Archive for the ‘Indiana Health’ Category

Cheap Temporary Indiana Health Insurance – Get Covered Immediately

How cheap are short-term health insurance rates in Indiana? Typically, temporary medical coverage is 50% less expensive than the cost of a conventional on and off-Marketplace or Exchange plan.  Instead of paying hundreds of dollars per month, depending on the deductible and age, your cost will be much lower, and extremely affordable. Usually, this type of policy works best if you are currently not working, temporarily without benefits, transitioning from one employer to another, or would like to drastically reduce your health insurance premium.

However, if you are working, but do not have coverage, a short-term policy will allow you to cover yourself quickly, and provide ample time to compare permanent options. We also show you how to easily pay for unexpected sickness and illness, and keep your rates low. The contracts are very flexible and easy to purchase. Often, benefits can be activated the same day since completing the short application takes about 10-15 minutes. Online enrollment is possible and only the first month’s payment is required. You may also cancel the policy at any time.

Although they are designed to be kept for a limited period of time, one additional renewal is typically allowed, subject to medical underwriting.  However, once per year, you can change to a Marketplace plan and purchase more comprehensive coverage. You may also enroll any time during the year for specific “qualifying life event,” that also entitles you to subsidy eligibility.  Common situations are moving to a different service area, losing credible coverage from an employer, divorce, or birth or adoption of a child.

Not ACA-Compliant

It is important to understand that this type of policy does not meet Affordable Care Act (ACA) guidelines since they do not include maternity, dental or other “essential required health benefits.” Regardless of your household income, a partial or full federal subsidy will not be paid and pre-existing conditions are not required to be covered on any policy you purchase. Any new previously unknown conditions will be covered, subject to policy deductibles and maximum out-of-pocket expense limits.

Furthermore, temporary contracts do not keep you from being assessed a potential 2.5% household income tax (individual responsibility payment) for not complying. The actual penalty is the higher of 2.5% of your income or $695 per adult and $347.50 for children under age 18. Thus, a family of four could potentially pay a fine (tax) of about $2,500, depending on household earnings. However, it is expected, that Trump Administration changes may reduce or eliminate the tax. By 2018 or 2019, new legislation will provide additional healthcare options in the US.

Did You Miss Open Enrollment?

Best Open Enrollment Plans In Indiana

Missed Indiana Open Enrollment? You Still Have Options!

If you missed Open Enrollment in Indiana, a temporary medical plan can be extended for up to three months, with possible additional coverage through a different company. The plan is designed to pay for larger claims, such as inpatient/outpatient expenses, major medical, and catastrophic illness and injury. Up to $1 million in benefits can be cheaply purchased, so running out of coverage should not be an issue. However, chronic conditions that require specialized treatment are generally best covered by a permanent plan.

As previously mentioned, since ST policies do not contain all 10 “Essential Benefits” (required to be compliant under Obamacare), they will not cover maternity and childbirth, pediatric dental, comprehensive mental illness, or pay for most (or all) pre-existing conditions. Generally, ER and Urgent Care visits, inpatient surgery, and outpatient surgery, are subject to a deductible and coinsurance. With many plans, you can elect a “per claim” or “per period” deductible option. Most Indiana hospitals provide network coverage to one or more carriers. In most situations, emergency treatment is a covered benefit.

Comparison of ST and Marketplace Options

The least expensive non-subsidized Silver-tier plan for a 35 year-old in Putnam County, costs approximately $271 per month (CareSource Low Premium Silver). The Caresource Federal Simple Choice Silver costs $288 per month, while the MDwise  Marketplace Silver Basic plan costs $303 per month.

A short-term plan (with a higher deductible) costs about $50 per month, which translates to about $2,500 per year in savings. A household income of $60,000 would generate a $1,500 penalty, still leaving a whopping $2,100 difference. And if a serious injury occurred, your maximum benefit should be more than enough to cover most expenses. NOTE: After 2017, the federal tax for not purchasing qualified coverage will be tweaked or removed.

Quick Approval And Limited Medical Questions

Indiana short-term health insurance (view more details here) is cheap because it is generally used when your need for coverage is less than one year. There are no required physicals and the standard application has less than five medical questions. If you’re not being treated for any major medical conditions, there’s a good chance your application will be approved within a few days (or less). And of course,  the rates you view on our website are the lowest available from the major carriers. NOTE: Temporary plans often have a small one-time enrollment fee of about $20-$25.

