Healthcare News & Stories

Woman standing over an office desk using a laptop and holding a phone
Individual/Family, Affordable Care Act

What You Need to Know About Health Insurance If You’re Self-Employed

In the United States, approximately 16 million workers identify as being self-employed. Self-employment can offer many benefits, including greater flexibility and being your own boss. It also provides an entryway to entrepreneurship and small business ownership.
HealthPlans of NC

Health Plans of NC, Kelly Quinn

Two couples sitting outside
Medicare

Top 10 Considerations When Choosing A Medicare Plan

If you live in North Carolina and you’re approaching retirement age, there are typically three options for Medicare coverage to consider: Original Medicare Parts A and B. Original Medicare Parts A and B plus a supplemental insurance plan to help cover any costs Medicare doesn’t, along with a separate Part D prescription drug plan. Medicare Advantage, that gives you a variety of healthcare plans with additional benefits and usually includes coverage for prescription drugs.
HealthPlans of NC

Health Plans of NC, Kelly Quinn

Woman working at a counter in a shared workspace tying on a laptop
Individual/Family, Affordable Care Act, Individual/Family

What Freelancers Need to Know About Health Insurance

In 2021, around 59 million Americans worked freelance, representing over one-third of the entire US workforce. Although many people take freelance gigs to supplement their primary employment, about 28% of Americans who worked in freelancing in 2020 did freelance work as their full-time occupation. And Upwork, an online freelancing platform, believes that these numbers will continue to grow as more people turn to freelance. Regardless of whether this trend is a part of an overarching lifestyle choice, as many social pundits suggest, this shift does have significant implications for areas like health care coverage.
HealthPlans of NC

Health Plans of NC, Kelly Quinn

Man and woman talking at a desk
Health, Affordable Care Act, Individual/Family, Medicare

Do I Need a Health Insurance Agent?

Selecting the right health insurance can be time-consuming and often overwhelming. There is a vast range of medical health insurance available via the Health Insurance Marketplace and private insurance agencies.
HealthPlans of NC

Health Plans of NC, Kelly Quinn

Two couples taking a selfie on a hiking trail
Medicare

Medicare Initial Enrollment Checklist: 6 Things You Need to Know

If you’re new to Medicare, this checklist can guide you step-by-step through the process. Our local Medicare agents can help you understand everything you need to know about Medicare plans NC if you’re based in North Carolina.  It’s also important to realize that If your needs change after selecting a plan, you can make changes during specific times of the year. Let us help you compare your options.
HealthPlans of NC

Health Plans of NC, Kelly Quinn

Man reading bills at kitchen counter
Health, Medicare, Individual/Family

Help Understanding Your Medical Bills

If you’ve received a confusing medical bill, it’s essential to understand what you’re being charged for before you pay the bill.
HealthPlans of NC

Health Plans of NC, Kelly Quinn

5 older people hugging outside and looking down at that camera
Medicare

Cómo Obtener Más Beneficios Con Los Planes Dual Medicaid-Medicare, D-SNP

Apoyo para los residentes de Carolina del Norte que tienen Medicare y Medicaid Los planes duales para necesidades especiales (D-SNP) son planes especializados de Medicare Advantage para personas con Medicare y Medicaid. Por lo general, ofrecen muchos beneficios y características adicionales más allá de Medicare Original. Si es residente de Carolina del Norte, nuestro equipo de agentes locales de Medicare, NC, puede ayudarle a comprender cómo obtener más beneficios con estos planes duales.
HealthPlans of NC

Health Plans of NC, Kelly Quinn

Five older women walking in the water on a beach
Medicare

What Additional Medicare Coverage Is Available?

