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Our November healthinsurance.com survey honed in on a number of timely topics amidst a busy time of year both inside and outside of the health insurance arena. Survey topics included: Health insurance plans and level of satisfaction Potential Supreme Court impacts on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) The 2021 Affordable Care Act (ACA) Open Enrollment Period The 2021 Medicare Open Enrollment Period COVID-19 and the holiday season Pulse Check of Health Insurance Plan Satisfaction Our survey uncovered that 83% of our respondents are satisfied with their current health insurance plans, while 17% are not satisfied with their plans due to costs, specifically with high monthly premiums, copays or deductibles. Others cited expensive prescription costs or their doctors being out of network as reasons they aren’t happy with their health insurance plans. We also asked respondents to name the one thing they wish they could change about their health insurance plans. Here’s what they said. 30% wanted lower monthly premiums. 26% wanted more coverage and benefits. 16% wanted lower deductibles. 11% wanted a larger or different network of doctors. 10% wanted lower copays. 7% wanted lower prescription drug costs. Consumer Insights On The Affordable Care Act (ACA) The 2021 open enrollment period for Affordable Care Act (ACA or Obamacare) plans is happening now through December 15, 2020. With this in mind, we asked survey participants about this fall enrollment period: 28% are likely to change their health insurance plans, while 22% are unsure of if they will change their plans. The remaining 50% will not make any changes during the ACA open enrollment period. Our survey also asked respondents to weigh in on ACA plan impacts in light of potential Supreme Court rulings. 76% were very concerned or somewhat concerned about the impact to their own healthcare coverage if the Supreme Court rules that the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional. 66% of our respondents knew what it would mean to them if the Supreme Court reverses the Affordable Care Act. Shopping Around During The Medicare Open Enrollment Period Like the ACA open enrollment period, the 2021 Medicare Open Enrollment Period (also known as the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period) is underway, so our survey checked in to see if people plan to make any changes. Turns out, 42% of our respondents age 65 and up are considering changing their Medicare coverage during the Medicare Open Enrollment period. We also asked respondents under age 65 about Medicare coverage and concerns they have for their parents. 74% have encouraged their parents to increase their Medicare coverage during the Medicare Open Enrollment Period. 40% have discussed Medicare coverage options with their parents. COVID-19 Concerns Amidst The Holiday Season With the holidays quickly approaching and COVID-19 cases on the rise, we asked respondents about their holiday and shopping plans. 78% plan to support small businesses and buy local. 63% are comfortable attending in-person gatherings with friends and family. 59% plan to spend Thanksgiving with their families. 57% do not plan to shop in person on Black Friday. 50% cited COVID-19 concerns as the main reason to not visit with family during the holidays. Full November 2020 Survey Results Click here to download the full survey results. Our Survey Methodology The above survey results were gathered through a national survey of 1,000 U.S. adults on November 6-10, 2020. More Healthinsurance.com Surveys October 2020: Medicare Survey Gathers Insights on Medical Costs, Technology & More September 2020: U.S. Healthcare, 2020 Election and More August 2020: Multigenerational Perspectives on COVID-19 July 2020: Medicare Eligible Seniors Survey Findings: Technology, COVID-19, the 2020 Election and More June 2020: Healthcare Technology, Self-Care and More May 2020: Testing, Mental Health, and More April 2020: Economic Impacts and Health Insurance Trends March 2020: Telemedicine Usage During COVID-19
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With the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) beginning October 15 each year, we made it a priority to get Medicare consumers ready with what they need to know, what actions they can take, and 2021 changes to Medicare. But first, we had to get a sense of how beneficiaries were feeling about their current Medicare plans, including healthcare costs, and how it impacts their plans for Medicare Open Enrollment. October Survey: An Eye on Medicare Open Enrollment Our healthinsurance.com Medicare survey revealed that 84% of our Medicare eligible respondents feel good about their current Medicare plans. Meanwhile, 34% of Medicare eligible seniors are not sure if they will change their Medicare plans during AEP, while 15% are likely to change their plan during AEP. Check out our Medicare survey recap to see more Medicare highlights and trends. News Spotlight: Preparing for Medicare Open Enrollment & Shopping for Medicare Plans Our October Newsmax guest column prepped those “uncertain” Medicare beneficiaries about things to think about if they’re unsure if they should update their coverage or change plans during the Medicare Open Enrollment period. 