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What does a consultation with a Crosspointe Insurance Advisor look like?

Q8: What does a consultation with a Crosspointe Insurance Advisor look like?

A:We want to educate you on all of your insurance options, so we begin by asking a few questions. We don’t charge you any fees for working with one of our agents on your health insurance plan. While we can do consultations over video chat or telephone, we prefer in-office meetings so we can talk about finding a plan that covers what’s most important to you. Once we have an understanding of your needs and current situation (e.g. family size, income, assets, and smoking habits), we will walk through policy options, together. Once we find the right policy for you, we will talk you through the process and complete the paper work. Have the experience of an insurance expert on your side, and remember, our expert advice is free. Give us a call at 888.788.1565 today or submit a request for a quote online.

Medicare: 3 More Things You Need to Know

Medicare is open for enrollment until December 7, so if you haven’t signed up, there is still time! More than 40 million Americans are already enrolled in the Medicare program. If the reason you haven’t signed up yet is because of some concerns you may have about the enrollment process, Crosspointe Insurance can help you make some sense of all the Medicare information that’s on the web. For an overview of the Medicare program, check out the 3 Things You Need to Know about Medicare Enrollment.

Enrolling in Medicare

When it comes to Medicare enrollment, you have two options. You can decide whether you want to enroll in the original Medicare program, or if you want a Medicare Advantage Plan. Original Medicare includes hospital insurance, and you can pay a monthly premium for medical insurance.

The Medicare Advantage Plan is more like a Health Maintenance Organization (HMO)[1], or a Preferred Provider Organization (PPO)[2], in that you are essentially enrolling in Medicare Part C, hospital and medical insurance. You’ll pay a monthly premium for the Advantage Plan, and copayments for covered medical services. The costs, extra coverage and rules for Part C vary by the plan you purchase.dreamstime_13141159

After choosing between the Original Medicare program or the Medicare Advantage Plan, you’ll need to decide if you want prescription drug coverage (Part D). If you are enrolled in the original Medicare, you must join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan and pay a monthly rate. If you have a Medicare Advantage Plan, prescription drugs are included in your plan, most of the time. Please note that if you do not choose a drug plan while you’re eligible to enroll in Medicare programs, and do not have other creditable prescription drug coverage, you may pay a late enrolment penalty if you choose to join later. It is important to know when you are eligible.

After determining where you are getting your drug coverage (should you choose to enroll with that), you can decide if you want supplemental coverage with your Original Medicare Plan. Please note that if a Medicare Advantage Plan is not offered in your area, you will have to choose the Original Medicare program.

  • Convenience

When choosing coverage, it’s important to note the convenience of your plan. Some convenience questions you should ask are: Where are the doctor’s offices? What are their hours? Do they use electronic health records? What pharmacies can I use? Will my other healthcare providers accept my type of coverage? Is the pharmacy I use preferred? Can I get my prescriptions by mail?

  • Cost

Another thing that is very important for everyone enrolling in Medicare is the cost of your plan. Some questions to be considered are: Do I need to purchase an additional Medicare drug plan? What are my yearly deductibles? Will I need to pay out-of-pocket? Is there a yearly limit on what I can pay out-of-pocket?

  • Coverage

Finally, determine how well you will be covered by this plan and determine whether you will need additional coverage. Questions you should ask yourself are: Some how well does the plan cover the services I need? Am I satisfied by my medical care? Will I have coverage in another state or country? Are there coverage rules that apply to my prescription?

Looking for more of the Medicare basics? If you just want the basics on Medicare enrollment, check out another one of our blog posts that gives an overview of the Medicare program.

While Medicare can be confusing, Crosspointe’s expert advisors can help you navigate the enrollment process. We can make the process a lot easier and find the perfect plan for you, all for no additional cost. Give us a call at 888.788.1565 or submit a request for a quote online.

Source:

http://www.medicare.gov/Pubs/pdf/10050.pdf
[1] An HMO is an organization that provides or arranges managed care for health insurance on a pre-paid basis.
[2] A PPO is a managed care organization of medical doctors, hospitals, or other health providers who have agreed with an insurance carrier to provide health care at a reduced rate for those on the plan.

What should I look for in an insurance plan?

Q7: What should I look for in an insurance plan?

