National HIV Testing Day: Talk to Your Clients About Getting Tested

National HIV Testing Day is a day to encourage your clients not only to get tested for HIV but also to know their status and to get linked to care and treatment if needed.

To learn how you can raise awareness for HIV testing among your clients, please see the infographic below.

health insurance innovations florida

Your Clients Need to Hear These 9 Summer Health & Fitness Tips

Your clients are headed to parties, beach days, and park picnics this summer. These outings are likely to include tempting food they may be trying to avoid, and those sunny beach days may inspire them to be more leisurely than active. But they surely deserve a few treats and leisurely days though, right? Talk to your clients about balancing their summer health and fitness goals with their well-earned leisurely pastimes.

Here are 9 tips to get them started:

Be food prepared.

If they’re headed to a summer party where they’ll be tempted, they can pack grab-n-go items. Protein bars from brands like NuGo Nutrition and Larabar are usually $1-$2 per bar, packed with plant-based nutrients, and easily accessible at stores and on Amazon. Sliced fresh fruit, granola bars, and nuts are other quick and easily portable options.

Pick up the pace.

Of course they’ll be ready to get their chairs positioned just right and relax on the sand, but taking a lap by the water before they get settled will help them squeeze in a few more steps and burn a few more calories.

Make meals simple, quick, and fun.

They’ve got their neighbor’s BBQ at 3pm and friends coming over at 6pm. They need options that are shareable and convenient, but also impressive. Colorful kabobs of tomatoes, peppers, mushrooms, zucchini, and squash basted with olive oil and spices may be the ideal treat. Or they can bake or grill sweet potatoes and add peanut butter to them. Cutting them into chunks and serving them with toothpicks will surely make your clients the hit of the summer parties. And help them stay on track with their summer health and fitness goals.

Carry a reusable water bottle.

It can be tempting to pop open a fizzing can of Coke or hit the Starbucks drive-thru for one of their favorite frappuccinos this summer. But carrying a water bottle they can refill throughout the day can help them avoid a decision packed with sugar and calories. It’s also good for the environment.

Get family and friends moving to join in.

Beating the heat in a nice cool movie theater may be a fun afternoon activity for your clients, but so may taking a hike in a local park or challenging neighbors or coworkers to a game of kickball. Having fun and enjoying quality time with loved ones can help motivate your clients to stay active and meet their health and fitness goals.

Find fun ways to use resistance bands.

Quick and simple exercises may break the monotony of long days in the office and may help your clients stay focused during activity packed weekends. If they’re traveling this summer, bringing the bands along can inspire them to focus on fitness even while on vacation.

Bring the chill to summer meals.

A hot kitchen can often be the least fun place on these scorching summer days. Your clients may enjoy giving themselves a brrr-eak from cooking with meals that require little to no cooking and that are chockfull of nutrients and yumminess these colorful and shareable options. Bonus points: with cool meals, they won’t have to worry about reheating food they bring to parties or carry to work.

Make time to disconnect.

It’s easy to get caught up in all things planned even during the summer. From work commitments to pressing social calendars to ever-present technology, it may be difficult for your clients to unwind. They may find it helpful to schedule an hour of mediation in their calendars, to turn off their phones for an afternoon, to forward their calls to voicemail, or to get outside for a walk. Long-term health and fitness successes include consistently clearing our minds and making time to rest.

Enjoy early morning activities.

Your clients can kick off a day of healthy habits by grabbing a bike to hit the pavement for a few miles, taking a morning hike, or trying out some new moves at local recreation centers.

Make your clients’ heath and fitness goals a priority to you this summer as you consult with them about their healthcare coverage needs.

Learn more about offering your clients a variety of healthcare coverage solutions by:

Click here to like us on Facebook for important industry updates, tips, and articles!

This blog is for informational purposes only and is not intended to make any product recommendations. Encourage your clients to review any product details, such as costs, limitations, exclusions, restrictions, and benefits prior to any purchasing decisions.

Health Insurance Innovations, Inc. is a leading developer and administrator of affordable, web-based individual health insurance plans and ancillary products. We help consumers address their health insurance needs by offering access to a number of products offered by various insurance carriers.

 

For agent use only – not for use with the general public

 

hiiq-information-cataracts

Talk to Your Clients and Offer Vision Coverage During Cataract Awareness Month

June is Cataract Awareness Month, and the nation’s leading eye health organization Prevent Blindness wants consumers to understand the risks of this leading cause of blindness worldwide1. The organization, which focuses on research and advocacy for vision health, estimates that over 30 million Americans who are age 40 and over will have cataracts by the year 20201.

The health of your clients’ vision is impacted by many factors, but you can help them protect it and expand your portfolio by enrolling them in affordable vision insurance.

Let’s look at a few risks and symptoms of cataracts, guidelines for when your clients should seek vision care, and connections between their vision and their overall health.

Risks1

  • Intense heat or long-term exposure to UV rays from the sun
  • Smoking
  • Certain diseases, such as diabetes
  • Inflammation in the eye
  • Hereditary influences
  • Events before birth, such as German measles
  • Long-term steroid use
  • Severe long-term nearsightedness
  • Eye diseases

It’s important for your clients to remember that all age groups should manage their risk, as cataracts can affect all of us1.

