The Who and What of Short-Term Medical
Short-term medical insurance is exactly what is sounds like. It’s a temporary solution to fill in gaps in insurance. So, it’s great for those waiting on Medicare, in-between jobs, or who just missed open enrollment. It can provide the same benefits as a typical health insurance policy (i.e. Major Medical), simply on shorter terms: typically between 1-12 months.
What types of benefits? Again, the only difference between short-term and major medical is the duration. So, you’ll be offered financial protection, up to the following possibilities (depending on the particular provider):
Why Should I Consider Short Term Medical?
Unfortunately, healthcare is expensive. And we have a saying around here: in the insurance world, it’s all Murphy’s Law. Anything that can go wrong, will. Why stress the vulnerability of not being covered? Even if you’re 1-3 months in-between jobs, kidneys have been known to act up and the previously undiagnosed can rear its ugly head, amongst other things.
But here’s an upside: take a look at the word temporary. Remember, even the expenses are temporary. You may or may not be paying more for your medical coverage than you were previously--but we’re talking about less than a year here. And our quotes are a whole lot better than a $15,000 hospital bill.
How Do I Sign Up for Short Term Medical?
If you submit a quote today, we will get back to you in one business day or less. Take 5 minutes today, receive a free quote, and we will find the best offer for your needs. We don’t pad things around here, nor do we want to. So, the only thing you have to lose is five minutes. Pour yourself a cup of coffee, but don’t expect it to be cool by the time you’re done. Got more questions? Call our number (888-437-8628) or head on over to our Contact Form.
We look forward to hearing from you!
Last week we discussed dental insurance, but a good look at supplementals wouldn’t be complete without taking a peak at how to get your eyeballs covered. Want discounts on contacts, lenses, and exams? Stick around.
How Vision Insurance Works
Let’s get one thing clear: vision insurance is worth it--if you need corrective vision materials like contacts or glasses. If neither you nor a member of your family needs corrective vision, then paying out-of-pocket for your yearly exam may be the best economic decision. However, vision insurance, like dental insurance, is also there for you when the unexpected (and expensive) happens. It’s all Murphy’s Law in the insurance world, and we’re here to help you navigate through it.
Vision Insurance vs. Health Insurance
An important distinction to make before we move on is what exactly is covered by vision insurance vs. what is covered by health insurance.
Health insurance will cover eye exams IF you need them for an underlying medical condition, such as cataracts and complications from diabetes/high blood pressure, etc. (1) Health insurance will also typically cover you for eye injuries and eye diseases. Eye specialists such as ophthalmologists (specialists in eye surgery) are normally covered by health insurance.
Vision insurance covers for your yearly eye exams and can provide lenses and contacts at a significantly reduced price. Eye specialists such as optometrists (vision testing specialists) and opticians (technicians that verify vision correction) can be covered through health or vision insurance, depending on the contract terms.
Regardless, a staggering 66% of Americans 18 and over report using glasses, contacts, or both--so the odds are good that if you don’t have some type of vision correction yet, you or somebody in your household have a pretty high chance of needing them in the future (2).
The Average Cost of Glasses and Contact Lenses
The average cost for vision insurance is modest: anywhere between $10 a month for basic coverage to $30 or $40 a month for larger families and/or premium benefits. Typical savings on contact lenses runs the gamut of around $150 for elective contacts, and sometimes up to 100% covered if they are considered “medically necessary.” Glasses “can cost just $8 or up to $600 for those without insurance. For name brands, prices can range between $50 and $1,000 or more. At an eye doctor's clinic, prices for eyeglasses will vary depending upon the frames, lenses and region of the country. The price for eyeglasses nationally is $196.” (4).
The important things to keep an eye out for are:
1. Is your preferred eye doctor in-network?
What About LASIK Surgery?
This question gets its own brief overview because it can be a little tricky.
LASIK surgery is the most common type of refractive surgery, used to fix near- and farsightedness and myopia. Effectively, it reshapes the cornea to enable light to enter in such as way as to allow for vision that can be 20/20 (or better).
As far as if it's covered by insurance...long story short, LASIK surgery usually ends up being classified as a cosmetic choice made by a customer. Since it isn’t medically necessary, it typically will not be covered by insurance--health, vision, or otherwise.
But during the quoting process, it’s always worth it to ask!
No Time Like the Present!
Well, quotes are free and time is short. If you’re interested in discounts on your corrective vision care (and want extra incentive to get your yearly eye exam), inquire today!
Dental insurance is one of those things that most people don’t think about until they really need it. Like a twenty-eight-year-old with pearly whites and perfect gums who, one day, gets his jaw broken and two front teeth chipped thanks to an ATV ride gone horribly wrong. In the insurance world, it’s all Murphy’s Law. Anything that can go wrong most probably definitely will.
So here’s a guide to help you navigate through the dental insurance system, whether you need it, and what the best options are.
