Help, I Need Health Insurance!

Is it too late to enroll for 2019?

While we enrolled most of our clients on Healthcare.gov during the annual Open Enrollment period (November 1st-December 15), we continue to enroll new clients on a year-round basis on the individual marketplace, www.Healthcare.gov. The criteria for enrollment outside Open Enrollment, however, does require an individual qualify for a Special Enrollment Period (“SEP”).

A SEP is created through a life change, which may include “losing health coverage, moving, getting married, having a baby, or adopting a child” (Healthcare.gov/glossary/special-enrollment-period/). Usually, there is a 60-day window following a life change event to enroll in a plan. If you miss that window, you must wait until the next Open Enrollment Period (November 1-Dec 15 for a January 1st plan the following year).

Other than those life changes listed above, there are additional life changes that could create a SEP:
• Turning 26
• Becoming pregnant
• Change in disability status, tax filing status, immigration status/citizenship
• Incarceration/release from incarceration
• Someone in your household losing coverage or becoming eligible for Medicaid
• Someone in your household getting an offer of job-based insurance

*There are other opportunities for SEPs not listed here.

Should you need insurance anytime the most important advice we can give you, is to call us immediately to go over options because some options available today may not be available tomorrow if you miss the SEP window of opportunity.

The team at Dublin Health & Benefit Group, LLc specializes in Individual, Group, and Medicare Insurance options from all major carriers in the state of New Hampshire.

Please schedule to discuss your circumstances with one of our team members today!
603-563-8820
info@dublinhealth.net

Individuals * Medicare * Groups

HSA’s, What’s all the Hype about Health Savings Accounts?

Dublin Health & Benefit Group, LLc

You’ve all heard about HSA’s by now and may have wondered, “What’s all the hype about Health Savings Accounts? How can choosing an HSA eligible health plan provide any sort of tax savings, and why isn’t everybody doing it?

Those are great questions, and not uncommon for us to hear as we enroll groups and individuals in their selected health plans for the year. The HSA discussion is one we have almost daily.

Let’s decide if an HSA health plan is right for you.

First let’s begin with an explanation of what is a Health Savings Account plan, in simplified terms. Remember this is only the tip of the iceberg and each of the items below should be thoroughly researched/discussed with your accountant/insurance broker to gather the additional details. (www.IRS.com Form 8889 and IRS Form 8889 instructions is a credible source of up-to-date information).

HSA eligible health plan requirements:
1. The health plan must be a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) with a deductible of no less than $1,350 (for an individual) and no less than $2,700 (for family coverage).
2. The health plan’s maximum out of pocket expenses must have a limit no greater than $6,650 (for an individual) and $13,300 (for family).
3. Tax-deductible contributions to a Health Savings Account are made by the individual, their employer, or by another on the behalf of the individual, to the individual’s HSA account. Tax-deductible amounts have an annual contribution limit which adjusts annually and is based on the individual’s age.
4. Qualified medical expenses are paid by the individual throughout the year using the HSA account. Non-qualified expenses paid using the HSA account will be taxed.
5. The individual completes Form 8889 to deduct the annual maximum allowable contribution they made to their HSA account when filing their annual taxes.

*The rules above change completely… once the individual reaches age 65!

Pros and Cons of HSA plans
Now if you’re confused, you may be wondering if it’s worth all the trouble and rules affixed to having and using one of these HSA plans. Here at Dublin Health & Benefit Group, LLC we’ve found these types of plans are just right for some of our clients, both individuals, and groups.

Pros
• Lower premium, lower maximum out of pocket expense limits, and an annual tax deduction for contributions made to your HSA account. If you have additional funds available to you on a monthly basis, investing in your Health Savings Account (paired with a HSA eligible health plan) would provide some tax savings. And if you’re not using those funds to pay any medical expenses, over several years the contributions could amount to quite a nice sum. After age 65, you may make non-medical withdrawals from this account without a tax penalty.
• Broader provider networks

Cons
• Out of pocket expenses are incurred quicker than with a traditional plan, and you’ll meet your deductible (pay out of pocket up to the amount of your deductible) before the plan begins to pay anything. If you need surgery, expect to pay at least up through your deductible amount.
• Managing chronic illness is more expensive.
• You will be taxed for using the funds in your Health Savings Account for non-qualified expenses if you are under age 65.
• High out of pocket costs may cause some not to seek medical treatment because they fear the expense, causing more expensive issues in the future.

Here at Dublin Health & Benefit Group, LLC, we support you, as our client, by helping you choose a health plan that’s right for you or your team of employees.
Please schedule to discuss your circumstances with one of our team members today!
603-563-8820

info@dublinhealth.net

Individuals * Medicare * Groups

Medical Travel Insurance

What would you do if you were overseas and knew you needed to seek immediate medical attention?

The costs could be astronomical and navigating through conversations about your care, and its related costs, may not be provided in a language you could well speak? Or if you wanted to ultimately be treated in the US by your physician but needed medical stabilization prior to your return.

What would you do? While assisting you with providing care in a language you can understand isn’t a service we provide, Dublin Health & Benefit Group can certainly assist you with obtaining a universally understood method of payment, insurance.