Symptoms2

  • Cloudy or blurred vision
  • Increasing difficulty with vision at night
  • Sensitivity to light and glare
  • Seeing halos around lights
  • Frequent changes in vision prescriptions
  • Fading or yellowing of colors
  • Need for brighter light for reading or other activities

Exam Frequency

If your clients notice any change in their vision, it’s a good idea to visit a doctor. An eyecare provider can diagnose a cataract with a thorough eye exam3.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend consumers start proper vision care early in life and note that less than 15% of preschool children get an eye exam and less than 22% get a vision screening4. Prevent Blindness recommends those without symptoms who are5:

  • 20-39 years old get a comprehensive eye exam every 2-5 years depending on their risk factors
  • 40-64 years old get a comprehensive eye exam every 2-4 years depending on their risk factors
  • 65 years old and older get a comprehensive eye exam every 1-2 years depending on their risk factors

Vision Care and Overall Health

Taking steps to secure their healthy vision can also help your clients protect their overall health. As the windows to their health, their eyes can show healthcare providers symptoms of conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, autoimmune diseases, sexually transmitted diseases, and cancers6 according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology. Proper vision care can also protect your clients while they engage in everyday activities such as driving, playing sports, or using power tools and help ensure they are able to pursue the activities that interest them far into the future.

Your clients and their families are looking to you to help them ensure their vision is protected with regular access to eye care. Talk to your clients about just how valuable that access is for themselves and for their families. Grow your business while providing them with a trusted avenue to that care by offering vision insurance.

With vision coverage, your clients can choose plans that provide benefits for:

  • Eye exams every 12 months
  • Lenses every 24 months (this can include single vision, bifocal, and trifocal)
  • Frames every 24 months (this can include prescription sunglasses)
  • Contact lenses and fitting every 24 months
  • Low copays for exams
  • In-network savings
  • Individual and family coverage
  • Ease of provider access (this can include nationwide chains)

Vision insurance can offer your clients a laundry list of benefits that help them secure a healthier present and future. It can also offer you the opportunity to offer other affordable and valuable products that address healthcare needs your clients have. You may find that enrolling them in memberships to discount vision programs provides access to care and may be a better fit for their needs. These memberships may require your clients to pay out of pockets for some costs, but these costs may end up being lower thanks to the strength of participating provider networks.

Are you ready to round out your clients’ healthcare options by providing vision coverage in your portfolio?

Learn more today by:

Click here to like us on Facebook for important industry updates, tips, and articles!

Sources:

1: “June is Cataract Awareness Month.” Prevent Blindess.  https://www.preventblindness.org/june-cataract-awareness-month-0

2: “Cataracts: Symptoms and Causes.” Mayo Clinic.  https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/cataracts/symptoms-causes/syc-20353790

3: “What Are the Symptoms of Cataracts? When Should I Call the Doctor?” WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/eye-health/cataracts/symptoms-of-cataracts-when-to-call-the-doctor#1

4: “Keep an Eye on Your Vision Health.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/features/healthyvision/index.html

5: “How Often Should I Have an Eye Exam?” Prevent Blindness.  https://www.preventblindness.org/how-often-should-i-have-eye-exam

6: “Your Eyes Could Be the Windows to Your Health.” American Academy of Ophthalmogy. https://www.aao.org/eye-health/tips-prevention/diagnosing-systemic-diseases-eye-exams

 

This blog is for informational purposes only and is not intended to make any product recommendations. Encourage your clients to review any product details, such as costs, limitations, exclusions, restrictions, and benefits prior to any purchasing decisions.

Health Insurance Innovations, Inc. is a leading developer and administrator of affordable, web-based individual health insurance plans and ancillary products. We help consumers address their health insurance needs by offering access to a number of products offered by various insurance carriers.

Man jogging at a park - HIIQ National Men's Health Week

Here Are 3 Ways Agents Can Celebrate National Men’s Health Week

National Men’s Health Week is a time to raise awareness of preventable health problems and encourage early detection of disease among men and boys. This year from June 11 – 17, take the opportunity to encourage your clients to seek regular medical advice and get early treatment for disease and injury.

Ready to raise awareness? Here are some ideas to get you going.

1. Talk with your clients about common men’s health concerns.

This includes prostate cancer, blood pressure, and lung and heart health per the Men’s Health Network. See their timeline of recommendations below:

For your clients who are men and ages 20-39, they should:

  • Have a physical exam every 3 years
  • Have their blood pressure checked every year
  • Have a TB skin test every 5 years
  • Have blood tests and urinalysis every 3 years
  • Have a baseline EKG at age 30
  • Have a tetanus booster every 10 years
  • Have a rectal exam every year
  • Conduct a skin self-exam every month
  • Be screened for sexually transmitted diseases every year

For your clients who are men and ages 40-49, they should:

  • Have a physical exam every 2 years
  • Have their blood pressure checked every year
  • Have a TB skin test every 5 years
  • Have blood tests and urinalysis every 2 years
  • Have an EKG every 2 years
  • Have a tetanus booster every 10 years
  • Have a rectal exam every year
  • Have a Prostate Specific Antigen blood test*
  • Have a hemoccult exam every year
  • Discuss having a chest x-ray with a physician
  • Conduct a skin self-exam every month
  • Discuss having testosterone screening with a physician
  • Discuss having screenings for sexually transmitted diseases with a physician

*African-American men and men with a family history of prostate cancer may opt to have PSA blood tests at 40 years of age or earlier.

