Medicare Open Enrollment for 2022 - What You Need to Know

Yes, the holidays are over, and Open Enrollment is here!

 

October 15th marks the beginning of Medicare Open Enrollment season. This is an essential period to review and assess your coverage, plans, and healthcare needs.

 

Open enrollment is the ONLY time you can make changes to your Medicare Advantage Plan and Part D Plan. This year's Open Enrollment runs October 15th – December 7th for a January 1st, 2022 effective date.

 

During this time, Medicare recipients can change their Part D medication plan, change their current Medicare Advantage plan, switch from original Medicare to Medicare Advantage, or elect to revert to original Medicare.

 

It is vital to remember, Medicare Parts A&B helps pay for hospital care outpatients and doctor visits, but it doesn’t cover everything. Medicare Parts A&B does not pay for prescription drugs, routine dental, acupuncture, long-term care, travel, etc. Depending on your current and projected needs, different Medicare options, such as Medicare Advantage Part C, Part D (prescription drug coverage), or a Medicare supplement, may work better for you and provide more coverage.

 

Considerations when choosing a Part D plan or reviewing your Medicare Advantage plan drug

coverage:

  1. Your monthly premium varies depending on the plan you choose
  2. Be aware of your brand-name prescriptions to ensure your needed medication will be covered

     and at what tier for 2022.

  1. What the deductible is and whether it applies to brand name prescriptions or generic
  2. Copayments and coinsurance costs: these keep changing yearly!
  3. If you take insulin, which plans special offer savings
  4. Which pharmacies contract with that plan (there can be a significant cost difference)
  5. Whether you will reach the coverage gap during the year and what that means cost-wise
  6. Finally, the plan's Star Ratings, which shows their track record for handling claims and providing good customer service.

 

Original Medicare does not cover you if you travel outside the US. If you're planning any overseas travel, affordable and comprehensive travel insurance, evacuation, and COVID coverage are available.

 

After the intense past two years of the COVID crisis, we have all learned a bit more about the

importance of maintaining our health. Eating well, getting proper sleep, nutrition including plenty of green vegetables, and drinking enough water are the simplest things we can do to keep our body and mind strong. Reviewing your medications yearly with your provider is an important step. Coordinating care and learning about accessing the best possible providers is crucial. On many occasions accessing alternative medicine in combination with our Western medicine will be life-saving.

 

We also know how important our mental health is. We encourage you to take advantage of the excellent Medicare offering for so many kinds of therapies. Physical and Mental prevention treatment has never been more critical than now. Meditating, spending time in nature, walking, and gathering together safely with loved ones will be essential for our mental health breaks. 

 

So many medical conditions are the result of being stressed and overwhelmed. We don’t need to wait to get diagnosed to take care of ourselves. We are all on this healthy ride together, no matter how old or young we are. Please get in touch with our team for advice and allow your resources on these topics - we would love to hear from you and help in any way possible.

 

Much ❤

Naama & The RightPlan team.

Covered CA 2022 - Open Enrollment Updates and Important Information

 

Good news, Californians!

 

Covered CA is now more affordable than ever. With over 1.6 million members, the popular program is seeing lower rate increases and a larger number of families who qualify for subsidies, with premiums for over 730,000 Californians as low as $0 or $1 per month!

 

The American Rescue Plan benefits that went into place this summer will continue through 2022, lowering costs for many members. These benefits build on California’s state subsidies to provide financial help and lower premiums for many middle-income Californians for the first time.

 

Specifically, the American Rescue Plan expanded Marketplace subsidies in 2021 and 2022 for enrollees above 400% of the federal poverty level and increased subsidies for those making between 100% and 400% of the federal poverty level. These changes have resulted in consumers being eligible for higher subsidies and made cost-sharing reduction plans more attainable. It is more important than ever to connect with a qualified Covered CA Storefront agent to help you determine if you qualify for these new lower rates.

 

The official Covered CA, Open Enrollment period, runs from November 1, 2021 until

January 31, 2022. While December 31 is the last day to apply for an effective date of

January 1, 2022, the last day of enrollment on January 31 will allow a start date of

February 1, 2022.

 

MORE CHOICES in 2022:

  • All Californians will have at least two choices for Covered CA plans. 94 percent will have 3+ options, 81 percent will have 4+ options.
  • Anthem Blue Cross will return to Alameda, Contra Costa, El Dorado, Marin, Napa, Placer, Sacramento, San Francisco, San Mateo, Solano, Sonoma and Yolo counties.
  • Blue Shield of California will bring its Trio HMO plan into portions of Monterey and Santa Barbara counties.
  • Valley Health Plan will expand into San Benito and Monterey counties.
  • NEW CARRIER- Bright HealthCare, which currently operates in 13 other states and covers more than 500,000 people in the individual market, will begin offering coverage in Contra Costa County.

 

IMPORTANT NOTES FOR RENEWALS:

  • Unemployment Insurance: any Covered CA member who received the extra Unemployment Benefit of $300 (which ended 9/4) must report this income and will need to adjust your income with Covered CA.
  • Silver 70 plans will have a lower medical deductible of going from $4,000 to $3700 and lower RX deductible going from $300 to only $10.
  • There will now be $0 Premium Silver plans available for income-qualifying individuals and families.

 

Small businesses are covered too – Covered CA is not just for individuals. There are many benefits for small businesses needing small group health coverage with a variety of options.

  • New Groups are easy to set up! Employees enroll online, and there is minimal paperwork for employers to complete. This is also the fastest group approval of all options.
    • Employers can offer up to 4 tier options to employees (Bronze/Silver/Gold/Platinum plans)
    • Several carriers have a variety of plans/rates to offer employees choices (HMO/PPO/EPO)
  • Brand-name insurance like Blue Shield, Health Net, Kaiser and Oscar all participate with multiple plans
  • Coverage is available for out of state employees
  • Optional child and family dental plans
  • Employer Contributions can be customized with a separate class for Management
  • Groups under 25 full-time employees with an average annual salary of $56,000 or less may qualify for tax credits
  • Employer online access is newly improved, with more billing details and auto payment with a checking account now available

 

With Covered CA, you can get cost controls for you as a business owner combined with flexibility and coverage choices for employees – a win-win!

