Make Shopping for Health Insurance as easy as ABC and 123!

Disclosure: This post is brought to you by UnitedHealthCare. All opinions are 100% my own.

Make Shopping for Health Insurance as easy as ABC and 123!


Health Insurance
used to be something everyone dealt with very mildly. Before the Affordable Care Act, (ACA) we, like most families, were completely content with the health insurance offered within our employment. Insurance under employment plans were more cost effective than what we could purchase on our own, so we never looked elsewhere. The hardest questions we faced were “employee only, employee + spouse, or employee + family”, “PPO or HMO”, and “Medical only, medical + dental, and Medical + dental and vision”. Whew, those were tough choices right?

Now, with the Affordable Care Act, insurance is available even outside of employment plans at a rate that is comparable to what you were paying before. The main difference we have noticed is the plans are different. Very different. Last year when we enrolled with the ACA we selected a plan that was not what we needed. We selected our plan solely on cost taking very little else into consideration. The result was being under insured with a high deductible.

This year, we have decided to take a step back and absorb as much information as possible before making a decision. That means we had to learn the ABCs and 123s – and everything thereafter.

The ABCs

A. Learn. It is important for you to learn about what has changed in health care because you may now be eligible for Medicaid. The ACA has raised the Medicaid limits in some states so more families are eligible. Before you begin shopping for Health Insurance, be sure you aren’t eligible for Medicaid instead.

B. Open Enrollment? You mean I can’t just buy health insurance whenever I’m ready? Open enrollment occurs only during a certain time. Know what open enrollment and special enrollment is all about and why it matters to you. Essentially, you need to use the time of open enrollment to get the proper health plan for your family. There are only certain qualifying events that allow you to use a special enrollment period when open enrollment is no longer open.

Open-Enrollment Guide

C. Buy your plan. Find a plan between Nov 15 and Feb 15 to have coverage for 2015. The exchanges, or the marketplace, is a website that allows you to compare plans from a variety of providers. This website will be either the government Healthcare.gov website or your state’s individual marketplace website.

And 123s

I. Know what you are buying! Health plans are annual and there are only a few ways to switch so you need to know what you are buying BEFORE you pick your plan. Look at deductibles, co-pays, premiums and maximum out-of-pocket as well as the what is covered. Think about your family and what you see doctors for. What prescriptions you and your family have too. Your health insurance costs can be affected by how much coverage, deductibles, and co-pays you take. Watch these short videos for more information:

II. Help!! What does this all mean? All of this health care research can be a lot to take in. Terms such as deductible, premium, co-insurance, EOB and PPO are commonly used when discussing health care. Don’t get discouraged, maybe these short videos can help explain what all of this information actually means:

A. Health Insurance Glossary
B. What’s a Premium?
C. What’s a Deductible?

D. What’s a Co-Pay?
E. What is an Out-of-Pocket Maximum?
F. What is Co-Insurance?
G. What’s a PPO?
H. What’s an EOB?
I. Student Health Insurance

III. Costs within healthcare? The costs within health care can be daunting. Check your deductible and out-of-pockets on a regular basis to stay ahead. When deciding on a plan, look for value ads provided by the company such as nurse lines, apps, and health club discounts too! Take a few minutes to watch these short videos to learn more about saving:

Top Bloguera Retreat in Anaheim, CA #TopBlogueras2014 #LATISM14

Latism1 e1415127118690 Top Bloguera Retreat in Anaheim, CA #TopBlogueras2014 #LATISM14

Top Bloguera Retreat in Anaheim, CA #TopBlogueras2014 #LATISM14

I have an exciting announcement to make! Are you ready?

This week has been a great week! I have been selected as one of the 100 Top Blogueras 2014 by Latinos In Tech Innovation And Social Media (known as LATISM)! A total of 400 applications were received. This means I will be heading to Anaheim, California on November 13th to attend the Top Bloguera Retreat at LATISM’14! Excited that this year’s conference will be held at the Sheraton Anaheim Hotel, next to the Disneyland ® Parks. YES!

What is Latism?

LATISM is a unique entity dedicated to support Latino bloggers just like me, keeps us up-to-date with issues related to Health, Technology, Business and Education. A true honor indeed, due to my influence in social media, involvement in the community, especially since the Latino community is included among the audience I promote my money saving tips. Thrilled to be returning to California again this month and with Stem Latina (my daughter!) who was also invited to experience this great event. The LATISM’14 conference is special because it is “geared toward competency building … Sponsors that choose to be a part of this event want to help our leaders develop key skills as business owners and advocates for their communities.”

Latism2 Top Bloguera Retreat in Anaheim, CA #TopBlogueras2014 #LATISM14

Depending on our niche, many of us Latina bloggers have struggled in the blogging world; nevertheless definitely a learning experience whether positive or negative. Attendees of the Top Bloguera Retreat at LATISM’14 will learn from speakers and businesses on how to better their blog for the benefit of their readers. We will learn how to further display our passion for societal issues and how to best use our blog to help change them.

Who Should Attend

Are you passionate about Raising a New Bilingual Generation? Nurturing future Latino Entrepreneurs? Education in your community? Using technology for the future success of Latinas? If you answered “yes” to any of these, you need to join me at LATISM’14! I would love to see you there and help you get started in your own blog business to further Latin education and success in your community. We will learn from the growing list of guest speakers on all of these topics, and more!

