April 8, 2019
This issue includes:
- April: Alcohol Awareness Month
- Free Preventative Services
- Form 1095-A
- Travel Insurance
- Doctors office, urgent care or emergency room? Make an informed decision
- Tips for Choosing Employer Group Insurance
- Dental & Vision Coverage
- You Missed Open Enrollment – Now What?
- Special Enrollment Period for Medicare
- Join us at our April Events
April: Alcohol Awareness Month
This April, Keystone Advisors is proud to participate in Alcohol Awareness Month. An estimated 88,000 people (approximately 62,000 men and 26,000 women) die from alcohol-related causes annually, making alcohol the third leading preventable cause of death in the United States. The first is tobacco, and the second is poor diet and physical inactivity.
Alcohol Awareness Month provides a focused opportunity across America to increase awareness and understanding of alcoholism, its causes, effective treatment and recovery. It is an opportunity to decrease stigma and misunderstandings in order to dismantle the barriers to treatment and recovery, and thus, make seeking help more readily available to those who suffer from this disease. For treatment information click here.
Alcoholism is a major disease in the United States but recovery is possible. To find out more about insurance plans that cover alcohol treatments, please contact us at 855-745-5422.
Take action to help prevent colon cancer
Could you be at risk for colon cancer? It’s most often found in people 50 and older. When caught early enough, it’s generally treatable.
Medicare covers many preventive services including colorectal cancer screenings to help you detect and prevent it.
There are often no signs or symptoms of colon cancer — that’s why it’s so important to get screened. Give us a call at 866-469-4921 to learn about cancer screenings available to you.
Helpful Tips – Preventive Care Benefits
Remember to use the FREE Preventive Service coverage available to maintain a healthy lifestyle. FREE Preventive Care Covers:
- Annual checkups and wellness visits
- Common vaccinations
- Cholesterol and blood pressure screenings
- Lung cancer screenings for high risk adults
- See the full Preventive Care list here
Dental and Vision coverage is also available to consumers when enrolling in health coverage.
Still have questions?
Give us a call at 866-469-4921 and a licensed insurance agent can evaluate and explain your health insurance policy.
What’s on Form 1095-A and why you need it?
- Your 1095-A contains information about Marketplace plans any member of your household had in 2018, including:
- Premiums paid
- Premium tax credits used
- A figure called “second lowest cost Silver plan”
- You’ll use information from your 1095-A to fill out Form 8962, Premium Tax Credit (PDF). This is how you’ll “reconcile” — find out if there’s any difference between the premium tax credit you used and the amount you qualify for.
- If you had Marketplace coverage but didn’t take advanced payments of the premium tax credit.
- Learn more about the 1095-A from the IRS.
How to find your 1095-A online
Note: Your 1095-A may be available in your HealthCare.gov account as early as mid-January, or as late as February 1. If you’re already logged in, start with step 3 below.
- Log in to your HealthCare.gov account.
- Click the green “Continue” button.
- Choose “Go to my applications & coverage” at the top of the screen.
- Under “Your existing applications,” select your 2018 application — not your 2019 application. It will be below your 2019 application.
- Select “Tax forms” from the menu on the left.
- Download all 1095-As shown on the screen
If you need help locating your 1095 forms, please give us a call at 866-469-4921. For more information click here. IMPORTANT: If you don’t file your federal taxes correctly, you may not be eligible to get tax credit in the future years!
What to do if Form 1095-A is wrong?
You should have already received Form 1095-A in the mail. This form may also be available online in your Marketplace account. Before you file your 2018 taxes, make sure your Form 1095-A is accurate. Don’t file 2018 taxes until you have a correct 1095-A. If it has errors, contact the Marketplace Call Center, and you’ll be sent a corrected Form 1095-A.
For international travel, Atlas Travel insurance provides customizable coverage for travelers looking to cover specific needs while abroad. International travel can represent financial risk. Most primary medical insurance will not cover you while traveling abroad. An Atlas Travel medical insurance plan can be the difference between a trip ruined by unexpected illness or injury and a trip with access to quality care and financial help if the unexpected strikes.
Atlas Travel Insurance is Tokio Marine HCC – designed to cover individuals travelling outside their home country for a minimum of 5 days up to 364 days.
- Atlas Travel – for individuals and groups traveling outside their home country.
- Atlas MultiTrip – an annual travel plan for individuals taking multiple short trips abroad throughout the year.
- Atlas Group – available for groups of 5 or more.
Health Insurance 101: Doctors office, urgent care or emergency room? Make an informed decision
Doctor’s Office: Your primary care doctor should be your first call in non-emergency situations. Your doctor knows you and your health history, including what medications you are taking and what chronic conditions might need to be considered in your treatment. Plus, the co-pay for a visit to your doctor’s office will cost far less than a trip to the emergency room.
This option can also help you avoid the long wait times typically found in an emergency room. Even if your doctor is unavailable or not an expert in the area of care you need, he or she can refer you to a specialist or another medical professional.
If you don’t have a primary care doctor, take some time to review the options in your network and select one. Give us a call at 866-469-4921 and we can help find a doctor that’s right for you.
Urgent Care Center or Retail Health Clinic: If you can’t reach your doctor or need care outside of regular office hours, urgent care centers and retail health clinics are good options. Retail health clinics are walk-in clinics found in many large pharmacies and retail stores. They are staffed by nurse practitioners and physician assistants and are designed to treat simple conditions, like cold and flu, ear infections and skin conditions. Urgent care centers have physicians on staff and can provide care for a greater range of conditions, including performing x-rays.
