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NHIA Blog2018-10-03T17:48:50+00:00

Check Out the Latest From National Health Insurance Agencies!

1501, 2021

Life Insurance Basics

By |January 15th, 2021|Categories: Blog and News, NHIA Blog|0 Comments

Up until the late 1970s, you could buy life insurance policies from kiosks at airports. You were essentially buying a term life policy that lasted as long as your trip. Unfortunately, death is a part of life. Life insurance is there to protect and provide for your family after you’re gone. For many people, one policy is enough. But for some reasons, two or more make sense. Your needs should drive the number and type of policies you buy. Read on to learn about life insurance basics.

You can own multiple policies from different companies, but when you apply, insurers will ask about current coverage to make sure the amount you want is reasonable and doable.

You can buy a lot without raising eyebrows. Insurers typically will ask for justification if the total would exceed your income by twenty to thirty times.

Multiple Policies

The most common way to buy coverage is to replace income in case a breadwinner dies prematurely. Having multiple life policies offers consumers more flexibility and more opportunities to save on overall costs. This is possible because multiple policies don’t cancel each other out. Rather, they work together to better meet your individual needs.

The solution: term life insurance, which covers you for a certain period, such as ten, twenty, or thirty years. Ideally, by the time the term expires, you don’t need life insurance. You have paid off debt, and the kids are grown.

Instead of buying one large policy, you could buy multiple policies of different lengths and amounts to match needs over time. For example, rather than a 30-year $1million policy, you could buy three policies:

  • 10-year, $500,000
  • 20-year, $300,000
  • 30-year, $200,000

This “laddering” strategy can save money. It can work if coverage needs diminish and you can accurately predict them, but unfortunately life doesn’t always go as planned.

If you decide to buy just one policy and later find out you don’t need as much coverage, most insurers will let you decrease the coverage and pay less.

Different Goals

You may have other reasons to buy coverage, besides replacing income. Here are some examples:

  • Small business owners may need a term policy to take care of the family and other business loans or fund a buy-sell agreement
  • Long term care: a hybrid life insurance policy can be used to pay for long term care if you need it. If you don’t max out the benefits for care, it pays lout at death. You might own traditional life to take care of financial dependents and a hybrid policy to cover long term care.
  • Estate planning: If you want to leave life insurance money to someone no matter when you die, you’ll need a permanent policy, such as whole life. Financial advisers advise buying term life for finite needs – the period when others depend on your income – and choosing a permanent policy for estate planning.

In Conclusion

If  you aren’t sure what you will need down the line—and who does?—you can buy a term policy now and a whole life with universal or variable options in the future. You’ll get tax-deferred savings that you can use for premiums, investments, or emergency living expenses. You can even borrow funds from some whole life policies, using the death benefits as collateral. If you have any questions about life insurance basics, consult online resources , as well as your local life insurance providers.

801, 2021

Prescription Drug Coverage: Five Common Questions

By |January 8th, 2021|Categories: Blog and News, NHIA Blog|0 Comments

Figuring out your healthcare coverage can be very confusing sometimes, especially if you just enrolled into a new plan. Getting the correct medication is a large part of that. You probably have questions about your plan’s prescription benefits and want to make sure the plan covers your medicine. Here are the five most common questions about prescription drug coverage.

Does Insurance Cover My Regular Prescriptions?

Many people take medicines every single day. It is so important to know if and how your plan handles prescription drug coverage. Each insurance provider has a formulary. A formulary is a list of prescription medications that a particular plan covers. Your insurance company might not cover a nonformulary medicine. Getting coverage for nonformulary medicine requires a lengthy process to try to gain coverage. On the other hand, you pay the full cost of the medicine. The list of medications covered is divided into tiers, these determine how much of a co-pay or coinsurance, which is a percentage of the cost of a medication, you may have to pay out of pocket.

How Much Will I Pay Out Of Pocket?

Firstly, The amount you are responsible for out of pocket before your medicines are covered will vary based on your coverage. First you’ll have to pay a premium, or an amount paid for your health coverage usually monthly, quarterly, or yearly. You pay the amount regardless of what services you use.

Secondly, you may have to meet a deductible, which is an amount a person must pay annually with their own money before most coverage kicks in. For example, if your deductible is $1,000, your plan may not cover most expenses until you’ve spent $1,000 out of pocket. Insurers increasingly require that you meet a deductible before covering most medical or pharmacy services. Be sure to check with your insurer to know if your insurer to know if your deductible combines these expenses ton know how much you’ll have to pay before medicines are covered.

