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Make Preventative Care a Priority in 2021

Your Guide To A Healthy 2021!

The New Year is upon us!  I think we all can agree, 2020 has been a year unlike any other. As we look to the new year and reflect on the past 365 days, how are you planning on keeping your health a top priority in 2021?

Virtual Health Benefits Include Mental Health Services

Virtual Health Benefits Include Mental Health Services: Happy Holidays!

The holidays, as exciting as they are, can also be extremely taxing on your mental and emotional health. Let’s face it… family gatherings can be a difficult venture for anyone. It’s no wonder the holiday season is the hospital’s busiest time. In order to prevent major hospital-visit-inducing accidents, take time to prioritize your mental health. 

How Does Telehealth Keep Insurance Costs Down?

Prior to the pandemic, most patients opted for in-person doctor’s visits over telehealth options. With the onset of a contagious airborne virus, telehealth options grew dramatically. New, easy-to-use options became available for nearly all health insurance providers. With the large influx of telehealth appointments becoming the new normal, what does that mean for insurance and healthcare costs?

The Difference Between the ACA and Obamacare

While you’ve likely heard of Obamacare, you may not know Obamacare is the same thing as the Affordable Care Act. This healthcare law that passed in 2010, goes by a few different names. You may also see this law referenced as the PPACA or the ACA (the acronym Affordable Care Act). 

Transamerica and SBMA to the Rescue!

Transamerica’s partnership with SBMA brings you quality, affordable health insurance that fits into your budget and removes the hassle of excess submissions to insurance carriers.  Many people go to the doctor and never file their claims with their insurance company.  Whether it is because of a language barrier or a simple lack of understanding, many people will leave their medical bills unpaid rather than try to navigate the complexities of insurance filings and submissions.  

Your Virtual Benefit Administrator Makes a Difference

Your Virtual Benefit Administrator Makes a Difference

Brokers! Choosing your virtual benefits administrator is vital to the success and care of your clients. In order to give your clients the best health insurance experience, choose an administrator that offers a wide variety of products. Your virtual benefit administrator should give your client the ability to control their healthcare at their fingertips. How can a benefits administrator, like freshbenies, help your clients take control of their healthcare?

As the benefits marketplace continues to shift and evolve, your clients need to be in control of their health care services. 

How can you help your clients gain control of their healthcare?

Help them: 

Control their spending.

A virtual benefit administrator, like freshbenies, helps your clients take control of their spending related to healthcare. freshbenies users receive bottom-line savings. All packages include Member Engagement Systems to drive member experience. The expansion and wide-use of telehealth services give your clients the care they need from the safety of their own homes at an unbeatable price. More employees opt-in when services are bundled and convenient like those from our partner at freshbenies. 

Control the time they spend navigating healthcare.

With SBMA, Transamerica, and freshbenies, multiple vendors are bundled into one invoice, membership, and point of contact. This ensures your and the client’s experience is simple and streamlined. With freshbenies your clients’ employees can forget the hassle of waiting rooms and scheduling appointments.

The included Virtual Benefits Administrator takes away the hassle. You can negotiate medical bills, find local in-network doctors, and book a telehealth appointment all in one place.

Control their peace of mind.

As a broker, you want your clients to receive the best possible benefits packages at the best price. What comes with offering benefits that provide the best care, support, and price for your clients is peace of mind. With streamlined processes, convenient and cost-saving services, and instant access to their portal,  your clients can gain that peace of mind.

Thousands of employers, of varying sizes, trust SBMA and freshbenies. You can be confident that you are receiving the best care. 

At SBMA, our insurance coverage plans offer clients coverage when they need it most, with exemplary customer service. Our employee benefits administrators offer partnerships and health coverage that are ACA compliant, affordable and hassle-free.  To learn more reach out to our team at info@sbmabenefits.com.

Your Virtual Benefit Administrator Makes a Difference

Why is Preventative Care so Important During COVID?

Why is Preventative Care so Important During COVID?

Since the start of the global pandemic, the number of outpatient clinic visits has decreased immensely. While this makes sense, due to the highly contagious virus, it can be a troubling sight.

Preventative care services have truly never been more important. Now, more than ever, patients need to be proactive about their health. How can you ensure you are being proactive with your preventative care during COVID?

What are the dangers of waiting for your routine appointments?

While visiting the doctor’s office during a global pandemic may seem unsettling, the risk associated with avoiding ongoing, preventative health care is high. Small health issues can turn into larger health problems if left untreated. Especially during this time, when the highest risk patients for contracting COVID-19 are those with chronic illness or worsening conditions.

Now is not the time to begin ignoring your wellbeing. 

