3 questions to ask when you're looking for a health partner

Posted by Ryan McCostlin on Wed, Jan 24, 2018 @ 07:01

Check out this column in ThinkAdvisor!

As health care costs continue to rise, financial advisors are increasingly building health care consulting services into their value proposition to clients. The issue is material to wealth management — health care costs in retirement are estimated at $275,000 for a couple retiring this year, according to Fidelity Benefits Consulting.

More financial advisors are recognizing that strategically evaluating health care and insurance costs is key to an effective retirement strategy. But most financial planners and wealth managers aren’t insurance experts themselves, which has led to a partnership between two industries — health care and benefits advisors and wealth management experts.

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Tags: Medicare, healthcare advice, Individual Plans, financial advisors, healthcare extension, wealth managers

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

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

Smart financial planners step up to fill gaps in healthcare advice

Posted by Ryan McCostlin on Mon, May 08, 2017 @ 12:05

A 'healthcare extension' gives clients the expert advice they need

I used to be really boring at cocktail parties. When a new friend would ask me about what I do for a living, I talked about solving problems in health insurance. Our team at Bernard Health has helped thousands of people make better decisions around health insurance and Medicare. But who wants to hear about that at a cocktail party? My social skills could have been better.But two things happened that made me more interesting. Or at least less boring. 
  1. The Affordable Care Act and subsequent policy debates made health insurance sexy (sort of) for maybe the first time ever.

  2. I learned to stop talking about healthcare. I started asking questions about healthcare instead, and I was surprised by what I observed. The same people whose eyes glazed over when I brought it up became animated when they had space to talk about their own healthcare experiences and concerns.
My unscientific cocktail party research revealed that most people care deeply about healthcare. They don't necessarily want to talk about wonky topics like population health or cost sharing reduction subsidies, but they have strong opinions and some anxiety around physician networks and prescription coverage. It turns out that healthcare - how to plan for it, how to maintain it, how to pay for it - isn't just a conversation for analysts and journalists. As long as they're given the space, everyday Americans want to discuss it.

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Tags: Medicare, Medicare Advice, healthcare advice, Individual Plans, financial advisors, healthcare extension, wealth managers

What’s the difference between “Obamacare” and the new American Health Care Act?

Posted by Emily Kubis on Wed, Mar 08, 2017 @ 10:03

Republicans release repeal, replacement bill

House Republicans released their official legislative plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, or “Obamacare,” on Monday, and it includes a few big changes to the U.S. healthcare system.

The “American Health Care Act” still has a long way to go before it becomes law. But many consumers are likely wondering, if Republicans are successful in passing the bill, how will it affect their insurance and care?

Most of the key pieces of the AHCA can essentially be categorized in two ways—the parts of the ACA it keeps intact, and the parts it repeals and replaces.

Let’s look at each category:

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Tags: Affordable Care Act, Individual health insurance, Individual Plans, IRS, individual digest, repeal, ACHC, continuous coverage, American Health Care Act

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employer healthcare freedom
employer healthcare freedom