5 questions Medicare beneficiaries can ask themselves include: Has my Medicare plan changed during 2020? Are my doctors still in-network? Has my health changed in any way? Have my prescriptions changed? Do I plan to take advantage of healthcare technology, like telehealth, in 2021? And now more than ever, question #5 is extremely relevant. In light of COVID-19, Medicare seniors are embrancing virtual healthcare benefits like telemedicine, ordering prescriptions online, and using wearables to monitor their health. Our 2020 Medicare survey also found that 78% of Medicare eligible respondents research their Medicare options online before making a final decision. That’s why our Fox News piece honed in on how to get started on evaluating your Medicare options. 3 tips for researching Medicare plans include: Visiting Medicare.gov for the most up-to-date information Using (free Medicare plan comparison sites)[https://medicare.healthinsurance.com/] to find Medicare plans in your area. These sites often generate free Medicare quotes with no obligation to enroll in a plan. Working with a licensed insurance agent to make sure you’re enrolled in the right plan for your needs. COVID-19 Updates Our healthinsurance.com surveys also consistently monitor COVID-19 trends and concerns. At the beginning of the pandemic, many Americans had to adjust to working from home - whether they needed to set up new home offices or find quiet spots to take calls while the kids play. Initially, many were anxious about making this adjustment, but that quickly changed. According to another recent healthinsurance.com survey, 49% of respondents felt that working from home is better for their overall health and wellness. Even more compelling: 40% would take a pay cut to continue working from home. The coronavirus pandemic also caused health insurance companies to adjust their benefits and coverage to include COVID-19 testing. But unfortunately, the pandemic also led to many people losing their jobs, and ultimately, their health insurance too. As a result, our Forbes article highlighted the two topics: our renowned appreciation for working from home and valuing our employer-sponsored health insurance coverage. Relevant Links & Resources Press Release: Tech-savvy seniors gear up for Medicare Annual Enrollment October 2020 Survey: Medicare Survey Gathers Insights on Medical Costs, Technology & More 2020 Medicare Open Enrollment Tips: Consumer Guide to the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period Looking Ahead: Summary of 2021 Changes to Medicare
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The Medicare Open Enrollment Period coupled with the 2020 Presidential Election created a prime opportunity to launch our latest healthinsurance.com survey that reached 1,000 U.S. adults over age 65. Survey topics focused on: Medicare Open Enrollment Medicare Healthcare Costs Telemedicine During COVID-19 Technology and Social Media Usage Among Seniors The 2020 Presidential Election Here are some key Medicare survey findings broken down by category. 2021 Medicare Open Enrollment The Medicare Open Enrollment period prompts Medicare beneficiaries to review their Medicare coverage on an annual basis. During the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period, Medicare beneficiaries have the option to: Change from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan. Change from one Medicare Advantage plan to another. Disenroll from a Medicare Advantage plan and go back to Original Medicare. Change from one prescription drug plan (Medicare Part D) to another. Enroll in a prescription drug plan. Cancel prescription drug coverage. With these decisions in mind, our Medicare survey uncovered that: 84% are confident that they are enrolled in the right Medicare plan. 70% have never adjusted their Medicare coverage, while 34% are not sure yet if they are going to change or adjust their Medicare coverage during open enrollment. 44% say selecting a plan that accepts their doctors is most important when choosing a Medicare plan, while 27% say selecting a Medicare plan with low monthly premiums & copays is most important. Medical Cost Concerns for Medicare Beneficiaries 82% think prescription drug prices are too high. 54% are worried about the cost of healthcare if they contracted COVID-19. Telemedicine Usage Among Medicare Beneficiaries 94% of Medicare beneficiaries hadn’t used telemedicine before COVID-19. 71% of seniors on Medicare increased their telemedicine usage during the coronavirus pandemic. 42% will continue to use telemedicine on a regular basis when the pandemic is over. Seniors Are Getting Social 52% seniors use Facebook everyday. 39% seniors have gone to a restaurant over the past month. 26% seniors have attended in-person gatherings with their families within the past month. The 2020 Presidential Election 82% say this is the most important presidential election of their lifetime. 49% say the U.S. Supreme Court vacancy makes them more concerned about the U.S. healthcare system. Full Medicare Survey Results Click here to download the full Medicare survey results. Our Medicare Survey Methodology The above Medicare survey results were gathered through a national survey of 1,000 U.S. adults over age 65 on October 1-6, 2020. The survey has a margin of sampling error of +/1 3.1 percentage points. Explore More Healthinsurance.com Surveys September 2020: U.S. Healthcare, 2020 Election and More August 2020: Multigenerational Perspectives on COVID-19 July 2020: Medicare Eligible Seniors Survey Findings: Technology, COVID-19, the 2020 Election and More June 2020: Healthcare Technology, Self-Care and More May 2020: Testing, Mental Health, and More April 2020: Economic Impacts and Health Insurance Trends March 2020: Telemedicine Usage During COVID-19
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Medicare

