According to the White House, Insurance Can Pay for At-Home Covid Tests, and Here’s How

 

The Biden Administration announced on Monday new details on how Americans are able to get free Covid-19 tests — or at least receive a reimbursement for them via their private insurance. We’ve all seen those lines around town for free at-home Covid tests, so this new policy announcement comes at a great time.
Under the new policy, individuals covered by a health insurance plan who purchase on over-the-counter Covid-19 diagnostic test (must be authorized, cleared, or approved by the FDA), will be able to have those test costs covered by their insurance beginning this Saturday.
Insurance companies and health plans will soon be required to cover eight (8) free over-the-counter at-home tests per covered individual per month, according to the White House officials. For example, a family of four (all on the same plan) would be allowed up to 32 of these tests covered by their health plan per month.
The Biden Administration is hoping to incentivize insurers and group health plans to set up programs that will allow Americans to receive over-the-counter PCR and rapid tests directly through preferred pharmacies and other entities with no out of pocket costs.
Not sure if your insurance will cover your at-home Covid-tests? That’s why we’re here — give us a call and we are happy to help you determine exactly what is covered on your plan. We’re the number one health insurance agency in Coral Springs and Parkland for a reason!

 

 

Will Health Insurance Coverage for Covid-19 Change in 2022?

As we’re closing in on two full years of enduring the Covid-19 pandemic, health insurance agencies are shifting what and how much they are covering in 2022. Right now, we’re still in the open enrollment period for individual and family health insurance, and we are here to help!

The rules in your Marketplace health plan for treatment for Covid-19 emergency remain the same as any other viral infection and cover treatment for pre-existing medical conditions and cannot terminate coverage due to a change in health status, like the diagnosis or treatment of Covid-19.

All Marketplace plans also cover:

  • Your initial Covid-19 vaccines (two shots for Pfizer & Moderna or one Johnson & Johnson/Janssen dose)
  • An additional third dose of the Pfizer or Moderna Covid-19 vaccine if you’re immunocompromised
  • A Covid-19 vaccine booster shot
  • Covid-19 diagnostic tests

If you have a current plan and are curious to see what your plan covers for Covid-19, whether it has changed (for better or worse), and would like to either change plans or add coverage, give us a call! We’re the number one health insurance agency in Coral Springs and Parkland for a reason — and we’re happy to help! Call us today!

 

 

As Omicron cases surge, nations announce rules on travel and gatherings ahead of the holidays

While experts stress that we’re not back in March 2020 all over again — call it Pandemic PTSD if you will — the abrupt new restrictions in some countries can’t help but make us feel like we’re heading backwards. Although we have other tools and vaccines now, it’s important to be aware of the travel changes and rules for the upcoming holidays.

The omicron variant is now considered the most dominant version of the coronavirus — making up 73% of new Covid-19 infections last week in the U.S. — showing how rapidly the virus has spread across the U.S. the week prior. While omicron can more easily evade immune protection and booster shots than prior strains, those infected may be less likely to experience severe disease and hospitalization. Getting booster shots appears to still offer substantial protection against severe disease and death from omicron, according to health officials.

Already vaccinated and bolstered up and traveling for the holidays? Excellent! We can help you make sure you have the right coverage you need for you and your family while away for the holidays. Having the right health insurance plan can take the stress and nagging feeling away — and we take pride in knowing we can help you and your family receive the best possible coverage!

Give us a call today — our award-winning, health insurance agents are ready and waiting to help you!

 

I Missed Medicare Open Enrollment! What can I do?

Medicare Open Enrollment

I Missed Medicare Open Enrollment! What can I do?

Life happens, we understand that. So, let’s say you, unfortunately, missed open enrollment for Medicare in 2022. The first thing we’re gong to tell you is — don’t panic! You don’t have to wait until next year’s open enrollment to acquire some kind of coverage — it all depends on your situation and individual circumstances. Even if your coverage options are limited, we can help you minimize the financial risk you’re exposed to as a result of being uninsured.

Check If You Qualify for Special Enrollment

Certain life events can qualify you for a special enrollment period, which is a period of time (usually 60 days) during which you can purchase coverage, even if it’s outside the normal open enrollment period. Here are a few examples of qualifying life events:

**Note that the following are NOT considered to be qualifying life events:

  • Being diagnosed with an illness or getting sick;
  • Getting pregnant (although, you can get coverage after you give birth);
  • Losing your coverage because you failed to pay your premiums; or
  • Voluntarily electing to drop your existing health coverage.

Becoming eligible for Medicaid, or being denied after applying for Medicaid during the open enrollment period.

