Archive for the ‘Anthem Blue Cross’ category

Young Professionals: “My Employer Doesn’t Offer Healthcare”

June 19th, 2013

In the United States, healthcare is a topic that is consistently on the tongues of legislators, and yet somehow, it’s still not discussed enough – especially when it comes to young adults (aged 18-24). In fact, young adults make up the segment of the American population that is most likely to be uninsured due to losing coverage once they’re off their parents’ plans. According to the 2007 bureau, nearly 8 million young adults went without health insurance – that’s 28% of that age group’s population.

So what exactly are a young adult’s options for health insurance? Not every workplace offers it to new employees, but that doesn’t leave you high and dry. You do have options, in part due to the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

Did You Know: The Age of Dependency has been Extended

Many young adults aren’t aware that they can still be insured as a dependent on their parents’ healthcare plans after they turn eighteen. Due to the Affordable Care Act, you can still be listed as a dependent until you’re 26 years old if you don’t get job-based coverage. This buys you a little extra time to get settled into a career and get job-based coverage or find an independent plan.

For Young Adults with Limited Income

If you don’t have health insurance because you can’t afford it, 2014 may be your year. Starting next year, unemployed adults with limited income may be eligible for free health insurance through Medicaid.

Buying Insurance Independently

It may become your only option if your parents don’t have health insurance and you’re self-employed, unemployed, or new to the workforce. Buying health insurance, if you can afford it, is sometimes a necessity – though it might be a bit expensive, an uninsured trip to the hospital is even more expensive. It’s all about shopping smart. Remember that a lower premium, though it may appear to be more desirable, usually offers less comprehensive coverage or a very steep copay. Try using sites that offer health insurance quotes, like this one for Anthem Blue Cross of California, while also having thorough information about the coverage, and choose the best option.

What Else you should Know…

Remember that if you buy a short-term plan just to last you until you get a better one, it will likely be expensive and have limited coverage, so only do so if necessary. If you’re newly married, don’t forget about maternity coverage – this is something newlyweds often forget! And finally, there are many new changes coming in 2014 that will benefit the unemployed and low-income workers.

Health Care Reform Needs The Right Leaders

January 21st, 2013

As the exchange era approaches and the reform bills take affect, many are still wondering what the overall result will be.  As of late, many have seen there health insurance premiums double with no explanation.  Also, many are still without health insurance because it is still way too expensive.  It is estimated that there are still over 40 million Americans without health insurance today.  That number is obviously why President Obama is trying to overhaul the system with his laws that were passed over two years ago.  In California, there are currently over 8 million uninsured, one of the highest figures in the country.  So, how will the exchanges get these millions of Americans insurance?  How long will it take for everyone to get health insurance?  5 Years?  20 years?  Another question, will people simply pay the fees associated with not having insurance because that it is still much cheaper than actual health insurance premiums.

Many people who make $10 dollars an hour, trying to make a living, do not have and can’t afford to get health insurance.  America needs quality leaders to oversee the health care system and the implementation of it coming next year.  Most are predicting that the healthy will pay for the poor, just like the rich pay for the poor when it comes to government programs, etc.  Next year everything takes affect, we will find out soon.

Higher Health Insurance Premiums On The Way

January 7th, 2013

Obamacare has been at the forefront the last three years and has been one of the most important issues the Obama administration has handled in their term.  As Obama’s four year term is coming to an end and the new term is starting, many consumers are wondering why insurance premiums are continuing to rise.  Also, many are now questioning how it will all of sudden start to decrease starting in 2014.  Aetna, one of the largest insurers in the United States, says health insurance premiums may go up as much as 20 to 50 percent in 2014.  Blue Shield mentioned that some markets may even double by the time the health care reform really starts in 2014.  So why is this really happening?  Many critics of the health care reform saw this coming from a mile away.  This is because, starting in 2014, no one can be denied health insurance coverage.  Anyone can apply through the health insurance exchanges, or direct, and get approved for health insurance even if they have a pre-existing condition.