 

As a community Covered CA storefront, we at Rightplan.com can match you with the best plan that meets the unique needs of your family or business. If you haven't re-assessed your Covered CA eligibility in the past six months and updated your income, now is the time to do so.

 

As always, your health and longevity begin with YOU and the choices you make daily. Dean Ornish, M.D., Clinical Professor of Medicine at University of California, San Francisco says, "Think about it: heart disease and diabetes are completely preventable by making comprehensive lifestyle changes. On many occasions without drugs or surgery."

 

We are committed to helping every client achieve their health goals, whatever their current situation. Moving closer to eating plant-based and whole foods, making time for mindful moments and sharing your gratitude for the people, places, and blessings in your life are just a few of the ways we can get in touch with our most healthful self.

 

Much ❤ 

Naama and the RightPlan team

American Rescue Plan: What Does it Mean for Your Healthcare?

On March 11, 2021, President Joe Biden signed the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, with benefits to help Americans affected by the pandemic. Specific health care provisions include new and expanded financial help to benefit an estimated 3 million Californians.

More than 9.5 million workers have lost their jobs in the wake of the pandemic, with 4 million out of work for half a year or longer. The plan will help people in need in many different ways. We share how it will affect health insurance beneficiaries if you are currently uninsured,  a CoveredCA subscriber, Medi-Cal recipient, or an off-exchange (private) member.

This new care act will help lower monthly healthcare costs, to make healthcare more accessible and affordable for many Californians now. It will also allow many more to be covered and help them save on their premium costs. Covered CA hopes to get as many uninsured people, insured as possible.

Three categories of people benefit from this act:

  • Individuals who are currently uninsured and are eligible for the new financial help through Covered California, with many qualifying for $1 dollar health plans.
  • Individuals who are currently have health coverage directly through an insurer outside of Covered California and are now eligible for financial help for the first time. These consumers may be able to save hundreds or even thousands of dollars by switching to the same or similar health coverage through Covered California.
  • Individuals who are currently insured in Covered California health plans and are now eligible for more financial help.

Why it’s imporant to reach out to your existing clients and prospects about the ARPA subsidy expansion – Right now, state exchanges and the federal exchange are doing outreach (emalls, ads, marketing, etc.) Letting everyone know that 1. SEP has been extended, and 2. Members and non members can apply for coverage, change plans, or re-apply on the same plan to see if they qualify for the new subsidy. What they are NOT doing is advising these members/clients to refer back to their agent. Instead, they are telling people to come to their website and apply for coverage direcly.

What is it – ARPA subsidy was recently signed into law, increasing and expanding eligibility for ACA premium subsidies, as well as COBRA updates!

 

What Changed

  

Primarily it affects those between 100% - 150% FPL and those making over 400% FPL.

FPL  - Before, someone at 100% FPL (single person, $12,880) would still have to contribute 2.07% of their annual income towards monthly premium, and 4.14% of their annual income for those at the 150% FPL mark. Now, those earning up to 150% FPL will have fully subsidized, $0 dollar plans, and even premium free Silver plans.

Over 400% - Those making over 400% FPL (single person, roughly $51,040 annually) will pay no more than 8.5% of household income which significantly helps the higher age consumers. For example, say, a 24 year old, making $51,000 a year, their premium for a bronze plan might cost less than their 8.5% threshhold (i.e. they might be paying less than $4338 for the year for their plan because of their age.) However, on average, a 64 year old, normally paying $8,349 annually for their health plan, they would pay no more than 8.5% of their income. If they make $51,167 (401% FPL) annually, they would pay no more than $4,394 annually for the same coverage; essentially cutting their premium in half.

 

 Covered California is opening a new special-enrollment period on Apr. 12 that runs through Dec. 31, and consumers can see savings reflected on their monthly health care bills as soon as May 1 if they enroll by Apr. 30.

 Consumers at any income level may be eligible for more financial assistance.

 Consumers who enroll in Covered California health plans will not have to pay more than 8.5% of their household income for a benchmark plan.

 Individuals who are currently uninsured and are eligible for the new financial help through Covered California, with many qualifying for $1-dollar health plans—including some Silver plans.

 Consumers who earn more than 400% of the Federal Poverty Level may be eligible for federal financial help for the first time.

 Consumers currently insured off-exchange may save hundreds or even thousands of dollars by switching to the same or similar coverage through Covered California.

 Most current on-exchange members (Covered CA) subsidies automatically redetermine to maximize their savings.

 The Medi-Cal income threshold was updated recently for 2021 and has gone up to $17,775 for individuals and $36,570 for families of four. If you now fall under this threshold, please contact us before April 12, as you will qualify for Medi-Cal benefits!

 Consumers receiving unemployment compensation during 2021 may be eligible for the maximum amount of subsidies if enrolled in Covered California plans.

 If you are not currently receiving subsidies today, please contact our Covered CA StoreFront team. We will ensure that your applications are updated with current income and determine if you are eligible.

 If you are in any of these categories, we recommend that you connect with us as soon as possible to make sure you are not missing out on potential financial help.

 

The reduced health care premiums under the American Rescue Plan will remain in place for all of 2021 and all of 2022, unless Congress extends or makes these provisions permanent.

Covered California health plans cover:

 COVID-19 vaccinations and testing, as well

Any medical treatment necessary due to COVID-19 at no charge or minimal co-payments.

 All plans must offer essential benefits under the Affordable Care Act, ranging from maternity care and hospitalizations to preventive and mental health care.

 No-cost preventive health care includes annual checkups with your doctor and screenings for diabetes, cancer, and high blood pressure.

Remember to stay healthy! We are responsible for our health. Health starts with walking 10,000 steps per day, drinking lots of water, green tea, eating lots of greens, having positive thoughts, spending time in stillness, and scheduling our annual physical, women wellness exams, and a Colonoscopy. A little concern for our health, goes a long way.

