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Experts Discuss Biden’s Health Insurance Marketplace Enrollment Extension

Health Insurance Experts share what they think President Biden’s new executive order means for uninsured Americans.

Last week, President Biden signed an executive order designed to address the impact COVID-19 has had upon Americans’ ability to access healthcare. President Biden’s order reopened the health insurance marketplace for a special enrollment period, and also encouraged all government agencies to review their health insurance policies. 

According to reports from the Commonwealth Fund research group, nearly 7.7 million Americans lost their job-sponsored health insurance in June 2020 alone, and many others have lost their coverage since then. In contrast, a relatively small number of those people have signed up for COBRA or new health insurance, meaning that millions of Americans are newly uninsured during the greatest health crisis our country has ever seen. Public health analysts believe that disparities like these could combine to create an even worse healthcare crisis than we’re already facing, and agree this is likely at least part of the reasoning beyond Biden’s executive order.

“…nearly 7.7 Americans lost their job-sponsored health insurance in June 2020 alone.”

– Commonwealth Fund Report: “How Many Americans Have Lost Jobs with Employer Health Coverage During the Pandemic?”

Health insurance experts at Health Plan Options Today who work directly with the uninsured have given their take on Biden’s executive order and whether they think it can help the uninsured masses. 

“The biggest concern folks seem to have is that they can’t afford health insurance- especially considering today’s financial condition- so they often see no way out”, said William G, a representative at Health Plan Options Today. “Of course, this isn’t the case, and we’ve been doing our best to educate people to the contrary. Hopefully the President’s executive order causes people to take another look at health insurance so they can get covered”.

“The biggest concern folks seem to have is that they can’t afford health insurance… Of course, this isn’t the case”

William G. HealthPlanOptionsToday Healthcare Expert

Stephanie A., another representative at Health Plan Options Today, says there are other major issues that have shaped people’s ideas of access to health insurance, especially given the United States’ unemployment rate: “Many people have no idea how COBRA health insurance works, and a lot don’t even know it exists in the first place. They just think that if they lose their job due to COVID, there are no other insurance options available.” Stephanie echoes William’s optimism for Biden’s Plan: “I really hope that the people who lost their jobs and didn’t take advantage of COBRA use the special enrollment period to their advantage.”

Overall, there is generally support for Biden’s executive order, especially considering 2020’s historically short marketplace insurance enrollment period and low enrollment numbers. Many people who missed the original enrollment period will now have a second chance at enrolling for ACA-based plans in 2021. Perhaps William G. summed it up perfectly: “I think we can all agree that no matter what, a second chance is always nice.”

Are you insured? To get your own second chance at affordable health insurance, fill out the form below and one of our agents will contact you, or call us at 1-888-375-8879.

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Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas: We Answer Your Questions

Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) is one of the world’s largest insurance companies, and has helped to secure the health of hundreds of millions of customers across the United States for almost 100 years. But did you know that the BCBS network actually has Texan roots, and is still considered one of the best insurance networks for Texans? Here’s all Texans need to know about how the health insurance giant can help them.

Texan Beginnings

Although the network is now officially headquartered in Chicago (not unlike some other companies that got their start in the Lone Star State), the original Blue Cross insurer was headquartered in Dallas. Founded during the height of the Great Depression in the late 1920s, the company pioneered the concept of the insurance network, offering Texas teachers plans to guarantee hospital care for $6/ year. Initially, the company was only focused on providing hospital care, but merged in the 1980s with the California-based Blue Shield company, which was originally created to insure physician care for miners and lumberjacks in the Pacific Northwest region.

Is Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas the Same as Blue Cross Blue Shield?

The name “Blue Cross Blue Shield” doesn’t represent a single company, but rather a network of companies that services people in all 50 States, the District of Colombia, Puerto Rico, and 3 Latin American countries. As such, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas is a division of a company called HCSC (Health Care Service Corporation), which also serves as the licensee for BCBS in Illinois, Montana, New Mexico, and Oklahoma. So yes, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas is the same as any other company that uses the Blue Cross-Blue Shield name, yet part of an individual company that services Texas.

Does Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas Cover Everyone In Texas?

While of course, Dallas, Austin, and Houston Health Insurance customers represent a major percentage of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas’ members, the company does cover all areas of Texas. Recently, the company has stated that its network includes over 80,000 physicians and 500 hospitals in the state alone. With numbers like that, there’s no doubt you’ll be able to find a nearby physician or hospital that accepts BCBS insurance, even if you live in a rural area. In fact, the company often tags itself as the “only statewide, customer-owned insurance company in Texas”, which reflects its commitment to servicing its actual customers, not shareholders.

Is Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas Good Insurance?