From a care standpoint, this is obviously a great thing because everyone should have access to care.  However, from a pocket book standpoint, everyone will pay the price.  The main reason for this is because the healthy will have to pay for the sick.  There are 8 million uninsured in California alone that might be entering the market starting in 2014 when its required to have health insurance.  The sick pool will need the most money to pay for their claims, and that will only come from the healthy.

The health care laws also state that the premiums can not vary too much based on age and that it will be a community rating.  This will probably benefit the older more than it will the younger.  Since the older population have higher health costs, the younger segment will pay for this difference.  So what do we do at this point?  Well, there actually is no easy answer to that.  We have to all hope that the reform rules and regulations will not effect the market as much as all these top insurance carriers do.

What Is The Difference Between Anthem Blue Cross And Blue Shield?

October 1st, 2012

In California, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield are actually different companies and are competitors.  In most other states, they are the same company and formed an association, the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.  Anthem Blue Cross is a for profit company in California, and Blue Shield is a non-profit.  Both insurance companies have large networks and very good doctors.

Anthem Blue Cross does more volume in California than Blue Shield does and they have more members.  Also, the network of hospitals and doctors is the largest under Anthem Blue Cross.  Ous website, sells more Anthem Blue Cross plans than any other carrier.  That being said, many other carriers have strong plans and networks – Blue Shield, Aetna, Cigna, Healthnet, and Kaiser.  Depending on what types of benefits you want and how much you want to spend, picking a carrier will become easier once you narrow down the options.

Adding Maternity Coverage To Your Plan

September 5th, 2012

In California, all individual and family health insurance plans added maternity coverage starting in July.  That is great news for a lot of people.  This is because, before, many plans did not offer coverage and the ones that did were very expensive.  Additionally, many individuals would wait until they were expecting a child and then apply for coverage.  Health insurance carriers viewed this as a pre-existing condition and many would deny coverage to the applicant.

Now, because of the health care reform, maternity coverage is included on the health insurance plans.  And the coverage is good because it covers the doctor visits, ultra-scans, and hospital stays.  An interesting fact about hospitals stays though, is that some hospital charges will actually be accessed on the child.  So its important that you add the new born quickly to the plan.  In California, most carriers give you 10-30 days to add the child to the health insurance plan.

What Is Not Covered Under Health Insurance

August 15th, 2012

Individual health insurance plans are different than health insurance plans you might of had while working for a company.  Individual plans do not include all types of coverages so it is important to read the benefit details before choosing a plan.

For instance, many people do not know that maternity if not covered under most individual health insurance plans.  This is very important to know.  In fact, it is very difficult to add health insurance coverage after you find out your pregnant.  Many people want to try to get health insurance once they realize of the cost associated with the pregnancy.  Health insurance carriers
are well aware of these high costs and will usually decline coverage if you apply after the fact.

Other types of services usually not covered by health insurance are physical therapy, fertility treatment, cosmetic or elective surgery, weight control services and many other things.  It is extremely important to know what types of services you need based on your current health.  And also, to read the benefit details before making a final decision on the health insurance plan.

Why Does Insurance Keep Rising?

August 7th, 2012

Each year, consumers see their health insurance premiums increase and there are no signs of it getting better anytime soon.  Why do these premiums keep going up and not down?  Why hasn’t the government stepped in and tried to help?  Well the quick answer is that the government passed the health care reform with the exact attempt to make health insurance more affordable for everyone.  The reason premiums increase each year, and why the health reform was passed, is obviously very complex and confusing.  Starting with the health care system, all the way from hospitals to doctors, is very broken and tiered.  Meaning, there are many doctors that are incentivized by different things.