The LATISM’14 speakers are:

  • Fidel Vargas, CEO, Hispanic Scholarship Fund;
  • Susan Can, Director of Corporate Equity, Johnson & Johnson;
  • Helen Troncoso, DPT, Health & Wellness Expert/Consultant/Coach, Reinventing You, LLC;
  • Alberto Roca, Executive Director, DiverseScholar;
  • Julie Diaz Asper, Founder, GigCoin;
  • Dania Santana, Founder & CEO, Cool Communications, LLC;
  • Jessica Valle, CEO Founder, Bloggers of Health;
  • Oscar Menjivar, Co-Founder, Urban Teens eXploring Technology (UrbanTxT);
  • Felix Ortiz, Founder/Chairman, Viridis Learning;
  • Oscar Torres, Co-Founder, Minerapp.com; and
  • Jesse Bisceglia, Senior Education Officer, PreK12 Plaza

Special Thank You to Ana Roca, founder of the Top Blogueras Program, the sponsors who make this retreat a reality and to everyone involved in LATISM (Latinos in Tech Innovation and Social Media), for including me on their list of Top Blogueras. I am honored.

Please visit the LATISM’14 conference HERE to grab your tickets for this month’s special event. I can’t wait to see you there!

DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME! Set Your Clocks FORWARD TONIGHT!

daylight savings time4 DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME! Set Your Clocks FORWARD TONIGHT!

Are you behind on your sleep? Sorry to break it to you, but don’t plan on catching up this weekend.  Daylight saving time begins at 2 a.m. TONIGHT (on Sunday, March 11)!  Don’t forget to move your clocks forward ONE hour.  I am so looking forward to this new time!

How do you prepare for this new time? Luckily my daughter is off from school on Monday!

 

Vote for my Yahoo Shine Nomination!

shine Vote for my Yahoo Shine Nomination!

 

nic 64x84 custom Vote for my Yahoo Shine Nomination!I am so excited to share with you my nomination for the Yahoo! Women Who Shine contest.

Here she is…..Nicole from MamaNYC.  She’s a wife, mother of one (with one on the way), student, mentor and entrepreneur.

Nicole is an amazing woman!  She began her blog MamaNYC in mid-2010 after a career as an e-Commerce and Internet marketing professional. Operating her own web design & Internet marketing consulting business in 2001 and has worked with small business owners as well as Fortune 500 companies.

This young mom earned her Bachelor of Science degree in 2010 and is currently working on her MBA (Marketing) as a full-time graduate student.  Upon graduation, she plans to teach online courses.  She has spent the last five years coaching and mentoring students around the world.

Nicole is co-owner of BloggerPR, a blogger support and media group, which helps e-companies expand into the World Wide Web through social media management, product reviews, and more.

How did she get started?  By designing her first website as an 11-year-old!  The website became quite profitable and she was an overnight success being featured in several publications and magazines as a pre-teen!  Not long after, at the age of 14, she developed WebLogic Consulting where she created graphics and websites, and assisted with online auctions.

I told you she was remarkable and she is definitely a woman who shines.

What is Yahoo! Women Who Shine?   Shine is Yahoo’s site aimed at women with over 1.5 million followers on Facebook.  Women Who Shine is a contest for remarkable women who are making a difference, impacting the community and changing lives each and every day.  Women Who Shine wants to recognize that special woman, the shiniest of all women who shine, with a $10,000 CASH PRIZE!

I know you’ll agree that Nicole is that kind of woman — a woman who shines.  Now head over HERE to vote for Nicole.  I’m sure she can do a lot more shining with $10,000 in her pocketbook.

What are you waiting for?  Go vote HERE.  Thank you!

ladybutton2 Vote for my Yahoo Shine Nomination!

 

 

Disclosure: I was compensated for this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms blogging program. The opinions and ideas expressed here are my own. To read more posts on this topic, click here.

Proud to be Latina? You bet I am!

TShirt Polarized for the web 257x300 Proud to be Latina?  You bet I am!

People…we’re all different.  That’s what makes life so interesting!  Our country is so diverse and unique due to the cultural blend of our nation.

If someone were to say “take a look at this list and pick the background you want to be.”  Would I still choose to be Latina?  Without a doubt!  I’m proud of my heritage!  Not to say it’s been easy.  Have there been obstacles?  Of course.  But don’t we all face some sort of challenge daily?  (Some days just getting out of bed is a challenge.)  It’s how we overcome adversity that makes us who we are.

Believing in myself is important.  Fortunately I am able to live a proud life as a Latina through the guidance of two incredibly amazing and powerful networks:  Latina Mom Bloggers and Proud To Be Latina! Through this organization Latinas are given the encouragement and support they need to be the best “you”.  The site affords Latinas everywhere the opportunity to come together for both personal and professional growth.

It’s not easy for women in general to be successful.  Throw a ethnicity issue in the mix and the challenge increases.  But being successful does take sacrifice, hard work and determination.  Proud To Be Latina provides motivation through two distinguished programs: The EmPower Hour and our Latina Empowerment Conference to help Latinas achieve their dreams and goals.

So won’t you join me in celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month by being your best “you”?  Get inspired!  You CAN do it if you WANT to do it!  Be proud of YOU…and be a proud Latina, too.