Category Archives: Health Insurance

February is Heart Month

Heart Disease Insurance

February is Heart Disease Month

President Lyndon B. Johnson proclaimed the first American Heart Month to be in February 1964. At that time more than half of the deaths were caused by heart disease in the U.S. Today, heart disease remains the leading cause of death, globally, with more than 17.3 million deaths each year and rising. Now more than ever you need heart disease insurance.

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Heart disease: It’s a killer

It goes by many names: coronary heart disease, congenital heart disease, arrhythmia, heart attack, congestive heart failure. Whatever form it takes, heart disease is the No. 1 cause of death among men and women in the United States today.1 Every 40 seconds on average, someone in the U.S. dies of heart disease.2 Nearly 86 million Americans (more than 1-in-3 adults) have one or more types of cardiovascular disease.3 But heart disease doesn’t have to be a certainty. When more people understand the causes, they can take steps to reduce their risk of developing problems in the first place.

Power and purpose of the heart

The heart never rests. A normal heart beats about 100,000 times a day, cranking out 2,000 gallons of blood.4 As the blood circulates, it not only carries oxygen and nutrients to organs and tissues, it also carries waste products to the kidneys, liver and lungs to be flushed out of the body. By the time someone turns age 70, his or her heart has contracted more than 2.5 billion times.5 Given the organ’s importance inside the body, it’s easy to see why heart disease can be disabling or even devastating.

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It may be in your genes

Many risk factors that contribute to heart disease are manageable habits and behaviors.
These three are NOT:
♥ Family history. If someone in your family has struggled with heart disease, you are more likely to have problems as well.
♥ Gender. Men are more likely to suffer heart attacks, but heart disease remains the leading cause of death for American women.
♥ Race. Certain ethnic groups—including African-Americans, Mexican Americans, Native Americans and Native Hawaiians—are more likely to have heart disease.
Have you known someone who has had a heart attack, stroke, or suffers from heart disease?

Why do I need Heart Disease Insurance, I have health insurance.

Heart attacks and strokes happen unexpectedly, and generally at the worst time. When they do, it can leave you and your family vulnerable to out-of-pocket expenses that major medical insurance does not cover.  Let’s face it, health insurance these days isn’t what it used to be.  If you don’t see the right doctor at the right time, or if you are out-of-network your plan may not pay anything.  Heart disease insurance benefits are paid directly to you.  They give you piece of mind that you can see the doctor or specialist you want to see, even though he may not be in your plan network.  These plans can dramatically reduce the worry about how you will pay for those unexpected expenses, not to mention the normal living expenses that keep coming in whether you are able to work or not. With less worry, you can focus on getting well rather than how you will get the money to pay your electric or phone bill.

Let’s have a HEART-TO-HEART

So many people rely on you every day: your children, spouse or significant other, your employer and coworkers, your closest friends and even your parents as they age. And while you’re busy focusing on those who count on you, you may not realize how much you count on your heart. You work hard and give your best effort to take care of the important people in your life. During National Heart Month, take time to care for yourself. Make the choice today to lead a heart-healthy lifestyle and get added protection.

Contact your insurance agent or click below to learn more about how a supplemental health policy can provide protection and piece of mind for you and your family.

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The enclosed facts represent the U.S. population, are provided for information only and do not imply endorsement of Freedom Benefit Solutions or its products by any of the cited sources.
ENDNOTES:
1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Heart Disease Facts,” www.cdc.gov, August
10, 2015.
2 “Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics—2015 Update: A Report from the American Heart
Association,” Circulation, p. 29 -322.
3 Ibid.
4 American Heart Association, “The Heart: How It Works,” www.heart.org, 2015.
5 Ibid.

Economic Burden of Affordable Care Act

Economic Burden of Affordable Care Act

Topic: Minimizing the Economic Burden of Affordable Care Act Pending Repeal

On President Trump’s first day in office we all heard about the executive order (EO) he signed “Minimizing the Economic Burden of Affordable Care Act Pending Repeal.” Basically, to put it in plain English, what this EO did was give the departments and agencies associated with enforcing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) the authority to ensure the law is being implemented and ease the burden of the ACA during this transition to repeal and replace.

Did the Executive order repeal Obamacare?

No, the EO did not repeal any part of Obamacare or the ACA and does not directly mention any legislation or regulation that President Trump is directing to be eased, repealed, rescinded or amended. This EO just re-enforces the power that Congress, the departments and the agencies already have to move so that changes can be made quickly to ease the economic burden of affordable care act.

Current legislation

Freedom Benefit Solutions will continue to keep you updated on any other EOs, legislation or regulations as they are released. Until then, all statutes and regulations originally enacted by the ACA continue to be in place.

What about my policy?

At this time, we do not recommend making any changes to your current policy.  We do however recommend selecting a plan for 2017 as if no changes will be made by the Trump administration.  We are not certain how long the repeal and replace process will take, nor if the penalty will still be in effect during that time.  We have many different plans to choose from, and can help you decide which plan may be best to fit your needs and budget.  Call or get a FREE QUOTE today!  Open enrollment ends Jan 31, 2017.

