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As Americans venture out post-pandemic, they’re stepping into a digital savvy world

(BPT) - More than a year after the pandemic began, Americans are realizing that almost every facet of life has changed. Suddenly their linear, analog world with a digital dabble has become a full-blown digital whirlwind. And that’s especially true when it comes to how they handle money.

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Recent Headlines

Thursday 05/06/2021
You're Never Too Young to Plan for Retirement
Updated: May 08, 2021 - 2:33 am

(NewsUSA) - As a young adult, you may find yourself working your first job, and enjoying your first apartment and first car.

Wednesday 05/05/2021
3 money tips to help single moms build wealth
Updated: May 09, 2021 - 2:32 am

(BPT) - Four years ago, Dr. Lakisha L. Simmons was newly divorced, parenting two young kids and living beyond her means.

Tuesday 05/04/2021
Keeping Your Kids Covered—Finding Health Insurance Post-Graduation
Posted: May 04, 2021

(NAPSI)—Does your college graduate need health insurance? Perhaps this is the last thing you are asking yourself but may be among the most significant. About one in five people in their 20s do not have health insurance, according to recent studies. However, one unexpected illness or accident could have long-lasting health and financial consequences. 

“Choosing the right health coverage may seem difficult as many people have never shopped for their own health insurance or worry that they cannot afford it,” said Mark Smith, president of HealthMarkets Insurance Agency, one of the largest independent health insurance agencies in the United States. “There is a wide range of coverage options available to meet your child’s unique care needs and financial situation post-graduation.”

And now is the time to start. Many colleges and universities require under-graduate and graduate students to purchase health care coverage while enrolled. While some may have coverage under your health insurance, others choose health insurance offered through the school, in collaboration with health insurers. Students have until their plan expiration dates, which vary by plans, to enroll in new ones. So “Step One,” know when that is.

Health Care Coverage Guidance and Enrollment Support

Families can find support through health care marketplaces, insurance carriers, insurance brokers and other licensed insurance agents to help determine what plan is best.

For example, GetCovered, powered by HealthMarkets, is a free service that provides guidance for people who need health coverage. Call (877) 270-0029 or visit www.getcovered.com to get started. Working with licensed insurance agents, individuals can learn what they are eligible for, including Medicare/Medicaid options, or find commercial health plans that best meet their individual needs. Agents can also help them enroll in these plans, where they are able. 

Questions to Ask

To find the right coverage, it’s important to know what’s available, what to ask, and what information is needed to enroll. To narrow the options, know:

•When does your child’s current coverage end? 

•Is coverage under my plan an option? —Under the Affordable Care Act’s “Age 26” rule, you may maintain or add your children to your plan until their 26th birthday or another date that year, as long as you are enrolled, and additional premiums are paid. Go to https://www.hhs.gov/healthcare/about-the-aca/young-adult-coverage for more details. Also be sure to check your state regulations as some have extended eligibility beyond age 26.

•What benefits does my child need or want? 

•What can we afford?—Think about what portion of his or her monthly budget can be used for health coverage or other insurance. Young adults may be eligible for additional options based on their specific financial situation.

Health Coverage Options

If coverage under the “Age 26” rule is not an option, here are others to consider:

•Medicaid/Medicare—While Medicare coverage is primarily available to individuals over age 65, Medicaid eligibility is based on income, disability and other circumstances.

•Individual exchange/marketplace plans—These ACA plans are available through federal or state enrollment sites. Based on your income, you may be eligible for plan subsidies making one of these plans more affordable. Graduation would be a “qualifying life event” to enroll in an ACA plan outside of the annual Open Enrollment Period.

•Short-term plans—Short-term limited duration insurance coverage provides temporary coverage to bridge the gap between longer-term insurance coverage. These plans have a fixed duration of a few months to even several years and generally will offer less robust coverage than ACA plans. 

“Health coverage decisions can be made simpler?and there are resources to help,” Smith said. “Regardless if your family chooses to do their own research and enrollment or engage outside services, determining what your graduate may need and can afford will help you find good health coverage that ensures your child has access to care now.”

 

Monday 05/03/2021
Reduce your credit carb intake with these tips
Posted: May 03, 2021

Thursday 04/29/2021
Another Lesson Learned during COVID: Expertise Accessed Differently
Updated: May 09, 2021 - 2:32 am

(BPT) - The COVID-19 pandemic has forced people to embrace flexibility in navigating daily life. Over the last year, consumers have adjusted their habits to follow safety precautions. People adopted or established a new reliance on apps and digital services for restaurant and grocery deliveries, fitness tracking, and connecting with friends and family. And they learned to lean on professionals with online mental health and healthcare appointments.

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