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Healthy Tricks for a Better Night’s Sleep

If you’ve been feeling crabby lately, irritable, or simply worn down, you may be suffering from lack of sleep. According to the National Sleep Foundation, adults require 7 to 9 hours of sleep a day. Healthy sleep habits can have a significant impact on your quality of life. Stick with these tips and get a better night’s sleep.

Sleep on a schedule. Better sleep can be achieved by going to bed at the same time each night, including weekends, and waking up at the same time each morning.

Follow a bedtime ritual. Whether it’s taking a warm bath and reading a book, or listening to soft music with the lights dimmed, a before-bed ritual can help you become drowsy and ready for sleep.

Pay attention to what you eat. It can be difficult to sleep when you’re hungry or too full. Eat small, frequent meals throughout the day, and avoid stimulates before bed, such as nicotine and caffeine.

Make your room comfy. Get rid of any distractions, such as bright lights, and wear ear plugs if necessary to block out noises. Sleep on a comfortable mattress, and have comfy blankets and pillows readily available.

For more information about health insurance in the Los Angeles, California area, please contact Save-On Health Insurance Services, Inc.

Are You Self-Employed and Not Sure How the Affordable Care Act Affects You?

Self-employed is defined as someone who works for themselves on a regular basis and has no employees to speak of. If this sounds like you, you fall under this definition even if you subcontract work to others from time to time. 

It’s not easy being self-employed as it comes with plusses and minuses. One of those minuses is not being able to afford health care on your own, even before the Affordable Care Act came into being. Now with the act in place, you’re not too sure of your options, and even less sure of being able to afford a policy. But, you don’t want to run afoul of the IRS and pay a penalty, either.

You may be eligible to get coverage on the exchange and take advantage of the subsidy to get a plan that satisfies the act’s requirements. In the event you are unable to afford a policy under any circumstance, you are not without options. You can try to qualify for an exemption, or make a shared responsibility payment on your federal income tax return. But, you may not have to make this payment if you cannot afford insurance coverage at all.

If you are in the Los Angeles, California area and in need of insurance for personal or business purposes, contact Save-On Health Insurance Services, Inc. to speak to an agent and get quotes today!

Top factors to consider when selecting health plans

As new laws get passed our choices and availability of health plans change too. Under the new Affordable Care Reform Act, residents are able to select from new and different plans through Covered California.

There are many things to consider when shopping for a health plan. Compare health plans based on what is important to you. Here are some of the top factors to consider when shopping for a health plan.

  • Budget. Determine how much per month you can afford to spend on coverage.
  • Benefits offered. Determine if the amount of coverage is enough for all of your medical needs, including medications, dental, pregnancy, vision and any other specific disease or condition you have.
  • Doctor visits. Determine if you visit the doctor a lot or need regular prescriptions. If so, opt for a higher amount of coverage with low co-pays at the doctor’s office.
  • Annual income. Determine if your annual income will be enough after expenses to cover any out-of-pocket costs and deductibles.
  • Networks. If you already have a doctor, check to see which plans he accepts and if he is considered an in-network physician.

Take the time to review the different plans available and speak with a certified Covered California agent about the best options for you.

For more information about your health insurance services available in the Los Angeles, California area contact Save-On Health Insurance Services, Inc. today.

How Obamacare Defines a Small Business for Insurance Plans

Obamacare, otherwise known as the Affordable Care Act, created new rules for defining what exactly is a small business for purposes of insurance. It’s a little confusing because there is more than one definition in the act. Following is a breakdown of the differences that affect businesses of different sizes:

  • A business with fewer than 50 full-time equivalent employees are considered to be a small business for the purposes of the act. A full-time equivalent employee can consist of four employees working 10 hours a week each for a total of 40 hours. In essence, a business can have 100 employees, but if the sum total hours are less than 2,000 man-hours a week, the business is considered to be a small business.
  • Businesses with less than 25 full-time equivalent employees making yearly wages of less than $50,000, and providing health insurance, may be able to qualify for a health insurance tax credit of up to 35 percent, and up to 50 percent in 2014. In order to determine the average yearly wage, the sum total wages need to be added together, then divided by the amount of employees. 

Are you in the Los Angeles, California area and need an insurance policy for a specific need? Contact Save-On Health Insurance Services, Inc. today to speak to an agent!

Health Insurance Terms You Should Know

Interest in health insurance has never been higher in Los Angeles. As you read about the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and other changes, Save-on Health Insurance Services recommends you keep these terms in mind:

Premium: The monthly fee you pay to the insurance company for your coverage.

Exchange: Under the ACA, people who do not receive health insurance through their employers can purchase it through an exchange, such as Covered California.

Copayment: The fee a health plan member must pay for an office visit or other procedure. This is an out-of-pocket expense, which will not be reimbursed by the insurance company.

Coinsurance: The amount of a medical bill that a member must pay. This amount is usually a percentage of the total cost.

Deductible: The amount a health plan member must pay before insurance reimbursement begins. Depending on the plan, the amount can range from nothing to thousands of dollars.

Out-of-pocket: Costs that are borne by a health plan member, without reimbursement. When the out-of-pocket maximum is reached, the insurer pays 100 percent of all approved medical expenses.

