Aside

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas just made a bold move, announcing that rates on under 65 individual policies will be lowered by up to 3.7%.  These changes will go into effect for both new and existing business.

BCBS of Texas has always had some of the lowest rates in our state. Over all this is great news. The agent community will be advised of the clients effected by the decrease on or about the 15th of this month.

Here is some of the excerts of the notification:

Texas Individual Under Age 65 Policies

  • Most but not all Individual Under Age 65 policies will receive a base rate reduction beginning in April. This will be a prospective adjustment.
  • Those affected by this change will receive a notice 60 days in advance of the rate adjustment. Letters for changes effective in April will be mailed in mid-January and will then continue weekly based on renewal dates through the remainder of the year.
  • New business rates have also been reduced by an average of 3.7 percent beginning with March 1, 2012, effective dates.
  • The base rate reduction applies to medical and drug coverage only.
  • The new rates will be available on the Online Sales Channel on Jan. 12.

Like always, for more information or to obtain you instant Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas quote visit our Advice and Advocacy Texas health insurance website.

Houston Sign Up Dates and Times for CHIPS program.

Here are few dates, times and places to enroll your children in the CHIPS program in Houston, Texas.

I will be there to volunteer on a few dates to help families sign up their children.

The events and locations are as follows:

Sat. Sept. 11th 2010

  1. 1.   Burbank Elementary

216 Tidwell, Houston, TX 77022

10am-1pm

  1. 2.   Commandment Baptist Church

7122 Carothers, Houston, TX 77028

10am-1pm

Saturday Sept. 18th

  1. 1.   Townwood Park Community Center

3404 Simsbrook, Houston, TX 77045

10am-1pm

  1. 2.   Wesley Community Center

1410 Lee Street, Houston, Texas 77009

10am-1pm

Saturday September 25th

  1. 1.   Magnolia Muti-Servicce Center

7037 Capitol Street Houston, TX 77011

10am-1pm

  1. 2.   Pasadena Town Center

171 Pasadena Town Square, Pasadena, TX 77505

10am-1pm

  1. 3.   Fiesta Mart

4711 Airline Drive, Houston, TX 77506

10am-2pm

  1. 4.   Hester House

2020 Solo Street, Houston, TX 77020

10am01pm

  1. 5.   Brookline Elementary

6301 S. Loop East, Houston, TX 77087

10am-1pm

Texas Leads The Way for Uninsured Children Who Are Eligible for Children’s Medicaid

39 Percent of Eligible Uninsured Children Live in 3 States: California, Texas, and Florida.

Five million children in the United States are eligible for Medicaid or CHIP, the Children’s Health Insurance Program but we are not enrolled in either plan.

An estimated 7.3 million children were uninsured on an average day in 2008 and 65 percent of them were eligible for Medicaid of CHIP coverage, the report said.

Thirty-nine percent of eligible uninsured children live in just three states — California, Texas and Florida, the report by the Washington-based Urban Institute Health Policy Center said. It added that more than half of the nation’s children live in these states.

It is important that children receive the proper medical care. No child should have to forego medical treatment because their parents inability to afford health insurance.

It is especially important that parents who qualify use the Texas Medicaid or CHIP program because many insurance companies are no longer offering child only policies.

With the advent of guaranteed issue health insurance for all children as of September 23, 2010, many national health insurance companies have responded by discontinuing their child only policies. So Texas Medicaid or CHIP might be the only resource for those families who cannot afford or get health insurance for their children.

Medicaid is the joint state-federal health plan for the poor, disabled and elderly. CHIP provides low-cost coverage for children in families who earn too much to qualify for Medicaid but cannot afford private health insurance coverage.

I have a client who is a parent of a child with disabilities. She had Major Medical health insurance through a national carrier. Her deductible was $5,000 and many of the tests and procedures that were necessary were subject to her deductible. So she was paying out of pocket for them. She called me to let me know that she was switching to CHIP because the benefits were better and less costly for her. I told her to go for it because that was what was best for her child.

Who Qualifies?

To qualify for CHIP or Children’s Medicaid, a child must be age 18 or younger, a Texas resident and a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident. The citizenship or immigration status of the parent does not affect the children’s eligibility and is not reported on the application form.

Who Can Apply?

Any adult who lives with an uninsured child and provides care for that child can apply. This includes parents, step parents, grandparents, other relatives, legal guardians or adult brothers or sisters.

What Does It Cover?

CHIP and Children’s Medicaid both offer a lot of benefits:

  • Choice of doctors
  • Regular checkup and office visits
  • Dentist visits, cleaning and fillings
  • Prescription drugs and medical supplies
  • Access to medical specialists
  • Vaccines
  • Hospital care and services
  • X-rays and lab tests
  • Mental health care
  • Treatment of special health needs
  • Treatment of pre-existing conditions
  • Eye exams and glasses

Internet Resources:

 Texas CHIP Website: http://www.chipmedicaid.com/english/index.htm

Texas Medicaid Website: http://www.hhsc.state.tx.us/help/index.html

Call 2-1-1

Calling 2-1-1 is a free, easy way to find out about services you can get. You can find services in your area or through state programs.

When you call 2-1-1, you pick a language and then pick from 3 options:

Press 1 to learn about services in your area, such as:
  •  
    • Food
    • Housing
    • Child care
    • After-school programs
    • Senior services
    • Help after a disaster
    • Tax help

Staff can talk with you anytime you call – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Press 2 to learn about state benefits, such as:
  •  
    • SNAP food benefits (used to be called food stamps)
    • Medicaid
    • Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
    • Cash help for families (TANF)