For your clients who are men and ages 50+, they should:

  • Have a physical exam every year
  • Have their blood pressure checked every year
  • Have a TB skin test every 5 years
  • Have blood tests and urinalysis every year
  • Have an EKG every year
  • Have a tetanus booster every 10 years
  • Have a rectal exam every year
  • Have a Prostate Specific Antigen blood test
  • Have a hemoccult exam every year
  • Have a colorectal exam every 3-4 years
  • Discuss having a chest x-ray with a physician
  • Conduct a skin self-exam every month
  • Discuss having bone health screening with a physician
  • Discuss having testosterone screening with a physician
  • Discuss having screenings for sexually transmitted diseases with a physician

2. Make sure your clients know how to make the most of the health coverage they select.

If they are interested in health benefits insurance (otherwise known as limited medical coverage), plan options may:  

  • Be helpful when clients are unable to afford major medical coverage, not eligible for short-term medical, and/or looking to supplement their major medical coverage
  • Offer guaranteed coverage when eligibility is met
  • Secure lower premiums than major medical options
  • Provide benefits such as $50-$100 paid toward doctor and specialist visits available
  • Not require the use of a network of doctors
  • Offer next day coverage or little to no waiting periods for accidental injuries or sickness (Note: This is due to lower and more restricted benefits. This is not a replacement for major medical insurance.)

Note: This type of coverage does not count as minimum essential coverage required by the Affordable Care Act and is not suitable to serve as sole medical coverage.

If they are interested in short-term medical coverage, plan options may:  

  • Be helpful in the face of life-altering transition periods such as pre-Medicare retirement, change in employment status, rolling off parental or student insurance, bridging a gap in major medical coverage or those who missed Open Enrollment
  • Offer flexibility in coverage length and cost
  • Provide a variety of deductible and coinsurance options and low copay options for in-network benefits (note: benefits may be limited and subject to exclusions and restrictions and this coverage does not cover cover pre-existing conditions)

Note: This type of coverage is designed solely to provide healthcare coverage during unexpected coverage gaps. It also does not count as minimum essential coverage required by the Affordable Care Act and is not suitable to serve as sole medical coverage.

If they are interested in ACA medical coverage, plan options may:  

  • Provide coverage for pre-existing conditions and preventive care for individuals and families
  • Offer options to change plans every year
  • Offer subsidies to lower costs
  • Provide minimum essential health benefits

If they are interested in critical illness coverage, plan options may:  

  • Offer an added layer of financial protection in the face of critical health concerns
  • Pay benefits directly to those enrolled or their designees
  • Provide benefits that can be used to pay living expenses and healthcare costs
  • Include little to no waiting periods as well as certain limitations and exclusions

Note: This type of coverage may be subject to various exclusions and limitations. Ensure your clients understand these prior to making a purchasing decision.

3. Celebrate awareness with activities in your office.

Organize a Wear Blue Day.

  • Ask your team to pose for photos in all blue – the signature color of the initiative – and post them to social media with the hashtags #MensHealthWeek, #WearBlueDay, and/or #ShowUsYourBlue.
  • Create a fundraising challenge and invite businesses near your office to join. Donate the proceeds to heart disease or cancer research organizations (those diseases are the #1 and #2 fatal diseases for men in the United States respectively).

Provide your team with local health resources.

  • Ask a local doctor or nutritionist to make a presentation on common men’s health concerns and everyday ways your team members can improve their health.
  • Organize a health fair complete with health screenings for blood pressure and cholesterol levels and opportunities to speak with advocates of wellness care, doctors/nurses, dentists, fitness instructors, etc.

Challenge your team to fun activities.

  • Hold a 5K near your office and ask nearby businesses to join.
  • Bring in a fitness instructor to lead fun activities/classes for your team. Consider inviting your team’s loved ones as well.

Provide encouragement and resources to the men among your clients and within your community for National Men’s Health Week – and every week – and contribute to the growing awareness of prevention, early detection, and treatment of disease.

Learn more about enrolling your clients in the coverage they need today by:

Click here to like us on Facebook for important industry updates, tips, and articles!

Click here to learn more about men’s health concerns.

Click here to see National Men’s Health Week activities across the country.

This blog is for informational purposes only and is not intended to make any product recommendations. Encourage your clients to review any product details, such as costs, limitations, exclusions, restrictions, and benefits prior to any purchasing decisions.

Health Insurance Innovations, Inc. is a leading developer and administrator of affordable, web-based individual health insurance plans and ancillary products. We help consumers address their health insurance needs by offering access to a number of products offered by various insurance carriers.