A: When we work with a client, we want to find them the best plan for their lifestyle. That being said, one of the best things you can look for when shopping for a plan is your out-of-pocket maximum. The out-of-pocket maximum (OOPM) is the most you can afford to pay, should you have to make use of your insurance. People often spend a lot of time concerned with co-pays at the doctor, medication costs, co-insurance, and deductibles when the OOPM is really the most important thing. Deductibles can vary, 90/10, 80/20, 70/30, but the OOPM is the most you could spend in a given year. For more information on finding the best insurance plan for you, give us a call at 888.788.1565 today or submit a request for a quote online.

FAQs, Part I

^3957EAB73AB5DD5D7176CF849E79CFEE91E1E0C2B9026C039B^pimgpsh_fullsize_distrAs our clients grow into educated insurance consumers, we often get a lot of questions along the way. Here we’ve compiled a list of the questions we’re most frequently asked, so you can understand some of the complexities in shopping for insurance. Make sure to check our blog weekly for the latest videos and answers to your insurance questions. Click the question below to view the full post and video.

Q1: Are there fees for working with a Crosspointe Agent?
A1: No! There are no fees for working with an agent at Crosspointe! Whether you shop online by yourself or talk to one of our expert insurance advisors, your plan premium will be the same. Another benefit of working with one of our advisors is that you’re working with an educator, not a sales person. You’re getting an expert, focused on finding the right health plan that covers you and your family or your business based on your needs. We want to help you find the plan you need, and the best part is: It’s always FREE.

Q2: How does ACA impact Small businesses?
A2: In 2015, businesses with 50 or more employees will be required to offer health insurance, but those with less than 50 employees hold no similar obligations. Many small businesses find that health insurance is their largest expenditure (second to payroll). By offering employees a group insurance plan, they may be preventing them from taking advantage of premium tax credits. These tax credits are only offered to those who do not receive benefits from their jobs or are 400% below the poverty line. Because employees may be subject to these benefits, employees could receive Federal tax credits to help pay for their insurance premiums; employers could save money themselves by not offering group insurance.

Q3: Why do I need a health insurance broker?
A3: The Internet puts a lot of information at your fingertips, including everything you ever wanted to know about health insurance. While it’s nice to have this information available, finding the right health insurance plan is important and there are a lot legislative complexities to navigate. It can be very difficult for consumers to sort out their best option on their own. The new healthcare laws impact how tax credits work and without the help of an agent, it can be hard to figure out how to use them to your advantage. Crosspointe makes the process of finding the right insurance plan simple, guiding you through your entire enrollment process. Purchasing a plan with the aid of an advisor has NO ADDITIONAL COST, so there’s no reason not to consult an expert.

Q4: How are premiums calculated?
A4: In the past, it was necessary to answer questions about everything from family history, lifestyle, employment history—everything but the kitchen sink! With the new laws and the Affordable Care Act, premiums are calculated based on: Age, where you live, whether you use tobacco or not, and household income. If your household income is at or below four times the federal poverty level, the cost of your plan will be reduced to make it more affordable. You also won’t have to worry about seeing your rates increase or being denied coverage based on a pre-existing health condition. You cannot be turned down or charged more; only the above four factors apply.

Q5: How do I know if I qualify for tax credits?
A5: Tax credits are based on household size and income, and will come in the form of an immediate reduction on the cost of the insurance plan that you choose, allowing those eligible the freedom to choose the plan that makes the most sense for their lifestyle. If you are a small business owner, self-employed or don’t have coverage through your job, you may be eligible for a tax credit.

Q6: I don’t want to use Obamacare (Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Law). What are my options with insurance?
A6: The Affordable Care Act is a collection of rules and regulations related to how health insurance operates in America. The ACA is not an insurance program. In the law, there are two main components that are meant to help make health insurance more affordable for the general population. The first ensures that you or a loved one cannot be denied or charged more for coverage due to a pre-existing health condition. The second element allows for tax credits for reducing health care cost depending on access to health insurance coverage, your income, and employment.

Check out our blog for more videos and more answers, coming soon!

What are my insurance options without the Affordable Care Act?

Q6: I don’t want to use the Affordable Care Act. What are my insurance options?

