health insurance

Keep Calm – Get Covered

Finding it painful to shop for Healthcare for your family? Interested in what alternatives are available for Healthcare outside of Open Enrollment? Qualify for a Special Enrollment? Contact one of our talented advisors today!

Every year come Fall we gear up for Open Enrollment and work diligently to enroll thousands of families and individuals for yet another year of financial peace of mind. This election period is from Nov. 1st – Dec. 15th for a January 1st effective date this gives our nation an allotted time to choose their healthcare plans for the following year. The Affordable Care Act as we know it has been the go to for our nation’s healthcare since March of 2010. Nevertheless, many will not take advantage of this opportunity or will miss it for various reasons.

First and Foremost, certain life events qualify you for a special enrollment period. A special enrollment period is a period of time (usually 60 days) during which you can buy a health plan through the individual Marketplace, even if it’s outside the normal Open Enrollment period. The events that trigger a special enrollment period are called qualifying life events, such as, loss of creditable coverage through an employer, marriage, divorce, birth of a child, or you move to a new state.

For those of us who do not qualify for a Special Enrollment, just know, you have options. We want to be sure that you know the best options and the perfect fit for you and your families. For those who want to avoid the tax penalty mandate a great alternative which is about half the cost of an average Marketplace plan is an option from Christian Care Ministry called Medi-Share. These plans offer affordable healthcare at its finest. They offer an Open Access PPO Network (PHCS) which offers a large provider network, coverage across state lines, and provide continuous coverage throughout each year. Keep in mind, Medi-Share is not for everyone, nevertheless, it has been a perfect fit for many of our clients.

Another go to alternative outside of Open Enrollment would be our Term Major Medical plans with National General Accident and Health, an Aetna Meritain company. These plans are non- religious and offer medical coverage that provides protection from a variety of medical expenses. They provide immediate coverage for the very next day. Choose a provider within the Aetna Open Access Choice PPO Network, which has more than 664,000 participating providers in various specialties. Like Medi-Share, you have the flexibility to travel across state lines and not have the worry about losing coverage. These plans accept healthy tobacco- users and are great for an individual or family that need insurance for a short time period.

Healthcare is expensive, fortunately YOUR insurance doesn’t have to be! Pick and Choose a Level of Benefits with one of our Foundation Health Plans from National General Accident and Health. These plans offer more affordable and predictable ways to get the coverage you need immediately without the battle of deductibles and coinsurance! Using a Medical Indemnity plan just got easy on your pocket book!

Lastly, pair any of these great healthcare alternatives with our plan enhancers! Who plans for unexpected out-of-pocket costs associated with accidents, hospitalization and critical illnesses? Our clients! That’s Who! Consequently, what does an individual do that finds it financially important to carry healthcare? Let the experts at Crosspointe educate you!

Deductible Disasters

Avoiding Deductible Disasters

What’s a deductible? Why are deductibles used and what are their benefits? Most importantly what can you do to protect yourself from your deductible?

Well for starters a deductible is the specified amount of money that the insured (you) must pay of their own healthcare costs for the year before the insurance company kicks in and pays any expenses. This includes all doctors visits, medications, surgeries, and ambulatory care. In a sense the higher your deductible is the lower the risk on the insurance company. Higher deductibles keep the insurance company from having to incur the costs of all the small healthcare needs of the insured which in return helps keep the costs of your monthly premium lower.

Many people have recently chosen to go with a high deductible plan for themselves or their family with the intentions of saving money immediately. There are also several other benefits of going with a high deductible health plan:

Your insurance company will negotiate a lower rate for all of your healthcare costs even before you hit your deductible.
In most cases preventive care is covered at 100% and not subject to your deductible, if you have an affordable care act compliant policy.
Depending on your plan there are varying levels of prescription coverage.
These plans act as a safety net to protect you against unplanned major medical expenses.

You have a high deductible health plan in place to protect you in the event of an untimely major medical catastrophe, but what happens when that unfortunate event becomes a reality? Luckily you have insurance which is going to kick in and help pay for major costs, after you’ve met your deductible. Nonetheless that still leaves you fiscally responsible for all the medical costs incurred up to the point that the insurance kicks in. What kind of plan do you have in place to protect your life’s savings?

Fortunately there is a perfect way keep a major medical event from affecting you financially. The best plan of action in order to give yourself that peace of mind and financial protection is to pair your health plan with a supplemental policy.

Supplemental policies are stand alone policies that work side by side with your medical insurance.These plans pay you upfront cash benefits in the event that the unthinkable does happen. Depending on the policy the benefit would either match your out of pocket expense amount or exceed that amount allowing you to have extra funds. Being diagnosed with a critical illness could mean you’re unable to work, choosing a policy with a higher benefit amount would make sure you were able to pay your bills in the meantime. We have supplemental plans to fit everyone’s needs or budget some even starting as low as $21 per month.