Much love from Naama & the A+ Team

Industry Reflections, The Key for Modern Essential HealthCare

As a regular contributor to BenefitsPro Magazine, I was asked to reflect on the state of the industry after the most unusual year of 2020 for an article titled: Diary of a Bad Year. We all have experienced a lot of sadness, loss and dark moments, to be sure, but the industry as a whole proved to be more responsive and resilient than we might have imagined. For those without a subscription, please see the full article below.

 

Industry Reflections, The Key for Modern Essential HealthCare

October 2020 – Benefits Pro: Naama O. Pozniak

 

We all are experiencing a year like no other, you don’t need me to tell you that. Navigating the health insurance industry has never been boring, we have always faced one change after another, but this year has proven that our knowledge as healthcare professionals has never been more essential.

In California, we have seen an Open Enrollment season that never has truly ended, with the pandemic, job losses, wildfire disasters and protests. All of these changes have created a constant flow of new concern clients seeking help. Even the legendary health insurance for SAG will have to let go of all subscribers at the beginning of 2021!  I can feel and sense the energy of loss all over. I can hear the heartbeat of every client and I can sense the fear that is currently influencing so many decisions. We have found ourselves navigating new and challenging situations that constantly change in real time, including Covid and diagnostic testing that should be covered, sometime get denied, and fought by my team on behalf of our clients.

We have been serving the majority of our clients remotely, thanks to my incredible, dedicated team who were able to smoothly transition to working from home. It became clear early on in the pandemic that we needed to be super-efficient, consistent, and creative at a time when our clients were suffering loss all around.  We try to bring conscious culture, technology, and solutions to our employers' benefits options, serving them frequently either remotely or, as restrictions slowly lift, in a hybrid working model. There is a huge need for a compassionate, empowering way to heal, and we feel the need strive and provide clients with a stronger healthcare plans that can remind us how can we go back to being whole, to being healed.

Additionally, I must share that even though the amount of travel has decreased dramatically, travel insurance has never been in more demand. Cancellation, trip extension, and most importantly Covid coverage while abroad, or family uniting, is an absolute must. We are seeing quite an increase in inquiries from agents and clients for complex inbound and outbound policies, as a result of the U.S. being restricted from foreign travel policies. I do believe that savvy travelers will continue to incorporate such policies well into the future.

I have found the key to succeeding in the face of change, anxiety and uncertainty many years ago, and believe that it is actually essential to us all in the ‘New Now’ – a regular meditation practice. I have continued leading virtual meditation and stress reduction sessions to as many stakeholders as possible, to encourage the adoption of mindfulness practices by employers and leaders from all professions and industries. Opening the virtual door and allowing teaching, sharing and maintaining our connections, even remotely, has been a lifesaver in this insane year.

Mindfulness – the act of being present and aware – has been challenged in ways that we never dreamt before.  The CE's that I wrote for the healthcare industry few years ago on how meditation can improve overall health and even reduce healthcare costs were received in a profound energy of change. My biggest learnings have been from technology leaders who have shared their progress and vision for the future, and the vital race to use data and AI to bring our healthcare system to a new level of delivery.

I am personally very positive about the current conversation. It is clear that a shift in mindset is happening, and my wish is for the collective advancement of medicine to rise. We can unlock the power of transformation in the very near future of health.

 

#Namaste

                          

Where In The World Is NAHU

Last summer, America’s Benefit Specialist Magazine published my article on my trip to India right before the pandemic lockdown. In the year since that trip, I have reflected often on how the discipline and introspection I practiced during my weeklong stay at an Ayurvedic retreat in Goa helped me cope with my personal health, social distancing, and isolation we have all been experiencing this past year. 

I share the full article below, and invite you to reflect on what disciplines have you created during the ‘new now’ to protect and guide your mental, physical and spiritual health?

About coronavirus: love is stronger than fear

Proceed with caution, not fear.

When I sat down to write this missive, my intention was to share a recent journey to India and my annual trip to Washington, lobby-ing on behalf of us all for im-proved, more affordable health care services. But as I put pen to paper, my mind could only focus on the current epidemic gripping our world. Is this in some way a reflection of our troubled humanity? Is there a lesson for us all, hidden in the waves of panic vibrating across the globe?

At the moment, it seems the world will never be the same. But what if we could harness the energy of this pandemic and by some means use it to rebuild the human spirit? What if we could turn the winds of change to bring us back to a more self-aware world in which we produce just what we truly need, and share the rest with our neighbors?

What if?

What if this pandemic is here to test us all — to see if we could stay truthful to ourselves when no one is looking? How much do we care for ourselves and for one an-other? How can we care for our loved ones and ourselves in the most productive way? At the end of the day, it comes back to the “I” and what we alone can do to cre-ate peace in our hearts and in our lives.

Healthcare 2020 has taken a wild twist. We need to understand that we’re on this ride of health-care together. Many of us are ex-tremely concerned about getting ill. With proper basic precautions, know that we can make it through this challenging time. It’s of ut-most important to stay away from panic and causing more damage than necessary. Be cautious, not fearful. In spite of all the alarm, know that this too shall pass.

The number one action should be healing, and move our entire focus towards all aspects of cura-tive therapy and join forces to share information and allow heal-ing.

Educate yourself and learn how to strengthen your immune system and prepare your body to manage this virus. Buy only what you need. Don’t stock up on un-needed merchandise.

Choose love. In order to have enough for everyone, we need to exercise restraint. Share your supplies, your consideration, your empathy and your love. Be conscientious in your every action as we collaborate towards a global community of healing and sharing.

If you traveled to or from a country with cases of the virus, you should be self-quarantined for two weeks. Don’t wait for the gov-ernment to tell us. We should take responsibility for ourselves.

Take steps to make sure that your immune system is strong. Eat well. Food is medicine and plant-based food is important at this time. Sleep well – at least eight hours a night. Walk outside but go to fewer public places for now. Drink lots of water. Ask your doc-tor about adding supplements to your diet including Elderberry, turmeric, cat’s claw, oregano oil, grapefruit extract, Ashwagandha, Silver-Hydrosol and vitamin C.

