Tag Archives: health insurance

Don’t Get Caught Without Health Care

Screen Shot 2015-04-09 at 2.21.32 PMYou have been hearing about the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare, for several years. Covered California has been advertising it’s 2015 open enrollment period since mid 2014. You may have heard that the February 15th deadline had been extended to March. Now, Open Enrollment has been extended to April 30, 2015 before tax penalties will be assessed.

So what exactly are the penalties and how does it affect you and your family? As stated by HealthCare.gov:

If you don’t have coverage in 2015, you’ll pay the higher of these two amounts:

  • 2% of your yearly household income. (Only the amount of income above the tax filing threshold, about $10,000 for an individual, is used to calculate the penalty.) The maximum penalty is the national average premium for a bronze plan.
  • $325 per person for the year ($162.50 per child under 18). The maximum penalty per family using this method is $975.

If you didn’t have coverage in 2014, you’ll pay the higher of these two amounts:

  • 1% of your yearly household income. (Only the amount of income above the tax filing threshold, about $10,000 for an individual, is used to calculate the penalty.) The maximum penalty is the national average premium for a bronze plan.
  • $95 per person for the year ($47.50 per child under 18). The maximum penalty per family using this method is $285.”

And the fee’s only increase in the coming years.

Wanting to make healthcare more affordable for all individuals, Obamacare offers many a Premium Tax Credit (PTC) for qualifying individuals and families. There are many plans to chose from within Obamacare, many of which can be catered to your specific needs. With costs starting as low as $88 (combined with a PTC), healthcare has never been so affordable.

Rebecca, a wife and mother of two children, lost her medical insurance in 2012 when her husband was diagnosed with stage four colon cancer. The rest of her family was covered under Medicare and MediCal but she was unable to get coverage due to a pre-existing condition. Under Obamacare, she was able to obtain an affordable plan that had extensive coverage to cover her pre-existing condition. “You can’t imagine how much of a relief it is to have insurance again.” she recently explained, “I had been living in fear for the past few years that something would flare up with my condition and we would be responsible for thousands of dollars. I had to have an emergency transfusion in 2011 due to my anemia. That one transfusion would have cost me $5,000 out of my own pocket.”

Merten’s Insurance can help you choose the best medical plan for your unique lifestyle with a member-focused service, a wide choice of plans and doctors, financial strength and affordable rates. We can assist with Individual and Family Plans, MediCal, and Small Business medical insurance plans.

Don’t delay. The deadline is coming up fast. Contact us today to start your new health insurance plan.

 

Advertisements

Health Care Where You Live

A recent study by the Commonwealth Fund found that where you live within the United affordable health insurance

States actually plays a bigger role in your overall health care than your income.  High-income people who live in states with poor healthcare are worse off than low-income people in states with good healthcare.

To determine each state’s health score, investigators looked at factors ranging from how many people in a state had health insurance and whether they had enough coverage, as well as how many people used the emergency room for care rather than a doctor’s office and how well a state’s health care system protected its citizens from dangerous medications.

The reason for the income-location discrepancy has to do with access and affordability, prevention and treatment, avoidable hospital use and living healthy lives.  In areas where there is less access to healthcare, it doesn’t matter what your income is; there is still less access.  With less access, prevention and treatment rates go down and avoidable hospital use goes up.

The good news is that California scored relatively high on the health score spectrum compared with other states.  Generally, northern and western states performed well, while states in the south, southeast and southwest maintained health care access “similar to developing countries in Southeast Asia.”  Across the board, scoring high in one factor did not seem to affect the scores in other factors.  For example, Colorado performed in the top quartile for avoiding the hospital and healthy lives, but in the lowest 25% for access and affordability.

Poor scores on any of the scoring factors can be a real danger to the people.  Many people are going without screenings and vaccinations, and in eight states, at least 40% of Medicare beneficiaries were prescribed medications considered dangerous for seniors.  “We see potential for real gains if we aim high,” said Cathy Schoen, senior vice president of The Commonwealth Fund. “This is putting everyone at risk, not just the low-income population.”

The best thing you can do, regardless of your income or location, is to make your healthcare a priority.  Living a healthy lifestyle and getting proper preventative care is critical to your long term health, and preventative care at a doctor’s office is far less expensive than costly hospital visits.  Educating yourself about your options and the appropriate time to visit a doctor can go a long way in ensuring that you and your family get the best health care possible.


For more information about health care, feel free to contact us at Mertens Insurance or 1-888-503-7180. You can also come into one of our three locations in Lincoln, CA, Grass Valley, CA or Yuma, AZ. Follow us on Google+!

Healthcare Where You Live

A recent study by the Commonwealth Fund found that where you live within the United affordable health insuranceStates actually plays a bigger role in your overall health care than your income.  High-income people who live in states with poor healthcare are worse off than low-income people in states with good healthcare.

To determine each state’s health score, investigators looked at factors ranging from how many people in a state had health insurance and whether they had enough coverage, as well as how many people used the emergency room for care rather than a doctor’s office and how well a state’s health care system protected its citizens from dangerous medications.

Continue reading Healthcare Where You Live

ObamaCare in California: What you need to know about Covered California

You’ve probably been hearing more buzz than usual about ObamaCare these past few weeks.  On October 1, 2013, California’s health care exchange, called “Covered California,” will open for business.  ObamaCare’s individual mandate will take effect on January 1, 2014, but people can only buy coverage in California between October 2013 and March 2014.  Miss that window and you’ll be out of luck until it reopens in 2015.health insurance

With the time ticking, many people are rushing to learn more about what is available, how much it will cost, and how to get coverage.  The health care exchanges vary from state to state, and in California, we will be dealing with Covered California.  There are currently 12 different companies authorized to provide benefits under Covered California for 2014.  They are: Alameda Alliance for Health, Anthem Blue Cross of California, Blue Shield of California, Chinese Community Health Plan, Contra Costa Health Plan, Health Net, Kaiser Permanente, L.A. Care Health Plan, Molina Healthcare, Sharp Health Plan, Valley Health Plan and Western Health Advantage.  Continue reading ObamaCare in California: What you need to know about Covered California