For agent use only – not for use with the general public

5-ways-technology-is-changing-health-care

Digital Health Services Rise in Popularity, Provide Value and Convenience

As healthcare’s “unsustainable costs” continue to pose challenges1, it’s easy to understand why your clients would be looking for ways to not only cut their costs but also enhance the value they receive. Digital health services such as telemedicine are packaging value, convenience, and competitive pricing so well that it is becoming “part of [consumers] normal process in terms of getting healthcare”2.

Talk to your clients about what telemedicine offers.

Today’s technological advancements in health and medicine have transformed the way the health professionals are able to help people all over the globe. With the help of phone, video, and wireless capabilities, your clients can take advantage of 24/7/365 access from home, work, or their travels to highly qualified doctors to discuss a myriad of health concerns.

Consider these significant contributions of the tool3:

  • Approximately more than 70% of urgent illness conditions can be taken care of with the help of telemedicine such as pharyngitis, sinusitis and upper respiratory illnesses.
  • It eliminates any chances of transmitting infectious diseases from a patient to the health care professional.
  • It allows health professionals to cater to the needs of the patients from any place at any given time.
Talk to your clients about the benefits of telemedicine.
  1. Lower costs: A recent study found that use of telemedicine can reduce costs for your clients as well as the hospital system4.
  2. Increased patient satisfaction: Hospitals are keenly aware how patient satisfaction is tied to federal reimbursement benchmarks that assess the quality of the care they provide. In a recent study, 98% of respondents who received care via telemedicine noted they would be interested in similar visits in the future and 99% would recommend telemedicine to others4.
  3. Increased access: Telemedicine isnt the new innovation on the block; it’s been providing access to healthcare to remotely-located patients for over 40 years5. The National Telehealth Policy Resource Center reports that it increases access6 to remotely located patients who need clinical services as well as remotely located hospitals, allowing them to provide emergency and intensive care services.
Talk to your clients about the future of telemedicine.

A quick search of recent headlines on telemedicine proves that the service is only just beginning to see its full potential. From diagnosing widespread flu2 to coordinating the ability to perform telestenting via robotic technologyto expanding access of health services to patients in rural areas8, the power of telemedicine is set to continue to revolutionize how and where healthcare meets patients in need of care.

Learn more about offering products with telemedicine benefits to your clients by:

 

Health Insurance Innovations, Inc. is a leading developer and administrator of affordable, web-based individual health insurance plans and ancillary products. We help consumers address their health insurance needs by offering access to a number of products offered by various insurance carriers.

For agent use only – not for use with the public

Sources:

1: “Editorial: Rising Healthcare Costs a Cancer, Not a Tapeworm.” Merrill Goozner. ModernHealthcare.comhttp://www.modernhealthcare.com/article/20180131/NEWS/180139978

2: “In-Depth: Surging Flu in a Proving Ground for Digital Health, Telemedicine.” Dave Muoio. MobiHealthNews.comhttp://www.mobihealthnews.com/content/depth-surging-flu-proving-ground-digital-health-telemedicine

3: “The Importance and Value of Telemedicine.” Karandeep Virdi. ElectronicHealthReporter.comhttp://electronichealthreporter.com/importance-value-telemedicine/

4: “Telemedicine Can Lower Costs for Health Systems by $24 a Patient, Study Finds.” Jeff Lagasse. HealthcareFinance.comhttp://www.healthcarefinancenews.com/news/telemedicine-can-lower-costs-health-systems-24-patient-study-finds

5: “Telemedicine poised for exponential growth.” Robert Ryan. BizJournals.com http://www.bizjournals.com/seattle/news/2016/09/27/telemedicine-poised-for-exponential-growth.html

6: California Telehealth Resource Center. “Why are Telemedicine and Telehealth so Important in Our Healthcare System?” http://www.caltrc.org/telehealth/why-are-telemedicine-and-telehealth-so-important-in-our-healthcare-system/

7: “Mayo Clinic to Explore the Use of Telemedicine for Stent Surgeries.” Etic Wicklund. mHealthIntelligence.com https://mhealthintelligence.com/news/mayo-clinic-to-explore-the-use-of-telemedicine-for-stent-surgeries

8: “Health IT Infrastructure Supports Successful Telemedicine Programs.” Elizabeth O’Dowd. HITInfrastructure.comhttps://hitinfrastructure.com/news/health-it-infrastructure-supports-successful-telemedicine-programs

Walk Your Clients into Improved Health for National Women’s Health Week

Each year during National Women’s Health Week, millions of women take steps to improve their health. The 19th annual National Women’s Health Week kicks off on May 13 and serves as a reminder for women to make our health a priority and to build positive health habits for life.

During your consultations with clients this week, remind them of this health observance and provide them with information and resources they need to get them on a journey toward better and long-lasting health.