How Dental Insurance Works
Dental insurance is what we call supplemental insurance--but you probably already knew that. Basically it’s just important to note that your basic health insurance won’t cover for preventive care, and worker’s comp won’t always cover for tooth damage that occurs at your place of work.(1)
Most people only enter a dentist’s office for their bi-yearly cleanings and X-rays, sliding their group plan’s card across the desk as they go. The average cost for these group policies can range from $168-$366 a year for individuals and $325-$680 a year for families. When you think about how much it actually costs to check in for two cleanings per person, and maybe an X-ray or two, the costs usually average around $400 for an individual and up to $600 plus for a family(2).
You can guess that these averages can be higher when shopping the individual market. And at this point you might be asking yourself, OK, what’s the point then? Can I just take whatever my company offers (given that you’re not self-employed) and call it a day?
In some instances, yes. If your entire family is covered at a $2,000 maximum benefit per person, and you’re paying under $50 a month for it, by all means throw up your hands in praise. But look at the fine print of your work’s health insurance offerings. If you’re paying a pretty chunk of change per month for only a $1000 maximum benefit, you might want to start considering your options. Ask yourself these questions:
Insuring for the Worst-Case Scenarios
So the Big Bad in this scenario is oral surgery and orthodontia, right? Everybody knows somebody who’s had braces, or their wisdom teeth removed, or even a root canal. So what we want to know is, how expensive (on average) do these scenarios get, and how does dental insurance cover for them?
Wisdom Teeth: Wisdom teeth have a whopping range of anywhere between $75-$800. This depends on the number of teeth being removed (anywhere between 1-4 teeth may need to be removed), anesthesia, and overall complexity.(2)
Root Canal: Root canals, “a procedure that replaces infected pulp in a root canal with an inert material,” cost an average of $900.(2)
Orthodontia: Braces--and it’s not just kiddos that need them either! It’s important to note that not every dental insurance plan and network will cover for orthodontia, as it is usually seen as a voluntary cosmetic surgery. Sometimes state law dictates that children must be insured for braces, but even then it usually occurs because the child in question may have problems chewing otherwise. We hereby give you permission to drill us (and any agent you talk to) about what fine print comes with orthodontia and your dental plan. The average cost for braces can vary, but we’ve never seen it go below a bare minimum of $2.5k.(5)
Alright: Sign Me Up, Scotty
If you’ve made it this far, we’d like to thank you. We know even the thought of a toothache is liable to make one suddenly appear. But you’ve answered our questions and considered your options, and you’d like us to take it from here. You’re thinking, yeah, why not get a free quote while I’m at it?
So, here’s all you’ve got to do:
Today’s blog covers one of the big hitters in the insurance world: the deductible. We know that one of the most important financial decisions we make comes in the form of how we and our families are covered when the unexpected happens. Here at Health Benefits Now, we want you to have your best health coverage plan.
Did you know that more than ⅗ of Americans don’t have enough money saved up for unexpected medical emergencies (averaging $1000)?
Want to be part of the ⅖ that do? We can help with that. Take a peek at our little cheat sheet: we’ll break down how deductibles and premiums really work for you and help you find the peace of mind that excellent and extremely affordable health coverage can bring.
Why You Shouldn’t Be Asking About High vs. Low Deductibles
If you’re already weighing the pros and cons of a high vs. a low deductible, we’ll help you cut to the chase: in our opinion, a high deductible with a low premium is the way to go. Which isn’t the answer you’ll hear from the average agent. See, a lower deductible and a higher premium means more kick-back for them (though not necessarily for you). But this combo isn’t always advised with ill intentions, either. Sometimes we humans just go by what looks good.
Lots of things look great on paper, right? Novels, for one. Grocery lists, within reason. But insurance is neither the great American novel nor a simple list of items you need and therefore you get. The good news is, on a complexity scale, we are somewhere in-between. But one of the things that sounds good on paper is getting a low deductible that will (finally) pay off should you find yourself in the hospital, right?
Think about who this actually benefits. Let’s go with a more extreme example. Say you have some major concerns because your daughter has extremely volatile asthma. She’s been hospitalized at different junctures already and you’re concerned that she also see the doctor as often as is necessary. You tell your agent that doctor’s visits and hospitalization are important to you, and on the technical side of things it seems like you’re one of those people who needs a lower deductible to help offset the costs.
Though on paper you are an “ideal candidate,” the reality is that almost nobody is an ideal candidate for a low deductible. Why? Premiums are designed to rise, and using up your deductible is going to raise it regardless. An asthmatic is a high-risk client, to go back to our example. Most Americans only find themselves hospitalized after an accident or similarly unexpected, short-term emergency. This is the pool of people underwriters are comparing high-risk clients with.
But, really, we’re all in the same boat when it comes to premiums: we need to make them serve us, not the other way around.
