Health Care Trends for 2021

If we learned anything from 2020, it’s that making any plans for the year ahead is just plain useless. However, there are some definitive trends that have emerged:

Rise In Digital Health

Healthcare has been behind other industries digitally — until now. The pandemic has forced many practices to adopt digital methods like virtual doctor appointments and drive-thru clinics. Telemedicine has become a thing of the norm these days with app-based prescription services, FaceTime Doctor calls, and even prescription drop offs.

This drastic shift to digital has given better access to care and introduced patients to a new level of expected convenience. However, this shift has also shone a spotlight on health inequity. Patients who lack the digital technology or access to affordable internet may be left to the wayside.

Focus on Swiftness and Adaptability

The pandemic hit most institutions like an avalanche on steroids in nearly every aspect of operations. Some services, like intensive care and diagnostic testing were overrun. Others were shut down as elective procedures were postponed. However some organizations pivoted, transitioning to remote operations, re-assigning and re-training staff, and were able to supply tools to ensure continuity.

Traditionally, most organizations have prepared for specific incidents like this. The pandemic highlighted the critical value of leadership and how well it was able to adapt to disruptions on this scale.

Digital Risks In A New Digital World

Data breaches have always been a concern but are now on the forefront in health care as its transitioned  digitally. Patients want confidence their privacy and health history is kept secure and confidential. Not surprisingly, health care saw a rise in high-profile ransomware attacks and now the industry has addressed the challenges that arise as virtual care increases. Measures have been taken to protect IT systems.

Overall, the pandemic has shown us that public health adaptability is crucial to the economic and physical well-being of the country. We continue to monitor the trends as the year continues and encourage you to reach to us with any questions or concerns you may have!

Traveling and the Covid-19 Vaccine

 

A New Year is finally here…and with it comes the Covid-19 Vaccine. We thought this moment would never arrive, but here we are! The vaccine rollout is underway, and our fingers are crossed with hopes the pandemic will soon be behind us.
But — what if you’re traveling for work? Will you be able to get the vaccine? Do you have to get it in the US or can you receive it while traveling abroad?
The good news is the majority of health insurance plans cover the Covid Vaccine for the duration of the public health emergency. It’s important to understand the details of your health insurance plans and what is covered, and that’s where we come in! We can help explain the specifics.
Currently, there are no vaccination requirements for US residents traveling abroad or for visitors traveling to the United States. It’s recommended for US citizens to follow host country developments and guidelines for Covid-19 vaccination. Some countries require vaccine passports or “health passports” intended for international travel. Others may require proof of a negative covid test. It’s important to do your research about the city or international town you are traveling to.
Health experts recommend receiving the vaccine if possible before you leave for travels, however, if that isn’t an option, we can help you determine the aspects of the vaccination process in your visiting town.
Questions? Give us a call! We are ready and waiting to help!

Public Charge and Health Insurance Explained

Public Charge and Health Insurance Explained

“Public charge” is a ground of inadmissibility, that is, reasons a person could be denied a green card, visa, or admission into the United States. In deciding whether to grant an applicant a green card or visa, an immigration officer must decide whether the person is likely to become dependent on certain government benefits in the future, deeming them a “public charge.”

Under the new rule, the term “public charge” refers to someone who uses more than twelve (12) months in aggregate of public benefits (i.e. Medicaid, SSI, CHIP) over a three-year period of time.

This rule also affects those seeking to extend or adjust their status while in the United States. For most immigrants, simply having public benefits like Medicaid will not harm immigration status because many immigrants are excluded from the public charge rule.

Under the new rule, public benefits on this list now include:

  • Cash assistance such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and general assistance programs;
  • Medicaid (with exceptions including coverage for emergency services, children under 21 years old, and pregnant women including 60 days of postpartum services);
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (or SNAP, formerly called “food stamps”); and
  • Federal Public Housing, Section 8 housing vouchers and Section 8 project-based rental assistance.

Additionally, in regard to the new rule, receiving public benefits will not automatically make someone a public charge. The use of public benefits is only one factor considered in determining whether an immigrant is likely to be a “public charge”. Most immigrants in Florida who are subject to the public charge rule are not eligible for the programs listed in the rule.

