Blog Archives - Page 5 of 5 - HealthPlanOptionsToday

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 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!


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.

Click here to see how we can help you with your insurance needs!

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, 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…


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.,, 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!


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, 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.


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!


The Psychology Of Health Insurance (Or Lack Thereof)

Yeah, that is an actual question and even worse, it is a psychological concept in and of itself. So, safety causes happiness. Well, we already knew that, but one study showed us that though we may have been already aware of this phenomenon, we are just beginning to tap the foundation of how happiness is, in effect, regulated by safety.

 When We Once Felt Safe

 Take this as an example: when the Affordable Health Care Act (AHCA) (outbound) was established, 24 million Americans suddenly gained health plan coverage, more-or-less because they were fined if not paying toward it. The economy began to recover after eight long years of war, and it can almost be insinuated (and many theorists agree) that this entire phenomenon was based on such a simple thing: having health insurance!

So, why begin with such a depressing tale?

Simple: neuroscientific evidence has proven that by simply signing up for a Health Insurance Plan (inbound link here) or a COBRA Insurance Plan (inbound link here), your mood will improve and your stress will disappear, allowing you to successfully navigate your emotions and increase overall productivity and self-value. The collectivist notion of “for the group, not the individual” seems to be growing less and less visible in the eyes of the United States, and we are slowly deteriorating, when you do think about it.

Look, We Are Not Alone

We are facing a pandemic that, once again, tests man against machine. However, since we have established two things already: 1) that if you feel unsafe because of what is going on around you, the last thing you want to worry about is health insurance, and 2) that research shows that having health insurance leads to happiness.

So, what to do?

Right now, and especially during the pandemic, 5.4 million Americans have lost health insurance, and that is why we are writing this blog. It is a reminder of what you should be thankful for, and what you should be doing right now to optimize these horrid times). So, if you want to start, first read our two health plan coverage options: COBRA Insurance and Personal Insurance. Read through it; gather a sense of what it is about. Then, come to us and ask: “How will this actually make me happier?

Do what would alleviate some of the anxiety in the case of an emergency, and reach out to us if you need assistance in picking a plan. We promise we can help. Keep reading, or take a moment to contact us and ask us about what we can do to bring you back to normality, safety, and comfort. Let us embrace happiness together!

Actual Psychological Research Here

Using fMRI scans to measure the brain functions of two groups (one that was insured and the other that was not insured). fMRI scanning allowed researchers to see that the regions of the brain responsible for anger, frustration, and sadness are twice as active as those who are insured. This was tested by injecting them with a radioactive dye that allowed their blood oxygen levels to be measured. It found that the insured individuals had a completely different brain structure and anatomy! The personality tests did not do much justice, either, considering four out of five times the non-insured individuals had a more negative and cynical outlook on the future.

 Yeah, that is a lot to take in, huh?

We also know that a particular brain region called the “amygdala” fosters cortisol production when in times of high stress. This condition is worsening in many, and health problems are going to arrive. We promise, we are not trying to sell you something here. This is a serious discussion about the horrible things we are currently facing, and the simple fact that if you simply had a way of feeling safe (i.e. that in the event of an emergency, you are able to treat it without a huge copay), perhaps you would feel a little better. All we do is try to help, but we in no way condone sporadic marketing.

Let Us End Things Here…

Maslow’s Hierarchy Of Needs is a psychological theory thought up by A. Maslow, of whom founded the positive psychology movement. He proposed that to reach true bliss, we must satisfy four basic needs: those that are physiological, safety, belonging, and self-esteem-oriented. Once those four needs are met, we can reach the next step, such as from “safety” to “belonging,” and so on until we reach the tippy top, where you are omnipotent in the eyes of freedom. So, where does health insurance fall? “Safety,” which is pretty low on the hierarchy. You still have two more levels to climb! Get out of “Safety” and into “Bliss,” where you can accomplish your most wildest dreams!