When measured by network size alone, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas is associated with more physicians and hospitals than everyone else in the state, which means that members have access to the best doctors and facilities available. Outside of its extensive network, the company offers a variety of plans to suit every need, family size, family type, and financial status, so customers are able to find the best insurance solution for their situation.

What Type of Insurance is Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas?

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas offers several types of insurance and insurance plans, such as employer-provided and private insurance plans, dental and optical plans, and more.

How Do I Get Health Insurance Without a Job?

Texans who have been laid off or have lost their job can obtain affordable private health insurance- even if outside the typical COBRA or healthcare enrollment periods. Just call one of our representatives or fill out the form below, and we can help you get set up with the insurance you need at a price you can afford.

How Can I Sign Up For Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas?

To sign up for Blue Cross Blue Shield or to get a walkthrough to find out which health insurance plan is best for you, simply fill out the form below and one of our expert representatives will call you. Or, if you’d like to call us directly, call 1-888-375-8879; our experts are standing by.

Just fill out the form below and our experts will help you get the right health insurance for your needs.

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Biden Reopens Obamacare Enrollment

Don’t Have Insurance? Here’s How Biden’s Executive Order Helps You

On January 28, with just a few quick strokes of his pen, President Joe Biden signed an executive order that changed the way many Americans access their health insurance temporarily, and may permanently change the way federal agencies- and by extension, healthcare companies everywhere- approach insurance.

President Biden’s executive order will reopen Affordable Care Act (ACA) healthcare enrollment for a special enrollment period between February 15th and May 15th- and not just for those who are eligible for COBRA or other special coverages. The order also demands that federal agencies review their policies to make sure that healthcare truly is affordable, and to ensure their policies do not block insurance access for those with preexisting conditions, including COVID-19. Biden’s order also urged these same agencies to make other changes that will “protect and strengthen” access to healthcare in the future.

Biden made a statement after the order’s signing, saying “As we continue to battle Covid-19, it’s even more critical that Americans have meaningful access to health care”.

This executive order follows former president Trump’s changes to the Affordable Care Act. In 2018, Trump shortened the ACA’s enrollment period from 92 days to 15, which caused new healthcare enrollment to drop drastically. Also notably, the Trump administration and several states attempted to kill the ACA in a case that’s still pending before the Supreme Court.

What Does Biden’s Executive Order Mean For You?

If you’re worried because you or your family don’t have health insurance during the Coronavirus pandemic, you have another chance to secure insurance through the ACA marketplace- even if you have lost your job, stopped paying your private health insurance, or both. This will come as especially good news to those who missed because last year’s enrollment period was so short.

What If I Want Other Healthcare Options or Miss the Healthcare Enrollment Period?

If you miss the new Health Care Enrollment period or if you would like other healthcare options beside the ACA marketplace, there are still other options available for you, such as private insurance. The team at Health Plan Options Today can help you examine options such as these.

If you have any other questions, need help picking the best health insurance plan for your needs or would like to enroll in health insurance, just fill out the short form below or give us a call at 1-888-375-8879 and we’ll help you get insurance at a rate you can afford.

Need Health Insurance?

Fill out this form and our experts will contact you to help you get the right insurance for your needs.

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Walmart Steps Up Their Game With Medicaid!

If you have not been paying attention, a lot is going on right now. Between the election and the many changes it will bring, we have to stay adamant about the future, and Walmart is taking active steps to become involved. The giant chain of stores are now offering what was described as an “Amazon Prime”-like experience, where those enrolling not only feel comfortable in their choices, but also fits their budget.

Remember, as always, come to us first with these questions. We’re here to help!

The Medicare insurance signup for this year’s Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) begins October 15th and ends December 7th, according to Fox Business. Walmart has obtained licensing to issue health insurance, and so they are doing so, under the name: “Walmart Insurance Services.” They will be offering what General Manager of Walmart Insurance Services stated: “We want customers to feel confident in selecting a Medicare plan that best fits their needs, budget, and lifestyle…and we want to be a trusted partner on their health care journey.” Are they worth trusting with this deal, though?

Well, for sure! According to Medicare Advantage planning agents (i.e. us), 1 in 10 Medicare beneficiaries will be enrolling, which allows the plan to save them most out-of-pocket spending. It seems pretty clear that Walmart truly wishes to help, especially at a time when everyone is strapped for cash and needs a good health insurance plan. However, there is always flaw where there is hope, and the fact is, Walmart has never truly run their own insurance platform, let alone Medicare, of which may be one of the most important, albeit influential health coverage plans to have.