A: “I don’t want anything to do with Obamacare.” “I don’t want to sign up for health insurance through the government!” We hear these concerns and understand, but the law is not a health plan, or coverage, ACA contains the rules that govern health insurance in America. The new laws focus on two key elements:

  1. If you have a pre-existing health condition, you will not be denied or charged more for coverage.
  2. Depending on household income and access to coverage through your employer you may have access to a credit that will reduce your healthcare costs.

We are not here to debate the merits of the ACA, but rather, we want to find the ways it can best work for you. Don’t wait or get penalized for not having health insurance in 2015. Give us a call at 888.788.1565 today or submit a request for a quote online to discuss the options available currently and what you can do to cover yourself, your family or business.

 

 

 

All about the premiums.

^C352FB1508D39544E0FD010C25C3E4ECA344BCF96A986AC632^pimgpsh_fullsize_distrIn the past, getting health insurance meant being put through the ringer. You would have to answer an endless stream of questions about your health. Depending on your answers, you could be denied insurance or subject to higher premiums. With the changes introduced in the Affordable Care Act, myriads of health questions and pre-existing conditions are no longer a threat to those seeking health coverage. Your coverage is based solely on the four items listed below.

Individual health insurance eligibility is based on:

  • Where you live
  • Income
  • Age
  • Whether or not you use tobacco products

After considering those four criteria, that’s it. Coverage is guaranteed. You cannot be declined or charged more based on a health condition like in the past, and determining the monthly cost of your insurance plan depends on your needs.

The most important thing to note from the above criteria is that your premium will be partially based on your household income. Those who meet certain criteria may not be aware of ways to save money on their health insurance. Individuals at or below 400% the federal poverty level or who do not have access to a group health insurance plan through an employer are eligible for a Premium Tax Credit. With this tax credit you will receive money to help you pay the premiums for your health insurance. In many cases, these federal tax credits are enough to cover the entire cost of some plans and significantly reduce others.

Do you know if you’re eligible for a federal tax credit? Do you have questions about how your premiums are being calculated? Crosspointe Insurance Advisors will work with you to determine which insurance program fits your needs, while guaranteeing the best price possible. Give us a call today or request for a quote to find the tax credits you are eligible for, and the policy that fits your lifestyle and budget.

How do I know if I qualify for tax credits?

Q5: How do I know if I qualify for tax credits?

A: Tax credits are based on your income, and come in the form of an immediate reduction—directly reducing the cost base of your insurance premium. Half of Americans with insurance are covered by their jobs, 15% through Medicare, and 16-17% through Medicaid. Less than 20% of people are eligible for tax credits. To determine your eligibility, we look at household size, income, and a few other factors. Finding these tax credits are hard on your own, but we can help! Don’t miss the credits you qualify for; they’ll directly reduce the cost of the plan that you choose, which frees you up to choose the plan that’s the best for you. Have the experience of an insurance expert on your side, with no additional cost. Give us a call at 888.788.1565 today or submit a request for a quote online.

So, do I really need health coverage?

In the past buying your own health insurance was difficult. Those looking to get covered would have to answer questions about their age, height, weight, mediations, health history and then at the end of a long underwriting process, premiums would be increased based on these factors or, in some cases, people would be denied coverage all together.

Millions of Americans continue to go without health insurance, hoping they won’t get sick or have an accident. Sure, if you do have a medical emergency, you can go to the emergency room without health insurance and you will be treated. However, you will be expected to cover the entire cost of your treatment yourself.

As you may know, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has a law in place (often referred to as the Individual Mandate) that now makes enrollment into a “qualified health plan” a requirement.

If you didn’t have coverage in 2014, you’ll have to pay one of these two penalties when you file your 2014 federal tax return:

  • 1% of your yearly household income.
  • $95 per adult and $47.50 per child (under 18).The maximum penalty per family using this method is $285.

Despite the debate, the Affordable Care Act can make getting health insurance easier and more affordable for many Americans. There are two man reasons.

  1. Coverage Is Guaranteed!

Along with the requirement for everyone to enroll in health coverage, the Affordable Care Act also changes the way individuals and families qualify for health insurance. Starting in January of 2014, individual and family health plans were guaranteed issue without underwriting. That’s right! Insurance companies can’t base your premium costs on your health history. The only factors they can use are: age, tobacco use and factors for the area in which you live.