“You may not speak our language, but we see you have insurance!”

Who is medical travel insurance most recommended for? Medical travel insurance is recommended for anyone who doesn’t regularly travel outside the US. It’s really is as simple as that, and it’s cheap! It is for the common, everyday traveler who is most at medical and financial risk during their international travels, because they are the ones whose health plans do not prepare them for the medical and financial risks, they may incur during travel overseas.

Most at risk during international travel are individuals both under and over age 65; those traveling for vacation; traveling for retreats or other purposes not otherwise related to work.

Dublin Health & Benefit Group, LLC offers International Medical Insurance and Travel Insurance to protect individuals against high medical costs, trip cancellation reimbursement, repatriation, among other circumstances. If you’re prepared to incur tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in the event of a medical event, international travel insurance is still for you!
IMG is a carrier we have recommended to our clients. It’s easy to enroll, and it’s important to have.

Here at Dublin Health & Benefit Group, LLC, we support you, as our client, by helping you choose a health plan that’s right for you or your team of employees.
Please schedule to discuss your circumstances with one of our team members today!
603-563-8820

info@dublinhealth.net

Employer Guideline: Implementing a New Group Health Benefit

We all know that health insurance and other health-related benefits are highly sought out by individuals in the job search market. The benefits can support a group’s employee attraction and retention efforts, creating a culture in the workplace of security both in the health and financial arenas.

Dublin Health & Benefit Group LLC has brought group benefits to New Hampshire companies since 2005. We offer health benefits, dental, vision, life, accidental death and dismemberment, short term and long term disability insurance, accident insurance, and other enhancements. We support groups in their long-term goals by bringing them the tools to maintain stability in their organization through employee health benefit programs.

Below please find some common topics employers often want to ask us about. If you find you have further questions or would like to speak with one of our small group brokers about implementing a group benefits plan, we welcome you to contact us directly at 603-563-8820. We look forward to working with you and your employees!

Group benefits are more stable than the Obamacare insurance on the individual marketplace

The individually insured middle class will most understand this. Those earning just above the tax credit threshold (established annually by the federal government) are paying 100% of the cost of their health plan on Obamacare’s individual marketplace. While Dublin Health & Benefit Group enrolls individuals in the individual marketplace, advises them on strategies for capturing a tax credit, not everyone can qualify. There is great stress experienced each year by individuals insured on the marketplace. Having access to their company group plan can relieve these individuals greatly, taking the burden and hassles these individuals face each year on the individual marketplace.

Group health plans are richer, often offering access to out of state providers, and are offered at a more reasonable premium often partially or fully funded by their employer.

Funding a group plan can be a tax-deductible expense for employer and employee

Employer-funded group plans become a tax-deductible expense to the employer by reducing the gross annual income. Employee contributions toward their group health plan may be set up as a pre-tax payroll deduction (we can assist with completing a Section 125 Premium only plan).

Offering benefits to a subgroup of employees

Some small group carriers will ensure small groups who wish to “class out” a subgroup of their company to offer benefits. We have put this in place for groups with a large number of part-time employees who we did not offer benefits to. Another way to “class out” is to offer benefits to those paid on a salary versus hourly basis. It is possible, still, to offer benefits to the executive/management division though we must assess each group on a case by case basis to determine the most viable and sensible way of “classing out” a subgroup of the company.

How much should an employer fund?

Some employers fund 100% the employee and their dependent rate. Others fund 75%. Yet still, others fund just the employee rate. Depending on your organizational culture, employee need and salaries, the employer contribution level we recommend for a group will always be customized to take into consideration just what is necessary to meet the 75% (of eligible employees) participation rate.

We also want to recommend that you don’t fund so much so as to “buy” spouses off of their own company plan. We strive to capture and ensure only those who most need health insurance.

We’ve found that underfunding a plan ensures the plans imminent death with just a few staffing changes within a short amount of time and is not our recommendation for a growing and thriving business who values their employees.

A benefit is easier to give than to take away

Employer-funded contributions should be enough to encourage a consistent participate rate, as required by the carrier for a new plan, and each consecutive year at time of renewal. In New Hampshire, the small group carriers require 75% of all eligible employees to enrolled in the group health plan if there is a plan being offered. The formula for calculating eligible employees depends on several factors, and a qualified Broker from our company can discern this with the company owner, HR staff, or person in charge of implementing the plan.

What type of Brokerage agency will best serve a group’s needs?

Dublin Health & Benefit Group, LLC specializes in providing small group, individual, and Medicare health benefits. As our niche, we work with our clients to bring them the best-aligned product for their needs, as the lowest cost.

As independent brokers (we are not “captive agents”) we are able to shop all of the small group benefit carriers available to the New Hampshire small group market.

One agent, many products, multiple carriers = best value!

How are brokers compensated?

There are few exceptions, though in most circumstances our services are compensated by the carriers at the time of enrollment and monthly for the duration of the plan. Any group enrolling in a group plan, at any time of the year, through Dublin Health & Benefit Group can anticipate that we will be paid by the carrier. We continue to serve you, your employees, and the plan throughout the year even after enrollment.