I Value My Insurance Agent

I want to start out by saying that working with you is an honor and privilege.  We all have choices in life, and I’m so glad you choose me for all of your health insurance needs.  I’ve learned to take nothing for granted, both personally and professionally.  I’ve always worked hard for what I have and enjoy the satisfaction that comes from making someone’s life better, less stressful, etc.  This often comes from finding just the right health plan for you and your family.

We’ve all seen how the Affordable Care Act has made this process increasingly difficult, in the form of higher premiums, fewer insurance companies offering plans, fewer doctor and hospital choices with shrinking networks, changes in how prescription drugs are covered, higher deductibles and out of pocket exposure, and so on.  Health Insurance as we once knew it, is gone.

Now, imagine taking a year’s worth of your business and doing it in just 45 days.  Sounds humanly impossible, yes?  Yet, this is what true health insurance professionals did for our clients, putting in 14 plus hour days if that’s what it took, and hoping and praying everyone got the attention they deserved.   What makes this even more challenging is the fact that no two clients are the same.  They don’t live in the same area, go to the same doctors, take the same prescriptions, have the same income, or have the same family make-up.  Each client needs their own personal consultation.  And this is where the value of a health insurance professional comes in.  The value of someone who knows the nuances of insurance companies, plans, networks.  Someone who is there for when you get cancer, or need surgery, and realize you need to be on a different plan after extensive network / doctor search, and will stay at the office until the midnight hour, before the deadline, to move you to the plan that is better for you – or your family.   But it doesn’t stop there.  As your trusted advisor, we are there for you every step of the way –  from ID cards, to claims negotiations, remediation, ongoing service and consultation with whatever you, our clients, need.  We are your advocate and will fight for you like we would our own family.

Picking the right plan from the start is more important than ever since the law says you can’t change plans outside of Open Enrollment, which typically lasts a few months somewhere between November and January, each year.  You can NOT buy insurance any time of the year.  You are locked in to a plan whether you like it or not.  Often I get calls from people who thought they could “do it on their own” and ended up with a plan that doesn’t work for them because they didn’t know what to look for.  Then, they are stuck with it for a year.

Did I mention that I love what I do?  I always have. I’ve never paid much attention to how much money I’ll make helping someone, just putting them first, taking care of them, is true satisfaction.  The compensation comes later, in the form of commission payments from the insurance companies.  If you think about it, independent health insurance professionals are the least expensive way for them to sell their policies.   We are like independent contractors to them.  If we do not produce, we don’t get paid.  And what they pay us is a small percentage of the premiums.

But now that the dust settled after the craziest Open Enrollment Season in history, we are faced with yet another challenge.  Many health insurance companies we work with are no longer paying commission.  For now, this is for policies written outside of Open Enrollment, but can change overnight.  So, as you can imagine, I am faced with a very tough decision.  Obviously no one can work for free on a regular basis.  If commissions are eliminated altogether, agents will have no choice except to start charging consulting fees.  Many of them already do, but I have not gone there yet, hoping and praying I can continue to do what I love, and still get paid.

But we all have to fight for what we believe in, and this is where you come in:

I am asking you to join me in the fight.  With the help of Health Agents for America (HAFA), we are asking you to let our State and Federal representatives know the value of working with a health insurance professional. I’ve tried to make this as easy as possible… just a few clicks and your voice can be heard.

(Special thanks to Tanya Boyd & Associates for putting my thoughts into these eloquent words.)

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Please click the following link to sign a document letting our State and Federal representatives know the value of working with a health insurance professional. Your voice is important.

CLICK HERE TO SIGN

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5 tips for your first doctor visit

If you’re new to insurance or haven’t been to the doctor in a long time, here are some tips to help your visit go smoothly from check-in to claim:

  1. Get there early. Plan to get there early to fill out any forms. Tell the doctor’s office that this is your first visit.
  2. Bring your ID card. Show the front desk your new member ID card and use it to fill out any forms.
  3. Ask questions. Bring any questions you have so you won’t forget to ask them. Write down the answers and tips your doctor says to try, too.
  4. Know what you have to pay at the visit. Check your plan to see if you have a deductible, copay or coinsurance. If so, you will need to be ready to pay the doctor’s office.
  5. Check your EOB. After your visit, you will get an Explanation of Benefits (EOB) form that will tell you what your plan paid for your visit and what you may owe for any other care like tests or lab work your doctor asked you to have.

Continue reading “5 tips for your first doctor visit”

Special Enrollment period

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You may be eligible to enroll for insurance even after the January 31st deadline if you qualify for the special enrollment period. The special enrollment period is a period outside of open enrollment where you can get insurance coverage due to qualifying life events.