How About After Paying My Premiums & Meeting My Deductible?

Even after meeting your deductible, you will likely be responsible for certain fees out of pocket. This may include co-pays or coinsurance. Check your plan’s formulary or list of covered medicines to get a sense of what you will need to pay out of pocket for the medicines you take.

Are There Any Other Steps To Get My Insurance To Cover My Medicine?

First, step therapy is when insurers require patients to test other medications first before receiving the medicine their doctor originally prescribed. Plans also may require you to get prior authorization or permission before a medication is covered. These requirements often involve additional steps for practitioners as well as patients.

How Do I Pick A Pharmacy?

Insurance plans do cover in-network services and pharmacies. However, the plan will not cover out of network services and pharmacies. This may require higher out of pocket costs. Check to see if a pharmacy that is convenient for you is included in the plan’s network.

2612, 2020

Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare

By |December 26th, 2020|Categories: Blog and News, NHIA Blog|0 Comments

Firstly, artificial intelligence (AI) and related technologies are common in business and society. Following that trend, AI is now being applied to healthcare. These technologies have the potential to change many aspects of patient care, as well as admin processes. This includes processes within doctor, patient and pharmaceutical organizations.

Does Artificial Intelligence Belong In Healthcare?

One of the world’s highest-growth industries, the AI sector was valued at about $600 million in 2014 and is projected to reach a $150 billion by 2026. Whether it is to find new links between genetic codes or to conducts surgery-assisting robots, artificial intelligence is reinventing and reinvigorating modern health care. These machines predict, comprehend, learn, and act.

How Does AI Help?

In 2015, misdiagnosing illness and medical error accounted for ten percent of all US deaths. The promise of improving and helping the diagnostic process is one of AI’s most exciting health care  applications. Here are six examples of AI reducing error and saving lives.


Cambridge, Massachusetts. PathAI is developing machine learning technology to assist pathologists in making more accurate diagnoses. The company’s current goals include reducing error in cancer diagnosis and developing methods for individualized medical treatment.

Buoy Health

Boston, Massachusetts. Buoy Health is an AI-based symptom and cure checker that uses algorithms to diagnose and treat illness. Here’s how it works: a chat bot listens to a patient’s symptoms and health concerns, the guides that patient to the correct care based on its diagnosis.


San Francisco, California. Enlitic develops learning medical tools to streamline radiology diagnosis. The company’s deep learning platform then analyzes unstructured medical data (radiology images, blood tests, EKGs, genomics, patient medical history) to give doctors better insight into a patient’s real-time needs


San Francisco, California. Freenome uses AI in screenings, diagnostic tests, and blood work to test for cancer. By developing AI at general screenings, Freenome aims to detect cancer in its earliest stages and subsequently develop new treatments.

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

Boston, Massachusetts. Harvard University’s teaching hospital, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, is using artificial intelligence to diagnose potentially deadly blood diseases at a very early stage.

Zebra Medical Vision

Shefayim, Israel. Zebra Medical Vision provides radiologists with AI-enabled assistant that receives imaging scans and, most importantly, automatically analyzes them for various clinical findings it has studied. The findings are passed onto radiologists, who take the assistant’s reports into consideration when making a diagnosis.


The drug development industry is so busy with skyrocketing development costs and research that takes thousands of human hours. It costs just about three billion dollars to put each drug through the clinical trials, then only 10 percent of those drugs successfully get to the market. Due to breakthrough technology, biopharmaceutical companies are quickly taking notice of the efficiency and accuracy and the knowledge that AI can provide.


One of the biggest AI breakthroughs in drug development came in 2007 when researchers tasked a robot named Adam with researching functions of yeast. Firstly, Adam scoured billions of data points in public databases to hypothesize about the functions of 19 genes within yeast. Then, Adam predicted nine new and accurate hypotheses. Adam’s robot friend, Eve, then discovered that triclosan, a common ingredient in toothpaste, can combat malaria-based parasites.

1812, 2020

The Cost of Pregnancy

By |December 18th, 2020|Categories: Blog and News, NHIA Blog|0 Comments

The average cost of pregnancy with insurance is more than $4,500 for labor and delivery. A study done by the University of Michigan looked at 657,061 women between 2008 and 2015. All costs were adjusted for inflation.) This study included all of the insurance claims filed the year prior to the delivery, during the delivery itself, and for three months after. This accounts for any health services that might have affected their pregnancy outcomes.