Here’s how your office can participate in the 19th annual National Women’s Health Week:
  • Share the following tips with you clients
  • Take the National Women’s Health Week quiz to test your knowledge about healthy living
  • Show your fellow agents that you’re making women’s health a priority with these social media resources and use the #NWHW hashtag
  • Participate online or organize activities within office
The journey to create improved health habits can include:
 For every decade, it’s important for your clients to:

*Make sure your clients know how their health coverage works when it comes to well-woman visits. This preventive visit is essential to women’s health, as it’s a time for them to check in on how they’re doing, how they’d like to be doing, and what changes they can make to reach their health goals.

For Clients in Their 20s

 A client in this decade should ask her doctor at least once a year about:

  •  Whether she plans to have children in the next year or the right birth control
  • Her weight, diet, and physical activity level
  • Her tobacco and alcohol use
  • Any violence in her life
  • Depression and any other mental health concerns
  • Her family health history, especially of heart disease and cancer (these are the top two fatal diseases for women in the United States and are often linked to diet and lifestyle choices)
  • Protecting herself from the sun and the hazards of tanning

She should also ask if she needs these tests, medicines, or vaccines:

  • Blood pressure
  • Chickenpox
  • Cholesterol
  • Flu
  • Hepatitis B and C
  • HIV
  • HPV vaccine (26 and younger*)
  • Measles, mumps, and rubella
  • Pap (21 and older*)
  • Sexually transmitted infections (including chlamydia and gonorrhea tests for women 24 and younger*)
  • Tetanus, diphtheria, or whooping cough
  • Tuberculosis

If she is pregnant, prenatal care can also be a well-woman visit. There are also certain tests during pregnancy to check her and her baby’s health. Click here to learn more.

* Suggested by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommendations and may not apply to every person

For Clients in Their 30s

A client in this decade should ask her doctor at least once a year about:

  •  Whether she plans to have children in the next year or the right birth control
  • Her weight, diet, and physical activity level
  • Her tobacco and alcohol use
  • Any violence in her life
  • Depression and any other mental health concerns
  • Her family health history, especially of heart disease and cancer (these are the top two fatal diseases for women in the United States and are often linked to diet and lifestyle choices)

She should also ask if she needs these tests, medicines, or vaccines:

  • Blood pressure
  • Chickenpox
  • Cholesterol
  • Flu
  • Hepatitis B and C
  • HIV
  • Measles, mumps, and rubella
  • Pap and HPV
  • Sexually transmitted infections
  • Tetanus, diphtheria, or whooping cough
  • Tuberculosis

If she is pregnant, prenatal care can also be a well-woman visit. There are also certain tests during pregnancy to check her and her baby’s health. Click here to learn more.

For Clients in Their 40s

A client in this decade should ask her doctor at least once a year about:

  •  Whether she plans to have children in the next year or the right birth control (for premenopausal women)
  • Perimenopause symptoms
  • Her weight, diet, and physical activity level
  • Her tobacco and alcohol use
  • Any violence in her life
  • Depression and any other mental health concerns
  • Her family health history, especially of heart disease and cancer (these are the top two fatal diseases for women in the United States and are often linked to diet and lifestyle choices)

She should also ask if she needs these tests, medicines, or vaccines:

  • Blood pressure
  • Chickenpox
  • Cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Flu
  • Hepatitis B and C
  • HIV
  • Mammogram
  • Measles, mumps, and rubella
  • Pap and HPV
  • Sexually transmitted infections
  • Tetanus, diphtheria, or whooping cough
  • Tuberculosis

If she is pregnant, prenatal care can also be a well-woman visit. There are also certain tests during pregnancy to check her and her baby’s health. Click here to learn more.

For Clients in Their 50s

A client in this decade should ask her doctor at least once a year about:

  • Menopause symptoms
  • Your weight, diet, and physical activity level
  • Your tobacco and alcohol use
  • Any violence in your life
  • Depression and any other mental health concerns
  • Your family health history, especially of heart disease and cancer (these are the top two fatal diseases for women in the United States and are often linked to diet and lifestyle choices)

She should also ask if she needs these tests, medicines, or vaccines:

  • Low-dose aspirin
  • Blood pressure
  • Chickenpox
  • Cholesterol
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Flu
  • Hepatitis B and C
  • HIV
  • Lung cancer (55 and older*)
  • Mammogram
  • Measles, mumps, and rubella
  • Pap and HPV
  • Sexually transmitted infections
  • Tetanus, diphtheria, or whooping cough
  • Tuberculosis

* Suggested by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommendations and may not apply to every person

As you work with your clients to determine which type of coverage will help them tackle these health concerns and meet their budget and lifestyle needs, it’s crucial to review the basics with them.

