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OnlineNavigator insurance enrollment supportNeed help?

We make it easy to get friendly, personal and help with health care reform questions through two fast support options:

Email support:
Email support is available 24/7 usually with same day response. Address your message to onlineadviser@live.com.

Telephone support:
Schedule telephone support with a call back at your convenience.

OnlineNavigator support is an independent service offered by Tony Novak, CPA, MBA MT subject to the adviser's schedule availability. This support is not intended to replace the services offered and available through other channels by your insurance company, insurance agents and health insurance navigators. Specifically, this service does not replace  online pricing and enrollment functions, billing, claims or administrative services and does not assist with Medicare or Medicaid plans.

See the OnlineNavigator web site for details on privacy policy and terms of service. 


Covering the Gaps in Obamacare

AUIC Deductible Supplement Insurance - three defined dollar benefit levels to add protection for unexpected hospital bills and other medical expenses left uncovered by primary insurance
AUIC Qualified Health Plan Supplement Insurance - no need to fear the out-of-pocket cost of doctor visits, hospital charges and other expenses left by primary medical coverage.
Core Health Insurance - the nation's most popular defined benefit health plans with guaranteed acceptance from US Fire Insurance Company
Value 24 Hour Accident - up to $10,000 of supplemental health insurance coverage for emergency treatment of injuries at a cost of about $2 per day. Can be used as a stand-alone coverage or added to other insurance.
Health plans and resources for diabetics - a listing of the health plan options and other resources

Most Affordable Supplemental Coverage

Value Med Insurance - 3 question simple medical eligibility and immediate approval for supplemental doctor and hospital benefits

Primary Individual Major Medical Through a Private Exchange

Members Health Insurance Exchange allows you to price and choose from among many of the nations leading major medical health insurance options from a wide range of carriers. Personal help is available through OnlineNavigator to help with your selection.

Dental and Vision Insurance

Core Dental Insurance - preventive, basic, and major dental expenses with the dentist of your choice. Shortest waiting period.
Secure DentalOne - one lifetime deductible of $100 and then up to $1,250 per year coverage
Dental, Vision and Hearing Insurance - no deductible option, use any dentist, ophthalmologist, optometrist, physician or audiologist, no networks!

Online Life Insurance

International Term Life - up to $2 million coverage issued by Lloyds online specifically for those who spend time outside of the US

Immigrant Insurance

Inbound Immigrant - up to five years of liberal health insurance coverage after immigration including maternity coverage, emergency and other essential benefits

Critical Illness and Cancer Insurance

Consumers Direct Critical Illness Insurance - Secure UpgradeSM $10,000 lump sum supplemental coverage for cancer, stroke or health disease for as little as $25 per month.

Wisconsin health insurance news

by Tony Novak, CPA, MBA, MT    last updated: February 21, 2016

The two top priorities among individuals and small business who pay for their own health coverage is to find more affordable primary insurance and cover rapidly rising out-of-pocket medical costs that are not paid by primary health insurance.

Prior to implementation of the Affordable Care Act, Wisconsin was an early innovator of health insurance exchange technology with 23 commercial health insurance companies that offer individual major medical insurance and 41 small group health insurance plans as well as the state-sponsored Wisconsin Health Insurance Risk Sharing Plan (HIRSP) high risk health plan for residents who have been declined coverage under a commercial insurance plan. These standard health insurance plans are no longer available today following implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

Since the passage of federal health insurance reform law, individuals and small businesses (with less than 50 employees) in Wisconsin can now purchase health insurance through the federal heath insurance clearinghouse or through a number of privately operated insurance exchanges. The state government is likely to expand its own insurance exchange system in cooperation with either the federal or private systems within the next few years.

Non-insurance options, like Health Savings Accounts (HSA), Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRA) and Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) can be added as effective cost-control tools; ask your adviser for more information.

This Web page lists some of the most popular low cost commercial health insurance plans and related benefits. Freedom Benefits offers personal assistance with any insurance exchange or health reform issue through www.OnlineNavigator.org. Your enrollment adviser is available to discuss suitability of any plan for your specific situation.