Covid-19 and Public Charge: All noncitizen should get the care they need. US Citizenship and Immigration Services has announced that getting testing and treatment for COVID-19 (including a vaccine) will not trigger public charge. USCIS also stated it would take into account other factors in a person’s life due to the pandemic, like job loss and need for further benefits, or other situations that may impact a public charge decision.

Questions? If you’d like assistance to determine if you will be affected by this new rule, give us a call. We offer health insurance options within two categories: domestic health insurance and international health insurance.

In certain states, immigrants can purchase a non-ACA (Affordable Care Act) plan. These short-term plans can vary in length from one month to three years and can be purchased during Open Enrollment or a Special Election Period. Domestic Health Insurance cover all pre-existing conditions, and most carriers don’t require a SSN or Tax ID Number. Clients can apply for a subsidy to offset the costs of this plan, but it may not be considered in the Public Charge determination.

International health insurance is available in all 50 states and don’t require a social security number. They can be purchased before the applicants are in the United States and don’t have waiting periods. However –  these plans are subject to an applicants medical history.

Here at E&M, we’ll work with you and your clients to find an appropriate insurance plan for their needs.With an insurance plan squared away before the Public Charge questionnaire is issued, you can significantly strengthen your client’s case for a U.S. Visa.

What Does the Future of Healthcare Look Like Under the Biden Administration?

What does the future of health benefits look like under a Biden Administration?

With the election (and the majority of 2020) behind us, we’re now focusing on expected changes to health coverage and benefits when the new President and Congress take office. Here are some likely actions:

Expanded Coverage

Health experts believe the Biden administration may create a special enrollment period for uninsured Americans to sign up for coverage. Where it was reduced in the previous administration, many hope the increase on marketplace advertising will help to enroll significantly more people with the ACA markets and Medicaid.

 

Policy Roll Back

Biden is expected to stop or “roll back” on a wide range of policies, such as short-term limited-duration insurance, Association Health Plan expansion, and other non-ACA coverages.

 

Revise Trump ACA Changes

Health experts also believe Biden will restore Obama-era non discrimination protections and stop approving waivers for Medicaid work requirements, revising guidance for state innovation ACA waivers.

 

Prescription Drug Cost

One of the proposals in the Biden Administration is allowing Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices, regulating the start prices of drugs without competition, limiting drug-price increases to the rate of inflation, and allowing personal drug importation.

 

FDA & COVID Management

Experts suggest Biden will try to depoliticize the FDA and empower the CDC to lead the public health response on Covid-19.

Biden has also shared his interest in revisiting the “public option” under Medicare for Americans and making the option voluntary vs. a single-payer model.

 

Regardless of the changes that will be made, know that E&M Globa are here for you and will make sure you are always informed of any change to your plan and work with you to ensure you’re happy with your policy. Questions? Give us a call!

Traveling Outside the US? Check Health Insurance Off Your List!

It’s no secret the current global pandemic has many of us rethinking the way we travel. As road trips and secluded camping vacations grow more popular, some have the itch to leave the US, may need to for business reasons. There are still several countries accepting US travelers with specific restrictions, and it’s important to evaluate the risks and understand the safest ways to travel.
One thing you can set your mind at ease about is health insurance. With E&M Global, we provide affordable, medical/health insurance with worldwide coverage. Your plan can be tailored to fit your travel needs and timeframe, whether you are vacationing for a week or on a four-month long business trip. We have plans specifically designed for those who live abroad, and the plans come with a lot of advantages:
– PPO Insurance
– Insurance doesn’t expire
– Not tied to any special election timeframe
– Coverage begins immediately
– Approval within 24 hours
– Applicants don’t need a US Visa or US Social Security Number
Keep in mind each country has its own specific regulations for travel (negative covid test, etc.). We urge travelers, along with wearing masks, to adhere to social distancing.  Be sure to take all of the appropriate safety precautions and measures while abroad and leave the health plans to us — we’ve got you covered!

The Clock is Ticking…Do You Have Coverage?


