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Texas Health Insurance Enrollment Support

Many consumers would rather complete a federal tax return form than submit a health insurance application. Applicants are intimidated by personal questions regarding their health history, and they are concerned that one inaccurate answer will result in their coverage being canceled. The first thing to do is take a deep breath and get ready to be surprised on how user-friendly the application and enrollment process has become.

The application submission process took a giant leap forward when health insurance carriers created online applications that are accessible on the Internet. The online application eliminated the time spent moving a paper application from the applicant to the carrier by mail. The online health insurance application can be processed and an underwriting decision reached in far less time than the traditional paper application. Prior to online applications, it could take between 7 and 10 business days to have an application in front of an underwriter to start the review process. By submitting an application online, the information is in front of an underwriter immediately, and the review process commences the same day it was submitted.

Because the online application information is provided in a predetermined format, the information is much more accurate than on a traditional paper application. The online application is designed to organize information in a format that enables an efficient review by underwriting personnel.

Applicants want to complete their application as accurately as possible, but providing unnecessary information can sometimes delay an application.

The following are some common questions that are asked Stateside personnel regarding application submission:

ACA Update:  Health status and pre-existing conditions no longer figure into medical underwriting

If I paid cash, do I need to disclose the condition or treatment?

Stateside's position on this question is that the method of payment does not affect disclosure. Our response has always been, "If you had suffered a heart attack and paid the physician with cash, would you not disclose the condition on an application?" Of course you would disclose a heart attack regardless of the payment method. All significant conditions should be disclosed in order for the health insurance carrier to assess risk.

Do I need to provide my Social Security number?

Most carriers assign unique identification numbers and do not rely on an applicant's Social Security number. However, Humana does require a Social Security number and then will assign a unique identification number and will no longer reference the Social Security number.

Will the health insurance carrier request medical records?

Medical records are no longer required for Texas health underwriting

How secure is the information that I am providing online?

Today's online health insurance applications are transmitted using 128-bit encryption, which is the standard used on the Internet. It is important to understand what is meant by 128-bit encryption. The 128-bit encryption results in two secret keys to the 128th power or two multiplied by two 128 times over. The number of key combinations using 128-bit encryption equals 339 decillion. A decillion is a number with 33 zeroes behind it.

What if I do not remember the healthcare provider name or contact information?

Online applications require information to be provided. Applicants cannot leave blank spaces or the application will not advance to the next page. Always be organized and prepared before starting an online application. List the healthcare provider's name and contact information, so it is readily accessible when submitting the online application. If you cannot locate the information, provide information as a placeholder. For example, use "Dr. I. Dont know" if you cannot remember the physician's name. This will allow you to move forward to the next section of the application. You will be able to clarify the information when you are contacted for the phone interview.

Does the insurance carrier charge my credit card for the initial premium payment when I submit the application?

Timing of the initial premium depends on the carrier. Blue Cross Blue Shield will charge your credit card as soon as the application is submitted. If the application is not approved or if the applicant does not elect coverage within the 10-day free look period, a full refund will be issued. Typically, the refund is processed within 72 hours. All of the other carriers in the Texas market will accept a credit card and not charge the card unless an offer to insure is made. If the carrier makes a favorable underwriting decision, the applicant's credit card will be charged immediately. If the application is subject to a rate-up, carriers either will require a signature to accept the rate-up or will have a specific waiting period in which to respond before automatically enrolling the applicant or withdrawing the application.
Online applications have dramatically decreased the time required for approval, but the online process still requires broker support because each applicant has different circumstances. Stateside personnel are available by phone, email or shared computer access to help applicants maneuver efficiently through the online application. Do not hesitate to contact Stateside for answers to your application questions or for application assistance.
 

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