If you do have specific medical issues, you still could qualify for a policy. For example, allergies and most mental conditions should not keep you from getting coverage. However, the most serious illnesses such as cancer or diabetes would cause an application to be denied. In these situations, “limited benefit” coverage can be offered, although your portion of a large hospital bill will be higher than a short-term or Exchange plan. Because of the high out-of-pocket costs, we do not endorse or recommend these types of options.

Recently, several carriers, including UnitedHealthcare, have begun to approve applicants that are actively taking medication to control high blood pressure. If controlled and regularly monitored by a physician, an application could be approved. However, the combination of cholesterol and blood pressure medications will typically cause an application to be rejected. Also, the presence of blood-thinning medications, such as Coumadin and Xarelto will undoubtedly result in a denial of coverage. Oral medication for diabetes, cancer, or heart disease, will also likely cause a denial.

Using Exchange Plans For Short Periods Of Coverage

During Open Enrollment, for Indiana Health Exchange coverage, you do not have to qualify medically to purchase a policy. And since you can cancel your contract at any time, you can use them for a temporary need. Here’s an example:

Suppose you just exhausted COBRA benefits and you now need to find a new policy. You will reach age 65 in eight months and become eligible for Medicare. So, of course, you don’t want to keep your policy long-term. About eight months will be the perfect time period, assuming you can continuously renew three-month temporary plans. However, if a significant illness or injury occurs, you may not be able to renew the policy, and may incur large medical expenses. In this example, selecting a comprehensive individual plan is advisable, since it can be easily terminated when you reach age 65.

Enrolling in a Marketplace policy through our website will give you immediate coverage (since it is an “event” that allows you to enroll in or outside of Open Enrollment). You can also terminate  benefits when you become Medicare-eligible. If affordability is a major concern (assuming you do not qualify for a subsidy), a temporary plan could possibly be a solution.

Temporary Indiana Medical Covergae Online

Indiana Short Term Health Insurance Is Cheap

Despite the quick approval, it’s important to understand that pre-existing conditions are not covered on non-Marketplace contracts, and most prescriptions and office visits are subject to a deductible. Typically, deductible options range from $500 to $10,000.  Since it is unlikely that you will be submitting a claim, a higher deductible may make more sense…unless you have a claim!

Once a deductible has been reached, most companies pay for benefits at 80%. Your portion, of course, would be 20%. You can also consider reducing the coinsurance. However, 50% coinsurance plans can offer substantial savings. Other common policy features include emergency care, surgery expenses (inpatient and outpatient), diagnostic expenses and most of the fees associated with a hospital stay.

Although many companies offer temporary healthcare coverage in Indiana, usually, the least expensive options are policies with UnitedHealthOne, HCC Life, National General, and IHC Group. Anthem, in selected areas, offers competitive rates. It’s usually cheaper to pay for your coverage with one payment, although all carriers offer a monthly payment option. At any time, a policy can be canceled and you’ll receive a refund for the unused coverage.

These types of plans are ideal if you need coverage to be effective very quickly and you are mainly concerned with the most expensive type of claim. In fact, you can apply for another policy while a short-term plan is in effect. For example, if your temporary plan covers you through the end of the year, you can purchase new benefits during Open Enrollment which takes place in November and December for Jan 1 effective dates.

 

Sample Monthly Rates for a 35 year-old male residing in Indianapolis (Marion County)

$45 – UnitedHealthcare  Value – $10,000 deductible and 30% coinsurance

$47 – HCC Life $7,500 deductible and 50% coinsurance

$51 – HCC Life $5,000 deductible and 50% coinsurance

$54 – HCC Life $2,500 deductible and 50% coinsurance

$55 – UnitedHealthcare  Value – $5,000 deductible and 30% coinsurance

$67 – National General $5,000 and 20% coinsurance

$75 – HCC Life $1,000 deductible and 20% coinsurance

$86 – HCC Life $500 deductible and 50% coinsurance

$95 – Anthem  $5,000 deductible and 50% coinsurance

$105 – UnitedHealthcare  Value – $1,000 deductible and 30% coinsurance

$107 – Anthem $2,500 deductible and 50% coinsurance

$127 – Anthem $1,000 deductible and 50% coinsurance

 

