News From Our Blog

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From the White House:

Excited for March Madness? Us too - but with just 11 days left to get covered for health insurance in 2014, we’ve got a different bracket in mind:

Vote for the sweetest reason (and GIF) to get covered. We’re tallying up the votes all week!

Hospital Patients Can Now Choose Their Own Visitors

Patients in Medicare- and Medicaid-participating hospitals now have the right to choose their own visitors during a hospital stay, regardless of whether or not the visitors are family members.

According to new guidance from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, hospitals can’t discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability.

Patients will also be allowed to name a person of their choice, including a same-sex partner, to make medical decisions on their behalf if they are medically unable to do so.

The new guidance updates the Conditions of Participation, which are standards that apply to all Medicare- and Medicaid-participating hospitals, critical access hospitals, and patients in those hospitals even if they aren’t on Medicaid or Medicare.

Hospitals will need to have written policies that explain visitation rights, as well as clear guidance on when hospitals may restrict access based on reasonable clinical needs.

Learn more about the new visitation rights guidance.

Keep Track of Your Preventative Care with this Checklist

These days we have checklists for just about everything. Have you considered one for preventive care services to help you and your family stay healthy?

Take this checklist to your doctor to find out what preventive services are right for you. It spells out the Medicare covered preventive services and helps you keep track of when you received a particular test, screening, or service, as well as when you are due for your next one.

These services ranging from smoking cessation counseling and flu shots to a yearly “wellness” visit, are offered free of charge to patients covered by Medicare.

Your Rights Under the New Healthcare Law

It’s been just over a year since President Obama signed the new healthcare law.

This week Healthcare.gov highlighted some of the different benefits you and your family may be eligible for under the new law:

  • Most young adults can stay on their parent’s family plan until they turn 26.  It doesn’t matter whether you’re married, living with your parents, in school, or financially independent.
  • Most health plans cannot deny coverage to children under age 19 because of pre-existing conditions like cancer or cerebral palsy.
  • If you have been uninsured because of a pre-existing condition, you may be eligible to join the more than 12,000 Americans insured through the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan.
  • If you are in a new insurance plan, insurance companies cannot charge you a deductible or copays for recommended preventive services, like mammograms, flu shots and other immunizations.
  • Insurance companies are prohibited from capping the dollar amount of care you can receive in a lifetime, or canceling your coverage due to a mistake on your application when you get sick.

Visit Healthcare.gov to learn more about specific benefits for small business owners, women and seniors.