Debunking short term medical insurance myths for clients

Debunk These Misconceptions About Short-Term Medical Plans

Misconceptions about short-term medical plans are common. While STM plans can provide quality benefits that meet a variety of budget needs, they fall outside of traditional healthcare coverage options, prompting your clients to have questions. The cost of healthcare continues to rise, and political scrutiny and legislative updates continue to impact the industry and your clients’ wallets. There is no better time to make sure your clients have a thorough understanding of their options so they can help to protect their health as well as the health of their loved ones and their finances.

STM plans, also called temporary health insurance, are medical plans that have a limited duration. They are designed to bridge gaps in healthcare coverage during a period of transition such as graduating from college or starting a new job. Here are 4 common misconceptions about short-term medical plans:

Misconception #1: Only a limited number of doctors accept short-term medical plans.

STM plans are accepted by many providers and facilities across the nation. If a client chooses to see an out-of-network provider, it could result in higher out-of-pocket costs. Some STM plans may provide for the services to be covered (depending on the plan) via a reimbursement, but the policyholder will pay upfront for and submit her/his own claim.

These plans often feature provider networks that ensure lower rates than providers who are outside of the network, but that doesn’t preclude your clients from choosing providers of their choice.

Just like with traditional major medical plans, clients with short-term medical coverage who choose to receive medical services outside of the featured network may incur higher out-of-pocket costs.

Help your clients know how to make the most of their benefits. This includes knowing how and where to access their member ID card, who to call with questions about benefits, who to call with questions about claims, and where to access their provider directory and pertinent details of their coverage.

Misconception #2: Only those who are young and in good health are good candidates for short-term medical coverage.  

This level of coverage may fit the needs of clients who are:

  • Transitioning between jobs
  • Waiting for employer insurance to begin
  • Graduating from college
  • Rolling off parents’ coverage
  • Waiting for Medicare coverage to become effective

You may have clients who are looking for healthcare options outside of Open Enrollment. Or you may have a client who is looking for coverage that includes preventive care for herself and her family before her new policy through her employer starts. While benefits may be limited, this level of coverage may suit such clients’ needs and help them tackle their healthcare realities. There are a variety of plans available, some of which may even be a good fit for clients who want to see providers of their choice.

Disclaimer: Short-term medical coverage is 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.

Misconception #3: Short-term medical coverage is expensive and doesn’t provide quality coverage.

STM premiums are often lower than major medical premiums because they offer more limited and/or restricted benefits. The coverage provided by STM plans can provide a range of valuable insurance benefits for individuals and families such as:

  • Preventive care and routine doctor visits
  • Emergency care*
  • Inpatient and outpatient surgery and hospital care*

Similar to major medical, your clients can enjoy added non-insurance benefits as well such as:

  • Mobile access to board-certified doctors who can treat many common illnesses
  • Patient advocacy service that can help navigate the world of healthcare and negotiate medical bills
  • Prescription savings membership that can lower out-of-pocket costs
  • Digital fitness tool to help track your wellness journey

However, the coverage provided by short-term medical plans does not include:

  • Immediate benefits for hospital stays, surgery or anesthesia for conditions you already have
  • Benefits for prescription drugs

STM plans do not have coverage requirements, so plans vary in what is covered. Review any plan details with a client prior to purchase. Additionally, STM does not cover pre-existing conditions. Applicants are subject to underwriting approval based on answers to medical questions. Coverage is limited to a time period of no longer than three months.

*Typically not covered for pre-existing conditions

Misconception #4: Short-term medical plans can help those enrolled avoid the Affordable Care Act’s tax penalty.

While STM coverage can be an affordable and quality option for your clients who are looking to help bridge the gap in their health coverage, it does not qualify as minimum essential coverage under the Affordable Care Act. That means that they are likely to face tax penalties. Your clients who are without minimum essential coverage for less than 3 months within a year and those who belong to certain groups are exempt from the penalty.

Because STM plans don’t have to adhere to ACA regulations, your clients have a range of plan options to choose from, including some with lower monthly rates than major medical plans. Current legislative reform attempts are expected to make room for more STM plan options.

 

Are you ready to expand your client offerings with short-term medical options?