Click here to view the executive order “Minimizing the Economic Burden of Affordable Care Act Pending Repeal.”

health insurance broker

2017 Health Options

2017 Health Options

Here is the actual notification that we mailed to all of our health insurance policyholders this past week notifying them of their 2017 Health Options.  Please read carefully and if you have insurance through one of the companies listed below, depending on which state you live in, the information may vary.  Check with your agent or carrier direct if you are not our customer.

To:  All Health Insurance Policy Holders in various states – All Carriers
From:  Your General Agent Bonny Allbright & Staff at Freedom Benefit Solutions

It’s that time of year again to figure out your best options for Health Insurance coverage for 2017.  Unfortunately, we do not have near the options we had last year.

  • Several companies are not offering coverage at all for 2017
  • Some have limited their coverage to a few specific areas.
  • Everything has gone to HMO coverage. PPO’s are basically non-existent!
  • More doctors are accepting the HMO’s, but finding doctors is still a challenge
  • We are seeing an average of 30% – 42% rate increases for 2017
  • Several companies are discontinuing 2016 policies and you must enroll in another plan

Listed on the next page is what Action you will need to take with different companies, depending on who your coverage is with.  Most of them are discontinuing 2016 coverage and you must select another plan or option for 2017 coverage.

 (This information does not pertain to Group coverage thru an employer or Medicare policies).

The last page is showing some alternative options for Health Coverage in 2017 that may be a solution for some of our customers.  We will be ready to answer your questions and help you with any of your options.

Please call or email for alternative options for 2017:
 936-756-6199 or info@fbsagency.com

PLEASE READ CAREFULLY, YOU MUST TAKE ACTION.

 

United Health Care

You must take Action! UHC Has pulled all ACA plans off the market for 2017.  The exception is:  Short Term and Medicare plans.   For 2017, you must enroll in other coverage with another company, if you have a health plan with UHC other than a Short Term or Medicare plan.  Call us or go to 2017HealthOptions.com for plan info.

Humana

You must take Action! Discontinuance of all plans.  For 2017 you must enroll in new coverage.  Call us or go to 2017HealthOptions.com for plan info.

Aetna

You must take Action!     Discontinuance of all plans.  For 2017 you must enroll in new coverage.  Call us or go to 2017HealthOptions.com for plan info.

Scott & White

You must take Action! Your 2016 plans will end and you must enroll in a new plan either with Scott & White, or with another company. Call us for plan info.  Scott & White will only offer Bronze Plans for 2017 and their coverage area is primarily thru out Central Texas and some areas around Dallas – Ft Worth area.

Memorial Herman

You must take Action! Your 2016 plan will end and you must enroll in new coverage for 2017. Call us for plan info.

Cigna

You must take Action! 2016 ACA plans are ending.  For 2017 you must enroll in new coverage.  “Does Not” apply to Grandfathered plans. Call us for plan info.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas

NO ACTION REQUIRED, unless making a plan change or updating your subsidy. FYI…the Producer number in your Renewal letter is “not” our direct number…the Correct number is (877) 740-8683.  BCBS is the “only” carrier, who will continue to offer plans in every county in Texas.  If you have current coverage with BCBS you will be auto-enrolled into a like 2017 plan.  Grandfathered plans will not be affected by this.

We suggest “not” contacting BCBS direct, but rather call us, your agent, at (936) 756-6199 or toll free (877)740-8683.  Last year several of our customers received incorrect information by calling direct.  There were payment issues, policies being cancelled, and some lost coverage completely.  We tried to help, but we were no longer their agent and they had to fix their own problems.

Going direct DOES NOT save you money.  Having a personal agent/broker is free.  When you have an issue we can be most helpful to you in getting it resolved without you having to be on hold those 2 – 3 hours with inexperienced customer service reps, who have difficulty solving any issues.  By having a broker, you receive personalized attention with any issues that come up in the future.  We will take care of your issues in much less time than any of the customer service reps can.

If you do call BCBS direct, please make sure you get the name of the person you talked to and tell them your agent is:  Freedom Benefit Solutions / Bonny Allbright.

It would be very helpful if you could let us know if you made a change “directly”, so we can make sure your change is processed and in effect.

For Your Specific 2017 Options go to:
www.2017HealthOptions.com

Group Insurance

  • Good for Small Business Owners
  • Must have at least two people with one being a W-2 employee
  • PPO’s still available on Group Policy
  • Rates will be about the same maybe a little less

Short Term Insurance

  • Coverage for up to a year at a time.
  • Major/Medical – Utilizes a PPO network – Some plans include doctor and prescription co-pays
  • Must be healthy – No Pre-existing conditions. **Guarantee Issue plans available.
  • Rates about 50% less than ACA plans
  • Not ACA qualified, so you may be subject to Penalty, but your overall savings will be less

Sharing Ministry Plans

  • They are not regulated by the state, so there are no guarantees
  • Must adhere to living a strict Biblical lifestyle (no smoking, no drinking, etc)
  • Membership can be cancelled anytime and sharing of medical costs can be refused.
  • No Pre-existing conditions are covered
  • Exempt from ACA rules and regulations, including the Penalty.
  • Cost considerably less than ACA plans.
  • We can enroll you, but will make sure you know pros and cons before taking this option.

