Healthcare News & Stories

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

Family Size | 150% FPL
1 | $19,320
2 | $26,130
3 | $32,940
4 | $39,750
5 | $46,560
6 | $53,370
7 | $60,180

If your income doesn't exceed 150% of the federal poverty level, under the new special enrollment period, eligible applicants can enroll in an ACA-compliant health plan through the marketplace year-round.

Announcement Of Special Enrollment Period That Can Help North Carolinians

North Carolina’s low-income earners that do not exceed 150% of Federal Poverty Line can qualify for ACA health insurance for $0
It may not be not too late if you missed out on signing up for the Affordable Care Act coverage for 2022. If you do not exceed 150% of the FPL you can now enroll in plans with $0 premiums for the rest of the year. Want to learn more? Our local NC agents can help you discover if you qualify and help you access plans. Learn more about qualifying for enrollment in an NC ACA health plan with a $0 premium.
To take advantage of this special enrollment period, you need to meet two conditions. First, the special enrollment period is open to anyone with an income of less than 150% of the federal poverty level (FPL). This means less than $19,320 per year for individuals or under $39,750 per year for a family of four. 
HealthPlans of NC

Health Plans of NC, Kelly Quinn

Smiling black senior

Five Things to Consider when Helping Senior Parents Find Health Insurance

If your senior parent, relative, or friend asks you for help when choosing their NC health insurance coverage, you can take steps to support them.
HealthPlans of NC

Health Plans of NC, Kelly Quinn

Older woman and younger woman sitting on a park bench looking at a phone

Helping A Senior Relative Or Friend Find Health Insurance

If your senior parent, relative or friend asks for your help in choosing health insurance coverage, there are several things you can do to support them.
How can I help a senior parent, relative or friend find health coverage?
Whether Medicare or other coverage, there are things to consider when trying to help your senior parent, relative or friend find health insurance. It’s not an easy subject to discuss, and it involves talking about sensitive topics like personal health and finances. It will take time and research to select the best plan. Here are four things to consider.
HealthPlans of NC

Health Plans of NC Staff

A couple looking at something and smiling

How To Get Medicare Dental & Vision Coverage in NC

Regular dental and vision exams are essential to help prevent any health complications and maintain your overall health. If you live in North Carolina, our Medicare agents NC can help you understand how to get the right Medicare dental and vision plans for your needs. Once you know your options, you can plan and budget for your future.
HealthPlans of NC

Health Plans of NC, Kelly Quinn

People smiling at a laptop

Considering Early Retirement? Our Agents Can Help You Secure 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. The cost of monthly premiums differs widely based on your age, location and benefit needs.
When the Covid Pandemic hit the US in 2020, many people who anticipated waiting until 65 to retire, reexamined their plans. Some people found that businesses they had grown from the ground up were suddenly struggling to make ends meet. Others found their hours cut and occupations furloughed. Regardless of the specific reason, many people approaching the age of 65, and many some distance from this traditional retirement age, began to reconsider their plans for retirement.
Although some individuals who are considering an earlier than expected exit from the work-a-day world, have established a cushion from rising stock values and increased housing values this really is more of the exception than the rule. Most people who watched their careers take an unexpected turn during the Covid pandemic are in a much less enviable position. According to a New School for Social Research professor of economics and policy analysis, Teresa Ghilarducci, most people considering early retirement due to the pandemic have much more modest means as they exit the workforce.
HealthPlans of NC

Health Plans of NC Staff

Pretty focused businesswoman sitting at desk holding cellular talking with client holding pen note on notepad
Health, Affordable Care Act, Individual/Family, Medicare

4 Reasons You Should Use A Health Insurance Agent

Getting help finding the right plan for your budget and health needs is possible by using a health insurance agent or a government navigator.
HealthPlans of NC

Health Plans of NC Staff

Person working on a laptop
Health, Affordable Care Act, Individual/Family, Group

Self-Employed? What You Need To Know About Health Insurance

In the United States approximately 16 million workers are self-employed. Self – employment can provide an entryway to entrepreneurship and small business ownership as well serving as a preferred option for those wanting more flexible schedules than corporate life can typically provide.
In 2020 it was estimated that approximately 41% of the American workforce worked in a freelance position as a self-employed person. Although many people take on freelance gigs to supplement their primary employment with a single company, about 28% of Americans who worked in freelancing in 2020 did freelance work as their full-time occupation. 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.
In recent US history, most of those in the paid workforce have relied upon employer-sponsored health care plans to help them meet their health insurance needs. As the US experiences this shift from more traditional forms of work into this evolving freelance, or gig, economy there is an increased need for individual health care plans that are not attached to a specific employer.
HealthPlans of NC