Some want to see as many patients as possible, which obviously lowers quality of care.  And some doctors, only deal with certain markets, providers, carriers, etc. and that leads to other hosts of issues.  The only way that health insurance will become affordable is if people do not game the system.  The major reason health reform might not succeed is that adverse selection might become a big issue.  Since pre-existing conditions will not be an issue starting in 2014 to get approved for health insurance, many fear that the sick will only get health insurance right before a major surgery and then cancel the plan.  This means that the healthy will end up paying for the sick.  This will not make health insurance more affordable.  In fact, it will probably make health insurance more expensive in the years to come.

Individual Plans Offer Maternity Coverage

June 8th, 2012

Before July of this year, many individual health insurance plans did not offer maternity coverage.  And if you picked a particular plan that had some type of maternity coverage, the coverage was limited and the plan was very expensive.  Now, the marketplace has changed a little bit.  Whether a direct result of the health reform or not, all carriers are offering plans that cover maternity and it is not at a hefty price.

Many individual health insurance plans have actually become more affordable while offering better benefits.  This is usually not the case in the individual health insurance market.  Usually when carriers offer better benefits for their health insurance plans, they usually charge you more per month.  Many are taking advantage of these great benefits, especially since there is uncertainty because the Supreme Court is scheduled to rule on the health reform any day now.

How To Save On Individual Health Insurance

May 7th, 2012

There are many different types of California health insurance plans in the marketplace.  Before you decide on which plan is right for you, here are some helpful tips to save you some money.

1) Comparison shop across all the health insurance plans

It is very important for you to shop the health insurance market to find the right plan and save  money.  There are literally hundreds of plans with different benefits for each.  Based on your affordability, see what plans make sense for your health history.  If you are a healthier person, maybe a higher deductible plan will be the right route for you.  Additionally, some health insurance carriers could be more
competitive from a pricing standpoint than others, and that can save you some
money in your wallet.

2) Choose a health insurance plan with a smaller network

If network size is not an important factor for you, then
maybe picking a health insurance plan with a smaller network might be your best
option.  This will instantly save you money because health insurance carriers
will always charge you a premium if the network is large.  Research to see if
your doctor is in the network you are choosing.

3) Increase your deductible on your health insurance plan

The easiest way to make your health
insurance
premiums go down and save you money is to increase your
deductible.  The deductible is the money you have to pay out of your own pocket
first before the insurance carrier will start paying benefits.  If you have a
higher deductible, you are taking on more risk so the carriers will give you a
break.  If you are a healthy person, consider choosing a plan with a higher
premium to save you some money on your health insurance.

4) Consider your health history and how old you are

Knowing your own health history is very important when
choosing a health insurance plan.  Health insurance plans have all different
kind of benefits.  For instance, if you do not have a history of taking
prescription drugs, then pick a plan with lower drug benefits and that will
lower your health insurance premium.  On the other hand, if you have certain
needs that you know will require rich benefits, then picking a plan with a
little bit higher monthly premium will save you money in the long run.

5) Ask your employer if they offer health insurance

For the most part, group insurance through your employer
will have lower monthly premiums.  This is also because employers are required
to contribute towards your health coverage and that will always save you money.
Additionally, group insurance plans usually have better benefits than individual
plans so that can also lead to savings in your pocket.

6) Consider HSAs to maximize your tax
benefits

Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) are great ways to spend your tax dollars
wisely.  These health insurance plans are meant for people who have recurring or
predictable health care needs. The dollars are put into an account that is tax
sheltered and you can pay down your medical bills using those dollars.

Saving On Health Insurance

April 30th, 2012

There are a few ways to save on individual health insurance.  For one, make sure you know what you need as far as medical services.  What I mean by that is, know your health history and also your current health.  Many people can save money if they know what is necessary and what benefits would be a waste of money.  For instance, prescription coverage is very costly for both the health insurance carrier and the consumer.  If you know that you do not have a history of taking medications, then choose a health insurance plan that does not have rich prescription coverage.

Also, if you are generally a healthier person, then selecting a health insurance plan with a higher deductible can also save you some money.  Why?  Because health insurance carriers will give you a discount if they know you have more skin in the game.  If you are responsible for more of the upfront bills, then they will try charge you less per month.