Learn more today by:

Calling 877.376.5831 and selecting option 3

Emailing salessupport@hiiquote.com

Click here to like us on Facebook, here to follow us on Twitter, and here to see our videos on YouTube to join the conversation about industry issues and concerns!

 

 

Health Coverage in 2018: Change Is Constant

Change is the only constant in healthcare coverage. Adjustments to cost, convenience, quality, access, and legislation unfailingly impact consumers and the decisions they make for their own healthcare as well as healthcare for their loved ones. But there’s one important factor that will remain unchanged: your clients’ need to have access to affordable, convenient, and quality coverage despite which legislative reforms are in place.

As a third-party billing administrator and a technology resource, Health Insurance Innovations is on a mission to provide access to coverage that fits your clients’ needs, including short-term medical policies. We partner with top rated carriers that offer value-rich health coverage solutions as we modernize the insurance landscape. Our simplified application process and cloud-based digital platform enables licensed agents to enroll consumers in coverage through our carrier partners that tackles evolving healthcare and budget realities.

That coverage includes:

  • Short-term medical
  • Health benefit insurance
  • Accident, cancer and critical illness
  • Prescription
  • Dental
  • Vision
  • Life
  • AD&D
  • Health and wellness programs
  • Lifestyle discounts

Short-term medical coverage and health benefit insurance plans are two options that are quite popular with clients as well as agents and often fit a variety of needs.

Expand your portfolio today by offering these coverage solutions than can provide features such as:

  • Open network of physicians, specialists, and hospitals (*Note: clients can still exceed eligible benefits) 
  • Access to urgent care centers
  • Flexibility in length of coverage and in cost (coverage duration varies by state, may not be renewable)
  • Variety of deductible and coinsurance options
  • Low copay options for in-network benefits
  • Paid benefits similar to traditional major medical plans
  • Next day coverage
  • Little to no waiting periods
  • Deductibles as low as $250
  • Relatively inexpensive premiums, but may result in lower and more restricted benefits
  • Guaranteed acceptance for some products, if eligibility is met and available in state
  • Unlimited low-cost doctor and specialist copays

Please note that it’s important for you and your clients to understand these products do not replace major medical insurance and they do not count as minimum essential coverage required by the Affordable Care Act.

These products are not intended to serve as sole medical coverage. Limitations, restrictions, and exclusions may apply.

In our role, we serve members by providing:

  • Access to personalized insurance information through our secure platform
  • Printed and digital insurance cards on behalf of their carriers
  • Billing support and assistance
  • Digital updates on behalf of their insurance carriers on how to take full advantage of their coverage

Learn more about how you can meet your clients’ health, budget, and lifestyle needs by with a variety of coverage options by:

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

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

Breast Cancer Awareness Month Help Your Clients Protect Themselves

Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Help Your Clients Protect Themselves

Approximately 1 in 8 women born today in the United States will get breast cancer at some point, the second most common kind of cancer in women1. While most women can survive breast cancer if it’s detected and treated early 1, there are several lifestyle factors that your clients should consider when assessing risk, including:

  • Consuming dairy (with risk of death increasing for those who continue to consumer dairy after diagnosis)2
  • Being overweight or obese3
  • Not being physically active3
  • Regularly drinking alcohol4
  • Taking hormone replacement therapy4
  • Taking hormonal birth control3

 

The month of October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, an opportunity to raise awareness about steps women can take to decrease their risk and to detect and treat this disease. It’s also an opportunity to help your clients protect themselves from potential financial challenges that can come with breast cancer treatment. When faced with high deductibles, high copays, and high premiums, it can be difficult for your clients to afford medical coverage.

Limited medical plans can offer economical options that can help do just that for your clients who are:
  • Anticipating rising medical expenses
  • Unable to afford major medical coverage
  • Not eligible for short-term medical coverage
  • Looking for supplemental coverage to their major medical plans
 With these products, you can offer your clients many features, including:
  • The freedom to choose any doctor or hospital of their choice
  • Guaranteed issue coverage with $50-$100 paid toward doctor and specialist visits
  • Offer preventative care for $50, $75, $80, $100
  • Next day coverage or little to no waiting periods for accidental injuries or sickness
  • 12 month waiting period for pre-existing conditions
What are the limitations of limited medical coverage?