Health Plans of NC Staff

People working on laptops

What Freelancers Should 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

Person reading from an ipad
Individual/Family, Affordable Care Act

5 Tips To Consider For Open Enrollment 2022

Fall has arrived, and with it, the Open Enrollment period for your health insurance plan. Here are important tips to keep in mind as you select your coverage. The Annual Open Enrollment starts November 1, 2022. 
What Is Open Enrollment?
Open Enrollment is a specially designated period of time that you have to enroll yourself and any family members in a health insurance plan. During the open enrollment period, you have the ability to:
HealthPlans of NC

Health Plans of NC Staff

Family picture

Answers To 10 Common Medicare Questions

Annual Open Enrollment for Medicare is October 15- December 7; compare plans and options with our licensed Health Plans of NC agents at no cost to you; reach out to the agent on this page for more info or a free quote! 
Medicare decisions are highly personal. And there may be as many different questions about Medicare as there are beneficiaries—maybe more. But certain questions seem to come up more often than others. Here are some of the most common Medicare questions and answers.
How Do I Know What Medicare Coverage Is Right For Me?
HealthPlans of NC

Health Plans of NC Staff

Blue Cross NC

Blue Cross NC Announces $0 Premiums, Enhanced Benefits For Highly Rated 2022 Medicare Advantage Plan

DURHAM, N.C. – Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC) announced it will again offer plans with $0 premiums for Medicare beneficiaries in its Blue Medicare Advantage service area along with extra benefits, including a 100% coverage dental plan, higher over-the-counter allowances, copay reductions, and a Part B premium reduction on its 2022 Medicare Advantage (MA) plans.
“Providing seniors with the most benefits at the lowest possible cost is a top priority for Blue Cross NC,” said Dr. Tunde Sotunde, President and CEO of Blue Cross NC. “Making our Medicare plans more robust, accessible, and affordable is just one of the ways we’re working to make health care better for all North Carolinians.”
For 2022, Blue Cross NC Medicare Advantage HMO and PPO plans were rated 4.5 out of 5 stars by Medicare, which demonstrates high performance in six different categories:
HealthPlans of NC

Original Article Blue Cross NC Media Center News Release via Blue Cross NC

Couple talking to a therapist
Health, Mental Health

How To Find A Therapist If You've Never Had One Before

Mental health professionals are in high demand right now. Given that we’re eighteen months into a deadly global pandemic, this is no surprise. Many of us are grieving the loss of loved ones, jobs, plans, and normalcy. And if that’s not hard enough, the stresses of our everyday lives haven’t stopped.
At Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC), your total health is our top priority, now more than ever, including your mental and emotional health.
If you’re struggling with your mental health and need some extra support, you’re not alone. Studies show that the rate of anxiety and depression has risen significantly among American adults during the pandemic. And our children’s mental health is suffering, too.
HealthPlans of NC

via Blue Cross NC by Emilie Poplett

Health, Covid 19

Has The Pandemic Made You Consider A Job Change?

Has the pandemic made you rethink your priorities?
Are you considering a job change or possibly working for yourself? Health insurance benefits and your cost share could play a large role in your decision. Here is what you need to know.
How will a job change impact your health insurance coverage?
HealthPlans of NC

Health Plans of NC Staff

Person wearing a mask in a grocery store
Health, Covid 19

Do I Still Need A Mask? Breaking Down The COVID-19 Delta Variant & New Masking Guidelines

With the state slowly reopening, it can be difficult to know where and when to wear a mask. Does it matter if you’re vaccinated? What if you have kids who aren’t? How do the new COVID variants play in?
These are common questions. We’re here to help you make sense of the latest guidelines so you can keep yourself, your family, and your community safe.
The Delta variant is more contagious than previous strains of covid-19.
HealthPlans of NC

via Blue Cross NC by Dr. Von Nguyen

People wearing masks in front of a school bus

A Mom's Perspective On Managing A Pandemic Back-To-School Season

One morning in early April – for the first time in 390 days – I packed two lunches, made sure my kids had on their school uniforms, loaded them in the car and took our place in the morning carline.
I was glad for my face mask to hide my emotions as a teacher checked their temperatures and they headed up the stairs to their school building – my fifth grade son with a protective arm around his kindergartner sister, a purple Post-It note with her name and her teacher’s name on her chest.
She’d never been inside the building as a student before.
HealthPlans of NC