The state insurance exchange is expected to be online by November 1 with coverage starting January 2016, so individuals without insurance should make arrangements for temporary coverage until then. Covered health benefits under insurance purchased through the exchange in 2016 will be different than those offered though any earlier health plans. The insurance plan that sets the benchmark for qualified coverage through the exchange is listed here and a list of state-mandated benefits can be found here.

Commercial insurance exchanges may also list less expensive insurance without the essential health benefits.

low cost health insurance

Wisconsin insurance and benefit pricing

Wisconsin had the 14th highest health insurance costs of all states in 2008 with an average family premium of $12,887 per year. (The average annual premium for a U.S. family covered under an employer-sponsored health plan in 2008 was $12,298 according to The Commonwealth Fund report. The overall quality of health care ranked 10th out of the 51 states (including DC).
The state ranked #19 in physical wellbeing (having good health and enough energy to get things done daily) according to a 2015 Gallup Healthways survey.
Wisconsin regulates the benefits required for both individual major medical and group health insurance plans, known as "mandated benefits".

Short Term Medical Insurance

Markel Smart STM - popular and affordable short term major medical insurance with fast online approval
Secure STM - along with its 12 month and 36 month options, this may be the highest quality short term coverage
Secure Lite STM - the lowest priced major medical insurance for 1 to 12 months
Secure Saver STM - $2 million maximum coverage for 1-12 months at an ultra-low rate

Wisconsin insurance law allows a short term policy to extend to a maximum of 6 months. If the total amount of coverage under successive short term policies exceeds 18 months with the same insurance company, then a break in coverage of 63 days is required before you can reapply for another short term policy with the same company. The gap is not required when you apply for coverage with a different insurance company.

Supplemental Accident Insurance

Smart Accident Insurance - supplemental coverage for emergency treatment of accidents and injuries for as little as $20 per month. Can be used as a stand-alone accident plan or to increase other insurance benefits.
Consumers Direct Accident Medical - Protection UpgradeSM supplemental coverage for as little as $20 per month.
low cost health insurance

Wisconsin insurance law and regulation

The Wisconsin Department of Insurance Web site contains links to the full text of the state's insurance laws and regulations.  The Web site has not yet developed resources to help individuals find commercial low cost health plans like mini-med or core coverage, specific illness policies, Supplemental Accident Insurance and basic health insurance. A listing of Wisconsin state mandates for health insurance updated 4/2011 is available.
The state insurance department can be reached by telephone at (800) 236-8517 or by mail at 125 South Webster St., Madison WI 53703. The state children's health insurance plan (CHIP) Web site is Wisconsin BadgerCare Plus. About 794,000 people, roughly half of them children, were covered by BadgerCare in October. 

Small Business Plans

Freedom Benefits offers professional help with setup of self-administered Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRA), Premium Reimbursement Plans, Flexible Spending Accounts, Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and insurance at a low price than any small business can afford.

Non-insurance Discount Plans

Careington PPO Discount Plans - the nation's leading network PPO discount provider allows a no-risk trial of any discount plan for only a $20 processing fee
Drug Card America - a free prescription drug card that an be used nationwide
Essential Dental Solutions - simple, inexpensive, no waiting period, up to $500 treatment per year
Rx Pay Card - $10, $20, or $30 payments for hundreds of popular prescriptions.

Telemedicine

CallMD - Doctors and nurses literally on call 24/7 to answer questions, help with medical screening and write prescriptions saving you money with the most common types of medical care. $20 per month covers everyone in the household.

International Coverage and Travel Insurance

Wisconsin Insurance News

5/20/2015 The finance committee of the Wisconsin legislature has approved Governor Walker’s plan to offer state workers $2,000 a year to opt out of taking state-subsidized health insurance. The measure is included in the recently passed state budget. Private employers note that they would be prohibited from offering this type of employee buy-out by federal law.