Which Carrier Has The Strongest Network?

April 25th, 2012

Obviously depending on where you live, this answer may vary greatly.  However, in most parts of the United States, you will find coverage with the major health insurance carriers.  In California, the largest health insurance carrier is Anthem Blue Cross.  They have the most volume of new applications and have the most members.  The largest HMO provider in California is Kaiser.  They have the most members on the HMO side but there PPO is very weak.  In the United States, Anthem Blue Cross and United Healthcare have the largest networks.  United has the most volume and while Anthem Blue Cross has the most members.

There are some parts of the USA where carriers such as Aetna and Healthnet have large networks.  However, sometimes going with a smaller carrier can save you money.  Carriers will most times give you a discount if you go with their reduced networks.  If you do not have a particular doctor that you must have, then sometimes that is the best option to save some money.

Does Anthem Blue Cross Provide Coverage Outside California?

March 29th, 2012

Anthem Blue Cross is the largest health insurance carrier in California.  Especially in the individual health insurance market, Anthem Blue Cross does more volume then any other carrier.  In fact, even when it comes to providing health insurance for small businesses, Anthem Blue Cross is the largest.  Other large health insurance carriers such as Blue Shield and Aetna do a ton of volume, but still fall short of Anthem Blue Cross.  Outside of California, many states combine two carriers to provide health insurance, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield.  When you are in an another state and want to get individual health insurance, you will most likely see options under the Blue Cross Blue Shield network.

Blue Cross Blue Shield is the largest provider of insurance outside of California.  United Healthcare is also one of the largest health insurance providers when it comes to volume.  Network size is important when you are considering which plan to choose.  Also, you must consider the plan benefits for each policy because everyone will have their own unique needs.

Do All Individual Health Insurance Plans Have Maternity Coverage?

March 28th, 2012

The fast answer is no.  In fact, most individual health insurance plans do not have maternity coverage.  The reason is simply, it is very expensive for both the carrier and unfortunately the patient.  When looking at the health insurance plans, make sure you research the benefit details to see whether maternity is offered with that particular plan.  All the health insurance carriers do offer plans that have maternity coverage, the issue is that it can be very expensive from a monthly premium standpoint.

Also, health insurance carriers know that most people get the health insurance right before they are giving birth and will probably cancel the health insurance afterwards.  In these cases, most will be denied.  The best thing to do is to get the health insurance before you start planning the pregnancy.  As a consumer, the best thing to do is plan ahead and make sure you look at the fine print.

New Year For Health Insurance

January 16th, 2012

Many individuals are getting their new year resolutions started early.  Health insurance applications always rise in January as many consumers feel its a right time to get health coverage for the remainder of the year.  With individual health insurance, their is no contract and people can cancel anytime.  With deductibles, they reset every January and many people want to start the new year with coverage so they can be in par with the annual deductible.

Also, health insurance is obviously something that is very important, and people want to start the new year off right.  Health coverage is offered through many different health insurance carriers in California.  Anthem Blue Cross is the biggest health insurance company in California, and also one of the biggest in the U.S..  Many people will shop and compare health insurance coverage to find the best health insurance plan for their budget.

Health Insurance Carriers Profit

January 13th, 2012

Many health insurance carriers were opposed to the health reform laws passed almost two years.  Now, many are profiting from the changes made by the Obama administration.  In fact, many health insurance companies spent millions of dollars to try to stop the health reform from being passed to begin with.  However, insurance companies are now realizing that maybe the reform might be profitable for them as well.  Health insurance companies saw record profits over the last year.  In fact, Anthem Blue Cross said that this past quarter was one of their busiest ever. 

Wellpoint, the nation’s biggest insurer by membership, said that the 4th quarter was the most profitable they had in the last decade.  Part of the record increase is due to the fact that many individuals are still out of work and do not have access to group insurance through employers.  Also, people are realizing how important health insurance is to them and their households.