Understanding what’s included and excluded from each Medicare plan can help you decide on the right option.
HealthPlans of NC

Health Plans of NC, Kelly Quinn

Six people walking on a beach
Individual/Family

How To Ensure Pre-Existing Conditions Are Covered

Before 2010, if you had a pre-existing condition, you may have been denied health insurance coverage or subjected to high insurance premiums.  Thankfully, when the Affordable Care Act passed, health insurance companies offering ACA plans could no longer refuse coverage of pre-existing conditions. They also can’t increase your premium rates based on existing health problems. If you’ve got any questions about pre-existing conditions, or health insurance North Carolina, get in touch with one of our experienced local health insurance agents. You can also compare plans online today.
HealthPlans of NC

Health Plans of NC, Kelly Quinn

Pregnant woman sitting in a chair and using a laptop
Individual/Family

What You Need to Know About Maternity Coverage

In good news for many women in North Carolina thinking about having children, it’s now mandatory for all health insurance providers to provide maternity care coverage. In 2014, the Affordable Care Act became law, requiring pregnancy, labor, delivery, and newborn care coverage.
HealthPlans of NC

Health Plans of NC, Kelly Quinn

Kids cooking with adults watching
Medicare

Should You Choose Medicare Supplement or Medicare Advantage?

While Original Medicare offers most people good basic health coverage, it only pays 80% of approved costs concerning doctors, hospitals, and medical procedures. It also typically doesn’t cover the cost of prescription drugs or dental care. As a result, many people enroll in a supplemental insurance plan to help cover the gap. 
HealthPlans of NC

Health Plans of NC, Kelly Quinn

Five professionally dressed people smiling in an office hallway
Medicare

How To Avoid Paying Medicare Late Enrollment Penalties

You could face late enrollment penalties for not signing up for Medicare at the right time.
HealthPlans of NC

Health Plans of NC, Kelly Quinn

Older couple walking dog
Medicare, Blue Cross NC

What Is the Blue to Blue Rule?

When you choose a Blue Cross NC Medicare plan, you have the freedom to make changes to your plan without underwriting. In addition, members can switch supplement plans at designated times throughout the year. If you live in North Carolina, find out more about how our local Medicare agents can help you get the best Medicare plan for your needs.
HealthPlans of NC

Health Plans of NC staff

4 people at a desk looking at a laptop
Medicare

How Can Early Retirement Impact Your Health Insurance?

Early retirement, whether desired or forced, can dramatically impact your health insurance coverage. Depending on the circumstances, you may find yourself responsible for funding your own coverage. In addition, the cost of monthly premiums varies widely based on your age, location, and benefit needs. As a North Carolina resident, it’s essential to consider how these additional costs could impact your quality of life in retirement.
HealthPlans of NC

Health Plans of NC, Kelly Quinn

Three women outside smiling at camera
Medicare

How to Get Started with Medicare if You’re Turning 65

Getting Medicare is a significant milestone. If you’re turning 65 soon, it’s a good idea to start preparing so you’ll get your coverage as soon as you are eligible for it. If you’re based in North Carolina, our local Medicare agents can help. 
HealthPlans of NC

Health Plans of NC, Kelly Quinn

Family eating dinner
Medicare

Am I Eligible For Medicare?

If you’re a U.S. citizen or a permanent legal resident of the United States, then you may be eligible for Medicare if you meet one of the following criteria: You are 65 years old or older. You’re younger than 65, but you have a qualifying disability. You are of any age and have been diagnosed with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, also called Lou Gehrig’s Disease). To qualify as a legal resident, you need to have lived in the United States for at least five consecutive years before applying for Medicare.
HealthPlans of NC

Health Plans of NC, Kelly Quinn

5 older people hugging outside and looking down at that camera
Medicare

How To Get More Benefits with Dual Medicaid-Medicare, D-SNP Plans

Support for North Carolina residents who have Medicare and Medicaid
HealthPlans of NC

Health Plans of NC, Kelly Quinn

Six people smiling and hugging outside
Medicare

Answers to The 10 Most Common Medicare Questions

Medicare decisions are highly personal and you may have many different questions about your specific situation. But certain questions do seem to come up more often than others. Here are some of the most common Medicare questions and answers that our local agents often hear from North Carolina residents.
HealthPlans of NC

Health Plans of NC, Kelly Quinn

Couple snuggling in a park
Medicare

What Is Medicare Advantage and How Does It Work?