12/4/2014 166,000 Wisconsin residents signed up for Obamacare coverage this year and about the same number are expected to sign up for 2015 according to the Wisconsin Office of the Commissioner of Insurance.

2/11/2014 Professional support for any health care reform issue is available free of charge through an arrangement with OnlineNavigator. All online inquiries are handled personally by Tony Novak, CPA. Online support is available through a number of popular social media channels including Facebook and Google+ as well as e-mail. Telephone support for insurance enrollment is available through Members Insurance Exchange at (800) 609-0683.

7/26/2013 Affordable Smart Term Life Insurance is now available to most Wisconsin residents from age 20 through 60 directly online with no physical exam, agent appointment or telephone verification. Most policies are issued on the same day with coverage amounts of $25,000 up to $350,000. The level premium life insurance is available for terms of 10, 15, 20 and 30 years. Sample rates for $150,000 coverage for a preferred risk male age 30, non-tobacco $30.85 per month; tobacco user $49.55 per month. A preferred risk female age 30 non-tobacco user would be $26.49 per month and a tobacco user would be $40.96 per month. Rates are higher for older applicants and lower health risks as described online. Pricing is based on input you provide about your medical history but, unlike most other life insurers, does not consider family medical history. Coverage is issued by innovative National Life Group, rated "A" by A.M. Best Company for 2013.

3/11/2013 This page was updated to include a link to the insurance plan that will be used to determine specific "essential health benefits" for insurance that qualified for 2014 federal tax purposes. Also, a link to additional covered benefits required by state law. Non-qualified insurance is likely to continue to be available at a lower cost that does not include these benefits nor qualify for federal tax purposes.

2/17/2012 Facing a loss of health insurance companies willing to offer coverage to Wisconsin individuals and families, Governor Scott Walker requested an extension to implementation of federal minimum loss ration requirement known as the "80/20" rule. Wisconsin proposed that this rule be phased in over several years. This week the federal government's Department of Health and Human Services refused the state's request. Four insurance companies have left the market since the implementation of federal health reform and more are likely to withdraw if they cannot operate profitably under the new rules. Fewer low cost insurance options generally means that consumers will pay more for their coverage and that the number of uninsured individuals will rise.

2/1/2012 The Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight, a division of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) reported that as of June 30, 2011 UnitedHealthcare, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield and Medical Associates Health Plans are the state's largest health insurance providers and as such, earn the right to set the benchmark for the development of the state's essential benefit plans to debut in 2014 under health reform law.

11/2/2011 The Wisconsin Office of the Commissioner of Insurance estimates that new federal regulation could result in rebates to individual health insurance consumers of $4.4 million this year, $4.7 million in 2012 and $4.9 million in 2013. Some insurance companies may opt to leave the market rather than operate under the new rules. Two companies, American Republic Insurance and World Insurance Company, announced that they would leave the U.S. market for traditional health insurance sold to individuals. The customers of those companies, including those with pre-existing medical conditions, will be accepted by Celtic Insurance Company.

10/17/2011 Beginning this year (2011 tax returns that will be filed in 2012) Wisconsin residents who use a Health Savings Account are eligible for a nonrefundable individual state income tax credit in addition to the federal income tax benefits.

6/24/2011 Wisconsin adapted a new universal health insurance application that will be used by all insurance companies that offer individual major medical insurance. The form will be automatically updated on all of the OnlineAdviser network Websites that make forms available for download. UnitedHealthcare announced that it will no longer accept the old application form after July 1, 2011.

2/17/2011 Wisconsin Department of Health Services was granted more than $31 million by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to help make improvements in the delivery of affordable, quality health care for up to 160,000 individuals in the non-group market, one million employees of small businesses, and 770,000 participants in the BadgerCare Plus and Medicaid programs, representing nearly 35% of the state’s population.

