, but the Department of Health and Human Services failed to answer, and never considered the proposals. Because of this, the two states are asking a judge to intervene in order to force the government to pay the full federal funding.

The fear amongst the two states is that if the federal funding is not restored, and then costs will rise and coverage will shrink. “It could trigger major changes to the eligibility structure, the benefits or increases in premiums,” says Maureen O’Connell, president of Health Access MN, which helps people enroll in marketplace coverage.

Double Check Your 2018 Information Now!

When enrolled in a Marketplace Insurance plan, it is important to make sure your household information is up to date every year. There may be benefits you are missing out on and possible consequences if you do not update.

What Changes To Report

  •         Changes to your income for the year, whether a raise or demotion
  •         Changes in health coverage: Whether someone in the household is getting job-based insurance, and/or receiving public coverage such as Medicaid, CHIP, or Medicare. Also, if someone is losing coverage that is job-based or public.
  •         Changes to your household or individual members:  If there is a birth or adoption, placement of a child for adoption or foster care. If someone becomes pregnant, and/or getting married or divorced. Child turning 26 years old. If there is a death, gaining or losing a dependent, and if you are moving to a permanent address.
  •         Make sure names, date of births, and Social Security numbers are correct
  •         Changes in status: Such as disability status, tax filing status, change in citizenship, whether there is American Indian member, and/or incarceration or released from incarceration.

Why You Should Report The Changes

If your income goes down or you gain a household member, then you may qualify for more saving than you are currently receiving. This can lower your monthly premium payments.

The flip side is if your income goes up or you lose a household member, then you could qualify for fewer savings. If you do not report this change, it will result in owing money when you file your federal tax return.

How To Update

Who you will contact for help is dependent on whether you got your plan from the Marketplace, or from a provider such as EZ.Insure. If you got a plan from one of our agents, you can always call 855-220-1144, or email us at replies@ez.insure to speak to your agent and update your information.

  •         You can report any change by updating your application online after logging into your account on Healthcare.gov. Click on your application, choose “report a life change,” and then save it when done.
  •         Contact a representative at the Marketplace Call Center at 1-800-318-2596. Or call your advisor at EZ.Insure.
  •         If you move to a different state, log onto your account in HealthCare.gov, select a new application; select the year for coverage, and the new state. Finally, choose “apply or renew” to start a new application.
  •         If you are switching to a job-based insurance plan, or to Medicare, make sure to cancel your current plan.

Do not forget to update your 2018 information, because it can cost you in the end when you file your federal tax return. And more importantly, you can possibly lose out on extra savings you should be receiving!

If you are looking for a new plan or have questions regarding your coverage, EZ.Insure can help. Our agents specialize in short term plans in your area and can answer any questions you have to find out if it is right for you. You will be given your own advisor who will go over different plans, and help sign you up free of charge. To start saving, enter your zip code in the bar above to get instant quotes, email us at replies@ez.insure, or call 855-220-1144. We guarantee we will be able to find you a plan that is affordable and meets your needs.

Legal Challenges Ahead For ACA

The Affordable Care Act is once again facing a new challenge, this time by Republican states trying to dismantle it once and for all. The basis of the claim filed is that since the individual mandate was removed, it makes the whole ACA unconstitutional. The individual mandate is the ruling that people must have insurance or sign up for it within an amount of time or they would face a penalty fine during tax season.

Ever since President Trump was elected, one of his goals was to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act which was signed into law by President Obama in 2010. One of the provisions of the ACA, the individual mandate, has been challenged by Republicans since 2012. They claimed it was an unconstitutional expansion of the government’s power. However, the Supreme Court upheld that the individual mandate tax was the government’s right. Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. stated the government “does not have the power to order people to buy health insurance, but it does have the power to impose a tax on those without health insurance.”

In December 2017, President Trump came one step closer to dismantling the ACA by ridding the mandate. His administration was able to change the individual mandate penalty to $0 beginning January 1, 2019. Because of this, as of February 26, 2018, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and 19 other states filed a lawsuit stating, “the country is left with an individual mandate to buy health insurance that lacks any constitutional basis. . . . Once the heart of the ACA — the individual mandate — is declared unconstitutional, the remainder of the ACA must also fall.”

In one of the cases against the ACA, King v. Burwell, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. noted that  “Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them. If at all possible we must interpret the Act in a way that is consistent with the former and avoids the latter.”

Judge Reed O’Connor will be hearing the case filed by the Texas Attorney General and other states. O’Connor was appointed by President George W. Bush in 2007 and has ruled against the ACA in past cases.

This is all happening during the time insurers must figure out the pricing for next year’s premiums and rates so they can file it with state regulators. Insurers are concerned because they do not know how much to raise rates if they will charge the same price to healthy and sick people, or whether to pull out of the marketplace.

While the marketplace in in panic about how much their prices should go up and if they will even still be in business, it is smart to seek quotes and plans from private insurers. EZ.Insure is able to provide you with affordable plans with ease. We offer the stability of insurance within your region by one of our highly trained and educated agents. To receive a quote, call 855-220-1144 to speak your own advisor, enter your zip code in the bar above, or email us at replies@ez.insure. We will provide quotes and offer our help free of charge without hassle.