Better Business Bureau Revokes Freedom Life/U.S. Health Advisors Accreditation

Well its a start.

The Better Business Bureau has revoked its accreditation for U.S. Health Advisors/ Freedom Life.  The move comes after agents for U.S. Health were posting positive reviews on the company’s BBB Business Profile.  The Better Business Bureau has a policy where individuals cannot make reviews about a company that they have a business or personal affiliation.

But Wait There is More!

The Better Business Bureau has found a pattern of complaints based on agents advising certain benefits were included in policies only to find out later that this was not the case.  This includes that plans were ACA exempt from penalties, that they were Cigna and numerous other incidents.    This is a problem we identified months ago and tried to illustrate to our clients.

Freedom Life has a D+ Rating with the BBB.  To read more about the complaint you can go here:

https://www.bbb.org/us/tx/ft-worth/profile/accident-insurance/freedom-life-insurance-company-of-america-0825-97111406

An Update on Our Article on Freedom Life/US Health Advisors

In the past six months we have been inundated with individuals who found our website and our blog post describing how US Health/Freedom Life were falsely marketing themselves as Cigna PPO.

When talking with these individuals one thing that was clear was how confusing the policies were.  Instead of having a simple plan with a deductible and copay, US Health/Freedom Life had 3-4 different policies that all worked differently.  I’ll explain more in detail later.

To get a better idea exactly how all the plans work we received two quotes one from a US Health Field Sales Leader and another from an agent.

 

Premier Choice Product Explained

Every US Health policy first beings with the Premier Choice Product.  According to the quote this plan pays “first dollar payments for expenses incurred for covered healthcare services without a calendar year deductible having to be satisfied.”  It’s a lot of words when it means “Hey this is an indemnity product.”

What is an indemnity product?  Simply its plan that pays up to the dollar amount for certain procedures.  On the U.S. Health product, it will pay up to $400, $600 or $700 for a hospital room and board.  If you were to have a stroke the Daily Maximum is $2,400-$4,200.  So, under an indemnity plan your fine if you don’t get sick.

This product is marketing as having no deductible, no copay.  This is technically true but incredibly misleading.  The plan has no deductible but will only pay up to $75/$100 for a doctor visit and $30 for a lab test.  (See below) Limits like this are basically worthless and can lead an individual with tremendous costs if a major event were to take place.  If you do get sick, U.S. Health says they have a solution for you in their Premier Med product.

Premier Med

Premier Med is an optional rider that the client will have to elect when signing up.   Confused yet…. Well just hang in there.  So according to U.S. Health an individual can convert to “Premier Med” at anytime even during a claim.   Wait. What??  I’m not sure exactly how it works either.  However, lets discuss the benefits of “Premier Med.”

Premier Med is a short term medical-surgical expense plan.  Please note the words short-term.   The plan is for 90 days only.

How it works is if you elect “Premier Med” you have a $4,000 deductible and a max out of pocket of $7,000.  After 90 days you either must join an ACA plan or if its not available you can stay on “Premier Med” however the deductible starts over.  Instead of $4,000 its now $1,000.  Your out of pocket will remain at 7,000.  So, if you have for 180 days your liability is $14,000.  In addition, you will have to pay a higher premium once you elect to go onto Premier Med (which won’t be detailed until you go on this plan and all back premiums)!!!!!

So, this brings up a few questions for the consumer:

  1. If “Premier Med” is so good, why not offer that by itself?
  2. Wouldn’t it be cheaper just to go to United Healthcare or National General and get a normal short-term product?  Especially now since the term will be 1 year?

All good questions that have no answers.

 

Association Memberships

To get a U.S. Health product, you must become a member of the American Independent Business Coalition (Southern Business Alliance).    Usually association membership for medical insurance is cheap. Golden Rule through F.A.C.T is $4.  For U.S. Health Policies the Fee is $89.95!!!  Is there gold or diamonds in this membership?

We tried to access what exactly an individual gets with this however there is nothing available online.

 

Application Fee

The application fee for a plan with Freedom Life is $40.

 

Comparison

Below is a comparison of the Premier Choice/Med vs Golden Rule (United)’s Short Term Product.  We used a 39-M living in Scottsdale, Arizona.  On our quote with Golden Rule we used a $2500 deductible 80/20 plan up to 2,000 so a max out of pocket of $4,500.    The Golden Rule (United) quote was coming in at $116 a month and the Freedom Life quote at $258.27.