What Makes Premiums Rise?
Can you imagine how much car insurance would cost if consumers began demanding that their auto coverage cover every oil change, every nick, scratch, and dent--that they provide replacement tires and about a tune-up every year? Prices would spike, for one. But before the 1980s, health insurance worked a lot like car insurance. Nobody goes bankrupt over a $100 doctor’s visit or a $1000 whoops-a-daisy. What people really want (and need) coverage for is potential money sinks like $100,000 hospital bills that nobody could have anticipated needing.
Somewhere along the line, health insurance became about providing not only for the expensive and unlikely but also the affordable and guaranteed--and if a service is guaranteed to take place, the money has got to come from somewhere. Health coverage plans now help cover for doctor’s visits and other yearly “tune-ups.” So the insurance companies charge. Premiums are now, necessarily, higher. But what we all really need, should the rubber hit the road, is help paying for a hypothetical monster-of-a-medical-bill. And so the lower deductible feels like a cushy safety net. Again, it looks good.
We’re aren’t just saying to get a high deductible/low premium and leave it at that. There are affordable ways to bolster that set-up. We’ll help you find a comfortable premium that you can combine with ancillary products (more on that in a minute)--and this is where we start to play smart.
An Example Case
Every plan is balanced differently, and every quote we provide takes into account your specific priorities. Saying that, the following is a generic example of how a high deductible plan has worked out in our clients’ favor when combined with a little something called ancillary products.
Ancillary products are insurance add-ons such as dental, accidental death, and/or bill negotiation. They are not necessarily riders; you can have ancillary products from an insurance company that is not your primary insurance company.
So we’ve brought your primary premium down by choosing the high deductible option, right? You still want to make sure you and your family are covered for your specific needs. Say you know you are planning to have a child within a year or two and are concerned about hospital costs, or you want the extra cushion that AD&D coverage can provide. There are products that are even more specific, such as reducing out-of-pocket costs for heart-related hospitalizations and stroke. Whatever it is--it’s worth asking about.
For example, a bill negotiation group like Karis (more on that in next week's blog) can help negotiate high deductibles when you find yourself in a serious and unexpected situation, such as being hospitalized after an accident. Supplemental hospital products are often more affordable when combined with a low premium than if you try to play the numbers game with a low deductible/high premium.
We care about the nitty-gritty because we care about finding a plan that makes sense for you. Our agents are available to answer any of your questions and get down to crafting a plan as custom as your daily latte. You can even start sketching out some numbers yourself!
Peace of Mind (Or, The Real Reason for Insurance)
There are two ways of looking at anything that costs money: an expense or an asset. Unlike TV subscription services and daily caffeine pit-stops, insurance isn’t an inherently relaxing or stimulating enterprise to think about spending moolah on. The fact of the matter is, who wants to think about sickness and death?
Your family doesn’t; that’s for sure. We know, we pulled out the guilt stick with that one. There’s a positive reason for thinking about insurance today, however, and this one’s for you: peace of mind.
Let’s sum it up this way. Every day we make a decision to get up, go to work, brush our teeth, and fulfill any number of obligations. It all costs time and money, and most of it has to be repeated ad nauseum to do any good. Unlike all of that, however, insurance is a decision you make once--and it keeps taking care of you afterword. Now that’s peace of mind.
You know what’s even better than using your spit to find out how cool your ancestors were? Using said spit to also find out what your DNA tells you about your ideal lifestyle.
In today’s article, we’re not only your friendly neighborhood insurance agents, we’re guiding you through the hidden gem that is Vitagene.
Vitagene is a DNA kit that you can order with a click and have on your doorstep in a breezy 3-5 days. Do the old Q-tip test and send your kit in: batta-bing, batta-boom. Give Vitagene 3-4 weeks to process your 6 billion letters of genetic code (or just to throw out some more crunchy stats, a surprisingly light 1.5 GB of data) and you’ll receive the following reports via email:
And that’s just the basic kit! Different tiers also offer skin reports, personal supplement packages, and periodic updates.
In our own office, one of our co-workers found out she was way more French than her English last name would have led her to believe--and she had a gluten sensitivity she was equally unaware of. But what’s great about the reports you receive is that they also offer practical steps, regimes, and even links to their own flagship supplements. And hey, it’s still the beginning of 2019! What better excuse to invest in self-knowledge than the spirit of New Year’s Resolutions?
Already have your file from a different DNA kit, or want to send your results from Vitagene to another company? No problem! While Vitagene keeps a copy of your data, at your request, they always follow three strict privacy policies:
1) Results and DNA samples aren’t stored with any identifying information, including your name.
2) The saliva sample is destroyed after it has been analyzed.
3) Vitagene does not share your information with any third party without your explicit consent.
What are you waiting for?
You can also save an extra 10% by using our exclusive coupon code at checkout: VITAICA10