You may qualify for the special enrollment period if you have:

  • Married or divorced
  • Moved to another state
  • Had a baby or adopted a child
  • Changed jobs
  • Had changes in your income that affect the coverage you qualify for
  • Became a U.S. citizen
  • Left incarceration
  • Had a change of dependency status of someone on your plan
  • Had a death of a covered member of your household
  • Turned 26 and aged off your parent’s plan
  • Lost employer group coverage

Bringing in the new year

Open enrollment will end Jan. 31, 2016. If you would like to change your plan, call our offices to discuss a plan that meets your needs and your budget. We want help you choose the right plan for you!

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If you don’t enroll in a  2016 health plan by Jan. 31 2016, you can’t enroll in a plan for 2016 unless you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period.

You may qualify for a Special Enrollment Period if you have:

  • Had a baby and/or adopted a baby
  • Married/divorced
  • Changed jobs
  • Lost previous employer group coverage
  • Lost dependent status
  • Recently moved to a different state
  • Had a change of immigration status

Humana dental digital member ID cards

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Humana Dental commercial group members now have the convenience of a digital member ID card.

Why is a digital card better than a paper card? Here are a few reasons:

  1. By accessing a digital ID card, members don’t have to keep the paper version in their wallet anymore
  2. Online means up-to-date. As soon as an account with Humana Dental is updated, the digital ID card is updated
  3. Members can email or fax a copy of the card to a provider
  4. Members can print copies to give to providers
  5. A digital ID is environment- friendly by reducing the production of a plastic products

How to access the card?

All members: To access a PDF or print or email a Humana Dental ID card, sign in to MyHumana. Once signed in to MyHumana, access the digital card from the Access ID Card link. If the member is not registered with a password and user ID yet, it’s simple to follow the steps to set this up from Humana.com

Smartphone users: Is a smartphone user, members can view or fax an ID card from the MyHumana mobile app. To search for the app, visit an app store and search by typing “MyHumana.” Once you launch the app and securely sign in, a Humana Dental ID card will appear on the phone under the tooth icon.

Still want a card?

You can still get a physical card. Here’s how:

  1. Members can go to MyHumana and locate the card from the Access ID Card link and print directly from the site.
  2. The Benefit Administrator can print the card via Employer Portal.

What if a member can’t locate the card or find the app?

Contact Humana via MyHumana secure email or through their toll-free number, 1-800-233-4013.

Humana & Blue Cross digital doctor visits

TELEMEDICINE

Group employees can talk to a telemedicine doctor for $40 or less

Based on the medical plan, the copayment or retail clinic benefit cost for your employees may be less. A trip to the emergency room or urgent care can be costly – especially for minor injuries or illnesses.

But with telemedicine, your employees can quickly connect by video and see a board-certified doctor using a smartphone, tablet or computer. Whether it’s an after-hours consultation or during travels, Humana’s telemedicine benefit is access to care that is easy, convenient and more affordable for your employees to get the right type of care to stay healthy.

What is telemedicine?

Humana’s two pillars of telemedicine are eVisits and Remote Monitoring with a primary focus on expanding access and delivering integrated care to our members where and when they need it.

eVisits allow real-time secure video to enable doctor visits for certain, non-emergency care; think of an eVisit like secure Skype™ or Facetime™ session.

Telemedicine is a video on-demand, 24-hour service to access care from board-certified physicians

  • Video visit with a physician from one of Doctor On Demand’s U.S. board-certified doctors
  • Immediately video visit with a doctor 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from any location
  • Members can share notes from their telemedicine visit with their primary care doctor
  • If medically necessary, a Doctor On Demand can send a prescription to a preferred pharmacy

What can be treated by telemedicine?

Telemedicine should be considered when a primary care doctor is unavailable, after-hours or on holidays for non-emergency needs. Doctor On Demand physicians can treat ailments, such as:

  • Colds, sore throat and flu symptoms
  • Upper respiratory infections
  • Allergies and sinus infections
  • Ear and eye problems
  • Skin conditions

This service is not for emergency situations such as chest pain, abdominal pain or shortness of breath.

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Individual and employees can talk to a telehealth doctors online.

Blue Cross members are able to access telehealth services in their quests for affordable and convenient quality medical care. LiveHealth Online has saved Blue Cross members between two and three hours of time from traditional office visits, giving them more time for work, friends, family, or whatever things that they like best.  With telehealth apps like LiveHealth Online, getting hold of a doctor is now easier than ever. Whether you are a college student, young professional, a family, or an empty nester who likes to travel, we can all appreciate products that make life easier.

Sign up for LiveHealth Online and have a face-to-face conversation on your computer or mobile device. Download the app or sign up online today.

Sometimes you just need a doctor. And thanks to the Internet, you can connect to one anytime, anywhere – whether it’s the middle of the night or the middle of a road trip.

Select a doctor, and he or she can answer questions, assess your condition and even provide a prescription* if needed.

Log in and you’ll see a list of doctors available and ready to talk 24 hours a day, 7 days a week just in case something happens.

*Prescription availability is defined by physician judgment and state regulations.

Apple LiveHealth Online download

Android LiveHealth Online download

 

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Continue reading “Humana & Blue Cross digital doctor visits”