What does the individual mandate repeal mean?

Posted by Emily Kubis on Thu, Dec 21, 2017 @ 10:12

What individuals should know

Congress successfully passed the Republican tax bill Wednesday, which includes a repeal of the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate.

What does this mean for consumers?

The individual mandate is the Obamacare policy that requires consumers who can afford health insurance to carry it. Under the ACA, if consumers choose to go uninsured, they face a penalty when they file their taxes for the year they lacked coverage.

The repeal is effective in 2019, meaning consumers who forgo health insurance in 2019 will not face a tax penalty in 2020.

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Tags: Affordable Care Act, aca, Individual health insurance, Individual Plans, individual mandate, individual digest

Open enrollment ends Friday, Dec. 15

Posted by Emily Kubis on Wed, Dec 13, 2017 @ 08:12

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Sign up before the deadline for 2018 coverage

The deadline to sign up for 2018 individual health insurance on the Affordable Care Act exchanges is this Friday, Dec. 15.

Consumers who need insurance should sign up before midnight on Friday. If you miss the deadline, you won’t be able to sign up without experiencing a qualifying event for special enrollment, like having a baby.

Here are a few things consumers should know.

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Tags: Affordable Care Act, aca, Individual health insurance, marketplace, open enrollment, Individual Plans, individual digest

How to compare plans during open enrollment

Posted by Emily Kubis on Wed, Nov 08, 2017 @ 10:11

Three things to consider

Trying to find coverage for 2018? It can be overwhelming to compare all the options available on the individual marketplace. How do you know if you have found the right plan for you and your family?

When comparing plans, there are three things to consider. Use these criteria to find the best possible option.

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Tags: Affordable Care Act, aca, Individual health insurance, marketplace, open enrollment, Individual Plans, individual digest

Open enrollment is here

Posted by Emily Kubis on Wed, Nov 01, 2017 @ 08:11

Sign up for 2018 coverage until Dec. 15

Open enrollment is here! Beginning November 1, individual health insurance consumers can compare and enroll in coverage options for 2018.

Consumers should be aware that open enrollment will be shorter than ever before this year—the deadline to sign up for health insurance is December 15. In previous years, open enrollment has extended through January but that is not the case this year. If you need health insurance for you must sign up by December 15.

Here’s what consumers need to know:

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Tags: Affordable Care Act, aca, Individual health insurance, marketplace, open enrollment, Individual Plans, individual digest

If cost-sharing subsidies are cut, will I be affected?

Posted by Emily Kubis on Fri, Oct 27, 2017 @ 08:10

Understanding the impact on consumers

President Trump’s executive order to cut “cost-sharing reduction” payments to insurers created a lot of questions for consumers. What are the payments, and will cutting them affect consumers next year?

The short answer is no. If you are eligible for these reductions, you will not be impacted next year. But consumers who do not receive any subsidies for indiviual insurance will be affected, and the ramifications of cutting the payments, sometimes called CSRs, could be felt by all individual consumers in 2019.

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Tags: Affordable Care Act, obamacare, aca, Individual health insurance, Donald Trump, individual digest, cost-sharing reduction payments, CSR

What health insurance consumers need to know about cost-sharing

Posted by Emily Kubis on Fri, Oct 20, 2017 @ 10:10

Understanding out-of-pocket costs

From deductibles to coinsurance, cost-sharing is a key feature of health insurance plans today. Cost-sharing refers to out-of-pocket costs, and it is important to understand what you will be expected to pay. Understanding cost-sharing is necessary to compare different health insurance plans.

Some consumers may remember the days of full health insurance coverage, sometimes also called “first dollar coverage,” where out-of-pocket costs were minimal or non-existent. Today, this is extremely rare. Almost every health insurance plan will include some level of cost-sharing.

Here’s what consumers need to know.

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Tags: coinsurance, deductible, High Deductible Health Plan, out of pocket maximum, health insurance deductible, Individual health insurance, high deductibles, paying out of pocket, individual digest, out-of-pocket costs

How Bernard Health helps individuals through financial advisors & employers

Posted by Ryan McCostlin on Wed, Oct 18, 2017 @ 08:10

A note to our friends and clients

Bernard Health is now offering health insurance advice and assistance to individuals and families exclusively through our partnerships with financial advisors and employers.

What does this mean?

If your employer is a client of Bernard Health, you can continue to work with our team of licensed, noncommissioned advisors for free. We support hundreds of employers including businesses, nonprofits, and municipalities.

Also, if you have a relationship with a financial advisor who partners with Bernard Health, you can access our advisory services for free. We began partnering with financial advisors in mid-2017, and several financial advisors who help clients all over the country have already made an investment to make Bernard Health's services free to their clients. If you have a relationship with a financial advisor, please ask them if they're already working with Bernard Health. If they are, we may be able to provide your family with unlimited healthcare advisory services for free! If they're not, you can encourage them to consider partnering with us, and you start by sharing this link with them

Due to changes in health insurance, we will not be offering fee-based consulting services in our stores this year. If you're one of thousands of individuals or families who has counted on Bernard Health in the past and was hoping to work with us again this year, please know that we're just as disappointed as you are that we're no longer able to help the general public. We know people still need guidance. While we are not able to offer specific advice to individual consumers, here is general information about what to expect during this year’s open enrollment and links to a few other resources. 

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Tags: Affordable Care Act, obamacare, aca, Medicare, Individual health insurance, nashville, Nashville health insurance, Individual Plans, individual health insurance questions, individual digest, financial planner, financial advisors, individuals

Vanderbilt now in-network with Cigna

Posted by Emily Kubis on Wed, Oct 11, 2017 @ 11:10

Late-hour negotiation reached

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Tags: Affordable Care Act, aca, Individual health insurance, marketplace, Nashville health insurance, open enrollment, Individual Plans, cigna, individual digest, vanderbilt university medical center

Five things to know about Nashville’s 2018 ACA plans

Posted by Emily Kubis on Fri, Oct 06, 2017 @ 09:10

What consumers need to know

(This article has been updated to reflect that Vanderbilt is now in-network with Cigna. Learn more here.) 

Open enrollment is right around the corner, which means individual health insurance consumers will soon be able to select their coverage plan for 2018.

In Nashville, there are two carrier options for ACA-compliant health insurance in 2018—Cigna and Oscar Health. Cigna told navigators and state insurance commission representatives that their plans are focused on affordability, while Oscar Health provides a tech-oriented insurance experience, including 24/7 free access to telemedicine.

Here are five things Nashville consumers need to know.

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Tags: Affordable Care Act, aca, Individual health insurance, marketplace, open enrollment, Individual Plans, individual digest

Consumers missing HSA investment opportunity

Posted by Emily Kubis on Mon, Oct 02, 2017 @ 07:10

Most using HSA as a specialized checking account 

According to a study from the Employee Benefit Research Institute, the vast majority of Health Savings Account holders are not taking advantage of the investment potential of their accounts.

The study reported that most account holders use their HSAs as “specialized checking accounts,” using the funds to cover deductibles, coinsurance and copayments. But they aren’t taking advantage of the investment opportunity of HSAs, nor are they maximizing their contributions.

The report found that just 4 percent of account holders invested their HSA balance, and the average total contribution in 2016 was $2,922, less than one half of the allowable maximum for family coverage.

While using HSAs for healthcare expenses is valuable, maximizing contributions and investing funds can be the most effective way to benefit from the accounts.

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Tags: deductible, HSA, HSAs, health savings account, health savings, High Deductible Health Plan, health insurance deductible, Individual health insurance, high deductibles, health savings accounts, HSA Advice, individual digest

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