What Coverage Is Right For Me?

December 19th, 2011

Depending on how much you can afford, there are many different types of plans with many health benefits.  It is important to take a look at your health history and determine what types of services you may need.  For instance, if prescription drugs is something you rely on every month, then make sure you pick a health insurance plan that has strong drug benefits. 

Also, you must take into consideration the carrier you want and also the type of plan.  Anthem Blue Cross of California is a very large insurance carrier and they have the most variety of plans and doctors on the network.  The majority of plans plans are either PPO or HMO.  It is also very important to determine if you want to either have a primary care physician or the ability to self-refer.

Individuals Plans And Health Insurance Carriers

November 10th, 2011

In California, their are many different health insurance plans to choose from, as well as many different health insurance carriers.  It is very important to first research the health insurance carrier you would like, and also see if your current doctor accepts their insurance.  Not all doctors accept all insurance companies.  For instance, some doctors may only accept Anthem Blue Cross where as some may only accept Blue Shield

Another important element when your researching health insurance plans is the type of coverage you want.  Health insurance comes in the form of PPO and HMO for the most part and they work very differently.  HMO plans require you to get all your medical care through your primary care physician.  And any specialists have to be referred by your primary care doctor.  PPOs are more flexible as you can go to any doctor in the network without a referral.  More importantly, make sure to research the benefit details within each plan.  This will determine the out of pocket expenses you many occur outside of paying the monthly premium.

Did You Recently Get Denied Health Insurance?

November 3rd, 2011

Many people applying for health insurance are confused when they receive a letter from the health insurance carrier stating that they have been denied.  All the major health insurance carriers in California have their own underwriting standards and criteria for new members that they want to insure.  When one individual applies for health coverage with Anthem Blue Cross of California, it might be a different result than applying to Blue Shield of California

Health insurance carriers look at many factors when considering whether to approve or deny an applicant.  They pull medicals records for the last few years to look for recurring medical expenses that might be expensive for them to insure.  If you have a history of taking a lot of prescription medication, the health insurance carrier will definitely take that into consideration.  It is very expensive for the carriers to insure people that have a history of medication because the drug makers have made those drugs so expensive.

Purchasing Group Health Insurance

October 7th, 2011

Purchasing health insurance for your company is a lot different than buying health insurance on an individual basis.  Unlike individual health insurance, group health insurance usually does not have an underwriting process to see if you qualify for coverage.  Since the risk is spread across many people, insurance carriers do not individually look at each employee to see if they are severely unhealthy.  However, with that comes some necessary hurdles that companies need to meet.

Health insurance carriers require that a certain percentage of employees participate in the health insurance plan, that way the carriers can protect themselves.  Also, employers have to pay a portion of the premium so the company has some skin the game.  You can get quotes for group health insurance online, but buying group insurance online does not exist.  There are some company information that the carriers need to prove eligibility.  Please visit www.navalicompany.com to learn more about group health insurance.

Buying Individual Health Insurance

October 6th, 2011

These days purchasing individual health insurance has never been easier.  In the past, the only way you could get health insurance from carriers such as Anthem Blue Cross was to call them directly.  While that is certainly an option today, many are using the internet to purchase health insurance for themselves and their family.

Through our website, www.healthinsuranceoutlet.com, you can compare all the health insurance plans available in the market and compare benefits and prices so you can make an educated decision about your health insurance.  Through our quoting engine, purchasing health insurance has never been easier.  Simply click on the detail button on each individual quote to learn even more about the benefits of that particular plan.  Also, you can compare full benefit details side by side so everything is clear cut.  Please click on the links above to learn more.

Health Insurance In California

September 26th, 2011

California is one of the largest states in America.  Also, it has one of the largest economies.  In the health insurance market, California has many carriers that provide competitive rates and plans.  Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield are the largest carriers in California for individual health insurance.  They have all types of plans from HMOs and PPOs, and also high-deductible plans to make health insurance more affordable.

