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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.

Important Deadlines

2016 Health Insurance Open Enrollment

Here are some important dates for the 2016 health insurance open enrollment dates:

  • November 1, 2015: Open Enrollment begins — This is the 1st day you can enroll in a 2016 health insurance plan
  • January 1, 2016: This is when the coverage will start if you enroll by December 15th.
  • January 31, 2016: Last day to enroll for 2016 coverage.

January 31, 2016 – FINAL DAY TO ENROLL

If you don’t enroll in a health insurance plan for 2016 by January 31, 2016, you CAN’T enroll in a plan for 2016 unless you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period.

Penalty for not having coverage in 2016

If you don’t get coverage, or choose to go without coverage in 2016, you may have to pay a fee. The fee is higher than it was in previous years. The fee for not having health coverage in 2016 ….

Shop for a 2016 health insurance plan now

Need a plan now, shop for a 2015 plan

Short Term and Travel Insurance for Summer

Summer is coming, and you may need Short Term or Travel Insurance. Many people aren’t aware that they very limited ,or often no benefits, under their Individual or Group Health Insurance if they travel outside the US. We offer many affordable options that cover medical treatment, with additional features like emergency medical evacuation, political evacuation, and extreme sports. We have also recently helped several families that needed Short Term Insurance in the US. This has happened when children had to have proof of Insurance for things like Summer Camp. While the children didn’t qualify for a Special Enrollment Period for traditional Health Insurance, they were able to get the Short Term proof of coverage as soon as the next day, and that was enough to get them into camp. If you or someone you know may need Short Term or Travel Insurance this Summer, just call 877-740-8683, or visit www.freedomfreequote.com , to get a free quote today.