Medicare Advantage plans replace Original Medicare Parts A and B. They’re offered by private companies that are Medicare-approved. If you live in North Carolina and want to find out more information about Blue Cross NC Medicare Advantage plans, our dedicated local agents can help.
HealthPlans of NC

Health Plans of NC, Kelly Quinn

Three coworkers with laptops sitting together at a long table
Health, Individual/Family, Group

How A Job Change Can Impact Your Health Insurance

Are you considering a job change or thinking about becoming self-employed? If so, it’s essential to consider the impact this change could have on your health insurance, including your coverage and costs. Here’s what you need to know about how a job change could impact your NC health insurance.
HealthPlans of NC

Health Plans of NC, Kelly Quinn

Five professionally dressed people in an office smiling at the camera
Medicare

How Medicare Agents Get Paid

A Medicare insurance agent helps to provide clients with independent advice on various Medicare plans at no cost.
HealthPlans of NC

Health Plans of NC, Kelly Quinn

We resolve to make health care more affordable.
Health, Blue Cross NC, Individual/Family

Pulling Back The Curtain On Healthcare Costs

While the COVID-19 pandemic may have brought renewed urgency to the issue, the need for more cost transparency has long been part of the conversation about the future of health care. Beneath the partisan wrangling in Washington lies a serious issue. Not only is health care expensive, but it can be difficult for consumers to know just how much care costs until the final bill arrives.Managing medical costs starts with knowing what they are in the first place. At Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, we support the concept of cost transparency. We’re leading the way in making it a reality, not only for our members, but for all North Carolinians.
Cost transparency at your fingertips
It’s hard to believe, but the cost for many common procedures can vary by thousands – in some cases tens of thousands of dollars – within the same city. When consumers don’t have easy access to this information, they are not only in the dark about the total cost of their care, but more importantly how much it will cost them out-of-pocket. A Blue Cross NC analysis showed that some North Carolinians will spend up to 25% of their take-home pay solely on medical expenses. That can be a massive financial burden for families to bear.An early innovator in cost transparency, Blue Cross NC launched a groundbreaking cost comparison tool in 2012 that enables members to compare cost and quality for common procedures before they make important care decisions. Just as consumers can shop for cars or smart phones by doing research before making a purchase, we’re empowering patients to be better informed health care consumers. When patients see that costs for the same surgery in the same area can vary by as much as $19,000, they realize they can choose more affordable options.[1] In 2015, we went a step further and made the tool available to all North Carolinians. Everyone in North Carolina, whether they are a Blue Cross NC member or not, can quickly search for common procedures like MRIs, knee replacements or mammograms and see how the cost compares between nearby providers.
HealthPlans of NC

Blue Cross NC

Woman holding Covid-19 rapid test
Health, Covid 19

COVID-19 Healthcare Articles

Here is a list of articles that we’ve published regarding COVID-19 since the pandemic began to help you to synthesize how to go about protecting yourself and your family.
Post-Pandemic Healthcare Issues
How To Tell Fact From Fiction With COVID-19 Information
HealthPlans of NC

Health Plans of NC, Kelly Quinn

Doctor giving a boy a vaccine
Health, Wellness

Top 10 Myths About Childhood Vaccines

According to the CDC, vaccinations have prevented over 21 million hospitalizations and 732,000 deaths among children in the last 20 years. In spite of that astounding statistic, a recent study from the University of Michigan found that 93% of pediatricians had at least one parent who refused a vaccination for their child during the past year.
The effects of this are all too well known. As recently as December of 2014, we saw an outbreak of Measles that affected over a hundred children as a result of unvaccinated children and adults. All of which could have been avoided with proper preventative care.
Unfortunately, there are many myths about vaccines that encourage or frighten parents into not vaccinating their children, and as a result, infections can easily spread among the unvaccinated. I want to take a few minutes to share some of the most commons myths about childhood vaccines and talk about the facts.
HealthPlans of NC

Dr. Larry Wu

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