With the new health reform and the health insurance exchanges coming up, everyone is waiting to see how the health insurance market will be effected.  Experts do not know the effect on the plans that will be offered in the health insurance exchange and also at what price.  Many think that the new restrictions on health insurance carriers might cause health insurance premiums to increase.  By 2014, health insurance exchanges are required to be operational in all 50 states.

High-Deductible Health Insurance Plans

September 22nd, 2011

Many people have recently turned to individual coverage for their health insurance.  As companies continue to either downsize their workforce or discontinue health care all together, consumers have to find other ways to find coverage.  The individual health insurance market is very different then group health insurance people get from their employers.  Usually, individual insurance is much more expensive and the plan benefits are not as strong as they are with group health insurance.  The premiums are so high in fact that many Americans are forced to increase their deductibles just to be able to afford the health insurance.

Deductible is the amount of money the covered person as to pay out of pocket first before the insurance benefits kicks in.  Usually, doctor visits are not included in the deductible.  However, health care services such as x-rays, lab work, cat-scans, etc., are included in the deductible and can get very expensive. 

Consumers are waiting to see if the health reform will make individual health insurance more affordable.  Also, if the health insurance exchanges will make access to affordable health insurance possible.  Carriers such as Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield are already on board and are starting to work with the states to make the health insurance exchanges possible.

Is Anthem Blue Cross the Best Carrier In California?

September 20th, 2011

Anthem Blue Cross is one of the largest carriers in the country, and they are the largest carrier in California.  They offer the most selection of plans for individual and family health insurance.  Most carriers in California have strong networks and good benefit offerings.  However, Anthem Blue Cross does have the most variety of plans, ranging from very cheap to very expensive. 

Many times when searching for health insurance in California, Anthem Blue Cross will have the most results based on your search criteria.  That is because of their long history in California and the resources they allocate to make sure that they are the biggest in California.  Anthem has made a commitment to give the best customer service throughout the year when people have any questions about their plans or claims.  Their are other carriers such as Blue Shield and Aetna that also offer competitive plans and rates.

Is Getting Individual Health Insurance Difficult?

September 14th, 2011

Obtaining individual or family health insurance is a lot different when you compare to group or company-sponsored health insurance.  With individual health insurance their is a medical underwriting process that does not normally happen when your employer provides health insurance.  If a company meets the participation requirements from their employees, then their will not be medical underwriting done on each individual employee.  So what that means is that some employees with pre-existing conditions will be automatically approved for health insurance. 

On the individual health insurance process it is a little different.  Usually when you apply their is not an automatic approval.  Health insurance carriers take a look at each individual application and make a determination whether or not to approve the person applying for coverage.  Sometimes they will ask for a phone interview, and other times they will either request a physical exam or medical records.  The process of getting individual health insurance usually takes around 3 weeks, depending on which health insurance carrier you choose.  It is important to have your medical history and general knowledge about your health ready when you apply for individual health insurance.

Deciding On Individual Health Insurance Plans

September 6th, 2011

Their are many different types of health insurance plans in the marketplace today.  Especially on the individual health insurance market, many factors may influence your decision on which plan would make the most sense.  Such factors as carrier network, premium amount, and benefit mix will influence your decision on which plan to purchase.  Also important to note, individual health insurance is not guaranteed and quite often, you will have to either go through a telephone interview or medical underwriting.

Which carrier to choose is very important when you are deciding which health insurance plan to apply for.  In California, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield are very strong in terms of network size and plan options.  You have to make sure to research the benefit options as well.  Make sure to take a look at deductible amount, out-of-pocket limits, prescription benefits, and hospital charges before you purchase. 

With each plan, their is a full benefit summary that will detail out the benefits and how much you will have to pay with each service.  Also, with the recent health care reform, many services are now free such as preventive care and wellness visits.