Think about it. Though they are announcing as of Tuesday the 6th of October, that they will be entering not only the pharmacy industry but also as an insurance broker, are they capable of bridging the proper gap between “insurance acceptor” and “broker”? Well, it is a question that time will tell, but for now we will go over the basics. As a licensed insurance brokerage retailer, their goal is simple: “”assisting people with enrolling in insurance plans – and simplify…a cumbersome, confusing process.”

Walmart may be following in the footsteps of several other giants who tried to make this same transition (including but not limited to: Amazon, Google, CVS, Publix…). All of those failed, so what makes this one different? Well, for starters, they are at least doing one thing right that the others did not: they are partnering with actual health insurance coverage services rather than restricting people’s choices to only their plan.

In other words, my dear readers, they have managed to gain the trust of Humana, UnitedHealthcare, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, Amerigroup, Simply Health, Wellcare, and need I say more? These are now partners-in-crime, meaning they will not be forcing people to use their own plan. Rather, they are implementing a new system where suddenly, they are for once doing things right by instead partnering with other health insurance agencies to develop their system. Smart, right?

However, there is still a wide margin-of-error. For one, Walmart may be able to offer these health insurance plans, including Medicaid (which has risen as one of the top insurance retailers – ever), but are they prepared for the plethora of individuals actually applying for this stuff? Walmart, of all places, is known for self-automation: half of their checkout lines are typically done by our own hand, and it is worrisome to me that though they may have done every step correctly, can they handle the volume?

When people need health insurance, and need a health care provider, the typical move is to either a) contact someone like us, or b) go to the cheapest alternative. In this case, the “cheapest alternative” is a company that is often considered a thrift store for those with little-to-no money that could be spent at a more legitimate offering. That is my main concern, as Walmart is already known for (and I admit) great customer service, but a very horrendous capacity to handle a move like this.

We will find out in the coming weeks (possibly months) to see how well they are doing, and we will do a follow-up blog post on this subject. For now, we can leave it off as: though Walmart may be joining the fight, this particular year is different. The world is changing before our very eyes, and it is good to see companies like this trying to assist. However, they may be licensed but that does not mean they are prepared.

Recall Google did this once back in 2012. They failed miserably because they had technical glitches, i.e. their servers quite literally shut down due to the vastness of those applying. In fact, one incident actually led to an assault when an unnamed source got into a fight with the broker, who felt he needed insurance more than the other. Is Walmart ready to compete in this disparaging market? Time will tell.

In the meantime, need health insurance advice? Do make sure to contact us for more information as we can provide it as you need. Stay safe from COVID, protect yourselves, love yourselves, take care of yourself and your families, and reach out to us. We are great at what we do here, and we hope this has been informative. We wish Walmart the best of success, but in the end the best way to go is the traditional route…

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Top Ranked Cities For Proper Health Insurance Care!

In this week’s blog, we realize that the adamancy of health insurance (now more so than ever) is really the central measure of tendency (i.e. stats jargon for “ranked highest”) in today’s currently misshapen world. So, we decided this week to give you five cities that are ranked as the highest (or lowest) ranked cities to live in for health insurance premiums. We urge you to contact us with your needs and questions.

Side note: they rated each of the top five places based on several factors.

This included population health (value of health services, low illness rate, less COVID-19…), education (schooling value), economy (how well the economy functions), housing (big houses versus rundown shacks), food & nutrition (how much poison is in each bite), environment (how much of the air is gas emission and not oxygen), public safety (based on high versus low crime), community vitality (are people happy?), and infrastructure. Let’s dive right on in! These are the best places to live for high healthcare value.

  • Los Alamos County, New Mexico

    Really?! New Mexico ranks as number one? Well, with a population health of 98.4, and relatively high numbers in each of the other categorical rankings (nothing went below 80 except for food and nutrition), they seem to be the safest. I actually have to say that their success with health insurance is the simple fact that they have a total population of 19,695 people, with a small growth rate of 1.53% (based on statistics from the World Population Review, 2020). In other words, they may be the healthiest, but this is based on the average county population of 112,566. Remember, this is one county out of thousands of others, as the U.S. population ranges around 328 million.
  • Douglas County, Colorado

    This one makes more sense, as the population Is 285,465 and the land area is 840 miles, which is double the square footage as well as almost 10 times as that of Los Alamos County, New Mexico (see above). Their population health was 95, with education at 67 and an economy rating of 87. Everything else does not drop below 65. How they are basing these numbers, I do not know. All I know is that with such a high population health, good housing and a rapid economy, there is a simple reason as to why they are number two: the population health is high because people are less stressed out! I live in Miami, Florida. Our population size is 2.72 million, and our population health is probably so bad that it does not even bear a health population score!

