Initially, California had predicted that about 80% of consumers would look for assistance when enrolling in the healthcare exchange. According to a recent article from the Los Angeles Times, insurance agents were responsible for enrolling nearly 40% of people who enrolled in a Covered California plan. This is a huge testament to the work of these agents in getting people covered despite limited resources and numerous setbacks. Originally, Covered California had planned to have 16,000 certified enrollment counselors prepared to help sell plans on the exchange. Despite their hope, only about 600 counselors were officially certified at the start of open enrollment. By the end
Finding health insurance for employees is never easy. With the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, it makes it even more challenging. That’s why we’re here to help. At Steve Grady Insurance Services you’ll find the straightforward answers you want regarding all of your benefits questions. We won’t beat around the bush or sugar coat anything. We believe in giving direct, honest answers. Some things we consider when recommending benefits packages include: How much each plan will cost you and your employees How each plan will benefit your employees’ needs Whether a wellness program may be a beneficial addition to your health plan Whether you
By 2AM April 1st, there were 1.2 million Californians enrolled in the exchange. However, the late night surge in applicants attempting to enroll in Covered California by the March 31st deadline caused the website to crash and stall repeatedly. Officials have decided to allow consumers to enroll in person with agents or on the phone until April 15th. “Peter Lee, the executive director for Covered California, said during a teleconference late Monday that the deadline was not being extended. Rather, he said the state exchange was relying on the honor system to allow Californians one more chance to sign up.” Officials feel that they have
Opportunities for Brokers Evident as Health Reform Takes Shape By: TNS Published: Thursday, Jul. 14, 2011 – 10:06 am NEW YORK, July 14, 2011 — /PRNewswire/ — The importance of health insurance brokers and agents over the next three years — especially those who specialize in employee health benefits — will be increasing sharply in the eyes of middle market decision makers. This is based on a recent survey, conducted by TNS, a world leader in market information. According to the study, almost two-thirds (63%) of companies surveyed view their employee health insurance broker or agent as a valued partner with 33% describing them
Deciding on a health insurance plan can be confusing. We are here to let you know which benefits are most important, so you can make an informed decision. Deductible The most important part of any health insurance plan is the deductible. A deductible is the amount of expenses that must be paid out of pocket before an insurance carrier will cover any expenses. Most deductibles can range from $1,000 to $5,000. As a general rule, lower deductible plans tend to have higher monthly premiums, and higher deductible plans tend to have lower monthly premiums.
What is a provider network? And why is it important to you? Provider networks are groups of doctors and medical facilities contracted to perform medical services at a discounted rate for the members of health insurance plans. The participating doctors and medical facilities in a provider network are referred to as “in-network.” Conversely, doctors and medical facilities not participating in the provider network are considered “out-of-network.” Participating doctors and facilities vary from network to network, as well as carrier to carrier. The benefit of provider networks is that if you choose to see an in-network provider you can take advantage of the providers discounted rate
Flexible Spending Account (FSA) With an FSA, money (in the amount you choose) is taken out of your paycheck before taxes and put into an account. The money in this account can be used to pay for medical expenses throughout the year and can be used in conjunction with any health insurance plan. The most important aspect of FSAs is that they have a “use it or lose it” provision. You must use the funds in the account in the year in which those funds were saved or you will lose them at the end of the year when they are returned to your employer.
Thousands of employers in California and nationwide are opting for ‘narrow network’ HMOs, which offer notable savings on insurance premiums but also offer fewer medical providers. By Duke Helfand April 3, 2011, Thousands of employers in California and across the country are slashing expensive doctors and hospitals from their insurance rosters in a move to hold down rising healthcare costs — a trend that is gaining favor with corporate bosses, if not the rank and file. The savings on insurance premiums — nearly 25% in some cases — are gained when companies switch their health plans to “narrow network” HMOs that offer fewer choices of