Think positive. Positive thoughts lead to total healing on all levels: mentally, spiritually and physically. Meditate to connect to yourself and your body and lower your stress level. Healing happens within. Healing is the return to ho-liness and wholeness. Healing Breathe, breathe, breathe.

Be insured, it’s never too late to join your employer benefits. In California, we are still enrolling for the current Individual and Family market to avoid paying the pen-alty. You should always be covered but especially now, you need to know that you are covered in the best possible way. Most insurance carriers waived the co-pay, and out of pocket for testing and treatment.

Don’t go to the hospital unless absolutely necessary. That will re-duce the wider exposure to the community and yourself of the spread of the disease. If you are having symptoms of the coronavi-rus, call your doctor, the California Department of Human Resources or the CDC 24/7 to be advised on what steps to take.

It is our job as a society to work together to eliminate this virus. Let’s collaborate and learn how we can defeat this enemy called COVID-19. Be conscious, be happy, be educated and don’t buy into the panic. Together we will be stronger.

Ohm, shanti, shanti.

 

Original posted at: https://tolucantimes.info/opinion/about-coronavirus-love-is-stronger-than-fear/ 

Corona Virus Update

#healing is at hand for one and for all

From member of the
@Stanfordhospital board. This is their feedback for now on Corona virus: The new #Coronavirus may not show sign of infection for many days. How can one know if he/she is infected? By the time they have fever and/or cough and go to the hospital, the lung is usually 50% Fibrosis and it's too late.

Taiwan experts provide a simple self-check that we can do every morning. Take a deep breath and hold your breath for more than 10 seconds. If you complete it successfully without coughing, without discomfort, stiffness or tightness, etc., it proves there is no Fibrosis in the lungs, basically indicates no infection. In critical time, please self-check every morning in an environment with clean air.

Serious excellent advice by Japanese doctors treating #COVID-19 cases: Everyone should ensure your mouth & throat are moist, never dry. Take a few sips of water every 15 minutes at least. Why? Even if the virus gets into your mouth, drinking water or other liquids will wash them down through your throat and into the stomach. Once there, your stomach acid will kill all the virus. If you don't drink enough water more regularly, the virus can enter your windpipe and into the lungs. That's very dangerous. Please send and share this with family and friends. Take care everyone and may the world recover from this Coronavirus soon.

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT - #CORONAVIRUS

1. If you have a runny nose and sputum, you have a common cold
2. Coronavirus #pneumonia is a dry cough with no runny nose.
3. This new virus is not heat-resistant and will be killed by a temperature of just 26/27 degrees. It hates the Sun.
4. If someone sneezes with it, it takes about 10 feet before it drops to the ground and is no longer airborne.
5. If it drops on a metal surface it will live for at least 12 hours - so if you come into contact with any metal surface - wash your hands as soon as you can with a bacterial soap.
6. On fabric it can survive for 6-12 hours. normal laundry detergent will kill it.
7. Drinking warm water is effective for all #viruses. Try not to drink liquids with ice.
8. Wash your hands frequently as the virus can only live on your hands for 5-10 minutes, but - a lot can happen during that time - you can rub your eyes, pick your nose unwittingly and so on.
9. You should also gargle as a prevention. A simple solution of salt in warm water will suffice.
10. Can't emphasis enough - drink plenty of water!

THE SYMPTOMS
1. It will first infect the #throat, so you'll have a sore throat lasting 3/4 days
2. The virus then blends into a nasal fluid that enters the trachea and then the lungs, causing pneumonia. This takes about 5/6 days further.
3. With the pneumonia comes high fever and difficulty in breathing.
4. The nasal congestion is not like the normal kind. You feel like you're drowning. It's imperative you then seek immediate attention.
 
#StanfordU #Stanford #CoronaVIrus #COVID19 #Action #Water #solutions #healing #healthcare #community #love
 
?#SHARE WITH #FAMILY and #FRIENDS ?

New QLE deadline in California

Mar. 1, 2020      Feb. 18–29, 2020
April 1, 2020      Mar. 1–30, 2020
May 1, 2020       April 1–30, 2020
 
New Qualifying Life Event for 2020 Healthcare / ~ Important information ~
 
You can now submit applications to Private coverage or Covered California for a new Qualifying Life Event (QLE) entitled, "Learned of new Penalty/Financial Help/Covered, seeking subsidy/Loss of coverage." This new QLE applies to individuals who were unaware of the new mandate requiring residents of California to have health coverage as of Jan. 1, 2020 or have just learned of the California State Subsidy providing financial assistance to those at or below 600% of the Federal Poverty Level. Individuals who don't have proof of health coverage may have to pay a tax penalty in 2021.
 
You can now submit applications with this QLE from Feb 18, 2020 through April 30, 2020. Since this was a last-minute announcement, the effective date will be adjusted for applications submitted with this new QLE.
Coverage effective date for Application submitted between these dates:

Mar. 1, 2020      Feb. 18–29, 2020
April 1, 2020      Mar. 1–30, 2020
May 1, 2020       April 1–30, 2020
 
This QLE only applies to new enrollments, and retroactive coverage dates are not offered. If you decide to take advantage of this QLE, you may still have to pay a prorated penalty for the time they did not have coverage depending on when the enrollment becomes effective.
 
As a reminder, you may now qualify for a subsidy through Covered California due to the new California Premium Subsidy (CAPS) mandate. To learn more about CA QLE eligibility, refer to  our  A+ Team for any further question or follow up ~ we are @ 12500 Riverside Dr. S#206, Valley Village,  / 8185087177 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Changing Landscapes in Benefits For 2019: New Growth, New Year!

We at A+ Insurance are heartbroken to hear that many of our friends,family, and clients have been affected by the horrible shooting and these fires that have engulfed the Los Angeles area. We are here to help with trauma relief and always want to be there for you, whatever your needs may be. It is a hard time for us all, as we come together to fully grasp the outcomes and how we will move forward.At this stage, we are here to kindly remind everyone that Open Enrollment deadlines are fast approaching. With all that’s going on and with the holidays coming, it’s important not to miss these deadlines.