Eating well, getting sleep, and exercising regularly is more important than ever before. Ensure you make your health a top priority during these uncertain, stressful times. Stressful situations, like the one we’re all experiencing right now, can lower your immune system. Take care of your mental and physical health to ensure your immune system is prepared for whatever comes your way.

If you feel you need to go into the doctor’s office, contact your doctor first!

If you feel unsure about returning to the physical doctor’s office, reach out to your doctor. See what precautions your provider is taking to ensure their patients remain safe. Most outpatient clinics are taking these measures to ensure their safety:

  • Enforcing masks at all times
  • Temperature checks when you enter the facility
  • Limited number of patients allowed in the waiting room at once
  • Reconfiguring their space to ensure proper social distancing requirements are met.

If you still are unsure about returning to a physical doctor’s office, book a telehealth visit!

Telehealth services have grown immensely since the start of COVID-19. There are many potential uses for telehealth services. Here are a few:

  • Screen patients with potential COVID-19 symptoms
  • Provide low-risk urgent care for those with non-COVID-19-related conditions
  • Mental and behavioral health check-ins
  • Chronic health condition check-ups and medication management
  • Support for patients with chronic health conditions, like nutrition counseling
  • Doctors can monitor clinical signs of some chronic health conditions
  • Case management
  • Follow-up appointments 

With a variety of options, it is important that you don’t put your preventative care on the backburner during COVID-19. Not only does it help ensure you don’t contract COVID-19, but preventative care can also help detect early signs of other diseases and illnesses. Do you have proper healthcare to cover your needs during this uncertain time? At SBMA, we understand that you need a health insurance plan that covers all your needs, visit the site today to learn more.

Why is Preventative Care so Important During COVID?

What You Need to Know During Open Enrollment

what you need to know during open enrollment

The open enrollment period for 2020 is here! It’s time to consider whether or not to enroll in a new health insurance plan or change your health insurance plan. To begin, you need to understand what benefits you can receive with minimum essential coverage. If your employer offers Minimum Essential Coverage and you’ve been hesitant to enroll, let us help you understand how MEC can give you the essential health benefits you need most.

What is MEC?

Minimum essential coverage is an insurance plan that meets the Affordable Care Act requirements for health insurance coverage. Plans under MEC include marketplace, job-based plans, Medicare, and Medicaid.

Before the Affordable Care Act, insurers would not cover people who had preexisting medical conditions. Those who had used too much of their medical coverage in the past were also at risk of not receiving insurance coverage. MEC ensures that insurance is offered to all enrollees regardless of health status, or the plan selected.

What is open enrollment?

Open enrollment is a period where individuals and employees can change or enroll in health insurance. During this period employees can also set up a flex spending account or health savings account. They can also sign up for and adjust the amount of various types of insurance, including

  • life insurance
  • disability insurance
  • vision insurance
  • dental insurance
  • legal insurance
  • supplemental benefits

What coverage uses open enrollment?

Most types of health insurance use open enrollment periods, including Medicare, job-based health insurance, and individual market health insurance. Outside the open enrollment period, individuals must show proof of a “life event” such as marriage, childbirth or new employment to be able to change insurance coverage. However, Medicaid, CHIP, travel insurance, and short-term health insurance do not use an open enrollment period. 

Why should I consider MEC during open enrollment?

MEC covers ten essential benefits in order to ensure everyone can receive proper coverage. These benefits include:

  • Laboratory services: preventative screening tests and diagnostic lab tests
  • Emergency services: emergency care at a hospital, even at a hospital out of network.
  • Prescription drugs
  • Mental health and substance abuse: includes counseling, psychotherapy, mental health, inpatient services, and treatment for substance abuse.
  • Maternity and newborn care: services during pregnancy, delivery, and after delivery
  • Pediatric services (including oral and vision): These services keep your children healthy. They include dental checkups, eye exams, vaccinations, and well-child visits.
  • Rehabilitative services and devices: A patient with disabilities, injuries, or chronic conditions receive coverage for physical, occupations, and speech therapy visits.
  • Habilitative services and devices: A patient can receive coverage for services and devices that help them learn and improve daily skills.
  • Ambulance patient services: services in outpatient care
  • Preventative/ wellness services and chronic disease management: including cancer screenings, annual checkups, and more at no cost.
  • Hospital visits: if you are in the hospital for inpatient care, your plan will help you pay your medical bills. However, it may only cover you for a certain period of time.

Minimum essential coverage can be an affordable option to ensure you and your family are covered during times of need. At SBMA we provide affordable coverage for all of our clients, with a variety of options, including telehealth, vision, and dental voluntary benefits.

why should I consider MEC during open enrollment?