Don’t let yourself get stuck in a deductible disaster. Call Crosspointe today to speak with one of our skilled Health Benefits Advisor’s at no cost to you. A single phone call could potentially save you thousands of dollars.

If you’re ready to find a plan, give us a call at 888.788.1565 or submit a request for a quote online.

I’m young and healthy, why do I need insurance?

Written by Licensed Health Advisor, Lindsey M. Tieken 

Congratulations! Age and health history are the first major hurdles people have to face when purchasing insurance. Being young and healthy will do nothing but improve your chances of spending as little as possible for health and life insurance, and there will never be more options for you than there are right now!

ACA Compliant Plans offer coverage for everyday things that you may not expect. Need a physical for school or work? Free! Need your annual pap smear? Free! Need a preventive mammogram or colonoscopy? Free! Having these tests regularly are a HUGE component to maintaining your health and discovering potentially life threatening illnesses early enough to be treated. The cervical cancer death rate  alone declined by more than 50% over the last 30 years, and this has been attributed to access to regular screenings. Another important component of these plans is that they are required to cover mental health needs. Access to a variety of therapy options is an increasingly valuable benefit considering 56% of American adults are living with an untreated mental illness.

Hopefully, annual exams are the only thing for which you will ever need your insurance. Unfortunately, that is usually not the case. Over 62% of Americans between the ages of 18 and 44 had medical expenses over $100 in 2013. A simple broken leg can cost up to $7,500, and a complicated illness can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. 48.3 million Americans had problems paying their medical bills in the first six months of 2016 alone. In addition, most insurance programs will not accept new participants if you become sick. If you are diagnosed with an illness while you have no coverage it will certainly limit your healthcare options- potentially making you fully responsible for the medical expenses or lack of medical support you may encounter.

Having health insurance is the most responsible decision for your financial future. A 2015 poll done by NPR, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health found that 50% of respondents had their credit adversely affected by medical bills. This was through credit cards, loans, and even collections that lead to complete bankruptcy. It is common knowledge that having credit issues can and will limit your options on making major purchases- such as homes and cars.

The time is now to invest in your health and your financial future; don’t allow yourself to spend another day unprotected. Your wallet and your family will thank you.

 

If you’re ready to find a plan, give us a call at 888.788.1565 or submit a request for a quote online.

 

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.

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.

 

 

 

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.

Why do I need an Insurance Broker?

Shopping for health insurance can be frustrating.  If you’re like most people, reading the fine print is not your idea of fun.  However, when it comes to finding a health insurance plan you shouldn’t pass over those important details.  Working with an agent from Crosspointe will make the process easy.  We understand that every situation is different and there’s not one plan that will work for everyone.

451675897

If you work with an agent from Crosspointe, they will…

1. Find out if you’re subsidy eligible: The Affordable Care Act changed everything about insurance. Yes, coverage is guaranteed and the insurance companies won’t ask about your pre-existing conditions BUT arguably the most important and most impactful part of the new law is the federal subsidies made available to individuals and families within 400% of the Federal Poverty Level.

For example, a family of four in Indiana with a household income of $50,000 could qualify for more than $514 a month in subsidies to reduce the cost of their health plan. This same family could enroll in a Bronze plan for $96 per month or a Silver plan for $247 per month.

By not understanding how these subsidies work, many Americans missed out on subsidies to help reduce their health insurance costs in 2014. Our agents are licensed by each state and certified to help you navigate the new laws. Contact us to find out if you’re subsidy eligible.

2. Help you compare plans and enroll in coverage: Not sure if you should you enroll in a health maintenance organization (HMO) or preferred provider organization (PPO)?  Maybe you’re not even sure what those terms mean.  That’s OK!  It’s our job to ask you questions and help you enroll in the right plan.  Need to know if your doctors and prescriptions are covered. We’ll do that, too.  As an independent broker we work with all the top carriers in each state to determine which plans work best for your lifestyle.

3. Make sure you understand your coverage: Do you know what you’re going to pay for your medication? When you visit a specialist? What the most you could pay out-of-pocket for a major medical condition is?  When you’re finished speaking with one of our experts, you’ll be able to answer each one of these questions with confidence. At Crosspointe, we want each of our clients to be educated consumers about insurance.

I’m sure by now you’re wondering what working with Crosspointe Insurance will cost you. Crosspointe Insurance Advisors work at the low rate of $0 an hour. Yes, you read that right—$0.

Whether you buy a plan on your own or allow us to facilitate the process, you’ll pay the same premium cost for your health plan. All our fees are included in that premium by the carrier to help them manage your health plan throughout the year, so you owe us $0 for our consultation.

The 2015 Enrollment Period is fast approaching and finding the right health insurance is tough. Crosspointe Insurance Advisors will work with you to determine which program fits your needs, while keeping it affordable for you. Give us a call at 888.788.1565 today or submit a request for a quote online.  Don’t wait for the deadline to act!

Are you concerned about how the new laws impact your business?  Read our recent post on how the Affordable Care Act impacts Group Health Plans.