If health benefit insurance is an option for them, discuss features such as:

  • Helpful for those anticipating rising medical expenses, unable to afford major medical, not eligible for short-term medical, and/or looking for supplemental coverage to their major medical plans
  • Guaranteed issue coverage if eligibility is met and available in state
  • Premiums often lower than major medical, but also lower and more restricted benefits
  • Benefits such as $50-$100 paid toward doctor and specialist visits available
  • Not required to use a network of doctors – freedom to choose any doctor or facility (*Note: clients can still exceed eligible benefits)
  • Preventive care available for as low as $50
  • Next day coverage available or little to no waiting periods for accidental injuries or sickness
  • 12 month waiting period for pre-existing conditions
  • Does not count as minimum essential coverage required by the Affordable Care Act and is not suitable to serve as sole medical coverage

If short-term medical is an option for them, discuss features such as:

  • Helpful for those facing life-altering transition periods such as pre-Medicare retirement, change in employment status, rolling off parental or student insurance, bridging a gap in major medical coverage or those who missed Open Enrollment (*Note: these policies are designed solely to provide healthcare coverage during unexpected coverage gaps)
  • Flexibility in coverage length and cost; coverage duration varies by state and is non-renewable
  • Variety of deductible and coinsurance options
  • Low copay options for in-network benefits
  • Limited preventive care available
  • Ability to cancel at any time without penalty
  • Benefits may be limited and subject to exclusions and restrictions
  • Does not cover pre-existing conditions
  • Coverage is not guaranteed
  • Not intended to be a replacement or alternative to ACA or other major medical plans and does not provide the minimum essential health benefits that are required; may result in a tax penalty

Disclaimer: Health benefit insurance and short-term medical coverage are not intended to be a replacement or alternative to ACA or other major medical plans nor does it provide the minimum essential health benefits that are required and it won’t help to avoid the fee for not carrying health insurance. They can have exclusions and limitations, which may not make them a valid option for some clients.

Show your clients that women’s health is a priority to you this week and every week. Provide them with affordable and quality coverage options that allow them to easily get the healthcare they need for every decade.

Learn more today by:

Click here to like us on Facebook for important industry updates, tips, and articles!

This blog is for informational purposes only and is not intended to make any product recommendations. Encourage your clients to review any product details, such as costs, limitations, exclusions, restrictions, and benefits prior to any purchasing decisions.

Health Insurance Innovations, Inc. is a leading developer and administrator of affordable, web-based individual health insurance plans and ancillary products. We help consumers address their health insurance needs by offering access to a number of products offered by various insurance carriers.

Many thanks to the Office of Women’s Health for this information and their work on behalf of women.

For more information on National Women’s Health Week as well as resources on a variety of trending topics in women’s health, wellness, and medical conditions, please click here.

 

For agent use only – not for use with the general public

 

 

#MoveInMay: Get Your Clients Moving for National Physical Fitness and Sports Month

It’s that time of year again – it’s time to #MoveInMay!

May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, a month dedicated to raising awareness about the benefits of physical activity and asking communities, health professionals, and families to work together to create opportunities for everyone to get more of it.

When talking to clients this month, ask them to keep their physical fitness goals in mind as they consider which coverage options best address their lifestyle and health needs.

Consider these stats from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention1:
  • About 1 in 5 (21%) adults meet the current physical activity guidelines.
  • Less than 3 in 10 high school students get at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day.
  • Physical activity can improve health. People who are physically active tend to live longer and have lower risk for heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, depression, and some cancers.
  • Inactive adults have a higher risk for early death, heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, depression, and some cancers.

Your clients’ ages will determine the CDC recommended amount and type of activity for optimum health benefits. Share the link above in the first stat with your clients so they can learn more.

While many coverage options provide a wealth of insurance benefits to help your clients maintain their health, some plans may also provide additional programs and features that pique the interest of those looking to increase their physical activity:

 Access to digital fitness tools

Consistent physical activity is a core principle of good health. With tools to help them track their fitness journey, your clients can integrate personalized health and fitness guidance, including tips on nutrition and self-assessments, into workout routines. These tools can be included in short-term medical or health benefit insurance coverage.

24/7/365 access to board-certified doctors

Increasing physical activity can have a significant impact on general health, but your clients may still suffer from common illnesses, allergies, or infections from time to time. Short-term medical and health benefit insurance coverage can include benefits that allow them to connect with doctors in mere minutes via mobile and video to address health concerns quickly and conveniently.

Patient advocacy service

As your clients continue to increase their physical activity and fitness levels and make the most of their health coverage, they may need assistance navigating the world of healthcare. As is found with many traditional health insurance plans, short-term medical and health benefit insurance coverage can also include access to a patient advocacy service that can help them schedule appointments, find quality doctors and facilities, lower out-of-pocket costs, and make informed decisions about healthcare.

Remember that short-term and health benefit insurance coverage are not intended to replace ACA or major medical plans. These types of coverages do not provide the minimum essential health benefits that are required and will not help to avoid the fee for not carrying health insurance. They have limitations, restrictions, and exclusions that your clients must understand prior to making a purchasing decision.

Are you ready to get your clients to #MoveInMay with quality coverage that addresses their concerns?

Learn more today by:

Health Insurance Innovations, Inc. is a leading developer and administrator of affordable, web-based individual health insurance plans and ancillary products. We help consumers address their health insurance needs by offering access to a number of products offered by various insurance carriers.

For agent use only – not for use with the general public

Source: “Facts About Physical Activity.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/data/facts.htm

how-to-manage-health-care-expenses

How to Talk to Your Clients About Out of Pocket Expenses

As a health insurance agent, you are likely faced with one overarching concern every day: how to make insurance less complicated for your clients. There’s no doubt that healthcare coverage is challenging and multi-faceted; consumers likely feel overwhelmed with the laundry list of aspects they need to consider before selecting the coverage that effectively fits their needs and budgets. They depend on agents’ guidance and expertise when they’re deciding how to best protect their health (and the health of their loved ones) as well as their wallets.

