COVID-19

The buzz is… COVID-19.

I don’t know about you, but I am becoming nauseated by the number of daily emails that I receive that include invitations to attend webinars to hear the latest and greatest ideas about how we should all react and behave to this historical virus. Well, wait. Is the virus the historical part, or is our reaction what is making history? Either way, everyone seems to have all of the answers and wants to be the first to share it. The truth is, they have all become a “once you’ve heard it, you’ve heard them all” type of webinars. The same information repeated over and over – only phrased in different ways. Shall we say blah, blah, blah?

Thanks for allowing me to rant. I did want to make sure that anyone in Northeast Indiana that has health insurance needs (this includes: Fort Wayne, Auburn, Angola, Kendallville, Huntington, Columbia City, New Haven, Ossian, Bluffton, Decatur, and all the little “burbs” in between) knows that we are still here and 100% able to assist you with your needs.

Whether you are turning 65 soon; lost your group health insurance coverage; or are in the Marketplace and need to report an income change – WE CAN HELP! COVID-19 has not shut our business down, and we are here Monday – Friday to address any of your health insurance needs.

Give us a call today, or click that little pink button on the right side of this page to request that we contact you. During the stay-at-home order, and while social distancing is still required, our staff can “meet” with you via telephone conference or web meeting. We will work to accommodate what works best for you.

Medicare Annual Enrollment in Fort Wayne, New Haven, Kendallville, Auburn, Decatur, & Columbia City

It’s hard to believe that Summer is almost over, and we are rolling right into Fall here in Northeast Indiana. And with that comes the Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) for Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug plans for seniors.

AEP is the time of year that Medicare Beneficiaries can change or enroll in a new Medicare Advantage (MA) Plan, a Medicare Advantage w/Prescription Drug (MAPD) Plan, or a stand-alone Prescription Drug Plan (PDP).

Here at Health Insurance Shop, we assist Medicare Beneficiaries from Fort Wayne, New Haven, Decatur, Auburn, Angola, Huntington, Columbia City, Ossian, and all the little “burbs” in between, choose which option will meet their healthcare and financial needs. AEP begins October 15th and runs through December 7th. We look forward to seeing you!

To schedule a personal appointment, give us a call today at (260) 484-7010.

Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRA) for Small Employers in Fort Wayne, New Haven, Decatur, Bluffton, Columbia City and Surrounding Areas

Small employer in and around the Fort Wayne area are always seeking ways to save money, yet still attract good, quality employees. Health Insurance and other benefits has become one of the #1 “selling” points when trying to recruit top-notch candidates. With the changes that Healthcare Reform brought about, many small employers were forced to drop their group health plans.

Recent changes in the laws is providing a new option for small employers in Fort Wayne, New Haven, Columbia City, Angola, Auburn, Huntington, and neighboring areas, who cannot afford to sponsor a group health plan. There is a hitch in that wagon that they need to communicate to their employees, however.

Under the new ICHRA (Individual Coverage HRA) guidelines, small employers (defined as having 50 or fewer employees on payroll) are now permitted to reimburse employees for the cost of Individual Health Insurance premium and out-of-pocket expenses on a tax-free basis. This means that in lieu of sponsoring a Group Health plan, small employers can now subsidize premiums for their employees through this ICHRA arrangement. Tax free money for the employee, and a business expense write-off for the employer. Employees simply need to provide proof that they have and Individual Health Insurance policy and the applicable premium and/or claims expense.

What’s the hitch? Well, the biggest that I see is that the employee will have to decide whether they want to receive the reimbursement from the employer, OR take any Advanced Premium Tax Credit (APTC) they may qualify for. They cannot receive both. By opting to participate in the employer sponsored ICHRA, the employee may actually have to pay more for coverage for themselves and/or family.

Small employers in Fort Wayne, New Haven, Auburn, Angola, Huntington, Columbia City and surrounding areas who are considering an ICHRA should give us a call to discuss the pros and cons of either option.

Contact Michelle Walters at (260) 484-7010 or by email at michelle@buyhealthinsurancehere.com

Short Term Major Medical Policies in Fort Wayne, New Haven, Decatur, Bluffton, Auburn, Kendallville, Angola and Columbia City

Short Term Major Medical (STMM) is getting a boost from a Bill that was signed by President Trump recently. Although the Bill was not entirely focused on these STMM policies, it does look like the current Administration understands that these types of health insurance coverage have their place in the market.

What is a STMM policy? Short Term Major Medical policies are just what they sound like. They are Major Medical policies that are issued for short-term duration. In Indiana, consumers can buy STMM policies for up to a 12-month period of time maximum – although not all carriers are offering them for this duration.

For individuals in Fort Wayne, New Haven, Auburn, Angola, Columbia City, Decatur, Bluffton, and all areas in between, STMM policies have become a popular alternative to Marketplace coverage. BUT… be sure you know what you are buying!

Not only are STMM policies short in duration, but they also do NOT cover pre-existing conditions, and most do not include coverage for prescription drugs (ironically, the two areas that most health insurance spending occurs), as well as maternity.

If you live in Fort Wayne, New Haven, Columbia City, Auburn, Angola, Decatur, Kendallville, Bluffton, or any of the “burbs” around the area and you would like to see what your STMM options are, give us a call at (260) 484-7010. We will gladly run some quotes for you!

Medicare Education in Fort Wayne, Indiana

Nobody really wants to reach Medicare Entitlement age. We get that! But since most will eventually get there, we want to ensure that you know what you need to know about your Medicare Insurance options. The ABC&D’s if you will.