Maggie Brown via Blue Cross NC

Mother and child wearing masks
Health, Mental Health

7 Tips: Helping Children Overcome Anxieties About Returning To School

My eldest son is 11 years old. After months of home learning, he returned to the classroom last fall. The transition back to the classroom came earlier for our family than for most, but it was still marked by tremendous anxiety for my son. Being with peers isn’t always easy.
Many of us eagerly anticipate the moment when we can gather in groups again. We crave that vital sense of connection to our loved ones, to our peers and to our community. But that doesn’t mean reintegrating into social settings will be easy. It can be especially scary for children.
My son’s reluctance is not an isolated tale. Incidents of children refusing to return to group settings are on the rise. In particular, many parents have noted that their children with anxiety disorders were happier and more comfortable at home. While the pandemic has left most children feeling more stressed, we know that some children with social anxiety or OCD have actually been happier in social isolation.
HealthPlans of NC

Blue Cross NC By Nora Dennis

Person looking at their phone
Health, Covid 19

How To Tell Fact From Fiction With COVID-19 Information

The internet has given us access to information faster than ever. Unfortunately, that information is not always accurate. And the spread of misinformation has real consequences on our health care decisions.
In recent years, misinformation has proliferated throughout the internet. It can seem impossible to differentiate what is true and what isn’t. When COVID-19 arrived, public trust in institutions was already dwindling. That created the perfect storm for misinformation to spread, at a time when the difference between fact and fiction could save lives.
HealthPlans of NC

via Blue Cross NC by Zachary Newcastle

Woman with mask giving a thumbs up
Health, Covid 19

What To Expect With Your Child's COVID-19 Vaccine

Parents’ Questions, Answered
By now, you probably know that COVID-19 vaccines are available to kids and teens 12 and up.1 For many of us, the choice to get vaccinated was fairly straightforward. Making that choice for our kids, however, may feel more complicated.We want to help you find the information you need to make that decision. As always, we recommend talking to your child’s pediatrician if you have any questions or concerns.
Are COVID-19 vaccines safe for kids and teens?
HealthPlans of NC

Kristi Edwards via Blue Cross NC

Canoe on a lake at sunset

If You're Looking For Summer Adventure, Try Paddling With These Beginner-Friendly Tips

It’s too hot to be outdoors?
Not if you’re near water. Or better yet, on it.
Sure, you might think. If you have a boat.
HealthPlans of NC

By Joe Miller via Blue Cross NC

People smiling in business clothes
Health, Medicare

Get More Benefits With Dual Medicaid-Medicare D-SNP Plans

Dual Special Needs Plans (D-SNPs) are specialized Medicare Advantage plans for people with
both Medicare and Medicaid and typically offer many extra benefits and features beyond
Original Medicare.
HealthPlans of NC

Health Plans of NC, Kelly Quinn

People walking on a beach
Individual/Family, Covid 19, Affordable Care Act

More People Now Eligible For Health Insurance Through The ACA

Better ACA subsidies have been announced, making health insurance coverage significantly more affordable for millions of people.
An average of three out of five eligible uninsured Americans can access $0 plans after advance payments of tax credits
An average of four out of five current consumers will be able to find a plan for $10 or less per month after advance payments of tax credits  
HealthPlans of NC

Health Plans of NC Staff

Child at the dentist

How To Take Charge Of Your Dental & Vision Health Coverage

We all understand the importance of going to the doctor when we are feeling unwell or for our annual checkup. But what about making sure that our teeth and eyes are healthy too?
If you’re working on your health by getting annual physicals, eating healthier, or exercising, you should consider taking care of your dental health and vision care as well. It makes a difference.
Why Dental Care Matters
HealthPlans of NC

Payden Wilhemson via Blue Cross NC

Person hiking with dog
Health, Wellness, Mental Health

6 Surprising Ways Hiking Can Improve Your Mental Health

It’s curious how well-versed we are in the physical benefits of hiking. The activity can:
Reduce the risk of heart disease
Reduce your risk of hypertension, or high blood pressure. (Hiking regularly has been shown to lower blood pressure by 4 to 10 points.)
HealthPlans of NC

From Blue Cross NC By Joe Miller

Ready to get started?

See plans and pricing today.