Healthcare News & Stories

Health

Shot of a young woman checking her results in the dentists office
Health, Dental

Why It’s Essential to Look After Your Dental Health

Dental health can impact your overall health. Over 100 diseases can appear in your mouth, making regular check-ups essential. Your family dentist can not only help you maintain good oral health but also help prevent serious health complications. Organizing the right level of dental insurance can allow you to access the ongoing dental care you need for you and your family to stay healthy. 
HealthPlans of NC

Health Plans of North Carolina, Kelly Quinn

View point of young families dancing at beach on ring around the rosy style - Lifestyle joy concept with mixed race people having fun moment holding hands
Short Term, Health, Affordable Care Act, Individual/Family

Child Only Health Insurance Coverage Options

As a parent, the right health insurance can provide peace of mind if your child becomes ill, experiences an injury, or requires urgent medical attention. Our agents at Health Plans of NC regularly help families find the right health insurance for their entire family, including recommendations for child-only health insurance.
HealthPlans of NC

Health Plans of NC, Kelly Quinn

Portrait of Senior Woman with Grey Short Hair in the City District. Older Business Woman with Eyeglasses is Carrying a Briefcase and Talking over her Mobile Phone During the Walk in the City Center.
Health, Individual/Family, Short Term

What Is Expat Health Insurance?

Expat health insurance, also known as expatriate medical insurance, offers health insurance coverage for anyone temporarily living outside of their home country. You can usually tailor your policy to suit your health needs, regardless of where you live. These plans can be an excellent option to provide private health insurance, which can be helpful if it's difficult to source quality healthcare where you live. 
HealthPlans of NC

Health Plans of NC, Kelly Quinn

Shot of a young pharmacist helping an elderly customer at the prescription counter.
Health, Medicare

Drug Pricing Law: How It Affects Your Medicare Coverage

U.S. President Joe Biden recently signed the Inflation Reduction Act authorizing the government to negotiate prices on some prescription drugs and allow the government to cap the costs of Medicare. With over 63 million Americans receiving Medicare health benefits, the law is likely to affect many people throughout the country, including those living in North Carolina. 
HealthPlans of NC

Health Plans of NC, Kelly Quinn

Father and mother waiting with young daughter at airport. Tourist family at airport terminal with luggage holiday.
Health

What Is Travel Insurance & What Does It Cover

If you're lucky enough to be planning a trip, you may be thinking about whether purchasing travel insurance is necessary. To help you decide, consider the costs of not purchasing insurance if something goes wrong and whether you've got the funds to support you. For example, paying for additional accommodation costs if your travel arrangements are delayed or replacing essential items if your luggage is lost or delayed. Learning about what travel insurance covers can help you decide whether it's necessary for your upcoming trip.
HealthPlans of NC

Health Plans of NC, Kelly Quinn

Son, Daughter, Family, Embracing
Health, Vision

Everything You Need To Know About Vision Coverage

A good health insurance plan can help cover unexpected medical costs and prescriptions. In addition, ensuring you've got the right level of coverage to help protect your vision can be essential if you or your family are likely to need regular visits to the eye doctor. At Health Plans of NC, we specialize in assisting residents throughout North Carolina. Our dedicated and experienced health insurance agents can talk you through some of the best vision insurance plans available to get you the coverage you need. 
HealthPlans of NC

Health Plans of NC, Kelly Quinn

We resolve to make health care simpler
Health, Blue Cross NC

Using High-Tech & High-Touch To Simplify Healthcare

Perhaps more than any other industry, health care represents the collision of humanity and technology—nothing is more personal than our health care. But for many, determining the best option for care is an overwhelming process. Knowing when to seek care can be just as difficult as combing through the volume of medical information offered online. This can lead to people spending more time, more money and using more services across the health care system than necessary.
At Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC), we are working to provide a more simplified health care experience for our members. By combining technology and human interaction, we’re helping members find the right resources for their care journeys.
High-Tech: Putting the Right Tools in the Hands of Members
HealthPlans of NC