    In other words, Colorado is a lax state to live in, and a population of 10 times less than where Miami, Florida is, I can safely say that Florida will never rank high because we live in quite a mess. In other words, the population health is so high because there is less stress, less pollution, less gas emissions, and less angry drivers stuck in traffic!
  • Falls Church City, Virginia

    This falls in line with Los Alamos County, which was number one. It has a small population of 12,332, and covers only 2 square miles, i.e. barely a city. The population health is 98 (the highest among the three), the economy is 100 (a perfect score), and everything else is relatively above 70 points.

    This one is unexplainable, but take as an example the idea of going to images.google.com and searching: “Falls Church City, Virginia.” How beautiful and uncluttered it looks, right? Again, with a striving economy, good nutrition, and a really, really low population, there are a few extraneous variables, (100 points is suspicious)

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  • Broomfield County, Colorado

    Wow, Colorado seems to be topping the charts! Number Five is another Colorado location, and Number Seven is also a Colorado-based county! Broomfield County, CO has a small population of 55,889 individuals, with a total of 33 square miles. Think about that for a second. That is roughly 1,666 individuals per square mile!

    How are they so healthy?

    With a population health of 88 and an economy of 96, with everything else pretty much matching Number Two (never falling too far below 70 points), we can safely say that this is all based on location. Go to the same images.google.com and type in the county name and tell me: does that not look like a good place to live…?

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  • Routt County, Colorado

    Again, we see Colorado consuming roughly three out of the five top-ranked counties to live in. With a population of 23,509 and a land area of 2,362 square miles, this is our third top-ranked city based on Colorado. Get ready to pack your bags, wherever you are, and make note that Colorado has never pushed lower than a 60-70 point count out of 100 possible points. You may want to consider this not at all based on the population.

    The size consists of roughly 9-10 people per square mile. That may be a reason in their high health rating, but let us dive a bit deeper: the environment is ranked as 89 out of 100. Community vitality (happiness) is 71 points, as well and food and nutrition is at 69, which is still relatively high. The economy is 76 out of 100, we can actually attribute that their high population health is based on those two factors, especially nutrition. That means that perhaps we are right to think healthy eating is essential to our health!

    Contact us for more information about how to obtain great health plans and keep following us! We have plenty more to tell and plenty of topics at the ready! Stay tuned…


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Upon Which COVID Stands – The Lessons We Have Learned

When the pandemic hit, many were speculative as to how this phenomenon will subtly destroy us. Millions were without food, others without healthcare, and even more so: many suffering from disabilities imposed because of it. However, we neglect to realize how much the world may actually benefit from this caustic tragedy. Think about it: kids have resorted to Zoom sessions in which classes are routinely held virtually; carry-out and delivery services have produced over 200,000 new jobs; telehealth is now being recognized as a convenient manner in which we can now see doctors without ever leaving the house! Though we cannot deny the bad, let us examine the “good.”

  1. Schools are better off. Many complain about the virtual environment schools are now being plagued with, but we fail to realize that this is so new to us that we have yet to adapt to it. In fact, consider the benefits of virtual schooling. Less violence will occur; less bullying will take place; social attitudes and norms are being tested before our very eyes. Though many schools have struggled with this new manner in which our children are taught, this is just the beginning.

    An example comes from a student we worked with on health insurance planning. The school he attended was delivered online, but not in the manner one would think. In fact, it was a virtual world, much like a video game. There were actual characters, booths for career expos, and there was a vast ability to socialize and communicate in a way far surpassing Zoom.

    This, in my opinion, is a step forward for technology.
  2. Carry-out and delivery. It may not seem like such a big deal, but consider the mentality that the “carry-out” or “drop-off” food service runs on. It is much, much more convenient (albeit safer) to have people come out and deliver food to us. We go on an app, pay for our products, and a man or woman comes out and puts the food in our back seats. C’mon, how cool is that?!

    We seem to think to ourselves: “This is to keep us safer,” but in reality it is a step forward for better service. No one likes going to Publix to shop, wait in an aisle, and bag our own groceries. The situation is no different for the Publix staff: they are tipped more for coming out to give us our food, and have less spills to worry about, less clutter, and overall much more calm. Imagine a world where the service industry functions on this mentality!

    It does not seem like much, but once we get better at this, it will be.
  3. Telehealth is upon us. Not many realize that virtual doctoral visits have actually been around for some time. In fact, it was around 2016 that our blog writer encountered the Life Coaching industry, which became exclusively centered around the marginal issue of: “Why treat only those local to us?” In turn, the online movement toward healthcare improved, and when the pandemic hit, this phenomenon grew in size. It is almost routine at this point to go on Zoom, Doxy, or FaceTime to obtain our medical assistance.

