Losing health insurance coverage mid-year? 3 options for consumers

Posted by Alex Tolbert on Mon, Aug 13, 2018 @ 10:08

What to do if you lose coverage

Losing health insurance coverage mid-year can happen for a variety of reasons. Whether you have had a recent job change, a move or a change in your household resulting in a loss of coverage, this transition can lead to anxiety for consumers.


What are consumers supposed to do if they lose coverage in the middle of the year? Fortunately, the reasons described above, among others, are considered “qualifying events,” which means you can sign up for health coverage on the Affordable Care Act marketplaces at any time of the year after experiencing them.

However, the marketplace isn’t your only option. There are other options for health coverage, and which one you choose will depend on a few different factors, including your health status, how long you expect to need new coverage and your income.

Below is an outline of these options and how consumers can think about them.

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Tags: healthcare, The Tennessean, healthcare costs, surprise medical bills

Tennesseans have more health insurance marketplace options, but will consumers sign up?

Posted by Alex Tolbert on Wed, Aug 01, 2018 @ 09:08

Insurers re-entering Tennessee market

Next year, Tennessee consumers will have more options for coverage through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplaces, as carriers reverse the trend of previous years and re-enter or expand in the state’s individual market.

Right now, five different insurance carriers have filed with the state to sell individual health plans in 2019. This is the most carriers selling in Tennessee’s individual market since 2016.

However, it is possible that fewer Tennesseans will enroll in this kind of coverage. Below, we’ll look at new options for Tennesseans and some factors to consider about marketplace plans versus other options.

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Tags: healthcare, The Tennessean, healthcare costs, surprise medical bills

Three health care tools that will save you money

Posted by Alex Tolbert on Mon, Jul 16, 2018 @ 09:07

How to use price-shopping tools 

Have you ever tried to price-shop for your health care? While consumers are usually familiar with doing so when it comes to buying most goods and services, health care has been different.

Typically, it has been really hard, if not impossible, to get an accurate sense of what health care visits and services will cost you ahead of time. 

Health care pricing has traditionally been very opaque, but as deductibles keep rising, consumers are paying for more and more of their own care. As a result, consumers are increasingly trying to find cost and quality information before they schedule a surgery or pick up a prescription.

Fortunately, new tools are available to make this process easier. While shopping for health care still isn’t as simple as running a quick search on Amazon, there are some websites and apps that can give you a general sense of what you might expect to pay. Let’s review three popular health care price-shopping tools — Healthcare Bluebook, MDSave and GoodRx.

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Tags: healthcare, The Tennessean, healthcare costs, surprise medical bills

Five questions to ask before having a medical procedure

Posted by Alex Tolbert on Mon, Jul 02, 2018 @ 09:07

How to make more informed medical decisions

When planning a medical procedure, making a well-informed decision is really important. While this is not always possible during an emergency medical scenario, having as much information as possible for elective procedures can help you get the best care, as well as avoid surprise bills or inflated charges.

You may not be able to get an accurate estimate of how much a procedure will cost ahead of time, but there are several questions you can ask to minimize your exposure to financial risk.

Here are five questions to ask before having a medical procedure.

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Tags: healthcare, The Tennessean, healthcare costs, surprise medical bills

Surprise medical bill? Here's what to do.

Posted by Emily Kubis on Thu, Feb 04, 2016 @ 07:02

Tips for dealing with unexpected bills

Unexpected healthcare bills are very common, and very frustrating. Maybe you thought you had covered all your bases and your care was insured, or maybe you didn’t know that was necessary. Either way, you received a bill in the mail from your healthcare provider, and now you’re not sure what to do.

A third of surprise medical bills come from out-of-network providers, according to a study by the Kaiser Family Foundation, which also said seven out of 10 people with unaffordable medical bills were unaware the provider was not in-network. For more on how unexpected medical bills occur, check out “How to avoid surprise medial bills.”

So you’ve received an unexpected medical bill. Now what?

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Tags: Affordable Care Act, health insurance, health reform, medical bills, surprise medical bills

How to avoid surprise medical bills

Posted by Emily Kubis on Wed, Jan 20, 2016 @ 07:01

Tips for staying covered

Many Americans have received unexpected bills after a healthcare incident. The experience can be very frustrating, especially if you have insurance and thought your treatment was covered. A survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that out-of-network providers contributed to unaffordable medical bills a third of the time, and seven out of 10 individuals with such a bill were unaware the provider was out of network.

With the rise of narrow network health plans, this experience is likely to become even more common.  As they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so here’s how to keep it from happening to you. And if you do wind up with an expected charge, find out what to do here

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Tags: Affordable Care Act, health insurance, health reform, medical bills, surprise medical bills

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