Blue Cross NC

Nurse with patient on sofa
Health, Covid 19

Post Pandemic Healthcare Issues

With many restrictions now eased and the world returning to a ‘new normal’ post pandemic, there are still ongoing health issues facing many North Carolinians. The stressful events we’ve experienced during the past two years, including significant changes to our normal lifestyle, are likely to have long-term effects on many people’s physical and mental health.
HealthPlans of NC

Health Plans of NC, Kelly Quinn

Family walking in a field holding hands
Health, Medicare

Common Allergies In North Carolina & Health Plan Treatment Options

Discover the most common allergies in North Carolina, including the tests and treatment options available under Medicare and private health insurance. 
HealthPlans of NC

Health Plans of NC, Kelly Quinn

Woman with blood pressure cuff looking at another woman taking her blood pressure
Health

What You Need to Know About High Blood Pressure and Health Insurance

High blood pressure, otherwise known as hypertension, is a fairly common condition that can eventually lead to health problems like heart disease and strokes if left untreated. With almost half of all American adults experiencing high blood pressure at some point in their lives, monitoring your blood pressure levels is crucial to maintaining your health. Keep reading to find out about high blood pressure health insurance coverage.
HealthPlans of NC

Health Plans of NC, Kelly Quinn

Woman at a shared counter with laptop, phone, pen, and notebook
Health, Covid 19

What Do Covid Restrictions Being Lifted Mean For Your Return To Work?

With Covid restrictions being lifted in the US, there are many steps currently being taken now by businesses and governments to get people back to work. While there may still be many uncertainties regarding the Covid-19 pandemic, many companies are reevaluating their current health and safety protocols and looking to adjust workplace guidance. Meaning more and more people are being asked to return to the workplace. 
HealthPlans of NC

Health Plans of NC, Kelly Quinn

Man carrying grocery bag talking to female grocery store employee
Health, Affordable Care Act, Individual/Family, Medicare

Medicaid Program Underway in North Carolina to Help with Food and Shelter

In March 2022, Medicaid launched the Healthy Opportunities Pilot, a program to support up to 20,000 low-income North Carolina residents. The program, a $650 million initiative, aims to test whether Medicaid funding should be used differently to better support the social problems that affect people’s health.
HealthPlans of NC

Health Plans of NC, Kelly Quinn

Five professionally dressed people smiling in an office hallway
Health, Affordable Care Act, Individual/Family, Medicare

The Top 3 Benefits of Using a Health Insurance Agent

It’s only natural that you’ll have questions if you’re considering enrolling in a health insurance plan. The good news is that the Affordable Care Act means you can get assistance when selecting your plan. You can either work with an experienced, licensed health insurance agent or an authorized individual Marketplace representative called a Navigator to help answer your questions. Although a licensed agent and a Navigator do share some similarities, there are some differences. It can be more beneficial to use a licensed agent over an unlicensed, government-trained representative. Here are our three top benefits of why you should choose a licensed agent.
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

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

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

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

People smiling at a laptop
Health

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
Health

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

2 people having a business meeting
Health, Affordable Care Act, Individual/Family

Do You Need To Use A Health Insurance Agent?

Many people find aspects of shopping for health insurance confusing. There are multiple options for medical health insurance available through both the Health Insurance Marketplace and private insurance agencies. You may also have heard of the roles of “health insurance agents” and “government navigators.” If you are unaware of navigators, people engaged in this occupation are paid by state and federal programs and are not allowed to accept compensation from health insurance companies. If you are unclear about these terms and the roles of those who work in these capacities, you aren’t alone.
What are the similarities among agents and navigators?
A licensed health insurance agent and a government exchange navigator, though distinct things, do engage in similar activities. Here is a list of similarities:
HealthPlans of NC

Health Plans of NC Staff

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