This type of plan does not count as minimum essential coverage required by the Affordable Care Act and is not suitable to serve as your clients’ only medical coverage. Although the premiums may be lower than a major medical plan, the benefits are also lower and more restricted.

You may have clients who need to supplement their existing coverage, but who are worried about affordability and value. With limited medical coverage, they have the option to take advantage of low premium rates, discounted network rates, and even access to non-insurance benefits such as a prescription savings program, 24/7/365 video and phone access to quality physicians, and a patient advocacy service.

Learn more about how limited medical options may be ideal for 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 general public.

Sources:

1: “October: National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. https://healthfinder.gov/NHO/OctoberToolkit.aspx

2: “High – and Low-Fat Dairy Intake, Recurrence, and Mortality After Breast Cancer Diagnosis.” Candyce H. Kroenke Marilyn L. Kwan Carol Sweeney Adrienne Castillo Bette J. Caan. https://academic.oup.com/jnci/article/105/9/616/986948/High-and-Low-Fat-Dairy-Intake-Recurrence-and

3: “Lifestyle-Related Breast Cancer Risk Factors.” American Cancer Society. https://www.cancer.org/cancer/breast-cancer/risk-and-prevention/lifestyle-related-breast-cancer-risk-factors.html

4: “Lifestyle: How Our Lifestyle and Choices Affect Breast Cancer Risk.” Breast Cancer Now. http://breastcancernow.org/about-breast-cancer/what-can-cause-breast-cancer/lifestyle

 

2017 Open Enrollment is Approaching Are You Ready

Open Enrollment is Approaching: Are You Ready?

Open Enrollment is just around the corner, and it’s important that you provide your clients with up-to-date details about coverage options that fit their health concerns, budget, and lifestyle needs.

If you’re enrolling clients in ACA coverage, here are some important dates to remember:

November 1, 2017

Open Enrollment Period begins

December 15, 2017

Open Enrollment Period ends

January 1, 2018

Plans sold during Open Enrollment become effective

Your clients will undoubtedly have questions about which options address their needs as well as provide affordable and quality coverage. While it is not a substitute for ACA or other major medical plans, short-term medical coverage may be an appropriate option for those who are:

  • Graduating from college and/or in need of replacing their student insurance
  • Transitioning between jobs
  • Waiting for employer insurance to begin
  • Rolling off parents’ coverage
  • Retiring soon and waiting for Medicare coverage to become effective

You may also have clients who miss the Open Enrollment period and reach out to you at that time to help them address their coverage needs. Short-term medical coverage may be an appropriate option for those clients as well.

Short-term medical plans can provide features to your clients such as:
  • Flexibility in timing of enrollment – there is not special enrollment period Preventive care for individuals as well as for families
  • Lower premiums than other types of plans
  • Access to providers of choice
  • Convenience of filing a claim in provider’s office with an additional option to submit their own claims for reimbursement

It’s important that your clients understand there are limitations associated with short-term medical plans such as restrictions for pre-existing conditions, maximum coverage periods, and restrictions on renewability. Ensure consumers fully understand the details, exclusions, limitations, and restrictions of any short-term medical plans prior to making a purchasing decision.

STM coverage is 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.

Remember: There is no special enrollment period for short-term medical plans. This may provide you more flexibility in helping your clients manage their health coverage needs.

Learn more about Open Enrollment and short-term medical coverage 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.

How You Can Help Families Make Healthy Choices to Combat Childhood Obesity

One in 3 children in the United States are overweight or obese according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services1. That means obesity affects approximately 12.7 million children and adolescents2.  The month of September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, a time to raise awareness about this epidemic and to highlight simple steps parents, teachers, loved ones, communities, and health professionals can take to combat it.

According to the Centers for Disease Controlchildren with obesity are at a higher risk for3:

  • Asthma
  • Sleep apnea
  • Bone and joint issues
  • Type 2 diabetes

They also have more risk factors for3:

  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol

In addition to the emotional toll obesity may take on children due to bullying and social isolation, they are also more likely to have obesity as adults. Adult obesity is associated with a higher risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and many types of cancers3.

So what can we do to prevent obesity in children?