2/12/2011 With dozens of health plans choices available online offering a wide range of pricing and benefits, how do you find the best combination of price and benefits? Celtic Insurance realizes that the choices can be overwhelming; the company offers more than 40 possible health plan designs in many parts of the United States. A new feature called "Help Me Choose" lets users easily and quickly select the benefits they value most and narrows the list down to a few of the best choices. No personal information is required other than zip code and date of birth.

2/8/2011 Wisconsin's Governor Scott Walker's first law signed includes a provision to eliminate state taxes on Health Savings Accounts. Under the new law individuals may claim a nonrefundable income tax credit for 6.5 percent of the allowable amount that they claim as federal tax deductions for their HSA contributions, or claim 6.5 percent of the federal tax−exempt earnings relating to an HSA, or both. Low-cost qualifying insurance and free Health Savings Account administration is available in Wisconsin from Celtic Insurance.

1/5/2011 Wisconsin will become the 21st state to join in a lawsuit against the federal government to block the implementation of health reform laws commonly known as Obamacare. A federal judge already found a key part of the law unconstitutional but the administration vowed to move ahead with implementation anyway. The matter is expected to be resolved by the Supreme Court in 2012.

12/16/2010 Wisconsin Department of Health Services officials met representatives of 44 other states and numerous employees of the federal Health and Human Services Department in Washington DC this week for a two-day working meeting to discuss the next steps in establish a government-run health insurance exchange under the American Health Benefit Exchange Model Act. Their attendance at this meeting was paid for by a $1 million federal grant awarded by HHS in September to the state for research how to set up an insurance exchange. Two states (Alaska and Minnesota) declined to participate, saying that it was a waste of taxpayer money. Four other states (not identified in press reports) that received federal grants did not send representatives to the meeting. Attendees included representatives of 16 states that are suing the federal government in an attempt to overturn the federal health reform law; specifically the requirement that forces individuals to buy health insurance on the insurance exchange or pay a hefty tax fine.

In its initial federal grant request for the insurance exchange project the Department of Health Services said that it would: 1) Design an Exchange that moves beyond an aggregator of health insurance options, to a mechanism that influences how health care is delivered in the State. Application makes clear that Wisconsin sees the Exchange as a “transformative force”, 2) Contract to develop a predictive model to measure the impact of the insurance market reforms on Wisconsin, coupled with other requirements of the Affordable Care Act, 3) Maintain Exchange resource information on the Office of Health Care Reform web site to allow stakeholders to stay informed and provide input, and 4) Conduct surveys of the individual, small group, and large group markets, and model and analyze insurance reform impacts to assure clear understanding of Wisconsin’s current and future health insurance landscape.

The meeting reportedly did not address the role of the commercial health insurance exchanges on the implementation of new competing government systems. The model act does not address inter-state insurance exchange proposals nor insurance sales across state lines. Federal officials admitted that they may not be able to provide further guidance until 2012. Meanwhile, most states are motivated to continue to meet requirements to obtain additional funding promised by the federal government for the establishment of insurance exchange by 2014. Freedom Benefits has previously voiced the opinion that the huge amount of money being spent to set up alternate insurance sales system technologies could be better used providing health benefits to the public. We proposed on the Universal Health Insurance blog that adequate commercial insurance sales systems are already in place that could be modified in a public/private partnership to make health insurance more affordable.

5/14/2010 Diabetes Coverage: A new resource to help find health insurance for diabetics in Wisconsin is now available at Freedom Benefits.


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This web site is independently owned and managed by Tony Novak operating under the trademarks "Freedom Benefits", "OnlineAdviser" and "OnlineNavigator". Opinions expressed are the sole responsibility of the author and do not represent the opinion of any other person, company or entity mentioned. Tony Novak is not an agent, broker, producer or navigator for any federal or state health insurance exchange but may provide uncompensated advice, reviews and referrals to these official resources. Novak is compensated as an accountant, adviser, affiliate consultant, marketer, reviewer, endorser, producer, lead generator or referrer to some of the other commercial companies listed on this site. Information is from sources believed to be reliable but cannot be guaranteed.