    The telehealth industry has grown in size in 2020 with an increase of almost 10 percent. However, it is projected to be worth $266.8 billion by 2026. This is a drastic leap! We must begin to realize that in a technology-run world, even medical issues are being treated by technology. Even before the pandemic, many doctors took to iPads and other embedded computer systems to monitor patient issues, as well as to look up answers to questions (i.e. symptoms or medication interactions) when in doubt.

    What a sincere change.
  4. We are now in touch! We are now in touch with family and friends in a manner far surpassing what we once had. The amount of FaceTime or Zoom calls has increased by tenfold, and we are now in touch with our family and friends so much more than we were pre-pandemic. Furthermore, more adults and Baby Boomers are becoming rather acclimated with programs they did not understand six months ago. Zoom is the best example, which formed in 2010 and has grown substantially since the pandemic.
  5. Safety awareness! Are we now more grateful for our safety? Are we now less likely to avoid sneezing around others? Though the pandemic brought this upon us, it actually made people more aware of the dangers of: standing too close to someone, coughing without covering your mouth, and overall we are beginning to understand the concept of “courtesy” more. Though this may seem like COVID-19’s greatest threat, it is actually humanity’s greatest opportunity to do better at recognizing when others are in trouble.

In fact, the rate of adults actively engaging in safety awareness has risen by 22 percent since the outbreak. We are also now more grateful for our doctors and nurses. I have never once seen so many people saying: “Thank you” to a doctor, an EMT or a nurse. This may actually lead us toward optimistic increases in healthcare spending. Now that we have faced a virus unlike any other, when it is all over we will have conquered something we thought would be too strong to manage or regulate.

In the end, we are not dead, and our fallen brothers and sisters are not held in vain.

I’d like to share with you a quote from Hunter Patch Adams during his defense against privatized medicine:

“What’s wrong with death, sir? What are we so mortally afraid of? Why can’t we treat death with a certain amount of humanity and dignity, and decently, and God forbid, maybe even human. Death is not the enemy, gentlemen. If we’re going to fight a disease, let’s fight the most terrible diseases of all: indifference…

Tell us if in this past year, we can all agree. If you need help with health insurance, contact us and we can assist. We know health insurance premiums are becoming an issue, so we do encourage you to check out the rest of our site and see how we can help.

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Moderate Increase In Health Care Costs Coming 2021

With so many Americans suffering with the coronavirus (whether directly as a victim or if merely among us as a bearer of the bad times we are in), how does the country expect to handle all of these piling-up medical bills with authenticity? In accordance with Kimberly Lankford, a Contributing author for US News, we are now seeing that though the price of health insurance will rise, it will not be much.

Whether this is a good thing or a bad thing, we have yet to figure out.

An example would be larger employers of over 50 employees. Their finalized health care plans for 2021 expect to see an average health care cost of $15,500 per employee, which is actually only a mere 5.3 percent increase since the 2020 fiscal year. Smaller companies, of which seem to abide by less stringent health care rules, have not yet reported their figures. However, the main bulk of the issue seems to be the more than it really is. “With this recent open enrollment for some employers this summer, there were more people enrolling who didn’t elect coverage in the past,” states W. Sakamoto.

So, what can we expect to see?

  • Increases in premiums for families and higher-income workers
  • Tons and tons of additional telehealth and virtual care visits
  • An expansion of mental health services throughout
  • Tons of new tools to assist navigating health care options

Let us examine something really important here: the massive expansion of mental health. We do not realize who we are walking among, as one in five adults in the U.S. are struggling with some form of mental illness. Schizophrenia, as an example, tops itself as 1 percent of the population; clinical depression tops that at 17 percent. In all, the U.S. has spent over $200 billion on mental health spending.

Now, since the time of the pandemic, this is slowly but surely creeping into our awareness. The ACA increased adamant amounts of health coverage to those with a mental or emotional illness, and before that point (and before that law), this was without causation. Though the point of this article is not to examine mental health coverage, it is surely a means to an end: with that much spent on mental health alone, can we really handle an increase in a time where mental health is being affected the most?

Remember that open enrollment for HealthCare.gov begins on November 1st,, and coverage begins January 1st, 2021. If you need help picking a premium, contact us.

A twist comes into the midst: the fact that though one website does justice by showing us that health care coverage increases (i.e. the need of actual health care). Rather, what are the costs? We are actually seeing quite the opposite between actual needs for health care coverage, versus the costs. The U.S. alone reports that 2021 will bring the price from a 2020 12 percent decrease to a 31.9 percent increase.

Just when you thought there was good news, it is quote the opposite, and that is why we urge you to contact us if you need assistance in deciding which plan to use.