Conclusion

E&M Global Insurance are not huge fans of the Affordable Care Act.  We have seen client’s premiums become unaffordable resulting in them selecting options that they otherwise wouldn’t.  Our solutions with short term products and international offerings are solutions we are proud of.

Freedom Life/U.S. Health offers the rare combo of expensive products and D- coverage.  They have been able to grow and flourish because of their aggressive marketing, naive clients and the unaffordability of the Affordable Care Act.  We believe strongly that all individuals who have this product have not been told the entire story.   If you are considering one of these plans or want to switch, please let us know.

Health Insurance for B-1 & B-2 Individuals

The B-1/B-2 Visa allows an individual to come to the Untied States on a temporary basis. The B-1 is usually associated with business. The B-2 is used for tourism, vacation, medical treatments and participation in amateur sports, etc.

The first question we commonly get is can we get health insurance for an individual or family on this Visa? Short answer-Yes.

The most important question we need answering though is how long an individual will need coverage. If its only a short period of time a short term major medical should be sufficient. If it, its longer than six months a more permanent policy would a better solution.

Some of the carriers that provide short term major medical include International Medical Group, National General and United Healthcare.

For questions on B-1/B-2 Health Insurance please contact Evan Tunis at 800-974-5077.

Can an Asylum Applicant Qualify for Health Insurance?

As a sponsor of AILA (American Immigration Lawyers Association) we get frequent questions from immigration attorneys regarding whether their clients can qualify for coverage. There is much confusion on this, so we thought we’d dig a bit deeper on this.

The Health Insurance Marketplace(Obamacare) allows quite a bit a lot of immigration statuses the ability to get coverage. This includes not only Legal Permanent Residents but also EAD (Employment Authorization Document), Refugees, Cuban/Haitian Entrant and Lawful Temporary Residents.

Clients are usually asked to provide proof to the marketplace that will need to be verified. Failure to provide documentation could result in the policy being termed.

While coverage can be obtained the ability to get a subsidy can be more difficult. In 2018 an individual will need to make over $13,000 to get a subsidy to help offset the costs of the insurance. If a client makes under this depending on the state, they may not be eligible for any financial assistance. In addition, if an individual makes more than 400% of the poverty level they are not eligible for any financial assistance as well. For new immigrants it is our experience that the marketplace will most likely ask for proof of this income. This can be a challenge since many do not have pay stubs or a W-2. The marketplace could thus strip the subsidy away making coverage unaffordable.

For clients who do not qualify for financial assistance we advise always going private. The plans are stronger and there is no burden of proof for income. In addition, you do not need to worry about your information going into the federal governments database.

For any questions on an individuals’ options please contact Evan Tunis at 800-974-5077.

Can I Change My Name Before Becoming a Naturalized Citizen?

As one of the leaders in international insurance we frequently get questions that go beyond our expertise. One of them had to do with if it was possible to change a name before becoming a citizen.

The simple answer is YES! You can use the State Courts to do a formal Name change and the USCIS will accept it as the true name. For an insurance policy we can easily make the change within a few days.

Inflation & Your Health Insurance Costs

Inflation… We understand the concept-goods purchased now could be more expensive in the future. For example, 30 years ago a cup of coffee cost 25 cents. That same cup of coffee will now cost your $3.00 at Starbucks.

On the reverse side things like televisions and laser eye surgery have gone down in price.

We discovered the chart below and made a point to show it to all our clients.

The chart illustrates inflation form 1997-2017. Items such as TV’s, clothing and toys have gone down in price. What’s gone up is housing, childcare and #1 hospital costs.

Why is this important?

This is important due to the fact many policies being sold today have limits for hospitals. Such companies as U.S. Health Advisors, Liberty Health etc. offer protection in a hospital that will leave an individual bankrupt.

E&M Global Insurance makes sure our clients are properly insured. This includes plans with no caps for hospitals and a myriad of benefits. If you have any questions do not hesitate to contact us.

E&M Global Insurance to present at the Fort Lauderdale BBG Roundtable

E&M Global insurance will be presenting at Café Vico this Tuesday from 6:00-8:00. The presentation titled, “Humanizing the Transaction of Insurance” will be the focus of the BBG (Brazilian Business Group) Fort Lauderdale Roundtable series.

Evan Tunis, owner of E&M Global Insurance, “We are extremely honored that the BBG has allowed us to share and teach all that we do. We have a unique story and we want to share this with everyone.”

The presentation will focus on the origins of the company and the plans for the future.