Laid Off and Lost Your Group Health Insurance Coverage? It Pays Know Your Options

For some, being laid off from a job and in turn losing Group Health Insurance benefits can hurt as much as not receiving a paycheck. If this has happened to you or someone you know it’s important to understand all of the options that are available to you in order to maintain coverage.

In 1986 The United States Congress passed The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (better known as COBRA). In essence this law gives workers and their covered dependents the right to continue their current group coverage for a limited time period due to certain life circumstances such as job loss (either voluntary or involuntary), divorce, a reduction in hours causing a change in eligibility, or over-age dependent status among other things.

If you are covered by an employer’s Group Health, Dental or Vision plan, and you’re laid off or choose to leave your position, by law you will be offered COBRA continuation. The cost of coverage varies from 102% of the premium amount if your employer is only subject to Federal COBRA but can be higher if your state has its own COBRA laws. For example, here in California if your employer is subject to California COBRA laws the rate can be as high as 110% of the premium amount.

For a lot of people who are losing coverage and have little or no money coming in, paying 102% or more in order to continue their Health Insurance coverage is just not an option. Congress and the President have tried to address this issue with a limited subsidy provision as part of The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. While helpful if you qualify for the subsidy, once it has been exhausted you are still responsible for the full COBRA premium.

Before you decide to go without Health Insurance because your COBRA premium is too expensive consider looking into an Individual or Family Health Insurance plan. More often than not your dollar purchases more coverage under an Individual or private Health Insurance plan than it does compared with a group or employer sponsored plan. This means that if you qualify for an Individual Health Insurance plan you will in all likelihood, be able to retain the same level of benefits for less money. Alternatively, you can apply for a high deductible plan that keeps your monthly premium to a minimum but still offers a stop-loss point that protects you and your assets in case of a large medical expenditure. Why is individual Health Insurance usually less expensive? The one word answer is “underwriting”.

Don’t let the word “underwriting” scare you away from exploring Individual Health Insurance options. While your current and past medical history will be looked at during the underwriting process it doesn’t mean that if you have dealt with health issues in the past or are currently living with a managed condition you will be automatically declined. Most insurance companies make allowances for health issues such as allergies, arthritis, hypertension, and elevated cholesterol to name a few. While most insurance companies have similar underwriting standards there are often differences, so it can be a good idea to have some assistance.

The absolute best way to investigate your Individual and Family Health Insurance options is to let someone else do it for you! A qualified Independent Health Insurance broker will be able to present you with a host of plan designs with varying premium levels from several or more insurance companies. A broker should help you choose a plan and insurance company based on your needs as well as help you through the application and underwriting process. Here are a few additional reasons to purchase a plan through an independent Health Insurance broker:

o It doesn’t cost you any more money to use an Individual Health Insurance broker
o You can call your agent for service instead of the insurance company
o Your broker is a third party advocate charged with doing what’s best for you
o At renewal time the broker can provide you with other options outside your current insurance company

COBRA remains a good option for people who can’t qualify for individual or family coverage. However, for most people it pays to investigate the available Individual Health Insurance options. This can best be done by contacting a local Independent Insurance broker. Explain your situation to the broker and ask what he or she can do for you.

Getting the Best Health Insurance Coverage For College Students and Everyone Else

If you’re in college but do not have insurance, there are multiple ways that you can change this. In this article I’ll out line three of the few ways that health insurance can be made available to you. At the end of this article I’ve also included a link to compare the best insurance companies and how you can save some money.

1. Health tuition through your College or University is often provided for usually a lower, much more inexpensive rate. I would advise you to go into your School’s Health services office and inquire as to the different plans available to you and their costs. Since you are a student of the university you may also get additional discounts if you are a member of a student organization.

2. If none of the plans and rates offered by the university fit your needs or budget you may want to look into private insurers. They may also offer some type of student discounts to match or beat those offered by the university. They often have much more broader options available to you as well.

3. You can often get insurance also through an organization that specializes in insurance for college students. One of the most prestigious ones is the American College Students Association or ACSA. They offer not only, health, dental and prescription discounts but also tuition grants.

4. If you also belong to a lower income bracket family, you may qualify for what is referred to as Charity Care. You can visit your local hospital and inquire as to this option.

Although you maybe as strong as a bull, an illness or accident could happen to you when you least expect it to. Don’t be be caught in that situation without insurance. Health care plan premiums are usually costly but you’ll end up paying more out of your pocket if you have to be admitted to the hospital without insurance.

Good luck and happy hunting!

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Guarding Your Dog’s Health

We all know the adage “dog is man’s best friend” seem to run for ages now. But we have reasons enough to consider our dogs as vital parts of our daily existence.

