Healthcare News & Stories

Individual/Family

Couple with baby getting advice
Individual/Family, Short Term

What Is Short Term Health Insurance?

Short-term health insurance provides temporary coverage that typically lasts from a few months to a year. This type of health plan isn't regulated by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), so they're not required to provide the minimum essential health benefits other plans mandated by the ACA do. If you're in between health insurance plans, short-term health insurance can be an affordable option if you're looking for health coverage. Depending on your circumstances, short-term plans can even be more affordable than a major medical plan. 
HealthPlans of NC

Health Plans of NC, Kelly Quinn

Individual/Family, Affordable Care Act, Medicare

Why We Use Google Reviews

Google Reviews are considered reliable and credible. Google verifies the accuracy of each customer review before it’s published on Google.
HealthPlans of NC

Glynnis O'Donoghue with Health Plans of North Carolina

Pregnant person using a laptop
Individual/Family

Questions About Maternity Coverage?

A Quick Overview
It is mandatory for all health insurance providers to provide maternity care coverage. In 2014, the Affordable Care Act became law, requiring coverage for pregnancy, labor, delivery, and newborn care.
How Has Maternity Coverage Changed?
HealthPlans of NC

Health Plans of NC, Kelly Quinn

Family with kids and grandparents laughing together
Individual/Family, Affordable Care Act

How The Family Glitch Proposed Rule Changes Could Save You Money

In April 2022, the Biden-Harris Administration proposed a rule to strengthen the Affordable Care Act (ACA) by fixing the ‘family glitch’ that could save families across America hundreds of dollars each month. The goal of this proposed rule is to revise the existing interpretation of eligibility relating to premium tax credits for families. If finalized, the rule will extend the ACA Marketplace health insurance subsidies to millions more people throughout America, including many North Carolina residents.
HealthPlans of NC

Health Plans of NC, Kelly Quinn

Pregnant woman using a tablet computer on a sofa
Individual/Family

What You Need to Know About Health Insurance if You’re Trying for a Baby

If you’re trying to have a baby, there’s a lot to think about. You may be wondering how long does it take to get pregnant and whether you’re ready for this life change. It’s also a great time to consider your health care needs and ensure you have the right level of health insurance coverage for your care.
HealthPlans of NC

Health Plans of NC, Kelly Quinn

Woman holding Covid-19 rapid test
Individual/Family, Covid 19

Reimbursement Available For Over-The-Counter Covid-19 Rapid Tests

Did you know that insurance coverage has now been extended to cover at-home Covid rapid tests? Since January this year, private insurers are now required to cover the cost of rapid at-home tests when purchased over-the-counter.  
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

Girl with two other women on a sofa
Individual/Family, Affordable Care Act

What Are The Dates For Open Enrollment & Special Enrollment Periods 2022?

Open enrollment 2022 for Affordable Care Act (ACA) health insurance has ended. However, it’s still possible to get health insurance if you meet specific criteria. Read on to find out more about how you can access health insurance, or contact one of our local NC Health Insurance agents to find out how we can help. Our team can explain when is open enrollment for health insurance and what it means for your coverage.
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 giving family a grocery bag
Individual/Family, Affordable Care Act

You May Qualify for Enrollment in an NC ACA Health Plan for $0 Premium

Low-income earners that do not exceed 150% of FPL in North Carolina can qualify for ACA health insurance for $0
HealthPlans of NC

Health Plans of NC, Kelly Quinn

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

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

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

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

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

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.
Individual/Family

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

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

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

Blue Cross NC
Individual/Family

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

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 HealthCare.gov 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

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