December 7, 2018 is the last day for the beautiful Medicare community, ages 65+, to sign up for an effective date of January 1, 2019. For any changes that need to be done for part D medications and Medicare Advantage Plan MAPD, we are here to assist.For the under 65 individual market, December 15, 2018 is the last day for people to change their current coverage for January 1, 2019. Open Enrollment continues until January 15; applications submitted between December 16 through January 15 are for a February 1, 2019 start date.We are here to assist in any way possible, and our office and phone is open to any questions.Furthermore, as we see these renewal rates continue to climb each year if you own a business and you have as little as one employee on your payroll,perhaps the employees benefit market will be comprehensive for you in the bigger picture. It is currently cheaper than many individual rates, as well as having a stronger network of doctors alongside more comprehensive coverage to include access to coverage from state to state. Reach out to us and let’s see if a small or large group insurance policy is right for you and your team.Healthcare is another taxing thing to finish before the year is through, and we at A+ can help lighten that load.

We wish you Happy Holidays full of love, compassion and meaningful connection.

Please keep it positive and special, and Happy New Year from Naama and the A+ team.

We can’t let it win us! #Food Of Thoughts

According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, one in eight women are diagnosed with breast cancer. This type of cancer is the most common form among women. Sharing knowledge is crucial with this subject as we can all try to take our health in our own hands. We simply are what we eat and there are several plant-based foods that we should add to our diet as part of preventing cancer.

Being behind the healthcare scene for so many years, I have noticed that cancer is truly an epidemic disease. Further, I have seen the disease start in the form of a breast cancer and eventually spread into other parts of the body for people. As stated before, it is important to stay health conscious. This starts by eliminating sugar and adding foods such as kale, berries, tomatoes, broccoli, beans to our diet, and drink green tea. As we listen to the stories of cancer survivors and awareness supporters, it is evident that there is room for change. You don’t have to be diagnosed in order to change your lifestyle. I would like to encourage us all that this month will mark the beginning of prevention that will allow us to heal and survive. Beyond just wearing pink, let's share life-changing knowledge about this disease and eventually prevent it.

#Food #Stress #Love #Cancerawareness #Health #Diet #Greens #Kale #prevent #BreastCanswer #1in8 #October #Pink #ThinkPink #support #survive #live #healthinsurance #prevention #knowledge #change #now

All Stories

The real face of change

“The Face of Change” is not just the title of a column or a session, but an actual movement in our industry.


Although the BenefitsPRO Broker Expo has ended, the power of the event continues to have a significant impact on us all. For me the event was pivotal because of the strong sense of community. It was comforting to realize that I’m not alone on this journey of guiding clients through health care options, endeavoring to reduce the all-round costs of health care in this country and make a difference.

The energy was contagious and very special. Everyone could feel it. It was almost palpable in the air. “The Face of Change” is not just the title of a column or a session, but an actual movement in our industry. For the first time, I truly felt that change is possible and welcome beyond just the level of discussion.

There was a wealth of information at our fingertips. Highlights included sessions on technology, the political landscape, helping employers survive and thrive, social media, Alexa the broker, and fee and commissioned based practices. But dearest to my heart were the panels that represented the real face of change.

It was incredible to listen to industry rising stars like Rachel Pennington, Nolan Waterfall, Megan Chiarello, Eric Silverman, Chad Schneider and many more. The thoughtful words of Dave Chase, David Contorno, Dutch Rojas, and Kevin Trokey in closing truly resonated with me, as well. The message was clear: The business of health care is changing. You can either be part of it or get left behind. As Peter Drucker said, “The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not the turbulence—it is to act with yesterday’s logic.”

Many of the speakers suggested that the overwhelming cost of health care is killing the American dream. The cost of health care can and should be as low as possible in this, the most innovative country in the world. It is clear that we, as brokers, are the face of change and must deliver a very clear message.

Together, we can truly strive to ultimately lower the cost of healthcare. There are so many actions that we can take toward this goal, but for me, the bottom line is to change our mindsets and approaches to our personal health and that of our families. We can then effectively continue with our own community of brokers and agents; change on a large scale is indeed possible.
Related: BenefitsPRO Broker Expo: 10 top takeaways

We are in an industry that sees human suffering firsthand; ours is not a healthy society. Our one-on-one experiences take us far beyond those who simply deliver healthcare to the populace. We are in this together. It takes vital moments of really listening to each other and sharing ideas to lead us to eventual success for everyone.

I strongly believe that in life, you have to lead by example. You must create and allow change to first accrue within your personal life. As brokers, change is needed in our approach to delivering health care in order to find and deliver solutions that will allow the American people to heal.

This conference was an amazing gathering of minds and spirits. It was though all of the speakers, organizers, and attendees had been handpicked. The vibration in the exhibition hall was beyond exciting. I felt truly connected to the message. If we can come together in this mission, with all of our unique styles, we can make this desperately needed change happen.

For years, I have tried to encourage my friends, coworkers, team, individual clients, and employer groups, and anyone who was interested in listening, to look beyond the western tradition of medicine. There are so many ways we can heal ourselves: mind, body, and soul are a key. Right now, we need to heal our fractured health care system.

This conference was also aligned with my vision, my mission, and my passion to lower health care costs. It is heartening to know that the leaders of this conference accept and understand what real healing is all about.

We need to take our personal health into our own hands. I am actively trying to help my community to lower costs, one person at a time. With vigilant self-care, people can heal themselves, renew their own vigor, and thrive. I call it “intelligence jealth” or the “wheel of wellness.” It allows us to make the right decision for our own health and balance our well-being. Stress is the number one cause of all chronic disease. From my heart to yours, we should all pay careful attention to the scientists who agree that simple actions like yoga and meditation practice can lower stress levels and help us heal. I have seen amazing transformations in people who have taken action to heal themselves.

This was my first BenefitsPRO Broker Expo conference and I found it simply incredible. I would like to thank you for having me and for the warmest of welcomes.

May we all believe in the change we want to see in the world — Namaste

Originally posted at https://www.benefitspro.com/2018/05/10/the-real-face-of-change/

Why Do Seniors Need Travel Health Insurance?