Tick tock, tick tock…those two sounds are enough to kick-start anxiety! During this extremely busy time we wanted to remind you Open Enrollment deadlines are quickly approaching — do you have the coverage you need for you and your family?While shopping for Cyber Week deals, let US help YOU shop or make changes to your coverage! Individuals who receive health insurance through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) have between November 1st and December 15th, 2020 to make changes. Medicare recipients have between October 15th and December 7th, 2020 to make any changes to coverage beginning January 1st, 2021.We recommend reviewing your current policy and checking in with your other family members to see if you had any changes to your health in the past year, if you haven’t already done so. By now you’ve received a call from us if your current plan is changing and have been asked about doctors and specialists you’d like to keep should we need to shop for a new policy for you. Sometimes, your doctor may leave the network or your drugs won’t be on the list of covered medications — which is where we step in. We will find a plan that better suits your needs and be sure to make the necessary changes during the open enrollment period for your upcoming coverage.Ready to make changes to your plan? Give us a call! Our award-winning team is ready and waiting to help you!

Happy Thanksgiving From Us to You!


From our home to yours!

At our agency, we are grateful for many things, most importantly YOU!
Thank you for your business — we value you as a client and wish you and your loved
ones a safe, healthy, and happy Thanksgiving Day.

Sincerely,

Your Heath Insurance Brokers
E&M Global and Florida Health Insurance

How to Celebrate the Holidays While Safely Social Distancing

2020 has been a life-changing year for everyone, and as numbers of cases rise all over the globe, it’s important to remain vigilant about the health of you and your loved ones. But with the holidays around the corner, how can we safely celebrate?

Unfortunately, most health experts say there isn’t a 100% foolproof way to host a completely “safe” holiday event, however, if you are intent on hosting or planning an event, there are a few things to consider to lower the risk of exposure.

Consider Going Virtual
Most of us are experiencing “pandemic fatigue” and the thought of having another zoom meeting is enough for a splitting headache. But the experts say, the safest way to celebrate the holidays is virtually. This way our grandparents can stay indoors and relatives don’t have to travel from out of town. You can literally celebrate with friends and loved ones from around the world. If you’re a host, consider creating a stylish invitation for guests, suggesting to respond with an RSVP and a recipe of their choice. Or, you may simply create a new holiday tradition over video chat — a tacky holiday sweater contest, a game session, a virtual “gift” exchange.

Location Location Location
If you are hosting an in-person holiday dinner, consider the location in which you have dinner. Hosting your party outside can be a safer option than having it indoors; fresh air is continuously moving and can disperse any infected droplets, if any. Personally, nothing is cozier than a blanket draped while outside in cool weather! Be sure to follow your city’s guidelines in total guest count — some are limited to 10 or fewer. Seating should be further apart if possible.

Clean Up Clean Up, Everybody Everywhere
This goes without saying, but a thorough clean before and after your event is critical. It’s important to disinfect high-touch surfaces such as doorknobs, bathroom and kitchen countertops, toilet lids and handles, faucets. Hand sanitizer should be provided at each end of the table and if possible, have your guests wash their hands as they enter.

Serving Style
You may also want to consider a buffet, allowing your guests to serve themselves independently (while wearing a mask). Using disposable silverware and plates along with plastic cups may not be aesthetically pleasing, but are safer in the long run. As a host, you can also prepare and “pre-package” your guests’ dinner plates, plating all of the food ahead of time so guests move around less, thus decreasing risk for everyone.

2020 has been nothing short of…well, we can’t quite find the right word, but let’s just say we will all collectively celebrate the end of this trying year. Everyone here at E&M Global wish you and your loved ones a happy and safe holiday season.

I-944 Form Back On USCIS Website

USCIS just updated the website regarding the I-944.

If you filed your Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, after Feb. 24, 2020, you may be required to file Form I-944, Declaration of Self-Sufficiency.

If we receive a Form I-485 before Oct. 13, 2020, that does not have all required forms and evidence, we will request any missing forms and evidence.

After Oct. 13, 2020, we will reject your Form I-485 if you do not include the required forms and evidence with Form I-485 at the time of filing.

If you need a quote on a medical plan to meet this critieria please get with us.

Evan Tunis

An Injuction on the Public Charge-Temporarily

On February 24th, 2020, the Public Charge was implemented. The form required individuals to prove that they would not be a public charge in the future upon entry to the United States.

Yet with Covid raging and people needing medical attention The SDNY struck down the rule while we are in a Public Health Emergency.

At E&M Global Insurance we support this decision. Individuals should not be scared to get medical coverage or seek treatment-especially during a global pandemic. Should the rule again change we will once again have the solutions to avoid being public charge victims.