Health Insurance Shop holds Medicare Education Sessions every 2nd & 3rd Thursday of each month now through September. During these educational sessions, our aim is to provide the health insurance information and resources that Medicare-Aged individuals need who reside in Fort Wayne, New Haven, Auburn, Angola, Huntington, Decatur, Columbia City, and all other places in between. NE Indiana is where we service our clients best!

You are most welcome to RSVP for one of our upcoming sessions. If you prefer a more “one-on-one” session – we can do that too! Give us a call @ (260) 484-7010 today!

Please note that these sessions are educational in nature and no specific product information can be discussed. For detailed information or sales specific discussions, please contact us to schedule your personal appointment.

Hospital Indemnity Plans in Fort Wayne, Auburn, Angola, Columbia City, Angola Indiana –

What are they, and are they worth looking into?

Hospital Indemnity is one name given to a type of product that consumers can purchase to “supplement” or fill in the gaps of their health insurance plan. Since many employers and Marketplace plans alike are now higher deductible (even HSA qualified) insurance options, many individuals are looking to secure a way to reduce their out-of-pocket exposure if they were to be required to tap into that deductible due to a hospitalization or major health event. Hospital Indemnity plans can often provide that peace of mind. But how do they work?

Most of these types of plans are designed to pay cash to the owner of the contract in the event that they incur expenses related to a specific health event. Hospital Indemnity plans will generally pay a flat dollar amount in the event of a hospitalization. Some will pay an additional amount for certain major illness diagnosis (i.e. cancer, stroke, etc.), and others will even provide additional “indemnity” payments to the consumer.

Whether or not this type of product is a wise purchase is truly based upon the individual consumer’s perspective. I personally cover myself and my spouse with a Cancer and an Accident plan. Both include Preventive benefits that pay cash for simply having the typically annual screenings that we should all have.

Here at Health Insurance Shop, we work with individuals in Fort Wayne, New Haven, Kendallville, Auburn, Angola, Decatur, Huntington, and all other surrounding locations to help them determine if this type of product is a good fit for them. If you are interested in learning more, call my office or shoot me an email at: michelle@buyhealthinsurancehere.com.

2020 Marketplace Plans for Indiana – including: Fort Wayne, Auburn, Angola, Decatur, Huntington, New Haven, Columbia City.

As of late, it appears that brokers will now be able to enroll Individual’s in Marketplace plans that are offered by CareSource. CareSource intends to contract with agents/brokers for the 2020 enrollment season.

What does this mean for the Indiana Health Insurance Consumer? This means that you will now have a licensed and qualified advocate to assist you with your health insurance enrollment AND plan selection. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) clearly outlines that agents/brokers are the ONLY qualified individuals to discuss plan designs with consumers. Navigators and HC.gov employees are only qualified to assist with the application process.

As a health insurance broker in NE Indiana, we service Individual Marketplace consumers from: Fort Wayne, New Haven, Decatur, Auburn, Huntington, Columbia City, Angola, Kendallville, Warsaw, and other surrounding communities.

Open Enrollment will begin November 1st and end December 15th. Don’t delay. Call today to schedule your 2020 enrollment appointment!

(260) 484-7010

High Deductible Health Plans in Northeast Indiana (including Fort Wayne, New Haven, Angola, Auburn, Kendallville, Columbia City, Decatur, and Huntington) Will Have New HSA Limits for 2020

The IRS released the 2020 limits for High Deductible Health Plans (HDHP) this week. If you have a qualified plan along with a Health Savings Account (HSA), here’s what your looking at for next year.

Contribution Limits –

Single – $3,550 (Up $50) / Family – $7,100 (Up $100)

HDHP Out-of-Pocket Maximum –

Single – $6,900 (Up $150) / Family – $13,800 (Up $300)

HDHP Minimum Deductible –

Single – $1,400 (Up $50) / Family – $2,800 (Up $100)

Need to know if your plan is “qualifed”? Shoot me an email and I will review it for you! michelle@buyhealthinsurancehere.com

Would Medicare for All for those of us living in Northeast Indiana?

Would Medicare for All, or a Single Payer system really work? Some say it will, while others are just not sure.

As a Health Insurance broker, one of the most important things that I stress to my Senior clients/prospects is the fact that the current Medicare system (i.e. Original Medicare – Part A&B only) exposes an individual to an UNLIMITED out-of-pocket exposure.

Part A covers hospitalization after a BENEFIT PERIOD (60-day block of time) deductible, and after the beneficiary pays a per-day copy for hospital confinement (after day 60).

Part B covers doctors and facilities after a Calendar Year deductible is satisfied by the beneficiary, then 80% of any remaining covered services for the balance of the calendar year.

Part D covers prescription drugs, and has a separate out-of-pocket exposure than Parts A&B. It is in addition to!

If the Medicare for All system will be set up in the same way as Original Medicare, I fear that individuals who utilize a heavy amount of healthcare will be exposed to out-of-pocket expenses beyond belief. Use of private health insurance products, at the very least, provides individuals with a known maximum exposure each calendar year.

The question we will all be faced with becomes – What is peace of mind worth?

Live in Fort Wayne, New Haven, Auburn or Columbia City and Turning 65 Soon?

Turning 65 means tons of mail and even unsolicited phone calls from agents/carriers trying to sell you a Medicare health insurance option. Here at Health Insurance Shop, we want to start at the basics… Teaching you about the different parts of Medicare (A, B, C & D) first. Once you have an understanding of all these different parts, we then work with you to determine which Medicare health insurance option works best for your healthcare needs and family budget.

We service clients in: Fort Wayne, New Haven, Bluffton, Ossian, Decatur, Auburn, Columbia City, Angola, Huntington, and all those other small towns in Northeast Indiana.