A simple but little-known fact is that most existing health insurance benefits shrink or disappear when travelers cross the U.S. border. Except for very limited circumstances, Medicare provides no protection overseas and Medicare supplemental plans provide limited foreign travel emergency benefit. Critically, most policies do not pay to get you to a high standard of care should you need to be evacuated due to a medical emergency.

What Will a Good Travel Health Policy Do?


Travel health insurance policies are designed to cover your medical expenses when you travel abroad. If you are covered under Medicare, these plans act as your primary insurance while abroad. Travel health insurance also fills critical gaps when taking Medicare supplemental plans overseas. The best designed plans offer more than emergency benefits. They cover everything from hospitalization and surgery to physician office visits, ambulance services and prescription medications. Premium plans cover sickness or injury resulting from common pre-existing medical conditions or a terrorist event without limitations. Some policies even pay medical providers overseas on a direct basis so you can avoid the paperwork hassles that come with filing a claim.


***Please note: Individual Open Enrollment starts November 1st to enroll effective January 1, 2018. Contact our office to for details!!

Women in Business Fashion Show

Blessings,

It is an honor to share with you how special it was for me to be part of last year’s Women in Business Fashion Show. I feel truly blessed to have been a part of LAAHU as a member and to serve on LAAHU incredible Board for so many years.

Serving on the LAAHU board encompasses many important responsibilities, including assuming a position of leadership, working with members, and speaking out on behalf of our organization. I didn’t fully understand the true impact of this fashion show until we actually brought the event back for another year.  So many beautiful industry colleagues and partners came together in collaboration to recreate this important event.

The day was very special. Indeed, love was in the air! It was incredible to see the industry come together to celebrate the gift of women in business and to support the charity. The food was top-notch and the service was impeccable, as The Four Seasons hosted us in a day filled with special moments. The celebration should remind us as women not to take our positions for granted and that we should feel encouraged as our important roles continue to evolve in this industry.

The fashion show was not only about the money that we raised for our charity. It was about bringing forth an energy of love and hope to the men and women in attendance. Ours is an industry that experiences constant challenges. We ourselves are challenged every day as we do our best to guide our friends, family, and clients through this fractured healthcare system; always seeking to find the best solutions to the many needs presented to us on a daily basis.

The beauty of giving back and having the opportunity to share our hearts and souls with one another is a wonderful thing. I am always amazed by my own personal growth while working with LAAHU. For me, leading and co-chairing this event enables me to encourage other women to step up and lead too. I am thrilled be a conduit to allow other women to be acknowledged and recognized in an industry dominated by the male energy.

Women working in the Healthcare Industry need our continued support and recognition. I was recently surprised to learn that businesses that employ a minimum of 30% women in their management force are more successful and balanced than companies that don’t. It’s not easy to be a woman in business, eternally striving to find the balance between our career, raising kids, managing a household, being social, enjoying life, resting, and always putting our best foot forward. These life events make us all stronger, both men and women, as we come together, balancing the feminine and masculine energy. It’s refreshing to know we are not alone. We work side by side for the benefit of one another.

This has been a perfect opportunity for me to reflect deeply about myself, the industry, giving back, acceptance, and letting go of attachments. This is my opportunity to call you all for duty, to call each and every one of us in a different way, to show up. Now is the time to shed all our insecurities and attachments to the unknown. It is the time to come together and serve side by side; creating events that will make a difference, a difference that sometimes is even bigger than we can understand.

I would like to encourage each and every one of you to join this incredible organization, either in spirit or in person, that needs so many of us to make a impact. We have the power to change and make this industry shine. If we can gather together in unity, everyone can experience leadership in a colorful way.

I would like to thank the LAAHU Board, LAAHU president, Bobbi Kaelin, my co-chair, Christal Doyle, the amazing committee, and each and every sponsor, supporter, member, and participant that took part of this incredible event. As many of you know, we lost dear Karen Coyle while preparing for this year’s fashion show. Karen was the heart and soul of this committee for many years and my heart was truly shaken by her sudden loss. This fashion show for me was a celebration of her life. May Karen’s name be always remembered in loving memory, side by side with this amazing event, of which she was so proud.

This event reminds me how important it is to support women, and how important is to be a visionary woman. I am very proud to work in this industry and to have been a part of this successful event that made such a beautiful contribution and helped us spread love throughout our industry, right before the start of this last brutal Open Enrollment.

I learn daily from all of you in my life and I love you all.

Namaste,

~ Naama~

Healthcare 2018: Breathe and Meditate

Unless you have been actively involved in the mad, mad world of healthcare in the United States over the past 3 decades, you can’t possibly get your mind around what’s going on in this country. It’s likely that you’re not even sure which questions need to be asked.

People are daunted by the very idea of U.S. healthcare these days. As an insurance professional and someone that has been delivering the healthcare system for almost 30 years, clients, friends and family are constantly asking me to explain this “new” healthcare system, to try to translate the confusion that surrounds what appears to be a very sleek, well-oiled machine. They want to know what role I play in this drama and how I can guide them through the chaos.

And it is indeed chaos. You can read up on the latest news to try to comprehend how the recent changes to our healthcare system will affect every day Americans, but there’s nothing like having a heart-to-heart conversation with my clients: individuals under 65, Medicare recipients over 65, employers and employees, to understand that the trouble we are in is deep. I’m playing my part by helping people choose the “right” plan for themselves but the bottom line is the cost of healthcare is soaring to new heights beyond anyone’s comprehension. Everyone is affected, even if you’re lucky enough to have an employer who contributes to your healthcare or receiving a substantial subsidy through the exchange.

The 2018 Affordable Care Act (ACA) is offering taxpayer-subsidized private insurance to low and middle income people who don’t have coverage on the job at a lower cost than ever before. This is the good news. Those consumers are finding plans for under $25/month. About 14 million people are enrolled already. The Obama health law has managed to survive in spite of rising premiums, dwindling insurer participation, and President Donald Trump’s predictions of its swift and sure demise. You truly want to get coverage this year as per the new Tax Bill that just passed last night (unless corrected) will cause a sharp hike for the upcoming 2019 year.