They seem to have this special character to display love and loyalty, not to mention a unique fun that we can only witness from them. That’s why, as much as possible, we will do everything we can to give them the best treatment and best health care, just like we do for our family members. Come to think of it- we even provide them their own insurance!

In this article, we will tackle some important dog health guidelines. Though considerably generalized for all breeds, information here are helpful still in maintaining our best friend’s optimum health.

Dental Care. Swollen, inflamed gums and secondary infections often cause the existence of other major dog health problems. It must be observed that a young dog’s teeth are brushed once in a week. Older dogs must have a regular session of thrice a week.

There are especially designed toothbrushes for dogs that provide cleaning of the rear teeth. It is not a good practice to use human toothpaste for them, instead make use of enzyme toothpaste that will prevent tartar build-up. There are also dental cleaning pads that will complement for tooth brushing, if not regularly done. Such pads would cleanse your dog’s teeth by means of enzymes incorporated on their surface, which are effective in removing stuck-up dirt.

Ear Care. We often overlook the ears of our dog, however this practice might lead to wax and dirt build-up that can cause infection and inflammation. Regular ear care will help remove ear debris and drying the ear canal. Thus, prevention of some major conditions that might as well cause us to give especial attention to those parts.

Ear care also entails the extermination of ear mites that typically reside in the inner ear of our dogs.

Nutritional Supplements. Dog foods are often lacking in nutrients essential for the optimum development and growth of our pets. Thus, it is very vital to supplement them with vitamins and nutrients to prevent deficiencies that might cause serious dog health complications. This is especially true for older dogs who no longer has the appetite to eat heartily.

Those dogs that work hard during the entire day also need supplements. And also for those that have recently undergone surgery and sickness.

Irritated and Sored Skin. Not only humans get skin irritations and allergies. Some dogs have extra sensitive skins that make them susceptible for bacterial and fungus attack which in turn may lead to wounds, scabs and skin diseases.

Hot Spots. These are characterized by skin areas, which are moist and inflamed. These are typically due to irritation from fleabites, substance irritation or allergies. These spots are usually extremely itchy which cause dogs to scratch and lick on them. Thus, the aggravation of the condition that can lead to serious wounds.

The most vital step in healing hot spots is to reduce the frequency of scratching. Afterwhich, spraying of skin relief products may prove beneficial n stopping the pain and itchiness.

If your dog display symptoms of conditions as listed here, it is wise to consult a vet immediately. He may provide you with some guidelines, which will aid greatly in preserving your pet’s health. It is also likely that he will prescribe you with some medications that will ease the symptoms that your dog exhibits.

Affordable Health Insurance Can Be Found!

Affordable health insurance is a rather amorphous term as one never really knows whether it’s really affordable or not. Hence the only way to overcome these hesitations and doubts is by applying for a free consultation. Reasonably priced health plans are crucial in today’s economy. Has anyone ever said to you, “I plan on getting appendicitis next week”?  Business health plans are the key to a productive work force, small business innovation, and the economic as well as health security of our nation’s families.

Affordable health insurance is not equivalent to affordable health care. Affordable health plans are only a good thing if the company will actually be there to pay the bills when they come in. Sometimes skimping on cost instead of paying for the solid reputations of a bigger company can be a mistake. Affordable health insurance is the key to your well being while abroad. Affordable health insurance should be really the price you can afford to pay for the right health coverage and should include the essential items one might have to deal with on becoming sick in a foreign country.

Obama said in December that he wanted to include money for Medicaid and health care information technology in an economic stimulus bill. Obama would consider an individual mandate for adults once affordable health insurance is available to everyone. To get there, he proposes a national health plan exchange to help individuals who want to buy private coverage. Obama has stated that there must be coverage for all, but will it be enough to help pull the nation out of debt? Obama has stated that if it is not done, the state and federal governments will go bankrupt and insurance premiums will continue to skyrocket, putting health care out of reach for many more.

Everyone desires at least some level of health, dental and vision coverage which is why so many different Florida individual insurance health coverage policies are available for you to select from. Everyone wants to save some money and find affordable health coverage. If you are choosing between group healthcare coverage and individual healthcare coverage, most people assume group healthcare will be the most affordable option.

Access to reasonably priced health plans are a major problem for many of the 26 million uninsured Americans who live in families supported by the self-employed or small business employees. Professional societies and trade associations have tried to fill that void by offering health insurance plans to their members. Access to manageable insurance health coverage is a key factor in farm families’ decision to pursue off-farm income. Missouri farmers depend more on off-farm employment as a source of employer sponsored insurance than other Midwestern states.