Mandate: The provisions in the ACA requiring individuals and employers to provide insurance or pay additional taxes.

Save On Insurance Services, Inc. can guide you through the health care changes. Learn more by contacting us.

Obamacare Penalties Explained

If you’re considering whether to get health insurance for the 2014 tax year, understanding the potential penalties can help you make an informed decision. Obamacare has tied having health insurance to your tax bill, but the specifics depend on your circumstances.

In 2014, employers with more than 50 employees are required by law to provide health insurance to all employees or face a penalty of $2000 per employee if even a single employee buys insurance through the exchanges. If you do offer employee insurance, you can be fined a penalty of $3000 for every employee who gets insurance through the exchanges using government subsidies or a penalty of $2000 for every employee in your company, whichever is smaller.

Individuals will also have to obtain insurance, even if their employer doesn’t cover it or if they are self-employed. The penalty for the first year if you don’t have health insurance will be $95, which will be due with your 2014 taxes on April 15, 2015.

Save-On Health Insurance Services in Los Angeles can help you find insurance that suits your needs, whether you are looking for individual coverage or group coverage from companies such as Anthem Blue Cross, Blue Shield, or UnitedHealth Group.

Relax and De-Stress after the Holiday Madness

As the holiday season comes to a close, take the time to relax. It’s not uncommon to feel irritable with the pressure to shop, cook, organize, decorate, and coordinate holiday rituals, gifts, and parties. Take positive actions to eliminate stress that the holiday season caused with these quick tips.

Take a Cue from Nature: Even animals know when it’s time to hibernate. Take a long weekend after the holidays to catch up on sleep and restore your health.

Create a New Self-Care Ritual: As the New Year rolls around, begin a fresh ritual that will get you feeling more energized. Go to bed earlier, start each morning with an exercise routine or meditate, and get a few minutes of sun in the afternoon.

Ditch the Electronics: The holiday season can cause your mind to become overworked. Help to quiet your body and mind by putting down the cell phone and switching off the TV. Go for a walk, read a book, or enjoy a board game with the family.

Indulge in Dark Chocolate: Dark chocolate has numerous health benefits, and you’re sure to have a small stash leftover from the holidays.

For information on health insurance in the Los Angeles, California area, please contact Save-On Health Insurance Services, Inc.

Important Covered California Healthcare Deadline Dates

The deadline dates to enroll in the Affordable Care Act, widely known as Obamacare, continue to be pushed back in many states, but not for residents of California. Individual taxpayers in California who have not yet signed up for coverage will be unable to have coverage at start of the new year.

People who have already managed to enroll in a health plan from Covered California, California’s healthcare exchange, have until January 6th to make a payment to the insurance company to receive back-dated coverage from January 1st, according to the Covered California web site.

Californians that do not have health insurance may continue to select and pay for a plan up until the March 31st deadline to avoid paying any tax penalties due to lack of insurance. Any health insurance plan bought before the 15th of each month leading up to the deadline will go into effect on the first day of the following month.

It is essential that all Americans have insurance, but the new law has left many feeling confused. A leading health insurance agent in Los Angeles, Save-on Health Insurance Services Inc. can help you understand what the new law means to you and help select a plan that fits your needs.

Health insurance enrollment still available through California’s exchange

The Affordable Care Act is making it possible for people to sign up for health insurance plans that fit within their budget. The first deadline in California to sign up for a health plan was December 23, 2013. Those who have signed up prior to the deadline will have insurance coverage beginning January 1, 2014. According to California’s health insurance exchange, more than 400,000 people have signed up prior to the deadline and are set for health coverage to start at the New Year.

Though open enrollment for health insurance through the California exchange will remain available through March 31, 2014, those wishing to find an affordable health insurance plan are encouraged to sign up as soon as possible. If you sign up through Covered California prior to the 15th of a month, your coverage will begin the 1st of the following month. If you sign up later than the 15th, coverage will begin one month later.

It is not too late to sign up for health insurance through Covered California. The earlier you sign up, the sooner your health care plan will go into effect. Plus, you can avoid costly penalties by missing the final deadline for open enrollment.

For more information about the California Exchange and your insurance options in the Los Angeles area contact Save-On Health Insurance Services, Inc.

Staying Healthy During the Holidays: 10 Easy Tips

Our lives tend to become very busy around the holidays. Even though we enjoy getting ready for the festivities, we sometimes forget to take care of ourselves.

Get plenty of sleep
Sleep the hours that are normal for you.

Drink normal amounts of fluids
Stay hydrated so that your body stays refreshed and working properly.
Protect yourself against illnesses
Remember to get the flu shot and wash your hands often.   

Germs in public places
While using public transportation, wipe the seats and handles with sanitizing wipes to prevent coming in contact with germs.

Eat at normal times for you
Continue to eat meals at your normal time.

Watch out for those sweets
Limiting sweets will make you healthier.

Walk around
If you are sedative in places such as planes, after it is clear to get up, walk around.

The holidays can be very stressful. Take breaks and relax.

Plan your holiday budget and stick with it.

Pamper yourself
Do something that makes you feel good.

Staying healthy and enjoying the holidays is important to us. We at Save-On Health Insurance Services, Inc. of Los Angeles, California are interested in how you stayed healthy this year. Please let us know.