In most cases, the out-of-pocket cost for visiting a retail health clinic or urgent care center will cost less than a trip to the emergency room, but it’s always a good idea to check to make sure the location you select is covered by your plan. You can find a list of the urgent care centers in your network on your carrier’s website, or by calling the 1-800 number on the back of your member ID card.
Emergency Room: Emergency rooms are designed to treat urgent, acute and life threatening conditions and aren’t the place for routine care or minor ailments. If you feel you are dealing with a health emergency, call 911 or go to the emergency room right away. Otherwise, one of the above options will save you time and money, and clear the way for patients in need of emergency treatment.
Many carrier also offer a 24-hour nurse line, which you can call any time with questions about your symptoms, complications from medication or advice on when to go to the doctor or emergency room. Check the back of your member ID card or your local carrier’s website for more information.
Still have questions?
Give us a call at 866-469-4921 and a licensed insurance agent can evaluate, explain your health insurance policy and find services in your network.
Having difficulty finding a good, affordable health care benefit plan for your business? Here are some things to consider when choosing group insurance.
1. Your employee demographics
There are specific generational differences in preference when it comes to group benefits. Because of this, it’s important for you to take your employee demographics into account when shopping for a group benefits plan. For instance, does your company have a broad mix of age groups? If so, consider a plan that offers a healthy mix of dental, medical and paramedical benefits. Alternatively, if you happen to employ mostly millennials, you should look for a plan that offers more paramedical and lifestyle-related benefits.
2. Your group benefits budget
The next factor you should consider when shopping around for a benefits plan is your budget. Some bare-bones plans may cost a mere $75 a month per employee, while others may cost upwards of $500 a month per employee. Think about how much you are willing to pay for employee group benefits and how much you can realistically afford.
3. The industry you operate in
One way to help narrow down which benefits you want to offer your employees is to consider the industry you operate in and think about what employees in that industry might find most useful. For instance, if you work in manual labor, such construction, you should offer long-term disability (LTD) coverage and short-term disability coverage (STD), as employees in this industry are more at an elevated risk of injuring themselves.
4. The needs of your team
There are a number of areas you can offer coverage for in terms of group benefits for your employees. Typically, the types of insurance coverage you’ll find in any comprehensive benefits package will include life, AD&D, health, dental, short and long term disability, critical illness, and plenty of other optional benefits.
Now that you know the factors to consider when building or updating your company’s employee health benefits plan, you’re in a far better position to create a sustainable plan your employees will love and job candidates will vie for. If you have any questions about benefits plans or would like more information about the employer group plans we offer, give us a call at 972-441-7130.
Plans inside health insurance marketplaces must offer pediatric dental and vision coverage, however adult dental and vision are often excluded from traditional health plans. While a health insurance plan can aid in the cost of a broken arm or a skin infection, a chipped tooth or fading eyesight is left up to dental and vision insurance. We do offer separate dental and vision plans. Vision and dental insurance can come from different sources:
- There are health insurance plans that include vision and/or dental benefits. These can be offered by an employer or purchased on your own.
- There are separate, standalone plans for vision or dental benefits that can be used on top of a health insurance plan as a form of supplemental insurance. There are even dental and vision insurance “packages” that offer benefits for both.
- Medicaid provides vision and dental benefits for children in all states. In some states, Medicaid also provides coverage for adults.
- Many Medicare Advantage plans include vision and dental benefits for seniors.
Call us today 866-469-4921, an agent can assist you with more information on dental and vision plans.
You Missed Open Enrollment – Now What? Don’t panic if you missed open enrollment there are still options for you to get coverage. Here are four tips to help you find the protection you need against unexpected medical costs this year.
1. Find out if you qualify for a special enrollment period
The most recent ACA Open Enrollment Period ended on December 15, 2018. A Special Enrollment Period (SEP) is a time outside of open enrollment in which your client can sign up for health coverage or apply for a different plan due to a qualifying life event. An SEP is available year-round for individuals who meet the criteria and apply within the event’s window.
Aliera Healthcare created the best of two medical care programs to provide healthcare solutions designed to reduce out-of-pocket expenses and improve individuals’ and families’ healthcare experiences.
3. Short-term Health Insurance Plans
Short Term Insurance is a fast, flexible and affordable coverage that allows a smooth transition to a longer-term insurance. With short term options, you can get coverage as soon as you fill your application. It is the most flexible way to get immediate coverage in situations where long term options are momentarily not available.
4. Find out if you qualify for small group coverage
Many people are surprised to learn that they qualify to enroll in a small business health plan. If you run your own business, work as a consultant or independent contractor, and have one or more employees who aren’t an immediate family member, you may be eligible for small group coverage.
Call us today 866-469-4921, a licensed agent can assist you with more information on your plan options.
Special Enrollment Period for Medicare
You can make changes to your Medicare Advantage and Medicare prescription drug coverage when certain events happen in your life, like if you move or you lose other insurance coverage. These chances to make changes are called Special Enrollment Periods (SEPs). Rules about when you can make changes and the type of changes you can make are different for each SEP.
- You change where you live
- You lose your current coverage
- You have a chance to get other coverage
- Your plan changes its contract with Medicare
If you’d like to review all your Medicare options or would like to know if you’re eligible for Medicare coverage, give us a call at 866-469-4921.
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