The Cost of Pregnancy

Vaginal deliveries found to cost women an average of $4,314 out of pocket in 2015, which was up $2,910 from 2008. The out-of-pocket cost for a cesarean birth, was at $5,161 which was up from $3,364 in 2008. The average birth for all deliveries in 2015 was around $4,500.

Why Is It Getting More Expensive?

It isn’t the cost of treatments that went up over the years, it is the deductibles. The lump sums that insurance requires customers to pay before the company will kick in any money. Indeed, more Americans have found that they are on plans with higher deductibles in recent years as employers have sought to start making employees pay for a higher percentage of their healthcare costs. In a new study, the percentage of women with deductibles rose from about 69 percent to about 87 percent in a seven-year time period. That made women paid about seven percent more for their childbirth expenses as a result.

Who Does This Effect?

The cost of having a baby can be especially expensive for about 45 perfect of women who weren’t trying for a baby. Because they might not have been expecting the baby when they signed up for their health insurance, they might not have chosen a plan that takes care of more delivery costs. Childbirth is the number one reason for hospitalization among women. The cost of delivery is just the first in a series of major child-bearing expenses to come. Not long after the hospital bills are paid for, now it is time to pay for daycare, baby sitters, clothes, food, and school fees.

Even though the ACA brought some order to health insurance, customers still get stuck with some very large hospital bills. The high cost of bearing children, is part of the reason we see so many women skip out on some of their prenatal or postpartum care. It helps explain why Americans having babies is at an all-time low right now. Though this baby bust has many potential and understandable explanations, including the decline and delays in marriage, it most definitely does not help that having a baby costs more than the average woman makes a month.

What If I Don’t Have Insurance?

While maternity expenses for insured moms might seem high, the numbers are far higher if you have no insurance at all. An uninsured woman could end up paying anywhere from $30,000 to $50,000 for delivery. And those prices continue to rise every year. Maternity costs can even vary from state to state by 50 percent and even more within some states. A 2014 study by the University of California San Francisco found that hospital charges for an uncomplicated vaginal delivery ranged from $3,296 to $37,227, depending on the hospital. For a C-section the costs widely ranged from $8,312 to nearly $71,000.

In Conclusion

If you’re concerned you won’t have enough money saved up to handle the cost of pregnancy by the time you deliver, your hospital may offer an interest free payment plan option, so contacting the billing department is always useful.

1112, 2020

Rare Diseases

By |December 11th, 2020|Categories: Blog and News, NHIA Blog|0 Comments

The FDA describes rare diseases as a disease that affects less than 200,000 people. That’s actually a pretty big number and can include a huge number of diseases. Today, we are going to focus on some of the ultra-rare diseases.

 Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria

Medical professionals also call this disease Progeria. This disease affects about one in every eight million children. It is due to a genetic mutation that causes the appearance of rapid aging beginning in very early childhood. Symptoms often include baldness, a large or oversized head in relation to their body size, limited range of motion, and in most cases, a hardening of the arteries which greatly increases the likeliness of stroke or heart attack. In medical history, only about one hundred of the cases have lived into their early twenties. Most children die around the age of 13.


This disease is most commonly known as blue skin disorder. It is characterized by an abnormal amount of methemoglobin, a type of hemoglobin that’s transformed to carrying iron through a person’s blood. Most of us have less than one percent of methemoglobin in our blood stream, but those who suffer from blue skin disease possess between ten percent and twenty percent of methemoglobin. Iron- carrying hemoglobin carries a highly reduced amount of oxygen, so patients diagnosed with Methemoglobinemia are at a higher risk of developing heart abnormalities, having a seizure, or even dying prematurely. This disease was found in Kentucky by a single family who have passed the genetic trait onto its family members for some 200 years now.


There is a very good chance you’ll never encounter a case of Kuru, as it is only found in a remote region of New Guinea in the Fore tribe. The disease itself is caused by a type protein called prions, which induce abnormal brain tissue building resulting in progressive and incurable brain damage. This disease itself is one hundred percent lethal, but it is only possible to acquire it these days by… wait for it… eating the brains of an infected victim. Prior to the 1950’s, the Fore tribes’ rituals involved consuming their dead in order to preserve their spirit. This often led to transmission of the disease. With cannibalism outlawed, the disease is practically non-existent today.