The truth is that 2018 offers a wider availability of no-premium plans. This is an unintended consequence of the Trump Administration’s actions to undermine the ACA. The President’s measures resulted in higher premiums for Silver ACA plans. The federal government stopped reimbursing insurers for reduced copays and deductibles available to people of modest incomes. The low cost of the Silver plan was important for market stabilization because of the cost sharing that covered individuals received on top of the subsidy. Government subsidies have also shot up as they’re linked to the cost of Silver plans.

When you really get down to it, the truth is there’s no free ride. We need to pay for everything in life. And in my opinion, that’s okay. I came to understand that fact very young in life. I believe that we “pay back” constantly, whether it’s helping the people around us, or paying our taxes.

I love paying my taxes. Yes, I love it! It means that I am alive and thriving, sharing and moving the energy around. Nonetheless, the rate hikes this year in the healthcare market are out of control. Even I concede that there must be a better way to finance the system besides basically stealing from the pockets of ordinary, hardworking citizens. Please keep in mind that HealthCare is expensive and for some reason cost higher in the Unite State that anywhere in the world.

Across the board, healthcare cost is increasing with incredible speed. Unless your employer makes contributions towards your healthcare (and believe me, the cost to those employers is soaring as well), or you receive a subsidy through the state or federal exchange, the average 40-year old with an average of 5 people in their family, will pay an average of $2500 monthly with a $14,000 yearly out of pocket in 2018. That is $40,000 per year. How is that possible?

How many average families in the workforce have a spare $40,000/year to pay for healthcare? Who can afford that? I would venture a guess that most cannot. Where does this leave a vast number of Americans who cannot afford to pay for healthcare? Quite simply, uncovered and at risk. It’s just insane. It’s unworkable and undoable. The system as it currently exists does not work.

Something needs to happen and soon. Those of us who are involved in the healthcare industry are watching and waiting, but we honestly don’t know what to expect. As a result, now is the ideal moment to start thinking of this time as a sort of journey: a journey of learning how to treat and heal ourselves and how to adopt healthy attitudes.

At the end of the day, we need to look to each other and start working together as a community. Community is created when we come together and believe that we can heal together. When people come together - mind, body, and spirit - the result is a healthier, happier population. Guided by such wisdom, we as a country will surely find a way to implement a healthcare solution that will be both affordable, intelligent and of impeccable quality.

I am convinced we will find an answer. There are so many aspects of healthcare that are in our own hands. Only we know how we truly feel. This is a reminder that we must stay involved in our own healthcare and educate ourselves every day. Learn what is needed to allow real healing in every aspect of our lives. Remind ourselves what we already forgot, which is as simple as taking an additional breath daily. Further, if we remember to eat well, sleep well, walk 10,000 steps a day, think positive, engage socially, exercise, meditate and practice yoga daily, we will be able to reduce our healthcare cost!

In the spirit of the upcoming holidays, I would like to take a moment and share my love with you. In my life, love heals me and so many of the people around me. Happy Holidays and many blessings for a beautiful New Year! The divine in me bows to the divine in each of you.

Namaste ~

Naama O. Pozniak
CEO : Paz Holding, Inc. dba / A+ Insurance Service
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

5 strategies that help employers reduce health-related risks and costs

Many companies aren’t aware of the full impact that health-related risks can have on their bottom line. When an employee is diagnosed with a serious and complex illness, the associated costs can become a burden on a company. When you factor in misdiagnoses, unnecessary procedures, annual healthcare spending waste, productivity loss and absenteeism, nearly $300 billion is wasted spend by employers.

That’s why companies need to help employees understand their health risks and apply appropriate, proactive health management strategies. Doing so will help workers better able to navigate the complex healthcare system to formulate plans for mitigating their risk and improving their health and financial wellbeing.

Employers should consider these five underused strategies for effective health risk management.

Strategy 1: Screening and preventive care

The foundation of a health risk management strategy should include assessing and monitoring family history and lifestyle-based risk factors, administering and updating immunizations, biometric screening for high blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, BMI and waist circumference, as well as personalized screening for breast, colon and other cancers.

Open Enrollment 2018, Personal Note & Gratitude ~ ♥

Health Insurance 2018: What You Need to Know

 
Greeting of gratitude and joy for this upcoming Thanks Giving week-end ~
 
The health insurance industry has known better days.
Political turmoil has created a terribly complicated situation in our healthcare market. Even as the fourth Open Enrollment started on 11/01/17, no one can predict what the outcome of this messy healthcare situation might be.
The one truth we can all agree upon is that our country is in dire need of a healthcare system that works to keep its citizens on a healthy road to long and fruitful lives, without dependency on pharmaceuticals.
 
Without a doubt, this is the year that each of us should step back and honestly look at our lives to assess how we might make healthful changes that will impact out future in a most positive way.
As valued family friends and clients and part of our family, I advise all of you to take your health into your own hands in the coming year and choose a path of healing to soothe and restore your mind, body, and spirit.
 
11/01/17 marked the start of the 2018 Individual Open Enrollment period, which runs until 1/31/18. This is the once-a-year opportunity to sign up for health insurance under the individual market, effective 01/01/18.
It is urgent that you review and renew your health care plan, both for your family and yourself.
Furthermore, the Open Enrollment for Medicare opened 10/15/17 and runs until 12/07/17. If you have Medicare, it is time to assess or make changes to your Part D or to your existing coverage.
 
A major adjustment that will affect many Californians is Anthem Blue Cross’ withdrawal from the Individual Insurance Market.
Anthem Blue Cross will no longer offer individual coverage unless you qualify under a Grandfather Clause or are covered through your employer.
If your Anthem Blue Cross individual policy is not renewing in 2018, you need to learn about your options for the New Year and the deadline is 12/15/17 for effective date of 01/01/18.
 
On October 12, 2017, President Trump issued an Executive Order affecting the health care market. None of the items referenced in the October 12 Executive Order affect the current Open Enrollment period for 2018.
We in California will keep our six-week Open Enrollment, which runs from 11/01/17 to 01/31/18. We have to stay positive and find the best solution and for each and every one of us it will be a different solution.
 