Still, many experts continue to say that even these estimates are higher or lower than they actually will be. In turn, it can be hard to predict the future, and we can only base our results on facts. The pandemic has caused crisis and chaos, leading many to turn to free testing. However, what we do not realize is that this is only free for us. An actual COVID-19 test (whether offered to the public as free or not) can range from $23 to as high as $2,315. This means that the government may be spending as much as $200,000 per 10,000 tests! That is insane, when you think about it, but it is a necessity we truly require. In times like this, we often find ourselves facing political backlash: we blame our choice parties based on what they say, not what they do.

This, again, meshes quite well into the midst of healthcare premiums.

When the government loses that much (and believe us, the government is not in such a high state-of-worth as we may think), we find ourselves lost in the world of health insurance costs. When the government poses that much income toward preventing a pandemic, or rectifying it, they will slowly but surely require additional government funds. This will come from Social Security, Health Care, and the Armed Guards.

So, what do we expect?

There will be a massive increase in health care costs, which is why you need to reach out to us for your benefit. We can choose the right premiums and health care plans for you, just hit that “Contact Us” button and get to work! In the meantime, we end with a discussion: where you may be right now. Like most of the world, we are carrying the weight of many others. Our families, friends and loved ones are at stake, and so is our health care coverage. As businesses open up, they are finding it is harder and harder to appease to government regulations about health insurance.

This is because not many can afford such a luxury, as over 99 percent of companies in the United States are small businesses. These are not ones who can afford high deductibles or offer benefits. Rather, they are restaurants, coffee shops, and so on. With this many people losing insurance, it is time to rally up the troops and see how we can do all of this together as a functioning unit!

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President Trump Tries to Bypass Obamacare

Never in my life did I ever think I would hear the following words: “The president’s support for killing Obamacare during the coronavirus pandemic shows a callous disregard for communities in crisis” (Jonathan Metzl, 2020). To catch up, the Affordable Health Care Act has been around for about a decade under President Obama’s decision to make it mandatory for Americans to all have health insurance. Though half of uninsured Americans denied themselves of potential coverage, the other half embraced it! It was a breath of fresh air to many who were without affordable health insurance.

But things change, and politics rule.

Now, in the midst of crisis and a pandemic we cannot seem to stop, President Trump has decided to call Obamacare a “disaster,” and said he wished to “terminate it.” This is not completely in context. Many Americans were (and still are) upset about being forced to pay a fine given they did not have the right coverage (Kaiser, 2020). It is a dual-edged sword: Americans did not embrace the ACA, but now that we need it the most it makes the most sense to use it. You would think this would lead to better health coverage, but that is not the case. Obamacare enrollment skyrocketed since Trump became President. But Trump has decided that now, of all times, is a good place to end the system.

Backing up to May 2020, Trump began the process of getting rid of the necessity of Obamacare, but in a time when Americans can barely afford the premiums, it seems as if the Affordable Healthcare Act is, as of now, quite useless. But the time and place to cancel this ethereal part of our history, in my opinion, is where the “wrong” begins. Aside from personal opinions and political orientations, let us examine this factually.

First, some statistics. 33 percent of White Americans (as of 2010) were without proper health coverage; 33 percent of Hispanics; and 20 percent for Black Americans. This accounts for a tremendous 46.5 million people who currently do not have the proper health coverage. This is ironically 18 percent of the nonelderly population.

 Then, the ACA began.

By 2016, 90 percent of Black Americans had health care, as one example, and many people claimed to have paid much less for prescriptions, to have less medical debt, and in turn, more security when something goes wrong. However, despite this progress, the Trump administration has spent three long years trying to eliminate it. Speculations are amidst. Many claim that it is a way of ridding us of the Obama era; others feel it is simply Trump’s way of cutting funds to a crucial problem.

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However, despite political boundaries, the main issue is not “why” we are cutting it. Rather, it is a question of: “what happens when it is cut?” The main issue seemed to be the cutting of advertising the program. Since Trump’s induction, there has been a 79 percent drop in community outreach, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. In other words, though the ACA still exists, and most likely will continue to exist (one can only amend so much), the fact is many Americans have forgotten – especially in the midst of a pandemic – that Obamacare is an option. So, what happened last week?

The Trump administration “urged the Supreme Court to overturn the Affordable Care Act.” Ironically, it was the same day that half a million Americans lost health insurance due to the economic shutdown, of which was meant to slow the COVID-19 spread. 20 million Americans can and have lost their health coverage, and according to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi: “If President Trump gets his way, 130 million Americans with pre-existing conditions will lose the ACA’s lifesaving protections and 23 million Americans will lose their health coverage entirely.”

Sound bad? Well, it really is.