The Pros and Cons of Telemedicine

The implementation of telemedicine has risen immensely over the last few months, as social distancing requirements were put into place. Telemedicine can be a great way to communicate with your doctor in the safety of your own home. Virtual visits can be used to detect symptoms of COVID-19, fevers, rashes, cold and flu symptoms, aches and pains, minor musculoskeletal injuries, small infections, and UTIs. While telemedicine can be an effective way to treat patients, there are pros and cons to consider.

The pros associated with telemedicine include:

  • Convenience. According to a study, 74% of patients prefer easy access to healthcare services over in-person appointments. Not only does this provide convenience for all patients, but it also helps those who live in remote locations have access to proper patient care. 
  • Cost-effective options. These services reduce healthcare service costs significantly. It helps to attract new patients, reduce no-shows, and reduce overhead for physicians who decide to utilize telemedicine.
  • Patients minimize unnecessary visits. As a patient, it can be a waste of time and money to go to the doctor or ER for minor medical consultations. If your symptoms do not require an in-person visit, opt for a telemedicine appointment instead! 
  • Telemedicine can lead to improved healthcare quality. When it is easier for providers to engage with patients, and remotely track their health with monitoring systems, they can work to identify problems as they develop. 

Now, let’s look at some of the cons linked to telemedicine:

  • Sometimes in-person visits are necessary to diagnose. Physical exams are impossible over the phone, which may be necessary for the diagnosis or treatment of a patient. For example, the COVID-19 test requires a nose and throat swab, to diagnose, so you must go to the doctor physically.
  • Security concerns. With the relaxation of telemedicine requirements due to the global pandemic, security concerns may arise. Cybercriminals can hack into telemedicine systems to steal personal healthcare information. 
  • You may not know the doctor providing your care. Utilizing virtual care services may mean you have a stranger on the other end of the call. These doctors will likely be unfamiliar with you and your medical history, and it may affect the level of care they can provide.
  • Training and equipment can be expensive. Reorganizing IT staff to train and create effective equipment costs both time and money. To ensure ROI from implementing telemedicine, staff, physicians, and medical staff needed to be trained properly. 

Although there are a few things to work out within the telemedicine technology, as you work to implement telemedicine into your benefit programs, the benefits of telemedicine can make a large impact. At SBMA, we believe in the power of telemedicine. That’s why we offer free telemedicine programs in all of our benefit programs. Learn more here.

When is it safe to go back to a doctor’s office?

When is it safe to go back to a doctor's office?

Hospitals and doctor’s offices seem like the worst place to be during a pandemic. Many medical offices, hospitals, and surgeons canceled non-emergency procedures to accommodate the influx of coronavirus cases. Knowing that the numbers of cases are still high, it may be anxiety-inducing to go back to the doctor for your normal check-up. Businesses have started to reopen, and doctors have started to schedule more non-emergency procedures. Is it safe to go back to the doctor’s office? 

The pressure for hospitals and doctors offices to re-open is great even while patients are wary to return. The financial implications of reopening serve as incentives for some medical offices to reopen, as the pandemic has caused the hospital industry to lose about $50 billion per month. Elective procedures are the lifeblood of hospitals, financially;  without them, hospitals have struggled. 

While doctor’s offices are seen as a place of healing and safety, in the current climate it may be difficult to choose to go back.  Telemedicine offers a solution for those who are worried about seeing their doctor in person. Telemedicine offers a solution for non-emergency care front eh safety and convenience of your own home while still ensuring that your symptoms are reviewed and a medical professional is monitoring your case. 

Health care providers are taking care to keep their patients safe. These precautions include: 

  • COVID-19 screening questionnaires
  • No-touch thermometer temperature check for employees and patients. 
  • Required face masks
  • Implementing social distancing measures in populated areas
  • Employees are tested regularly
  • Patients may be tested a few days before their procedure

While health care providers are covering a lot of bases, there are a few things you can do to keep yourself as safe as possible. Including:

  • Take your temperature before you go to your appointment
  • Wash your hands before you leave the house and sanitize regularly
  • Wear a mask and gloves if you feel it’s necessary
  • Avoid touching your face, especially areas like your nose, eyes, and mouth
  • Show up on time, not before to avoid overcrowding in the waiting room
  • Try to stay away from touching surfaces
  • Practice proper social distancing measures

While you begin to navigate returning to in-person patient care, consider your options and take the proper precautions. 

If you can utilize Virtual Health/ telemedicine, now is the time to use this service.  While telemedicine can’t replace all in-person appointments, it can replace regular checkups, virus check-ins, cold and flu-like symptoms and rashes, and many other non-life-threatening cases.  For those who still feel the need to go into the MD’s office: if you take the proper precautions when you are in-person you can navigate this new normal and stay safe!

return to the doctor's office