  1. Premium Tax Credits

If you’re an individual or family without access to employer sponsored health insurance, there’s a new tax credit available to that can reduce your monthly premium AND potential reduce your deductibles and copayments on your qualified health plan. To be eligible for the premium tax credit, you’ll need to meet these 5 requirements.

  • Your household income is 100 to 400 percent above the Federal Poverty Level (chart below).Most people in this range will be eligible, but not everyone. We can help you determine eligibility, just request a free quote!
  • Your employer doesn’t offer health insurance that pays for at least 60% of your benefits and costs you less than 9.5% of your income.
  • You are not able to use other government health programs, such as Medicaid or Medicare.
  • You file a joint return if you’re married.
  • Another person does not claim you as a dependent.

 Household Size

 100%

 133%

 150%

200%

250%

 300%

400%

 1

$11,670

$15,521

$17,505

$23,340

$29,175

$35,010

$46,680

 2

15,730

 20,921

23,595

  31,460

39,325

47,190

62,920

 3

19,790

 26,321

29,685

  39,580

49,475

59,370

79,160

 4

23,850

 31,721

35,775

  47,700

59,625

71,550

95,400

 5

27,910

 37,120

41,865

  55,820

69,775

83,730

111,640

 6

31,970

 42,520

47,955

  63,940

79,925

95,910

127,880

 7

36,030

 47,920

54,045

  72,060

90,075

108,090

144,120

 8

40,090

 53,320

60,135

  80,180

100,225

120,270

160,360

Chart c/o http://familiesusa.org/product/federal-poverty-guidelines. Source: Calculations by Families USA based on data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
*If you find your income outside of the above chart there are many options for health coverage but you just won’t qualify for the premium tax credits. The guarantee issue laws still apply and you will have access to purchase plans on or off the marketplace in your state.

Now that you know a little more about ACA and some ways it can help your family, knowing when and how to enroll can be tricky. Most people will enroll in a new 2015 health plan during the Open Enrollment Period starting November 15th, 2014 and ending February 15th, 2015. If you miss the enrollment period, you may not be eligible to enroll again for a while.

You can apply for coverage outside of open enrollment periods due to: getting married, having a baby, a loss of coverage, moving from one state to another, adoption, divorce, a significant change in income and a few other reasons. All of these situations are called Qualifying Life Events. Typically–you only have 60 days to make a change or enroll in a plan due to a Qualifying Life Event.
Have you decided to get covered but aren’t sure how to find a plan? That is where Crosspointe Insurance Advisors can help. Our advisors are here to work with and for you to determine the insurance program that best fits your needs. The consultation and great advice come at no cost to you. Give us a call today at 888.788.1565 or request a quote online and we’ll find the best plan for you!

 

How are health insurance premiums calculated?

Q4: How are your premiums calculated?

A: In the past, it was necessary for you to answer questions about your health and everything from family history, lifestyle, jobs you’ve had, to the kitchen sink! With the new laws and ACA, premiums are calculated based on: Age, where you live, smoker or not, and household income. If your household income is at or below four times the federal poverty level, ($46,680 for a household of one, $62,920 for a household of two, $95,400 for a household of four, etc.) the cost of your plan will be reduced to make it more affordable. You also won’t have to worry about seeing your rates increase or being denied coverage based on a preexisting health condition. You cannot be turned down or charged more. Only the above four factors apply.

Why do I need a health insurance broker?

Q3: Why do I need a health insurance broker to help me with my insurance policy?

A: The internet puts a lot of information and several choices at your finger tips. With health insurance, where the stakes are higher and legislative complexities abound, it can be very difficult for consumers to sort out the best option on their own. The new health care laws impact how tax credits work and without the help of an agent, it can be hard to figure out how to use them to your advantage. Crosspointe makes the process of finding the right insurance plan simple and guides you through the entire enrollment process. Purchasing a plan with the aid of an advisor has NO ADDITIONAL COST, so there’s no reason not to consult an expert.

If you’re not ready, if you haven’t read all the fine print, you could miss something important. Having an insurance broker, knowledgeable in all aspects of insurance, makes it easier for you to find the plan that perfectly fits your lifestyle. We help you by building a plan tailored to your life, your needs.