Another option is to consider a short-term health insurance plan. Short-term plans provide a viable solution if you expect a gap in coverage between now and the next open enrollment period. STM plans provide consumers with an affordable way to pay for health insurance for a brief period of time. Most STM plans run for 30-364 days, however, some plans can be purchased for up to 3 years!

Questions? We’re here to help you! Give us a call today — our agents are ready and waiting to help!

Medicare Open Enrollment Ends Tomorrow — Here’s why you should review your 2022 coverage if you haven’t already

Medicare 2022 Part B Premium Adjustments

The clock is ticking…on Medicare Open Enrollment that is! Tomorrow is the last day of the program’s open enrollment period, which opened back in October. While it’s not necessary for you to take action (your 2021 plan generally renews for next year) — in which case you’ve probably heard from us a few times letting you know about your coverage. We can help you determine whether your current coverage remains your best option!

If you’re not sure about what your coverage entails, give us a call. We can go over all of your options. What we don’t want to have happened is for you to think you’re happy with your current coverage and then in January realize the plan may have changed now it’s impacting your out-of-pocket costs.

This open window is usually for adding or changing coverage related to an Advantage Plan or prescription drugs (Part D). If you make changes before the window closes, you can switch, add, or drop those parts of your coverage, and the changes go into effect on January 1st, 2022.

The standard part B premium will be $170.10 in 2022, up from $148.50 this year. (See chart below). The average monthly premium for Advantage plans will be $19 next year, down from $21.22 in 2021.Medicare 2022 Part B premium adjustments

Questions? Want to make changes or simply have us check your plan and see what options are? Give us a call — our agents are ready and waiting to help!

Biden’s plan to halt surprise medical bills faces pushback in Congress

Medical Bills Faces Pushback in Congress

Last year, Congress passed a law to protect patients from surprise out-of-network medical charges. However, that law has since been disintegrated. A bipartisan group of 152 lawmakers has been combative with Biden’s administration’s plan to regulate the law and medical providers, stating the grim consequences for underserved patients.

We’ve heard firsthand the massive amounts of unexpected bills that patients have faced when they receive treatment from hospitals and doctors outside their insurance company network. This generally would happen when patients seek care at an in-network hospital, but a physician like an ER doctor or anesthesiologist who treats the patient is not covered but the insurance plan. The insurer would only pay a small portion of the bill, and the patient is now left with paying the remainder of the balance, usually an astronomical amount. 

Last December, Congress passed the No Surprises Act to protect patients from that experience after long, hard-fought negotiations and finally came to an agreement between both parties: a 30-day negotiation period between health providers and insurers when bill disputes arise, followed by arbitration if agreements can’t be reached.

The rule, which would take effect in January 2022, effectively leaves the patients out of the fight, leaving providers and insurers to work it out amongst themselves. An analysis by the Congressional Budget Office showed the No Surprises Act would lower health insurance premiums by about 1% and shave $17 billion of the federal deficit. 

But now, doctors, medical associations, and members of Congress are screaming foul, arguing the rule be released by the Biden Administration in September for implementing the law favors insurers and doesn’t follow the spirit of the legislation. Although 152 lawmakers signed the latter, the backlash has not won the support of some powerful democrats who are still urging the administration to move forward with the plan.

At Florida HealthCare Insurance, not only are we a family-owned and operated business out of Coral Springs and Parkland, but we can also guarantee you the best coverage for the most affordable rate and as always, keep you up to date as policies like the one above hit the floor of Congress. Questions? Looking for affordable health insurance? Give us a call — our award-winning agents are ready and waiting to help! 

Democrats’ Deal On Prescription Drugs Would Lower Costs for Seniors

Democrats’ Deal On Prescription Drugs

 

Democrats in Congrats have taken a big step forward toward lowering prescription drug costs for older Americans, reaching a compromise after significant arguing over the issue. This move is part of Biden’s Build Back Better social spending plan, which is still being negotiated.

On Tuesday, it was announced that the agreement would allow Medicare Parts B and D to negotiate pries directly with drug manufacturers on certain drugs and cap out-of-pocket spending for seniors at $2,000 per year, the first of its kind in the program’s history.

Under existing rules, Medicare Part D enrollees pay 5% of their total drug costs after reaching a certain threshold under what is called the “catastrophic” clause of the outpatient prescription drug agreement. It is meant to help patients with overflowing drug bills avoid financial ruin. The statement also hailed a provision in the agreement that caps insulin prices for diabetics at #35 a month.

The 2021 threshold is currently set at $6,500 for out-of-pocket drug costs, a number that activists in the health care space argue is too high and can still be detrimental to low- and middle-income Americans, for whom the program is designed.

This is great news for those on Medicare! Questions on how it will affect you or your coverage? Give us a call today! Our agents are ready and waiting to help!