When this case approached the Supreme Court, many conservative-led states did make their point that the ACA was “unconstitutional,” where fines are issued for not having proper health insurance. What many do not realize is, that was not meant to harm the American public. Rather, it was a way to incentivize the notion that without health insurance, one is subjected to potentially thousands of dollars during a routine visit. In turn, it was not meant to “punish” us, but rather to motivate us!

With due respect, Trump is not the monster they are making him out to be. However, he certainly is not making the health insurance game any easier. With so many Americans affected by the coronavirus, the loss of millions of jobs, and God knows what else, it seems the last thing we should be doing is cutting down on affordable care. Despite this, Trump has made sure we all know that those with preexisting conditions (i.e. an illness or a health issue that was made prior to the actual insurance policy) will still be protected, but how? That is the question many are currently asking, as though it was announced that Obamacare would be seeing changes, no mention of how to redeem its loss have come into earshot, leaving many stressed and without help.

Denied health coverage? Contact us for some assistance!

Now, the good news is since the loss of millions of jobs, around 487,000 people have been wise enough to sign up with HealthCare.gov, after the loss of workplace overage. It is a drastic increase of 46 percent since last year, and all we can do at this point is hope that an appeal is missed, or an executive order is ignored. Otherwise, the realm of health insurance will never quite be the same – if we allow it, that is. We can only hope…

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The Future of Healthcare May Be Going Virtual

We all thought quietly to ourselves: “COVID is going to destroy the world.” I disagree. I feel that after this is all over, we will feel as if we are more in touch with technology. And the health care industry agrees with me. With what was once called “telehealth,” or when you consult with your doctor about a pressing issue, we all felt weirded out about it. Now, ask yourself: have you attended a doctor’s appointment remotely? If so, you have engaged in telehealth! And that is the future of health care, and health insurance.

“We’ve seen a dramatic increase in the foundation we are building for telehealth literally within the last two and a half months,” said James Roxburgh, of whom is CEO for Banner Telehealth (link). It seems that now, the game is all about online visits, but what comes with this is a change in healthcare infrastructure. The insurance market is going to have to adapt accordingly, and that seems to be where the trouble is.

Will insurance cover telemedicine?

The good news is yes! Though this was not once the case, and may not be a factor at the present moment, the Federal Government has passed on telehealth coverage to Medicare, Medicaid, and most private insurance companies. However, because this new way of doing things is so new, it may take a few months for people to adapt. According to an August 2020 discussion panel, many are still in flux with telehealth. It is amazing to see that many are actually cancelling their policies in an effort to avoid being exposed.

But we have to learn to embrace change.

 Telemedicine or “telehealth” is basically what we have all been doing for the past six months: visiting with doctors or physicians virtually via FaceTime, Zoom, Skype, or any other means where there is a camera and a microphone involved. However, studies show that 76 percent would much rather risk obtaining the coronavirus than use technology to their advantage. Another source pointed out that many of the elderly cannot quite grasp the technological requirements to engage in this manner of working.

My mother was one such case. She had me tell her how to see her doctor virtually. Turns out it was rather chaotic: a website that exists provides telehealth, yes, but they did not use Zoom or a phone visit. Rather, they required a separate website that required a registration, almost as if this telehealth movement – specifically since the pandemic – has become a monopoly. Doc.me, ZoomDoc.com, and others are doing nothing different than utilizing a platform such as Zoom and, instead, requiring a much more corporate outlook on things. In other words, they are there for no reason other than that of the doctor, as many choose FaceTime or Zoom (of which even my mom could not use, either).

What do we do from here?

Well, the first step seems to be less focalized around learning to adapt to telehealth, as that was already done for us. Instead, it is about educating Americans how to use these various methods of online visitations without having to rely on me to do it! In other words, we need to be focusing around educating the masses two fundamental challenges: 1) that telehealth is not going away, even after the pandemic ends, and 2) that it is time to embrace this new method of things, as it is a much better alternative.

When you think about it, since telehealth truly formed around 2016, it has had a slow gain in progress. Now, it is everything we have! We cannot go to the doctor because we will infect the patients; we will be exposed to the virus in closed quarters…so on, so forth. Okay, well that is inevitable. Let us focus on the positive: telehealth is ten times less expensive than paying overhead on an office, meaning the doctors in question can actually charge you less each visit because they are sitting in a living room!

Health insurance plans will develop for this new methodology, but we have to be patient and accept that healthcare has changed and, just like how the pacemaker used technology to keep us alive in the event of a heart problem, telehealth is doing a similar thing here. We just need to accept that our lives – from now and until the next pandemic – will be virtualized. It leaves me wondering if we are even ready for this.

