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ACA Open Enrollment: What you should know

Older Couple Enjoying Each Other's Company

It’s almost time for the annual open enrollment period for the affordable care act (ACA) also known as “Obamacare”. Open enrollment for health insurance through the market this year runs from November 1st, 2017 to December 15th, 2017. This is a shorter enrollment period than before, so please make sure you plan accordingly. Plans sold through open enrollment will begin January 1st, 2018. Open enrollment period is meant for anyone who is interested in receiving coverage for the marketplace. You can enroll with ACA coverage at other periods throughout the year depending on if you had a life event (death, birth, change of jobs, significant life changes).

Dates You Should Avoid

There has been a lot of talk over the shuttering of the official website during the enrollment period. Try to avoid enrolling in ACA benefits any Sunday, as every Sunday except December 10th there will be “planned maintenance” for 12 hours (Midnight until Noon), leaving the website down. We know this can be inconvenient, but if you try to schedule your enrollment before a Sunday, you’ll have a better chance of not being frustrated.

Why Enroll?

There are a few reasons why you should enroll. Not only should everyone have access to affordable health insurance, but there are some other benefits you might not be thinking of.

  1. You will not be charged an individual mandate which amounts to the greater of 2.5% of your income or $695 per adult (with a maximum of $2,085).
  2. While there’s been lots of chatter about removing or replacing the ACA, nothing has been done and it will still be some time before anyone can agree on how to best change or replace the ACA.
  3. If you don’t currently have health insurance, you can take advantage of a lot of the benefits that health insurance has to offer. Health insurance does cover chiropractic care, so if you were considering seeing a chiropractor, keep in mind a health insurance plan will at least partially cover these visits. There are also a slew of other things covered by health insurance, including prescriptions and zero co-pay birth control, which can be beneficial to many people.

Should I bother renewing my plan if there’s a chance it can get repealed?

Yes. When you sign up, you enter into a contract with the insurer which means that they cannot remove your health insurance, regardless of whether or not the ACA is repealed. If you’re afraid you’re going to lose coverage, make sure you take action during open enrollment to sign up as your benefits will be good through the duration of 2018. In short, you want to sign up while they’re still available, as no one will know how available insurance plans will be to the general public if things such as the pre-existing condition removal are reversed.

I’m looking at a plan, but I still want to visit Progressive Spine & Rehab Center. What insurers do you accept?

We accept a variety of the top and common health insurance providers.

Anthem BCBS
Aetna
Cigna
Community Health Options
Harvard Pilgrim
Medicare
Medicaid –AmBetter, Wellsense
Minuteman
Tufts
Personal Injury Claims
Workers Compensation
Auto Accident

Where do I sign up?

You can follow this link which goes to HealthCare.gov. You can also call 1-800-318-2596 to get verbal assistance in your enrollment.

Need help?

We have a financial advisor you can use! Contact Caitlin Demet of Northeast Planning Associates, Inc in Bedford, NH for help with your insurance enrollment and needs specific to you.

Winter is Coming… And so are Winter Aches & Pains

Winter Backyard out a Window

With the changing of the seasons quickly approaching, you may be no stranger to cold weather aches and pains in your body. Can cold weather cause increased pain in muscles and joints? The answer is yes. How can you avoid these winter aches and pains so you can be your regular and active self?

During the colder winter months and colder fall nights, it’s important to keep in mind some regular health tips:

  • Don’t use alcohol as a way of getting warm. While it may make you feel warm, you’re actually losing body heat through your dilated veins and vessels.
  • Stay hydrated with regular, plain water. Blood flow is important in everyone, especially diabetics who may lose feeling in their hands or feet first. More water = better blood flow. Plus, during the winter the air is known to get very dry. Keeping your skin hydrated with lotions and creams can help topically.
  • Stay active. The less you move around and cozy up inside on your couch, the more likely you are to feel strains in your joints and muscles. Keeping an active regimen is an important way to stay warm, pain free, and healthy.
  • Layer up. Remember, you can always take off a layer, but you can’t add one if you don’t have it. Better to double up on sweaters and not need them, than to need them and not have them. Make sure to wear appropriate socks and gloves (or mittens, which are warmer) for essential toe and finger joints.
  • Stretch regularly. Sometimes you can’t always be out and about, so that’s when you can take a few minutes to stretch. Adding a daily routine for stretching essential areas can help you avoid those winter pains in your muscles and joints, and they only take a couple of minutes at most.
  • Top up on Vitamin D. Don’t go crazy with it, but taking a daily supplement that includes vitamin D can help you combat what you’ll be losing by not being out during those extra daylight hours.

If you’re still really feeling those pains of winter, contact us today to schedule an appointment for chiropractic care or massage therapy.

How do you combat winter aches and pains? Do you have a special remedy that works great? Let us know how you do it in the comments below!