The White House also announced that it would no longer be making CSR (Cost Sharing Reduction) payments to carriers in ACA marketplaces. In response, Covered CA added a 12.4% surcharge to the Silver Option, in an effort to stabilize and cover the loss.
No other change will take effect in the upcoming 2018 healthcare market.
 
Regrettably, the 2018 rates for the individual market have skyrocketed and were tremendously effected by the Executive Order. 
There will be smaller networks, higher premiums, and higher out-of-pocket expenses.
Unless you are willing to change doctors, you will experience a severe rate hike of 20% to 48%. This is among all carriers, including Kaiser Permanente.
 
Nevertheless, Californians are fortunate to still have so many carrier options including Blue Shield, Oscar, Kaiser, Health Net, Molina, and LA Care. Numerous other states don’t offer nearly as many choices and their options are quite limited.
As ever, Employer Group Benefits remain the best coverage available, with the strongest networks and employer contributions.
You should feel very grateful and lucky if your employer offers you full coverage through a PPO Or HMO network.
 
We are going into a tough year for the healthcare industry.
I am still a believer of the HSA, HDHP option (Health Saving Account, High Deductible Health Plan) so at the very least you can gain an advantage on your taxes.
In addition, I invite you to look into smaller networks of doctors, such as some HMO options or EPO for Oscar Health.
Penalties will continue to be enforced for those who do not purchase health insurance, so be sure to get moving on this right away.
Unfortunately, the health insurance market is likely to get worse before it gets better.
I am positive that a change is on the horizon.
 
I invite you to visit us at A+ Insurance Services and follow up with us so we will help you to examine your options and guide you to the best possible policy for you and your family.
As valued family friends and clients, I want you to know that it has been a true blessing to serve you all for so many years.
Either you are current, past or future client, we love you all.
 

Naama and the A+ Team would like to take a moment and share with you how blessed we feel to have you as part of our family.
 
Blessings for a beautiful Holiday week ~ ❤️

We Prepare, Protect and Assist World Travelers

With a growing number of travelers and expatriates becoming aware of the need for international medical insurance and of the options available – given a choice, customers value more than global medical benefits; Our resources give travelers the medical intelligence, tools and 24/7 assistance to travel safely.

 

FEATURED PLANS:

Expatriate Plans: Long-Term Coverage // Global Living
GeoBlue Xplorer - Primary Health insurance for expat life. Unlimited medical maximum, evacuation, preventive care, pre-existing conditions covered with creditable coverage and more
Premier: Worldwide coverage, including the U.S.
Essential: Worldwide coverage, excluding the U.S., offers 50% savings
Select: Worldwide coverage; excluding U.S., abbreviated underwriting
GeoBlue Navigator - A customized version of GeoBlue Xplorer geared for the needs of missionaries, professional yacht crew members and students or faculty.



Peace of mind for the globally mobile

From doctor visits to hospitalization to evacuation, clients are covered
Preferred access to elite doctors and hospitals ensures quality care
Direct claims settlement, so care is both cashless and convenient
No pre-certification penalties and terrorism is covered
Pre-existing condition coverage is available in most instances
Health and security tools and news alerts cover hundreds of destinations

 

Reminder

Effective July 1, 2017, expatriate health plans had a standard rate increase.


Learn more at or Expat Info page, Travel Insurance page,  or click here to get a real time quote.

What medical coverage your clients have abroad?

We've all been there. Your client calls in a frenzy demanding to know what medical coverage, if any, he has for an upcoming trip abroad.

  

You've gotten this question before but you pause to answer. It's a complicated grey area because unlike the Affordable Care Act, there are almost no benefit standards attached to covering members overseas. The 10 Essential Health Benefits essentially go out the window once your client departs the United States.

The level of coverage and access to networks overseas varies among group, individual and government plans. And they vary markedly among insurance carriers. Further compounding the issue, length of travel and low lifetime limits can be a factor, particularly for Medicare supplemental policies.

 

So how do you provide a black and white answer in this grey area?

Practically speaking, U.S. domestic health insurers typically provide scant international medical coverage for globally mobile members. Plans customarily contract from comprehensive coverage to catastrophic only. Americans abroad often find themselves underinsured or not insured at all (e.g. your client moved to France and she is now no longer living, working or studying in the plan service area). Additionally, members can be left to their own devices to find medical professionals. Without access to vetted international providers, members relying on their domestic health insurance often have a poor patient experience due to limited understanding of the physician's accreditation and training, payment preferences or even what to expect upon arrival.

Domestic carriers are not all the same.

Blue Cross Blue Shield plans offer a suite of international health insurance solutions designed to meet the needs of globally mobile individuals worldwide. Most Blue Cross Blue Shield plans embed a free program called Blue Cross Blue Shield Core, formerly referred to as Bluecard Worldwide, which provides basic coverage and assistance.

In even better news, GeoBlue offers affordable extended coverage through travel health products that offer enhanced benefits, support, security and convenience for anyone planning trips abroad or living outside of the U.S. for an extended period. GeoBlue plans bridge coverage gaps and are engineered for international traveler needs. Your customers will receive concierge-level service to help them navigate different health systems across the globe.

The Difference Between Open Enrollment and Special Enrollment

Have you been wondering what the difference is between Open Enrollment and Special Enrollment? Are you unsure as to when you can enroll in health coverage? Understanding all of the different health care terms can be confusing, but we are here to help!

Open Enrollment

Open Enrollment happens only once a year for a short period of time and allows any eligible consumer to enroll in health coverage or existing members to make changes to their current coverage. The Open Enrollment Period usually takes place from November to January. This year Open Enrollment will be shorter: 11/01/17- 12/15/17 for effective date of 01/01/18.

 

Special Enrollment

  • Special Enrollment happens all year long, but you must experience a qualifying life event. You can qualify for Special Enrollment if you experience certain life events, like losing other health coverage, getting married, or having a baby. However, for most qualifying life events, you only have 60 days from the date of the qualifying life event to enroll
  • You may enroll under a short term policies throughout the year!
  • You may also apply and enroll in Medi-Cal any time during the year!