Medicare Open Enrollment Has Started — Here’s What You Need To Know

Medicare Open Enrollment Has Started

Okay, there are probably much more entertaining things to do than review your Medicare coverage — but it is that time of year. Open enrollment start4ed October 15th and will be running through December 7th and right now is the time you can make changes to your coverage and have it take effect on January 1st, 2022. If you have coverage already and don’t need to change anything at all, you’re good to go — your coverage is set to continue into 2022.

However, it’s worth it to check to see if your current plan is still your best option, and we’re here to help you figure that out!

This annual enrollment period is for adding or changing coverage related to an Advantage Plan and/or prescription drugs (Part D). You’re able to switch, add, or drop those parts of coverage. However, a majority of beneficiaries don’t even compare plans — and that’s where we come in! Even if you’re happy with your plan, we can help you make sure your plan is giving you the right coverage or help you find a plan with better value or coverage that will fit your exact needs.

Here’s what you need to know:

Who should pay attention? Fall enrollment is different from the initial Medicare Enrollment window, which starts three months before the month of your 65th birthday and ends three months after it. This is usually where you would sign up for Part A, Part B, an Advantage Plan, or a Part D prescription drug plan. Most stick with Original Medicare (Parts A & B) and often pair it with a standalone Part D plan. Some also get a Medicare supplemental plan (Medicgap_ which is offered by private insurers.

The Nitty Gritty

The average monthly premium for Advantage plans will be $19 next year, which is down from $21.22 in 2021. The average 2022 monthly premium for Part D coverage will be #33, up from 31.47 this year. Part B monthly premiums — as well as other costs for 2022 have not been finalized as yet, however, the standard Part B premium is expected to rise from $158.50 from 148.50 this year, according to the latest Medicare trustees report.

What to look out for

It’s important not just to focus on the monthly premium amount, but the specifics. Although Advantage plans are federally regulated, the specifics can vary from plan to plan, county to country, and year to year. Some plans may offer dental, vision, or hearing or come with no premium (you would still pay Part B premium.

If your Advantage Plan isn’t working for you and you want to drop it all together instead of switching to another, we can help you do that. We’re your number one Medicare agency in Coral Springs and Parkland — questions? Give us a call! Our agents are ready and waiting to help!

Vaccinated Foreign Travelers Will Be Allowed Into The U.S. Starting On November 8th

Vaccinated Foreign Travelers

 

The White House previously announced it would be lifting the travel ban but has not provided a date on when it will all be happening. Starting on November 8th, 2021, foreign tourists who have been shut out of the United States since the early days of the pandemic will be allowed to start visiting the country — as long as they can show proper vaccination requirements. 

Cities that heavily count on foreign tourists for revenue, as well as families who have been separated by the travel bans, have been pressing the government to loosen the reigns and allow people to travel.

The new date and rules apply to those traveling to the United States for tourism or to visit friends and family, whether it’s by air, crossing land borders with Canada and Mexico, or arriving in the United States by passenger ferry.

Air travelers will have to show proof of vaccination and results of a negative covid-19 test taken within three days before boarding the plane. Land and ferry travelers will have to show proof of their vaccination status upon request. Business travelers, who weren’t affected by the travel bans, will have to be fully vaccinated by January 2022.

There will be very limited exceptions to the vaccination requirements, and those details will become available in the coming weeks.

Questions? Give us a call! Our agents are ready and waiting to help!

 

Get Ready! Medicare’s Open Enrollment starts in two days!

Medicare’s Open Enrollment

Enrollment in Medicare health and drug plans begins October 15th, 2021 until December 7th, 2021. We can help you get ready for Medicare’s Open Enrollment with these tips:

  • Check Your Email. You may get updates or emails from us notifying you about your Medicare coverage, any changes, or any upcoming options you may have. We can help you make any changes to your current Medicare plan or help you add Supplemental plans like prescription drugs.
  • Think About Your Health Coverage Needs For 2022. We’re happy to review with you your current Medicare coverage and note any upcoming changes to your costs or benefits. We can help you decide if your current Medicare coverage will meet your needs for the upcoming year ahead. 
  • Download Our Free Medicare E-Book. Having all of the information at your fingertips explaining all things Medicare is of the utmost importance. It not only explains the ins and outs of Medicare but has current information about plans in your area. Click here for the link: https://floridahealthcareinsurance.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/FHI-Intro-to-Medicare-eBook.pdf
  • Review Your Current Prescription Drug Needs For 2022. We’re able to help you compare options and shop for plans and find the right prescription drug plan for you that meets your health needs. We can help you access your list of drugs, compare your current Medicare plan against others, and see if the prices based on any can help you with the plan costs.

Questions? Ready to make changes to your current Medicare plan or eligible for Medicare? Give us a call today! Our expert agents are ready and waiting to help!