This is a federal health insurance program primarily for individuals age 65 or older, younger people with disabilities, and for people with End Stage Renal Disease (permanent kidney failure). There are four parts to Medicare - Parts A, B, C and Part D. Part A is for hospital coverage. Part B is for outpatient medical coverage (like doctor office visits). Part C is a Medicare Advantage Plan, and Part D is prescription drug coverage. Medicare Advantage Plans (Part C) are accessible through private insurance companies and must offer the same benefits as Parts A and B of Original Medicare, but the rules are different along with costs and restrictions. They also include more benefits, such as vision, dental, hearing, and health/wellness plans. Another add-on value to Medicare coverage is the purchase of a Medicare supplement or “Medigap” plan that fills the “gaps” in insurance that Medicare doesn’t cover (like a deductible).

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ACA (Obamacare)

Obamacare plans are major medical insurance plans that have the ten essential health benefits required by the Affordable Care Act (ACA).. These plans can be purchased on the federal marketplace or through your state exchange during the annual open enrollment period that runs November 1 - December 15 or during a special enrollment period if you have a qualifying life event that leaves you uninsured. ACA plans are an excellent option for those seeking a plan that includes maternity and mental health benefits, individuals who could qualify for a financial subsidy to reduce the cost of their health insurance, or for those who have a pre-existing condition. Not sure if you qualify? Get a free quote right now.

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Dental Insurance

Dental insurance for many people is part of their employee benefits package. However, if you don’t have access to employee benefits or missed your employer’s annual open enrollment period, purchasing an individual dental insurance plan can help you maintain good dental hygiene while helping you avoid expensive dental costs Dental coverage can include basic cleanings up to major services. See if dental insurance is right for you!

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Hospital Indemnity Insurance

Hospital indemnity insurance are supplemental health insurance services that pay a fixed dollar amount for commonly used medical services, including hospital and doctor office benefits. If you experience a covered medical event, such as a hospital stay, then a hospital indemnity pays a set fee in cash directly to you or the hospital designated by you. More than just hospital insurance, our products can also include supplemental indemnity payments for a critical illness diagnosis or unexpected accidents. Hospital indemnity insurance is not considered an ACA-qualified plan, but it can be used as a supplement to a major medical ACA plan to help cover a deductible or out-of-pocket expenses.

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Short Term Medical Health Insurance

A short-term health plan is temporary health insurance that can be purchased for as little as 30-days up or for up to 364-days to fill an immediate uninsured need.. Plans use the same terminology as major medical insurance, like deductible, coinsurance and copays, but since it is for temporary needs, it does not cover all of the same health benefits that an ACA health plan would, like maternity or substance abuse. The coverage is primarily for unexpected accidents and illnesses that could occur while an individual is waiting to join a permanent major medical plan, which keeps costs lower.

