Paying your monthly health insurance premium on time is extremely important to maintain your coverage and ensure that your plan’s benefits and claims are paid in a timely manner. Health insurance companies, like other organizations, allow various methods of payment, including online, over the phone, or through the mail via check. Let’s take a look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of the payment options provided by insurance carriers:
Automatic deduction from a bank account or charge to a credit/debit card (autopay).
With automatic payments, you will never forget to pay your premium. These consistent payments will ensure the insurance company will pay claims properly and allow members to access benefits.
Some insurance carriers may discount the premium if you choose autopay. Additionally, setting up autopay on a credit card every month may help with reward points on your credit card.
If you cancel a policy, sometimes the autopay may stay active for an extra month or two before it stops. Insurance companies are usually good about refunding these premiums, but you may have to call the company and contest the charges.
Even with autopay, it’s still a good idea to keep an eye on your payment statements to ensure you aren’t over or underpaying.
Proactive online payment.
Making online payments each month gives you more control over your payment schedule. Based on your finances, you can make early or later payments prior to the due date.
You can make multiple months’ worth of payments at once. Some companies allow discounted premiums if you pay a full year’s premium all at once.
Once your payment is submitted, the payment information is in the company’s system, so processing can begin sooner and more efficiently than mailing a paper check.
You run the risk of missing premium payments if you don’t actively keep up with your account.
Most insurance companies have secure sites for submitting payments, but it is always a good idea to make sure.
Proactive payment over the phone.
Paying your premium through a representative allows you to document the interaction. You can keep track of the name of the representative, the time of the call, the phone number, and possibly even a confirmation number.
It is often easier to speak with a live representative rather navigating the insurance carrier’s online portal.
Rather than speaking with a representative, some companies provide an automated over-the-phone payment option.
Hold times are unpredictable.
With automated phone options, you will need to speak slowly and clearly enough to ensure the system understands you. This may be a challenge for some people.
Sending a paper check via postal mail.
This traditional method is beneficial for those who do not have computer access or who are hesitant to input their payment information online.
This is also an ideal option for those who want to bypass a phone call.
Members who write paper checks are able to make hard copies of those checks for tracking purposes.
Paper checks run the risk of getting lost in the mail.
Paper can also be easily torn and damaged.
It is possible that the insurance company may lose your paper check in the shuffle of the thousands of letters they receive.
An insurance company can choose not to process a paper check if it’s deemed illegible or if the wrong account number is mistakenly written on the check.
All of these errors can lead to your account being deemed “delinquent.”
Regardless of the pay method you choose, it’s always a good idea to keep track of your payments and question any unusual charges. If you need assistance setting up a payment routine that works well for you, please contact your ARC representative for help.
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If your company health insurance plan renewed January 2022, CMS reporting of Part D creditability will be due March 1, 2022. Employers need to notify CMS within 60 days of their renewal of whether their plan(s) is creditable or not for Part D. Here is the information from CMS which includes a link to the notification which is done online. https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Prescription-Drug-Coverage/CreditableCoverage
Contact your ARC representative with any questions.
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February is American Heart Month, which means we’re focusing on our heart health and how we can adjust our habits for heart-healthy living.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “about 659,000 people in the United States die from heart disease each year—that’s 1 in every 4 deaths.” Which of these five factors do you incorporate into your life currently to keep your ticker healthy?
Understand Your Risk Factors
Your risk of heart disease is dependent on a number of factors including high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, being overweight or obese, diabetes, smoking, lack of physical activity, family history, etc. These risk factors will vary from person to person.
To learn about your factors, visit your primary care physician for a thorough check up and risk assessment. Your relationship with your doctor is your most important weapon for preventing heart disease.
Did You Know?Preventive services are often covered by most health plans when delivered by a doctor or other provider in your plan’s network.
Manage Stress in Your Life
According to the American Heart Association, “stress may lead to high blood pressure, which can pose a risk for heart attack and stroke.” Managing your stress levels can improve your physical and mental health.
If you struggle with stress in your day-to-day life, consider adding any of these habits into your daily routine:
Speak with a therapist or licensed counselor
Practice daily meditation—even 10 minutes a day will make a difference!
Add some physical activity to your day
Find a support system of family, friends, neighbors, etc.
Eat Those Veggies!
We all love fries and pizza, but they aren’t very good for your cardiovascular health. A healthy diet plays a large role in the prevention of heart disease.
Try swapping that steak for salmon, or try a bowl of delicious oatmeal instead of that sugary breakfast cereal. In addition, the Mayo Clinic recommends watching your portion sizes, eating more vegetables and fruits, selecting whole grains, limiting unhealthy fats, choosing low-fat protein choices, reducing the sodium content in your food, planning ahead by meal prepping, and occasionally indulging in treats.
Lift Heavy Things and Put them Down, AKA Exercise
Even modest amounts of physical activity is advantageous for your health, but the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends that adults get at least:
2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (for example, 30 minutes 5 days a week), or
1 hour and 15 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity (for example, 25 minutes 3 days a week), or
A combination of both moderate-intensity and vigorous-intensity activity.
Get Quality Sleep
Getting quality sleep is more important than you might think, not just for your cardiovascular health, but for your health overall. Sleeping helps repair your heart and blood vessels while maintaining hormonal balances, supporting healthy development, and supporting a healthy immune system.
Please consult with your doctor for medical advice. This is only informational and is not intended to replace medical advice from your health care provider.
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