Either way, it is time to start educating individuals on how to use the right platforms, and how it benefits more than it hinders. A lot of people feel it is impersonable, and that is okay. Doctors are still helping as much as they can, despite the circumstances. It is time to adapt to the future, and hopefully health insurance plans will begin to do so as well. In fact, we may be adopting a merger with a local company dedicated to teaching us about the benefits of telehealth, as well as how to use it properly (contact me).

Also, considering state laws require insurers to accommodate during the pandemic, we can use this time with telehealth to practice, adapt, and adjust. Soon it will be just as expensive as it was with in-office visits, and yes, you may have to pay a higher premium to go through telehealth platforms at present, but make note that this is not the doctor overcharging you. Rather, it is insurance plans that are trying to keep up so you can only pay a copay and thus, they would inevitably cover you if they had the upcoming policies. Stay strong, stay safe, and remain vigilant. This is not going anywhere soon!

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Some Scary Statistics For The Insurance Market (2020 Edition)

Oh, boy. Okay, take a step back and think (honestly, think!) to yourself quietly: “When I was at this point in my life, in this moment, right here, right now…I had a job, a house, food, electricity, insurance…where did it all go? Oh, that is right, my dear readers! This is a “scary statistics” blog, as they always are. I wanted to lighten the mood and give some moody feedback on these issues, as they are going to not only affect the way we buy insurance, but also the world economy in its own merit.

You see, insurance is not that difficult to understand. It is really just like any other service you will ever encounter. Take a college, or a university you once attended (or had some form of relationship with, even if just the football team) and look at the progression of things. Citizens pay taxes; taxes go to government; government goes to school; school goes to individual departments within it; and the students are the ones paying the bills. Just like school, insurance is a service, as in “serve us!”

1. Unemployment rises and so do premiums…

Just like the above stated, insurance is a business, and it is running on empty. With the coronavirus’ death toll surpassing that of the Vietnam War, the stock market has collapsed; IRAs are down forty percent; the unemployment rate is worse than that of the Great Depression; and this is most certainly not a period in history where brilliant changes occur overnight. We will have to build ourselves back up again, and though we all think of insurance as a “backup,” right now it is actually “Plan A.”

 With the rise of unemployed Americans came a wave of sudden angst; the stock market crashed; investors, startups and just about everyone else in-between are now standing as cavaliers of the 96 million unemployed Americans. And if we were uninsured, how on God’s green earth would you be able to pay for a hospital visit?!

2. Bad Credit? No Money? Too Bad…

Just like jobs check credit scores of interviewing candidates for a new position (72 percent of them, in fact), so do insurance companies. Remember, you want guidance before taking on insurance on your own. We highly encourage you to visit our Personal Insurance Plan page and our Employer Alternative Health plans. So, do insurance companies actually look at bad credit? Yes! According to AMFAM.com, the fact is that insurance companies check your credit score when giving you a quote!

Then again, why would we not expect that is the most likely scenario? They are taking a gamble with you. Remember that insurance companies are not the enemy. They are forcing you to pay so-and-so for so-and-so, right? But think about it: you pay a few bones their way for protection, and you may just find yourself saving tens of thousands on Medical bills or copays. Do note that when you are covered by an insurance company, you are guaranteed what they offer, i.e. if you have a problem, we will pay for it if it applies to us. The gamble they take is that when someone does screw up, they have to pay for it. Believe it or not, according to a 2017 study, insurance companies actually lose more money than they obtain! So look into our options on this website for help.

3. COVID, COVID, COVID…

Okay, this one will not take long. 96 million jobless Americans. This is going to hurt the insurance game a lot, both for those trying to maintain keeping their coverage, as well as those who are in the same pickle: how the heck do we pay for all of these procedures and coronavirus tests? The $2 trillion coronavirus aid package clearly states that over $100 billion dollars are to be allocated to hospital and medical needs as priority. But at this point in time, we had no idea the world would end because of it!

Cheer up! You have an option. COVID is not something you ever want to think that you may have (the anxiety of not knowing is enough torture for me) to deal with, but in reality it is a possibility, and if we do not find constructive ways to keep ourselves protected from liabilities outside of our control, then obviously a number of factors can be applied – by us – to assist you in finding the right plan for the right price

4. Government Procedures

Where does the insurance company’s proceedings go? To overhead and then (you guessed it, the place where almost all of our money goes!) the government takes the rest. In turn, they provide the service of survival to you. Not to sound too edgy, but this is a tough one to discuss without political bandwidth clogging up our servers. In the end, however, we all have to realize that the more sick there are, the more the government will have to modify insurance plans, and this could bring about massive changes in both the way health insurance operates, as well as how much it goes (perhaps, even who it goes to). We are in troubling times, so the best thing to do is secure things now!

Contact us!