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Telemedicine

Telemedicine is two-way communication platform between a medical professional and a patient, typically through a smartphone or computer. During the conversation, a U.S. board-certified doctor or nurse can diagnose and prescribe medication for an illness in minutes. From the comfort of your home, you can visit with a medical professional 24/7 for most conditions they would typically diagnose in an Urgent Care clinic, saving you both time and money. Find out if telemedicine services are the right fit for you!

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Frequently Asked Questions

The required essential benefits are designed to ensure everyone in the individual and small employer group major medical health insurance markets has comprehensive coverage for specific services in accordance with ACA guidelines. These benefits are:

  • Outpatient services (e.g. office visits)
  • Emergency room services
  • Inpatient services (hospitalization)
  • Maternity
  • Mental health and substance abuse
  • Prescription drugs
  • Rehabilitative and habilitative services (e.g. physical and occupational therapy)
  • Lab services
  • Preventive services (e.g. physicals, mammograms, etc.)
  • Pediatric dental and vision

ACA health insurance is the federally mandated health insurance law of the land, also known as Obamacare. It governs individual and family plans and requires ten minimum essential benefits. Anyone can apply, and those that are under the 400% poverty line can receive a financial subsidy to curb the cost of their health insurance. Enrollment is available November 1-December 15 in most states. If you have a life situation that leaves you uninsured, you might be eligible for the special enrollment period to get coverage.

Short term medical insurance is not ACA insurance. It is temporary insurance for those who need immediate coverage. Like ACA insurance, Short term health insurance includes benefits such as hospital, lab and x-rays, but it does not include all ten of the minimum essential benefits and it does not cover pre-existing conditions.

Many individuals apply for both Medicare Part A and Part B so they have doctor coverage and hospital coverage. However, if you are interested in additional benefit structure and pricing, check out Medicare Advantage Plans, which is known as Part C to see if it fits for your life situation. Medicare Part C includes Part A and B benefits, but is offered through a private health insurance company instead of the federal government and may offer additional benefits and may have some other varying differences. If you take prescription drugs, it’s smart to look into Part D, which is the prescription drug benefit of Medicare.

Indemnity insurance such as a health benefit indemnity (a hospital indemnity often combined with other supplemental insurance services) is not major medical insurance Instead, it provides a cash payment directly to you (or to the provider you identify) when you experience a covered event, like unexpected hospitalization. You can choose how to use your benefit dollars and it helps defray the cost of medical expenses, both the expected like co-pays and deductibles, and the unexpected, like lost wages. Indemnity plans help protect you financially.

Dental insurance is an added benefit that is not covered by your health insurance plan. Cleanings, crowns or root canals are not covered by your health insurance plan. But dental insurance will help ease the cost of these types of medical expenses. However, unless you have employer group health insurance, dental insurance is not available unless you purchase coverage on your own. It’s a good idea to determine what kind of coverage you might need for you and your family.

Telemedicine is low-cost access to U.S. board-certified doctors who can treat symptoms and prescribe medications over the phone or through video chat, just like a visit to Urgent Care. Unlike the doctor's office, you get a personal visit from the comfort of your home 24/7, even on holidays! If you have a high deductible or don't have a doctor's office copay option on your health plan, telemedicine is much more affordable than paying out-of-pocket for a doctor's office visit that takes you away from work or home.

Health insurance can help protect you financially from the medical bills - like an accident or illness diagnosis you were not expecting. Paying for medical care out of pocket 100% can get extremely expensive. Surgical treatment for a broken arm averages $16,000. But with health insurance coverage, you will be able to manage your expenses. Not only does health insurance help you access providers like hospitals and doctors, it helps cover your expenses. Depending on your plan, you may have to meet a deductible and pay a co-pay amount for doctor’s visits, but insurance can cover a significant portion of your insurance bills. For example, the average ACA bronze level plan deductible is $5,900, but there is no lifetime max (e.g. an amount beyond which, insurance doesn’t have to pay). You can secure lower deductibles with higher level ACA plans (silver, gold, platinum) and with Short term health insurance. Short term life insurance plans do have a lifetime maximum, so if choosing a short term plan, check the amount. Often, for a few extra dollars, you can secure a lifetime maximum of $500,000 or more.

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