ACA Health Insurance Plans

  • This is the standard Health Insurance coverage most of you have been on for years.
  • Guaranteed Issue – Full Coverage – Subsidy qualified – ACA qualified

Thank You for allowing us to be your agent and please contact us if you have any questions or concerns about your insurance now and in the future.

PPO, HMO, EPO

Obamacare 2016

Today more than ever, people need help when buying insurance.  Some say they want Obamacare, some say they don’t want Obamacare.  Here is the skinny on Obamacare.

Plan Benefits

Obamacare is not an actual plan.  Obama made the laws and it has been coined “Obamacare”, but you still get the insurance directly from the insurance companies, however if you buy it ON EXCHANGE through healthcare.gov then you may qualify for a subsidy or a reduced premium.  In addition, when you buy on the exchange you have a longer time to pay your premiums than if you buy OFF EXCHANGE.  Therefore, THAT is why a lot of the doctors are not taking Obamacare/ON EXCHANGE plans because in theory, you could use the 3 month grace period to pay your premiums and still get care during that time.  The doctors could get stuck with treating you and never getting paid by the insurance company, or getting paid 3 mos later.  THAT is why they don’t want to take it.  Problem is, most of the companies sell the same plans ON and OFF EXCHANGE so the doctors have no idea if the person has 3 mos extra to pay or not — so they are all saying we won’t take any insurance!!!  Can you see what is going on now?

The benefits of the plans are still great, the problem this year is who will take the insurance you buy.  So make sure you look up your doctor to see if they are in network or not.

Networks

This year the networks are the key to everything.  Instead of shopping benefits, you are essentially shopping networks of providers.  A lot of companies have done away with offering PPOs entirely and are only offering EPOs and HMOs.  Again, there is nothing wrong with the benefits of either of these plans, in fact the benefits of an HMO are typically better than a PPO, however you are restricted to a certain network of doctors and those doctors are not the doctors you have seen for 20+ years.  The reason for that is, on an HMO the doctors in essence get paid less each time they see a patient than if they were to file the claim through a PPO.  In addition, there is a whole lot more paperwork to keep up with when filing a claim on an HMO too.  So a lot of the doctors who have been in business for a long time, don’t want to change how they do things (with good reason).  Therefore, the result is, you have newer “hungrier” doctors on the HMO networks.  The doctors possibly fresh out of medical school or the ones still trying to build their practice.  This doesn’t make them bad doctors, again, just not the doctors you have seen for 20+ years.

Changes

So because of all the changes within the Affordable Care Act, ACA for short, a lot of doctors are getting out of the practice.  This year, you will probably have to change doctors and will have to pay more for your insurance so be prepared.  If you decide to go without insurance entirely, there is a penalty, and it did increase for 2016.  Be aware of all of your options, and it is still FREE to have an agent help you.  They are still the most knowledgeable resources available.

What is a PPO HMO POS EPO

Is it an acronym city or the abbreviations you put behind your name! Health insurance plans are categorized by a few main ways: PPO, HMO, POS, and EPO.

Depending on which plan you buy, depends on if your care is covered when you see a network provider or any doctor. In addition, you may have larger deductible or coinsurance, and/or you may have to get a referral if you want to see a provider out of network

PPO (Preferred Provider Organizations)

PPOs give you the choice of seeing providers in network or out-of-network. You pay less if you use in network providers. You’ll pay more if you want to go out of network for doctors, providers, and hospitals. You may have higher out-of-pocket costs too. If you have a PPO plan, you can visit any doctor without a referral.

POS (Point-of-Service)

POS plans let you go to both in-network and out-of-network providers. With a POS plan, you will have to choose a PCP or primary care doctor from a list of participating providers in network. Your PCP will refer you to other in network providers as needed. If you choose to go to an out-of-network provider, you’ll need a referral and you may pay higher out-of-pocket costs.

HMO (Health Maintenance Organizations)

HMO plans usually require you to seek care from in network providers who work for or contract with the HMO. An HMO generally doesn’t cover or has limited coverage if you go out-of-network except in an emergency. If you choose to see a doctor or facility that isn’t in the HMO network, you may have to pay the full cost. Like the POS plans, HMO members usually have a PCP and must get a referral to see a specialist.

EPO (Exclusive Provider Organizations)

EPOs are much like the HMO in that they generally have coverage only if you see a provider in the EPO network (except in an emergency). Health plans generally can’t require higher copayments or coinsurance if you get emergency care from an out-of-network hospital, no matter what type of plan you have. However, providers may bill you for some additional costs.