Fields Condition

We’re definitely getting into the nitty-gritty of the world’s rarest diseases when you’re talking about Fields Condition. It is a progressive muscle disorder that affected two sisters, Kristie and Catherine Fields. It causes painful muscle spasms up to 100 times a day. The disease is still predominantly a mystery to doctors. However, in its wake, it paralyzed both sisters and cut off their ability to speak. Both sisters now rely on electronic speech machines to communicate.

RPI Deficiency

According to the Journal of Molecular Medicine, Ribose-5 phosphate isomerase deficiency, or RPI Deficiency, is the world’s rarest disease. With MRI and DNA analysis providing only one case in history. In 1984, the patient in question presented with a white matter disease as found on an MRI and was finally diagnosed in 1999. The molecular cause of the genetic pathway malfunction is still to this day not understood.

Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva

This is a disorder in which muscle tissue such as tendons and ligaments are gradually replaced by bone (ossified), forming bone outside of the skeleton which then constrains movement. This disease affects about 1 in every 2 million people. This process starts and is quite noticeable in early childhood. This starts with the neck and shoulders and proceeds down the body and into the limbs. Over time this disorder may experience malnutrition due to their eating problems. They may also have a hard time breathing because of the extra bone forming around their rib cage preventing it from expanding. Any trauma to the individual such as a fall or a medical procedure may cause instant muscle swelling and inflammation, and a more rapid ossification of the injured area.

In Conclusion

These are some of the world’s most serious and rare diseases. There isn’t much medical knowledge on these because of the lack of studies and patients.

412, 2020

Pre-Existing Conditions & Health Insurance

By |December 4th, 2020|Categories: Blog and News, NHIA Blog|0 Comments

A pre-existing condition is any personal illness or health condition that existed prior to enrolling in insurance.  Health or life insurance policies often identify customers pre-existing conditions before enrolling a person in insurance. Most companies did not cover pre-existing conditions until a specific period of time passed. However, when the Affordable Care Act passed, it prevented many companies from doing that.

Pre-Existing Conditions

Pre-existing conditions are usually identified under the objective standard definition which is when the patient has already received medical advice or treatment prior to an enrollment in a new medical or life insurance policy. Another definition used to define pre-existing conditions is the broader prudent person definition. This is when symptoms were present and a prudent person would have sought treatment.


What is a pre-existing condition? The following is a list of what can/ or could be considered a pre-existing condition:

  • Cancer
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Anxiety/Depression
  • Alzheimer’s
  • Dementia
  • Diabetes
  • Heart Disease
  • Obesity
  • Pregnancy
  • Pending Surgery
  • Sleep Apnea
  • Stroke

Even a more minor health condition such as acne, tonsillitis, high blood pressure, or menstrual period irregularities could be considered a health issue, depending on the provider.

Does Insurance Cover Them?

Under current law, health insurance companies can’t refuse to cover you or charge you more because of a pre-existing condition.  This began for plans effective on or after January 1, 2014.  The pre-existing coverage rule does not apply grandfathered individual health insurance policies. A grandfathered individual health insurance policy is a policy that was purchased for yourself or your family on or before March 23, 2010.

Affordable Care Act

Prior to the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies denied millions of women coverage due to a range of health issues labeled as pre-existing health issues such as pregnancy, breast cancer, and irregular periods. Black and Latino women faced higher rates of many chronic illnesses. Women who had a cesarean section were likely to have 25% higher premiums with some companies. One in eight women have breast cancer and some insurances still considered it a pre-existing condition. African American women are most likely to develop the disease and are most likely overall to die from the disease. Without the ACA, women who needed mental health treatment could pay as much as $9,000 a year just for that care alone.

Declinable Conditions

In 2018 it was estimated that around 54 million non-elderly adults in the United States had “declinable” pre-existing conditions that would have made them uninsurable. Declinable conditions were identified by an analysis of health insurer underwriting manuals. Obviously not all of these 54 million people buy health insurance coverage, but the individual market is where people go when they are between jobs that offer health benefits and ineligible for public plan coverage such as Medicare or Medicaid. If it would revert to medically underwritten coverage, as it was prior to the ACA in most states, these 54 million people could be uninsurable if they were laid off from their job and then lost their job-based health benefits.

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