Sample Monthly Rates for a 35 year-old married couple with one child (3 persons) residing in Indianapolis (Marion County)

$85 – IHC Group $5,000 deductible and 50% coinsurance

$93 – IHC Group $7,500 deductible and 20% coinsurance

$99 – IHC Group $2,500 deductible and 50% coinsurance

$128 – UnitedHealthcare  Value – $5,000 deductible and 30% coinsurance

$140 – National General $3,500 and 20% coinsurance

$143 – HCC Life $5,000 deductible and 50% coinsurance

$160 – UnitedHealthcare  Value – $2,500 deductible and 30% coinsurance

$186 – HCC Life $5,000 deductible and 30% coinsurance

$207 – Anthem  $5,000 deductible and 50% coinsurance

$211 – UnitedHealthcare  Value – $1,500 deductible and 30% coinsurance

$235 – Anthem $2,500 deductible and 50% coinsurance

$286 – HCC Life $500 deductible and 50% coinsurance

 

Sample Monthly Rates for a 45 year-old female residing in Fort Wayne (Allen County)

$55 – IHC Group $5,000 deductible and 50% coinsurance

$59 – IHC Group $7,500 deductible and 20% coinsurance

$63 – IHC Group $2,500 deductible and 50% coinsurance

$91 – UnitedHealthcare  Value – $5,000 deductible and 30% coinsurance

$114 – UnitedHealthcare  Value – $2,500 deductible and 30% coinsurance

$129 – Anthem  $5,000 deductible and 50% coinsurance

$136 – IHC Group $500 deductible and 50% coinsurance

$141 – Anthem $2,500 deductible and 50% coinsurance

$161 – National General $2,500 and 20% coinsurance

$175 – UnitedHealthcare  Value – $1,000 deductible and 30% coinsurance

$195 – HCC Life $500 deductible and 50% coinsurance

Do I Have To Buy Medical Coverage? Now You Do!

Is it against the law not to have health insurance coverage? Well, not yet. Right now, it is not illegal to terminate an existing health insurance policy or be without benefits. Of course, you are taking a very big financial risk by letting an existing policy lapse or simply choosing not to purchase an Indiana policy. But it is your right, and perhaps it makes sense to get covered. How? Quite simply, if you can’t afford to pay the premium, and you had to sacrifice food or shelter, it would be difficult to dispute that logic.

But what  happens if you are hospitalized and have no coverage? Yes, you would be treated and any medically necessary  surgeries or procedures would be performed. Presumably, the care you would receive would be equal to most other patients that were covered under an individual or group policy. However, additional treatment by out-of-town specialists for a rare illness (if needed) may be a different situation. Also, you would be paying (very slowly) off your debt for many years.

Treatment Of The Uninsured

For example, if you have a rare form of cancer, and the best treatment is in Houston, you may have to accept treatment in Indiana. Of course, that’s not so bad since there are many fine facilities here. However, your choice of facilities will be compromised, and naturally, if you had benefits with a major carrier, you could possibly be treated in Houston, or many other facilities in the US.

There are also smaller regional carriers that provide network availability to facilities that aren’t part of bigger company network. So, by purchasing your own coverage (or a group plan through an employer), you’ll always have choices regarding where to seek treatment.

However, just because you are uninsured, does not mean you won’t have to pay a fair share of the outstanding bill. Once you are reasonably recovered at home, it is customary (and rightfully so) for the hospital to request either immediate payment or to begin negotiations for payment of the bill. Often, it is in the form of small monthly payments that can go on for quite a while, depending on your financial situation. But, as previously mentioned, you still won’t be forced to buy health insurance.

Big Changes In 2014

Buy healthcare in Indiana

Buying Health Insurance Is The Law In 2014

But this changes in 2014. If you don’t have in-force coverage, you will have to pay a tax. The details are here although we will explain the tax (or you can call it a penalty). You will pay the greater of a pre-determined amount ($95 in 2014 and increasing to $695 in 2016) or 1% of your 2014 income, gradually increasing to 2.5% in 2016. If you are under the age of 18 and are a dependent, you are only responsible for 50% of the tax. However, your tax will not be higher than the cost of the actual coverage you should have purchased.