Such responsibility can feel daunting, especially considering all there is to know about healthcare coverage. If you’re a new health insurance agent, you’re probably still grasping the ins and the outs and tailoring your sales approach to this ever-evolving and highly regulated industry.

Let’s take a look at some industry terminology that will help you talk to your clients about out of pocket expenses and consider how those expenses relate to short-term medical and health benefit insurance plans.

Deductible

This refers to the amount your clients pay for themselves before their insurance carrier pays benefits.

If your clients are concerned about the cost of deductibles when facing common illnesses such as a cold, an ear infection, pink eye, or strep throat, they may be interested in coverage that includes a telemedicine as a feature.

Telemedicine meets patients where they are by allowing them to connect with doctors via phone, video, smartphone, or computer and reducing travel time, anxiety, and time away from family and responsibilities. This feature is available with many short-term medical and health benefit insurance plans as well as traditional healthcare coverage.

Copay

This refers to the amount your clients pay to their providers at the time of their visit. The amount may vary depending on the type of service they receive and typically does not count toward deductibles.

Affordability is certainly one of your clients’ primary concerns when choosing healthcare coverage. Many short-term medical plans offer low out of pocket copays for doctor’s office visits and wellness care. That said, clients must understand that benefits may be more restricted as well since these plans do not need to meet the 10 essential health benefits. They also do not cover preexisting conditions.

Clients who need another type of coverage and/or who may need to supplement their major medical coverage may benefit from health benefit insurance, as this type of policy may be cost effective and provides cash benefits to pay for a variety of expenses, including copays. Keep in mind that there may be limitations and/or restrictions, so be sure to fully review the circumstances under which payment can be received with your clients.

Coinsurance

This refers to the amount your clients pay to their providers for services rendered after they pay their deductible and after their carrier covers its portion. This amount is a form of cost sharing and is in addition to the copay that is paid at the time of the visit.

Short-term medical plans offer a variety of coinsurance options, including a 100%/0% option. This can allow your clients to circumvent a coinsurance payment and would task the carrier with paying 100% of the fees.

Keep in mind that short term insurance plans do not cover preexisting conditions and are not required to cover 10 essential health benefits, including maternity and newborn care, mental health and substance abuse disorder services. Encourage clients to check any plan details carefully to understand what is covered. Health benefit insurance plans do not offer coinsurance options, as they provide fixed cash benefits for specific covered expenses.

Note: It is important to keep in mind, that while short-term and health benefit insurance coverage can provide valuable benefits, neither one is intended to be a replacement nor an alternative to ACA or other major medical plans. These types of coverage do not provide the minimum essential health benefits that are required and will not help to avoid the fee for not carrying health insurance.

Are you ready to talk to your clients about affordable coverage and features of short-term medical and health benefit insurance plans?

Learn more today by:

Health Insurance Innovations, Inc. is a leading developer and administrator of affordable, web-based individual health insurance plans and ancillary products. We help consumers address their health insurance needs by offering access to a number of products offered by various insurance carriers.

For agent use only – not for use with the general public

Effective Ways to Help Your Clients Manage Their Stress

Few things in life are certain. Stress is one of those certainties, a detail you are indubitably aware of when working with clients to find the coverage that best fits their health and lifestyle realities.

Chances are that you are also keenly aware how important it is for your clients to hit the refresh button on their worries and overall state of mind. April is National Stress Awareness Month, the perfect time to remind them (and yourself) to use that button more liberally and to recognize how stress impacts overall health.

It’s crucial to be able to recognize stress symptoms to be able to manage it1. Stress is a natural reaction and is a way to protect ourselves from danger. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention2, it can prompt us to develop skills needed to manage potentially threatening situations. But it’s best to be aware of stress and find ways to manage it through self-care.

Some of the common effects of stress are1:
  • Headache
  • Muscle tension or pain
  • Chest pain
  • Fatigue
  • Sleep problems
  • Anxiety
  • Restlessness
  • Lack of motivation or focus
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Irritability or anger
  • Sadness or depression
  • Overeating or undereating
  • Angry outbursts
  • Social withdrawal

When the natural fight or flight response is left unchecked, it can contribute to a variety of health problems such as high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, and diabetes1.

Talk to your clients about managing their stress by3:
  • Recognizing when they don’t have control and letting it go
  • Avoiding anxiety about situations they can’t change
  • Focusing their minds on something that makes them feel calm and in control
  • Developing a vision for healthy living, wellness, and personal growth
  • Setting realistic goals to help them realize their vision

Carving out even just a few moments each day to relax can help your clients manage their stress. Everyone has their favorite activities that help them unwind and manage their stress.

