Shopping for health insurance in the state of Nebraska might seem like a daunting task. Thankfully, there are many options open to Nebraskans who are uninsured or underinsured. Whether you're healthy or not, this page can provide you with valuable information for obtaining health coverage. Read on to learn about the difference between group and individual coverage, and COBRA. If you're healthy enough to obtain coverage on the individual market or if you have a small business and qualify for small group, Health Plan One can help. If not, review the information on this page about NE Medicaid, Kids Connection, and NECHIP. All of these government programs can help those who are medically uninsurable or who cannot afford private coverage obtain basic health coverage.
What Every Nebraskan Should Know About Health Insurance
The type of health insurance familiar to most consumers is group coverage offered by an employer. With group health insurance through your employer the policy is partially paid for by the company on behalf of their employees. The company will contribute a large percentage toward the monthly premium and you (the employee) will be responsible for paying the difference, about 16-27%. With group plans you have little choice in the specific benefits of the plan (these are determined by negotiations between the company and the insurance carrier) but you also cannot be denied coverage under the group plan no matter what prescriptions you may take or preexisting conditions you may have. By insuring a large group of employees together under one plan of the company's choosing, individual employees are not medically underwritten, rather the entire group is underwritten as a whole to determine the premium level everyone will pay. Therefore, the amount you pay in premiums as well as the quality of the coverage you receive are dependent not on how healthy you are or what benefits you would like to have, but how healthy your group is as a whole and what benefits the company has chosen for you.
Unfortunately, companies frequently have a waiting period before new employees can qualify to receive health insurance benefits. If this is the case with your new job, consider getting a short-term policy from the point where your previous coverage ends to the time when your new company's insurance kicks in. Such options are available through Health Plan One. Simply visit our Short-Term information page for your free quotes. It is important not to have a lapse in coverage of more than 63 days. If you do, your new insurance carrier may refuse to cover treatment for pre-existing conditions you may have such as asthma or acne for up to a year after your policy goes into effect. For this reason, having continuous health insurance coverage is particularly important.
What If I'm Between Jobs?
As previously mentioned, it is important not to have a break in coverage of more than 63 days. As a result, if you've recently lost your job look into extending the coverage you had with your employer through COBRA. With the COBRA program through the federal government you can extend your plan for up to 18 months after losing your job. You will however have to pick up the entire premium cost which your employer had previously been paying. For this reason, it is frequently more economical for people who've lost their jobs to invest in an individual/family insurance policy through Health Plan One.
With individual coverage, you choose the health insurance carrier and benefits you want with the help of Health Plan One. We will quote plans for you and your family from all the different carriers available in Nebraska so that you can choose from a wide price range and spectrum of options to tailor a plan that fits your needs. Even if you are not between jobs, a plan on the individual market through Health Plan One could still be the best option for your family. Many companies do not offer benefits to their employees, and often those companies that do offer benefits do so at an exorbitant cost for low quality plans. It is important to note that with individual coverage in Nebraska each person who applies is medically underwritten and may be approved, denied, or rated-up by the carrier depending on their health history in recent months.
If you're healthy and are unhappy with the health insurance offered by your employer, are between jobs, or are not offered benefits by your company, enter your zip code into the Health Plan One quoting engine at the top of this page to view the most competitively priced plans in your area with benefits tailored to your needs. Quotes are absolutely free, and you're under no obligation to buy. Our licensed insurance specialists are also available via LiveChat (see the button to the right) or toll-free at (877) 567-5267 to answer any questions.
Small Group Plans
If you are self-employed, you could apply for a small group plan for your company. You must have 2 or more eligible employees who each work full-time, at least 30 hours per week. Small group plans are medically underwritten by all carriers in Nebraska. There are no requirements for the length of time you've been in business, but you must show proof of earning taxable income. All carriers do medical underwriting on their small groups. This means that though no one in the group can be denied coverage the carrier can increase the rates based on the health history of employees enrolling.
Health Plan One can help you by quoting plans for small groups. Simply call us toll-free (877) 567-5267.
For more information on small group plans for this state please see our Nebraska Small Group page.
If you're not healthy there are still many programs available to you. See below for details on the options which best fit your medical and financial situation.
Nebraska Medicaid and Medicare
The Nebraska Medicaid program, administered by the NE Department of Health & Human Services, provides health care services to eligible elderly and disabled residents, and low-income pregnant women, children, and their parents. The program has specific income requirements for all categories of full and partial coverage enrollees. These can be found in the program application, available on the program's website: http://www.hhs.state.ne.us/med/medindex.htm On this page http://www.hhs.state.ne.us/med/medserv.htm you can also find a summary of benefits. These include many medically necessary services and some preventative services, such as childhood vaccines and checkups. For information on the prescription drug, or pharmacy aspect of NE Medicaid, click here: https://nebraska.fhsc.com/
Click here for information about Medicare in Nebraska.
Nebraska Kids Connection
Kids Connection is the children's coverage aspect of NE Medicaid. This includes the federally-mandated SCHIP program. The program's purpose is to provide basic health coverage to low-income uninsured children throughout the state. There are citizenship requirements children must meet in order to be eligible, as well as family income guidelines. If your family income qualifies you for Medicaid, then your children may be covered under Kids Connection. If your family income is above Medicaid guidelines but you still cannot afford private insurance for your children, they could still be covered under the SCHIP aspect of Kids Connection. For detailed benefit summaries and income guidelines, visit the program's website at http://www.hhs.state.ne.us/med/Kidsconx.htm and call their toll-free number.
Nebraska Comprehensive Health Insurance Plan (NECHIP)
The Nebraska Comprehensive Health Insurance Plan is the state's high risk pool. It makes basic health coverage accessible to residents who are unable to afford or obtain health insurance on the individual market due to a preexisting medical condition. For medically uninsurable individuals, the pool is the insurer of last resort. The eligibility requirements for NECHIP are very extensive, and can be found here: http://www.nechip.com/eligibility.aspx Benefits of the program are largely similar to those found with a private plan. To see if your preexisting condition is one that would qualify you for the pool, visit the program's website at http://www.nechip.com/