What about the new policies available in 2014? You’ll choose between Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum plans. As you may have guessed, the Platinum version will cost the most and have fewer out of pocket expenses. The Bronze option may become one of the most popular choices, since it may be the only affordable contract.

You’ll pay more if/when you have a big medical bill, but the premium should be budget-friendly. Silver contracts will feature “cost-sharing” that allows you to take advantage of large reductions in the deductible and maximum out-of-pocket expenses (if you qualify). Not all companies will offer four tiers of coverage.

A cheap “catastrophic” option will be offered if you are under age 30 or qualify for “financial hardship.” These policies may become popular for healthy students and young persons on a very tight budget. If they become unhealthy, during the next Open Enrollment, they can change to a policy that is better suited to pay their medical bills. But, federal subsidies will NOT apply to catastrophic plans. Also, in many areas, the slightly higher cost of Bronze-tier policies may be so small that they will be a much more cost-effective choice.

Federal Subsidies Help

Subsidized Healthcare Plans In Indiana

How Big Is Your Federal Subsidy?

Remember…if you don’t have a lot of income, you’ll be rewarded with some tax help. Additional Exchange information is on this page. Instead of receiving a tax credit that you have to file your tax return to receive, the subsidy will be instant, and immediately save you money. No waiting for rebates or a tax refund to come in the mail. Our website will automatically calculate and credit the rebate so you can view the best prices.

However, it will be extremely important to correctly calculate your federal subsidy. Otherwise, you may have to pay a large “adjustment” the following year when your taxes are filed. Also, if your income increases (or decreases), re-submitting your projected income will ensure your financial aid is accurate.

It appears that it will not be uncommon in 2016 (and beyond) to see taxes of $2,000 or more, imposed on many families for not purchasing health insurance in Indiana. This is one reason we hope that “Outside Exchange” plans will be available. These types of contracts may have wider networks and perhaps lower costs than the government-mandated options. However, these options still must meet all ACA regulations and requirements.

Keep checking our website for details and updates. Although you’ll probably still have to buy coverage, we will search for any affordable options that continue to be created.

UPDATES:

November  2014  – Yes, you still have to buy a qualified medical plan or you will be assessed a 2% tax penalty. However, if you enroll before February 15th (2015), you will not be liable for the few months that you were not covered. 2015 plans provide more options for Hoosier consumers since more carriers are participating in the Marketplace.

UnitedHealthcare, for example, is offering several affordable policies, including a high-deductible HSA Bronze contract. It is  an excellent low-cost option if you are mainly concerned with catastrophic events, but also want 100% preventive benefits with network discounts on other expenses that must meet the deductible.

March 2016 – Open Enrollment ended last month, so only approved SEP exceptions can be used to apply for coverage. Temporary plans continue to be offered, although they are underwritten, and not all applicants are accepted.

What’s The Best Copay Or Deductible For Your Insurance?

The copay and deductible on your health insurance policy has a tremendous impact on the rate that you pay. A higher deductible will reduce your premium, and the savings could be substantial. And of course, lowering the copay or  deductible will raise your premium, and perhaps cause you to pay for coverage that you rarely or never use. So when you purchase medical insurance in Indiana, what do you do? We help you decide the best choices.

Your  Options

Most healthcare providers in Indiana offer a wide range of  options. Deductibles as low as $500 (sometimes $250 or $0) can be found along with options as high as $6,850! And yes, with a combination of high deductibles and no copays, you will be paying for everything out of your own pocket. But your premium will be extremely cheap! HSAs often have similar options. (Additional HSA information can be found here.)

Typically, a deductible between $2,500 and $5,000 will make the most economical sense. However, if you qualify for financial aid, a “Silver” or “Gold” tier plan will allow you to obtain high-quality benefits at a very low premium. Also, Silver-tier contracts are eligible for “cost-sharing” reductions, which can reduce the deductible by thousands of dollars. Your household income determines your eligibility and reduction mount.

NOTE: The $25,000 deductible mentioned above can be found on some “off-Exchange” short-term plans. Although the rates are very inexpensive, they do not include many mandated and required benefits required by the Affordable Care Act legislation (ie maternity, mental-illness, pediatric preventive etc…). Also, a mandatory 2.5% household income surcharge (tax) will apply on these types of policies. The issuing companies are also not likely to be “name” carriers such as Aetna, Blue Cross, UnitedHealthcare and Humana.