Here are a few ideas they may want to explore1:
  • Engaging in regular physical activity
  • Partaking in relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, yoga, or getting a massage
  • Socializing with family and friends
  • Setting aside time for hobbies, such as reading a book or listening to music
Let’s take a look at a few available insurance benefits to pique the interest of those clients as it relates to stress management:

Wellness care

When your clients begin thinking about improving their stress management techniques, they’re likely to also begin thinking about how to make healthier choices going forward. Short-term medical and health benefit insurance coverage are options that may be able to help them maintain access to quality healthcare all while including wellness care benefits. While they’re not intended to replace major medical insurance, they can be used to continue access to health benefits.

Preventive care 

Beyond learning more about healthier choices, your clients may also be interested in learning more about their general health as well as screenings and shots. If traditional insurance coverage is not an option, short-term medical and health benefit insurance coverage can include preventive benefits that give them access to quality physicians who can provide such care.

Routine doctor visits

Maintaining general health is likely to become a priority as your clients become more aware of their stress and management exercises that work for them. With short-term medical coverage, they can take advantage of benefits that allow for access to physicians who can provide routine care and consultations. With health benefit insurance coverage, they can take advantage of cash benefits that subsidize the costs of such visits. Both types of coverage can provide access to a network of providers and facilities. It’s important to review any plans carefully to understand what is covered, if preexisting conditions are included or not, and what services will qualify for any cash benefits. While major medical insurance will provide access to routine care, your clients may find themselves in a situation where they cannot obtain coverage, and these plans may provide an alternative to help them stay on track with wellness and health goals.

Note: It is important to keep in mind, that while short-term and health benefit insurance coverage do provide these benefits, neither one is intended to be a replacement nor an alternative to ACA or other major medical plans. These types of coverage do not provide the minimum essential health benefits that are required and will not help to avoid the fee for not carrying health insurance.

Are you ready to help your clients unwind this National Stress Awareness Month with quality coverage that addresses their concerns?

Learn more today by:

Health Insurance Innovations, Inc. is a leading developer and administrator of affordable, web-based individual health insurance plans and ancillary products. We help consumers address their health insurance needs by offering access to a number of products offered by various insurance carriers.

affordable-insurance-options-for-college-graduates

Seasons Change and So Do Coverage Needs: College Students and Recent Grads Hit the Short-Term Market

Spring is upon us – though more apparent in some parts of the country than others – and that means summer is warming up right around the corner. That also means the spring semester will end soon at colleges and universities across the country, leaving many students and recent graduates with expired health coverage.

Past reports of short-term medical enrollment have ranged widely from 160,000 to 850,0001, but that number seems likely to grow this year. Not only do summer months see college students and recent graduates flocking to the short-term market1 but public awareness of the market has also increased significantly.

A recent poll shows 31%1 of consumers polled indicated they are familiar with it and an additional 10.4%1 indicated they have used such coverage. Compare that to 7% of consumers who were aware of the coverage option in 2017, and it’s clear that continued growth is forthcoming.

Are you prepared to help this specific audience find coverage that fits their needs this summer?

Here’s how short-term medical coverage may be their solution until they can choose a longer term solution:
  • Provides flexibility in cost and length of coverage
  • Offers choice of deductible and coinsurance options
  • Delivers low copay options
  • Secures ability to cancel without penalty at any time

Understanding the needs and concerns of college students and recent graduates is imperative when helping them select coverage. According to a recent poll2, 72% expressed concern over the cost of healthcare coverage, with 40% worried about the cost of monthly premiums and 20% anxious about out-of-pocket expenses.

With that in mind, these coverage highlights are crucial to the conversation:
  • Provides wellness options
  • Often offers lower rates than traditional health plans
  • Affords a low cost layer of financial protection from rising healthcare costs
  • Offers choice of deductible as low as $250

Note that with STM, clients are not buying an ACA health plan. The following need to  be kept in mind by any prospects:

  • STM coverage does not provide the minimum essential health benefits required by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and will not help to avoid the fee for not carrying health insurance. STM plans are not guaranteed issue, do not cover pre-existing conditions, and require a series of medical questions to be answered
  • Plans vary in what is covered, check any plans carefully prior to making a purchasing decision

In addition to college students and recent graduates, other prospective clients who are facing life-altering transition periods may find short-term medical meets their needs.

These include:
  • Pre-Medicare retirement
  • Change in employment status
  • Missed Open Enrollment
  • Rolling off parental insurance
  • Filling a gap in your major medical coverage

Are you ready to address the needs of this growing market’s diverse audiences?

Learn more today by:

Health Insurance Innovations, Inc. is a leading developer and administrator of affordable, web-based individual health insurance plans and ancillary products. We help consumers address their health insurance needs by offering access to a number of products offered by various insurance carriers.

For agent use only – not for use with the general public

 

Sources:

1: “Poll: Spike in Short-term Health Insurance Public Awareness. AgileHealthInsurance.com.” March 14, 2018 https://www.agilehealthinsurance.com/health-insurance-learning-center/short-term-health-insurance-public-awareness-survey

 

2: “Poll: 72% of College Students and Recent Grads Have Challenges Finding Affordable Health Insurance. ” June 20, 2017. https://www.agilehealthinsurance.com/health-insurance-learning-center/student-health-insurance-survey