Esmeralda Mercado

Group or Individual Insurance: Which is right for you?

Couple in suits with baby
By Esmeralda Mercado

Is group or individual insurance best for you?

Many small businesses are pondering whether or not to offer health benefits. Below are some things to consider, whether you are the employer or an individual with/without group insurance:

Business Owners: What you need to know.
1. Most individuals are required to have health coverage in 2014, but businesses are not required to provide it. If you employ 50 or more full-time employees, you will be required to provide medical insurance in 2015.
2. Group rates may be cheaper than an individual & family plan in 2014. We suggest comparing your options. Read more »

4 Steps to Avoid California Child Health Insurance Surcharge

By Esmer Mercado

“A penny saved is a penny earned,” the saying goes. Who doesn’t want to save as much money as possible during tight economic times like these? Everyone is familiar with couponing, discounts, sales, promotions and so forth. So I want to give you the scoop on what you need to know to get the cheapest health insurance premium when applying for a new child only policy in California. This would specifically relate to private health plans.
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Colorado Child-Only Open Enrollment in July

By Esmeralda Mercado

Child health insurance in Colorado is easier to apply for, at least, in the month of July. This month, parents can enroll their kids by themselves, during Colorado’s semi-annual open enrollment period. During the Colorado child-only open enrollment, a medical policy can be obtained for a child on an individual basis; the child does not have to have a qualifying event, such as a new birth, adoption, or loss of coverage, etc. Outside of July, Colorado child applications will be honored only when the child is included on a family application with at least one parent or legal guardian, or, on a child-only basis but only if there is a life event. Once the July open enrollment is over, the next open enrollment for child health insurance in Colorado will be in January 2013.
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Health Care Reform: Where do we go from here?

Health Care ReformBy Esmeralda Mercado

In one way or another, all Americans are impacted by the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act. So, where do we go from here? How do we plan and get ready for changes, good and bad? Here are some ideas of things we can do now, before health insurance becomes mandatory, and things we can plan for in 2014.

There are many reasons why people change Health Insurance Plans.
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Save Money on Health Insurance by Applying Early

By Esmeralda Mercado
Low Cost Health Insurance
Are you shopping for cheap health insurance with meaningful benefits? Did you know that by applying for medical coverage to start in June instead of July, you could save money on health insurance?
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The Supreme Court and Health Care Reform

Health Care Reform Supreme Court Justices

By Esmeralda Mercado

This blog is intended to give an overview of the latest Health Care Reform news with the Supreme Court, and to invite people to share their own questions and theories.

The Supreme Court Marathon
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“PPACA” or “ACA”) was signed into law on March 23, 2010. Two years later, the Supreme Court considered its constitutionality after 26 states challenged the law. The case proceedings spanned a three day marathon, from March 26 through March 28, 2012. Many were surprised to find that the lawsuit was not dismissed automatically. Oral arguments revealed that the justices were divided on the law. Many tough questions were asked and remain unanswered. The arguments boiled down to a question of jurisdiction or boundaries of power: Does the Constitution’s Commerce Clause give the government the right to force its citizens to buy medical insurance? How much control does the federal government have over the states?

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Things You Need to Know Before Completing a Health Insurance Application

Family Completing Health Insurance ApplicationBy Esmeralda Mercado

Ok. So you’ve been shopping for a health insurance plan for your family. You’ve collected quotes, compared plans, and now you’re ready to apply. Your next step to getting health insurance shifts to new questions. Is completing an application fairly simple? Are there steps you can take to improve your chances of getting approved? Is there a way the process can be speeded up? Could you apply for one plan and put other family members on a different plan? Yes, yes, and yes! See below for what to expect when applying for health insurance. For more information and a visual display of the steps, please click private health insurance.

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The New $40/$3000 Deductible Group Health Insurance Plan

Group Health Insurance for Business OwnersBy Esmeralda Mercado

I work for a health insurance agency that sells Kaiser Permanente Group Health insurance for self- employed people and other small businesses. Recently, Kaiser Permanente introduced a new California group health insurance plan that I’m really impressed with. It shows Kaiser Permanente’s commitment to helping consumers and current members get a medical plan that fits their medical service needs without breaking their pocketbook.

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Kaiser Permanente Maternity Insurance on 3 More Health Plans

Happy Hospital DeliveryBy Esmeralda Mercado

With Gov. Jerry Brown’s passing of SB 222 and AB 210, health insurance policies must soon include maternity benefits starting July 1, 2012. Accordingly, carriers such as Kaiser Permanente in California will be adding pregnancy coverage to three private plans, which currently exclude maternity insurance: the $40/3000, $40/4000, and $50/5000 Deductible Plans. As a health insurance broker for Kaiser Permanente, we are excited about the change. We are looking forward to these popular plans drawing even more interest. Although rates may change, we anticipate that the three plans will continue to offer some of the lowest priced options, and now, include affordable maternity coverage. For more information, click Kaiser Permanente California Individual Health Insurance.
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Mental Health Insurance and Overview on Mental Disorders

By Esmeralda Mercado

Mental Disorder InsuranceAccording to The National Mental Health Association, about 54 million people in America have a mental health disorder. Another study reports that one out of four people have a mental illness. In California alone, the Department of Mental Health has a budget of over $4 billion and more than 10,000 employees dedicated to the treatment and prevention of mental disorders in the state.

Mental Health Insurance
Kaiser Permanente has numerous plans that include mental health coverage. In California, for example, all individual and family plan offerings insure mental health services. Benefits usually apply to outpatient individual or group visits, as well as to hospitalization and intensive psychiatric treatment. Prescription drugs are covered, if the policy you selected includes the benefit. Plans vary, so be sure to verify with your insurance representative.

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