  • Be role models. Make healthy choices when it comes to nutrition and fitness. Fill your plates with colorful fruits and vegetables. Stick to a fitness schedule. See your doctor regularly for checkups.
  • Get kids involved. Let kids help in the planning and preparation of meals and in workout routines.
  • Make creative choices. Prepare snacks and meals that are creative and colorful. Plan fitness routines that involve being in parks or fun recreational areas.

As an agent, talk to your clients about:

  • Making small changes, like keeping fresh fruit within reach or going on a family walk after dinner
  • Talking with teachers and school administrators about providing healthy food options and daily physical activities for students
  • Learning how health professionals are leaders in their communities and how they support programs to prevent childhood obesity

Collaborate with your members on coverage options that support healthy choices. Short-term medical and limited medical coverage options can provide features such as:

  • Flexibility in length of coverage and in cost
  • Variety of deductible and coinsurance options
  • Low copay options
  • Ability to cancel without penalty
  • Paid benefits similar to traditional major medical plans
  • Wellness options
  • Next day coverage
  • Little to no waiting periods
  • Deductibles as low as $250
  • Relatively inexpensive premiums
  • Guaranteed acceptance
  • Unlimited low-cost doctor and specialist copays
  • Open network of physicians, specialists, and hospital

  

Learn more about offering your clients short-term medical and limited medical options 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.

 

Sources:

1: “September: National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month.” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. https://healthfinder.gov/NHO/SeptemberToolkit.aspx

2: “YCMA Offers Health Tips for Childhood Obesity Awareness Month.” Chicago Tribune. http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/glenview/community/chi-ugc-article-ymca-offers-health-tips-for-childhood-obesity-2017-08-30-story.html

3: “September is National Childhood Obesity Month.” Centers for Disease Control. https://www.cdc.gov/features/childhoodobesity/index.html

 

 

 

What Benefits Do Your Clients Want for National Physical Fitness and Sports Month

What Benefits Do Your Clients Want for National Physical Fitness and Sports Month?

It’s May – time for flowers, fun, and fitness!

In 1983, May was first declared as National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, a month to raise awareness about the benefits of physical activity and spread the word about fun ways to get moving. When you talk to your clients about their coverage needs this month, it’s simple to keep physical fitness in mind as you go over their benefit options.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, some of the benefits of physical activity include1:

  • Improved muscular fitness, bone health, and heart health
  • Lower risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some types of cancer
  • Lower risk of falls and improve cognitive functioning (like learning and judgment skills)

Let’s take a look at a few available insurance benefits to pique the interest of those clients looking to improve their fitness:

Wellness care

When your clients begin thinking about increasing their physical activity, they’re likely to also begin thinking about how to make healthier choices going forward. Short-term medical and limited medical coverage are options that may be able to help your clients maintain access to quality health care all while including wellness care benefits that can assist them as they do just that.

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. Short-term medical and limited medical coverage can include preventive benefits that give them access to quality physicians who can provide such care.

Routine doctor visits

Maintaining their general health is likely to become a priority as your clients improve their fitness. 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 limited medical coverage, they can take advantage of cash benefits that subsidize the costs of such visits. Both types of coverage can provide low rates to healthcare as well as access to network providers and facilities.

Let’s also take a look at a few available non-insurance benefits as well:

Access to digital fitness tools

With tools to help them track their wellness journey, your clients can integrate personalized health and fitness guidance, including tips on nutrition and self-assessments, into their workout routines. These tools can be included in short-term medical or limited medical coverage.

24/7/365 access to board-certified doctors

As amazing as increasing one’s fitness feels, your clients may still suffer from common illnesses, allergies, or infections from time to time. Short-term medical and limited medical coverage can include benefits that allow your clients 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 make the most of their health coverage, they may need assistance navigating the world of healthcare. Short-term medical and limited medical coverage can include access to a patient advocacy service that can help your clients schedule appointments, find quality doctors and facilities, lower out-of-pocket costs, and make informed decisions about their healthcare.

It is important to keep in mind, that while short-term and limited medical 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.

Celebrate National Physical Fitness and Sports Month by talking to your clients about coverage that includes these benefits today!

