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Colorado Health Insurance and Life Insurance Questions
Colorado Health Life Options FAQ
If I shop around will I get a better price?
No, you won't get a better price. Insurance premiums are the same across the nation for all insurance agents. What is more important is the service we offer you, and at Colorado Health Life Options, our service backs you up 24.7. We are the buffer between you and the insurance company. One call to us and we will have it resolved for you quickly and efficiently.
Can my insurance be cancelled or my rates go up?
The only reason insurance is cancelled is if you have been dishonest about a pre-existing health condition. Other than that, once you get approved for health insurance your rates stay the same as everyone else's in your age group/class regardless of your history of claims. Most insurance companies have a rate increase every year. At that time we will shop your insurance around to find you a good price.
What are HSAs?
HSAs are Health Savings Account plans, and they are quite popular and beneficial for self employed individuals or families. In 2007, the maximum contribution wasn't limited to the annual deductible under the HDHP. Before 2007, the annual deposit could not be higher than your insurance plan’s deductible, unless of course you were 55 or older and were making "catch-up" contributions. Since 2007 there is no limit on the annual deductible. In 2009 you may put in a max of $3,000 individually, and $5,950 for families. This allows you to use pre-tax dollars to meet your deductible.
If you don't use your HSA funds to meet any medical expense, it rolls over into the next year automatically. Generally speaking you are responsible for all expenses until your deductible has been met. Once that happens, most carriers cover 100% for the remainder of the year. Just ask us for further information.
What does co-insurance mean?
Simply put it's the portion of your share that you pay. In slightly more technical terms it's the percentage split expense that is between the insurance carrier and you after the deductibles met. While there are a variety of levels, you will often find a range of up to $20,000. So on an 80/20 split with the carrier and you there would be a limit of $5,000 to $10,000.
So if you're operating under the 80/20 split and have a limit of $5,000, it means once you've hit your deductible, the insurance carrier covers 80% of eligible expenses and you carry 20%.
What is the difference bewteen HMOs and PPOs?
Health maintenance organizations (HMOs) and preferred provider organizations (PPOs) are types of managed health-care systems. And, both offer excellent access to top quality professionals. In an HMO plan, members must choose a primary care physician from among the HMO member physicians and get a referal to see a specialist . If you select a PPO network, you may choose to see either a general practitioner or a medical specialist, such as a dermatologist, without a referral from a primary care physician.
HMOs typically provide no coverage for care received from non-network physicians, unless it's for emergency care provided while traveling away from your home area. In contrast, PPO members are not required to stay within the PPO network,, but there is usually a strong financial incentive to do so.
A key benefit of choosing an HMO is the fact that you do not have an individual or family deductible to meet. Instead, HMO members generally pay a nominal co-payment for each visit, including a hospital stay. In contrast, PPOs sometimes require members to meet a deductible, especially for hospitalization, and may have larger co-payments than HMOs.
if you are considering an HMO, it's important to make sure that your physician is part of the HMO network, unless you are willing to see another physician. If not, a PPO might be a better choice.
What networks can I use?
The way this works is that with every health insurance company you have a specific network that is "in network," which means all other doctors are "out of network." Make sure you check to see if a provider is "in network" before making an appointment to visit their office. Out of network costs are higher, so by checking who is in your network, you will be saving money.
Generally speaking most carriers use a network that is strong in your particular area. So once again, check who is in and out of your specific network by going online and looking up doctor and/or hospital participation.
What is Short Term Insurance?
Short Term Insurance plans offer coverage up to six months, although some plans may offer coverage up to 12 months. Short-term health insurance plans provide you with coverage for a limited period of time. This is a solution for those between jobs or those waiting for other health insurance to start.
What happens if I have pre-existing conditions?
Pre-existing conditions are usually handled in a variety of ways. Largely it depends on what the condition happens to be. In general, depending on that condition, an insurance company may rider it for a specific length of time, rate it up higher (means higher premiums), exclude the condition or decline to insure you. The definition of a pre-existing condition is something you have visited the doctor for and/or have been treated for within the last 12 months prior to the proposed start date of your insurance. An agent can't do anything to change this, and it's important to inform the agent of all your pre-existing conditions.
What do I do if I am declined for pre-existing conditons?
If you are declined for a pre-existing condition you can apply for Guaranteed Issue Insurance. Guaranteed Issue Insurance provides health insurance to individuals with pre-existing medical conditions regardless of the condition.
Do I have to tell my insurance broker everything about my health?
Yes, you need to tell your insurance broker about all your pre-existing conditions. If you don't and this is discovered later, you may run the risk of having your insurance cancelled and be charged for fraud. There isn't any point in not telling the broker the truth, as your conditions will show up on a review of your medical records.
I smoke. What does that mean?
Well, it would be better for your health and check book if you quit. However, even if you "just" quit you are rated as a smoker unless you quit over 12 months before applying for health insurance. In many instances, it's best to pay higher rates for a year and then reapply as a non-smoker to get a lower premium.
Other insurance companies have turned me down. Is this a problem?
This is a tough question to handle without knowing the details of your situation. In general you may qualify for the Colorado high-risk pool. Give us a call. We'd be happy to talk to you about your options.
I'm a small business owner. Can I get small group insurance?
Each insurance carrier has different rules for small group insurance. Just give us a call and we can talk about what rules and qualifications apply in the state of Colorado.
How long do I have to keep my insurance?
We don't sell plans that obligate you to "keep" your insurance for a specific period of time. Any product that we sell may be cancelled at any time. You are not obligated to continue coverage if you choose not to any longer.
When will I be approved?
Approval can happen in roughly 30 days give or take. This depends on the type of previous coverage you may have had, how long it takes to get doctor's records to the insurance company and a host of other details.
Contact us today at 888-685-4298 for any other Colorado health insurance questions.