When determining which option is right for you, it’s important to consider your health and how many claims, and what types of claims you typically have in a year. While you don’t want to pay for benefits you will never use, you certainly don’t want to leave yourself in a position where a large claim will cause a financial dilemma. However, if you were to choose the “high deductible” path and subsequently incur a major claim and thus, face a large out of pocket bill, there may be help.

Lower Deductible But High Out-Of-Pocket Expense

Many Indiana Exchange plans feature a low (or fairly low) deductible. However, the maximum out-of-pocket cost is significantly higher because of coinsurance, copays and other items the applicant is responsible for. Although these policies are offered by reputable carriers, it’s important to note that your financial obligations don’t end after the deductible.

Plans shown below include the name of company, plan identification, deductible, and maximum out-of-pocket expenses. We have selected several policy options that offer deductibles less than $5,000.

IU Health Plans Bronze HSA – $4,500 and $6,200.

MDWise Marketplace Bronze Plus – $4,800 and $6,850.

MDWise Marketplace Silver Coinsurance – $3,500 and $6,000.

Anthem Bronze Pathway X  4950 50 – $4,950 and $6,850.

CareSource Just4Me Silver – $3,500 and $6,500.

IU Health Plans Silver HSA – $3,000 and $4,500.

Ambetter Balanced Care 10 – $4,500 and $6,500.

Anthem Bronze Pathway X 4850 20 – $4,850 and $6,850.

 

NOTE: If you enroll in a Silver-tier plan, and your family  income is between 100% and 250% of the Federal Poverty level,  your deductible may significantly reduce. Also, although not listed PHP individual plans are very competitive in the Northern counties.

Indiana Medical Plans At Cheap Rates

Large Healthcare Bills Can Be Paid

What About The Large Bill?

Usually, it’s a large hospital bill that is the biggest challenge. It may just be a few thousand dollars or perhaps as much as $10,000 depending on your policy limits. But many hospitals and similar medical facilities will negotiate your obligation and perhaps offer attractive and flexible terms regarding payment of the bill. Although it’s not their financial obligation to negotiate with consumers, they often will since it is often the only way to collect a debt.

For example, assuming that after all of the claim forms had been processed and the treatment had been completed, let’s suppose your outstanding bill was $6,000. And of course, this was owed to the hospital that treated you. Although it’s not guaranteed, you may be able to negotiate a budget-friendly payment plan. Perhaps $150 per month for four years or even $125 per month for four years. Each hospital will have its own guidelines. You may also be offered a lump-sum payment option of about 60% of the outstanding balance.

Financial Assistance

Any obligation or balance not covered by your private or employer-sponsored coverage is your responsibility and will be billed directly to you. Contractually, you have the fiscal responsibility to pay the bill, or negotiate an agreed settlement (approved by both parties), if you don’t have available assets to pay the balance. It is likely that you will receive  bills from multiple sources, including a hospital, specialists, doctors, and other facilities that treated you.

Typically, if you can not pay your major hospital bill, you may be asked to complete a short application for financial assistance. Some of the information required includes your sources of income for the last three months, most recent state and federal tax returns, healthcare ID cards, and most recent 90 days of pay stubs from your employer. Also, any child support, alimony, credit card, or retirement/pension statements may also have to be furnished.

Important: We do not encourage any patient to ignore or simply not pay a bill. We are simply pointing out that in some instances, you may be able to alter the terms. Each hospital will have different billing procedures. Some of the larger hospitals in the state are Indiana University Health Methodist, St. Vincent, Franciscan St. Francis and Ball Memorial. Bigger and profitable hospitals are more likely to agree on an attractive settlement-option.

UPDATES:

December 2014 – For 2015 plans, the maximum deductible per person (and out-of-pocket maximum) is $6,600. For family coverage, the amount increases to $13,200. If there are no existing medical concerns and household income excludes you from receiving a subsidy, a “Bronze” option may be one of your best choices.

April 2016 – For 2017, it was announced that maximum deductibles will rise to $7,150. Typically, many Bronze-tier plans will feature the highest allowable deductible options.