Learn more by:

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

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

1 Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. “May: National Physical Fitness and Sports Month.”

how-to-increase-access-to-health-care

Interprofessional Healthcare: Do Your Clients Have Access to the Quality Care They Need?

In celebration of April as National Interprofessional Health Care Month, we’re taking a look at health promotion and access to collaborative healthcare.

Scroll down to learn more from our infographic.

April 18 blog

Sources:

1 National Academies of Practice. “National Interprofessional Health Care Month Proclamation”

2 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Heart Disease Facts”

3 National Cancer Statistics. “Cancer Statistics.”

4 National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. “Overweight and Obesity Statistics”

5 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Chronic Disease Overview”

6 President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition. “Facts and Statistics: Nutrition”

7 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Prevalence of Obesity Among Adults and Youth: United States, 2011-2014.”

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April is National Interprofessional Health Care Month: Promote Your Clients’ Health and Well-Being

April and the season of spring cleaning are upon us, creating an ideal time to celebrate the overall well-being of society’s healthcare and promotion. The National Academies of Practice has declared April to be National Interprofessional Health Care Month to celebrate just that as well as the team of interprofessionals who provide such care.

According to the NAP, quality healthcare:

  • Is in the public’s interest for maintenance of independence, productivity, happiness
  • Is provided collaboratively by professionals of multiple disciplines dependent upon the health needs of the public at large in an interprofessional team model of service
  • Begins with health promotion, wellness, and the prevention of the very diseases and health problems that require treatment from various healthcare professionals
  • Benefits from the diverse knowledge and skills of a range of health care professionals

What are you offering your clients to help them maintain access to quality healthcare?

Many short-term medical and limited medical coverage options can provide your clients’ access to:
  • Preventive care and routine doctor visits
  • Choice of providers and facilities
  • Emergency care
  • Inpatient and outpatient surgery and hospital care
  • Coverage that is widely accepted by providers and facilities across the nation
  • Low rates for in-network healthcare
  • Little to no waiting period for accidents and emergency care
  • Relatively inexpensive copays
  • Wellness care

It’s important to keep in mind that neither short-term nor limited-benefits medical coverage are intended to be a replacement or 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.

What perks are packaged with many short-term medical and limited medical coverage options to complement your clients access to quality healthcare?

Non-insurance benefits can include:
  • 24/7/365 mobile and video access to board-certified doctors who can treat many common illnesses
  • Patient advocacy service that can help navigate the world of healthcare and negotiate medical bills
  • Prescription savings membership that can lower out-of-pocket costs by up to 75% on medicines for your clients, their family members, and even their pets
  • Access to digital fitness tools to help track their wellness journey

Celebrate National Interprofessional Health Care Month by expanding your clients’ access to quality healthcare today!

Learn more by:

 

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

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: National Academies of Practice. “National Interprofessional Health Care Month Proclamation.”

 

 

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New Year, New Coverage: Short-Term Medical in 2017

As you and your clients gear up for all that 2017 has to bring, help them stay on track and face medical concerns with short-term medical coverage.

This level of coverage may fit the needs of your clients who are:

  • Transitioning between jobs
  • Waiting for employer insurance to begin
  • Graduating from college
  • Rolling off parents’ coverage
  • Waiting for Medicare coverage to become effective

If you have clients who miss the open enrollment period for major medical coverage, they may reach out to you to discuss other options that can help bridge the gap in their coverage such as short-term medical.

Considering changing short-term medical legislation, it’s important to remember the following dates so that your clients enroll in the coverage they deserve:

Before April 1, 2017

Your clients can enroll in short-term medical plans with coverage up to December 31, 2017 with the option to reapply.

After April 1, 2017

Your clients can enroll in short-term medical plans with coverage up to June 30, 2017 with the option to reapply.

So what are some of the features that short-term medical plans provide?

  • Your clients can choose short-term medical coverage at any time in the year. There is no special enrollment period.
  • Many plans include preventive care for individuals as well as for families.
  • Some plans offer lower rates that than major medical coverage.
  • Your clients can often see providers of their choice. If a provider does not file a claim for your client in office, your clients can submit their own claims for reimbursement.
Disclaimer: STM coverage is 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.

Learn more about short-term medical coverage 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