BCBSNC Agent Judi Goloff, Breast Cancer Awareness Helped Save Her Life

For Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina health insurance agent, Judi Goloff, breast cancer awareness helped save her life.  As a breast cancer survivor, Judi knows better than anyone the importance of early detection.  That’s why Judi is such passionate supporter of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and the 5000 women living and working in North Carolina who will be diagnosed with breast cancer  this year. With the American Cancer Society estimating that more than 230,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer would be diagnosed among women in 2011 and estimated nearly 40,000 women would die from the disease, events throughout Asheville help highlight the continued need for education and early detection. From a golf tournament to an art exhibition, the city of Asheville has a number of events scheduled in October to celebrate survivors, and raise money for breast cancer research.

* On Monday, October 15, Ladies Workout Express is hosting a free community health fair from 8:00-11:00 am & 4:00-7:00 pm. The health fair will feature cancer prevention education, nutritional and cardiovascular information, plus health screenings and fitness assessments led by professionals (including blood analysis, bone-density screenings and running evaluations). There will also be a raffle and walk-a-thon with great prizes from area businesses to raise money for the American Cancer Association.

*If food really does it for you, try the second annual Plates for Pink dining event Tuesday, Oct 16. Urban Burrito, Louella’s Bar-B-Que and Okie Dokies Smokehouse are among the participating restaurants.  The Asheville Blood Donation center is sponsoring a blood drive from 7:30 am to 12:30 pm on Wednesday, October 17.  Participating donors will receive a $10 gift card to Neoburrito gift card.

*Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk will be held Oct. 20 at Pack Square, and is one of many events designed to provide women and their families with support and encouragement. The event will begin with the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk shirt pickup starting at 5:30 p.m. on the adjacent patio of Pack Tavern. The first 500 registered walkers will receive pink luminaries to light in honor of breast cancer fighters. The night before the walk, the Asheville Citizen-Times and Mission Health will host a luminary event at Park Square Park.

*And on Saturday, October 27, the sixth annual Power of Pink relay will be held at the MedWest Health and Fitness Center in Clyde, on a new, easier course. The Survivor/Honor/Memory Walk will start at 8:45 a.m. and the 5K Race/Walk at 9:30 a.m. Registration for the 5k is $25 per person and $10 for the 1-mile Honor/Memory/Survivor Walk.

One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year alone, National Breast Cancer Awareness month is one way to ensure that we stay vigilant in the fight against this disease. North Carolina health insurance agent, Judi Goloff, agrees.  As one of the 2.6 million breast cancer survivors, Judi knows first hand how important breast cancer awareness really is.

For more information on how you can get involved, contact Judi at www.nchealthplansonline.com or 800-438-5834, (828)582-2260.

BCBSNC: Understanding Health Care Reform – The Affordable Care Act & You

If you aren’t satisfied with your health insurance plan in North Carolina now, don’t have a health insurance plan, or if you have been ‘uninsurable’, you may be wondering how you’ll obtain health insurance. 

 I may be able to help you. Call me to learn more about a temporary high-risk health insurance pool program. If you do not have access to group health insurance, and are unable to get private, individual health coverage now, it’s an option that can protect you and your family.

 By now, most of us know the Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires that everyone has health insurance by 2014. Here’s good news: Beginning in 2014, Blue Cross Blue Shield of NC will have a state health insurance exchange that will help you compare benefits, prices, and healthcare providers in order to purchase (required) health insurance. If you are interested, Judi Goloff can help you navigate to get the plan most appropriate for your needs.

 Here’s something you may not know about the ACA. You may be grandfathered in and exempt from some of the new provisions of the Affordable Care Act. Call me, Judi Goloff, for a complimentary health insurance review. I can help you find answers to your questions about health insurance quotes, plans, and what the ACA means to you.

 I’m not a sales person, you see. My interest in the health care system began as I was personally driven to find the answers I needed. I have helped so many North Carolinians navigate through the system, and I can help you, too. I don’t sell a product. I help you get the peace of mind you need when dealing with health care. And BCBSNC is the company to turn to.

 Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC) has released a guide to assist members in understanding Health Care Reform , or the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The publication is for information purposes only. It is not meant as legal or tax advice and is not contractually binding on BCBSNC. Please consult with your attorney tax advisor for further advice.

 And you can contact me for the details and files mentioned on the guide. If you have any questions, I am here to help. Make sure you understand health insurance , as well as the features and benefits of the health care plan you need. Agent experience counts when buying health insurance in North Carolina. I’ve consistently been one of the top five agents for North Carolina. I would love to help you make sense of health care for you and your family. Call me at 800-438-5834 or 828-582-2260 for more information. Here’s to your health!

Blue Cross Blue Shield of NC “BluePoints” Motivates Members to Stay Healthy & Get Money Back

Let’s face it. Health insurance quotes can be expensive these days, no doubt about it. Even if you have health insurance through an employer, you may have noticed your benefits changing. I just found a review of Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina from a lady named Katrina on the Viewpoints website. I’d like to share some of what she has to say about Ease of Use:

”… have found Blue Cross Blue Shield of NC to be easier to use than some insurance companies. Most hospitals and clinics [in North Carolina] accept BCBSNC. I remember when a large hospital in our area decided to stop accepting BCBSNC–it was a disaster for the hospital and now that hospital not only accepts BCBSNC, but they also offer it to the employees of the hospital and to their Medical School employees.

They do have an informative and easy-to-navigate website. I’ve looked up numerous physicians on their website to see if they accept BCBS, and the website gives lots of helpful information related to those physicians, such as contact information, address, and even if the physician is male/female or speaks other languages. They also provide information about drugs and health problems on the website as well.

I like the fact that BCBSNC does not require a [doctor’s] referral in order to see a specialist. I’ve had another health insurance that required a referral every year. It did not matter if you had seen that specialist for eight years. You had to get a referral each year in order to have any visits to that doctor covered. That was a pain, and I’m glad that BCBSNC does not require referrals. However, some specialists require a referral from the primary doctor before they will make an appointment…”

Nice. Call me, Judi Goloff, about your health insurance plan today. I would be happy to provide you referrals of members I’ve helped, with their health insurance assessment, health insurance quotes in North Carolina, and general questions about the new Affordable Health Care law; if you have questions, I am available to help you. I don’t sell insurance, you see. My interest is in helping you ask the right questions, and to select the right health insurance plan and coverage for you and your family. Chances are BCBSNC has a perfect fit, but if not, I won’t hesitate to tell you so.

Here’s another program I love about having health insurance with Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina. Have you heard of Blue Points? The way I figure it, if you’ve got to pay for your health insurance plan, why not get all you can out of it, right? Blue Points is a great incentive program on a couple of levels.

On one level, you can get money back by choosing healthy options in your life. You can earn BluePoints many ways. For example, last year over the holidays, BCBSNC had a health insurance coupon to earn 250 Blue Points. Those points are immediately redeemable for gift cards and merchandise from places like Lowe’s, Macy’s and Amazon. How cool is that?

Second, and most important, it’s a great incentive to help you eat healthy, get exercise, and make sure to get health assessments as needed. After all, the point of the program is to reward you for wellness!

There’s a reason why the Blue Cross Blue Shield System is the nation’s oldest and largest family of health insurance companies. Call me, Judi Goloff, today to find out how I can get you quality, affordable customized coverage for you. It would be my pleasure to help you through the health insurance maze.

Eye on Your College Student: Health Insurance Sticker Shock, BCBSNC Can Help

Since 2010, the University of North Carolina college system has required all students to have health insurance coverage. It’s another one of the requirements recently mandated by the Affordable Care Act in March, 2012.

 While many students already have health insurance in North Carolina—such as being included on their parents’ Blue Cross Blue Shield of NC health insurance plan—almost two-thirds do not.

 College health plans must now include:

1). preventive benefits at no out of pocket cost to students

2). a prescription plan with no maximum, and

3). at least $100,000 max per illness or injury.

 Wow. That can get costly. In fact, health insurance costs for some of our system’s sixteen universities have more than doubled (104%) in just two years to well over $1200. And now is the time that health insurance bills are making their way to NC college students’ mailboxes. Some of the students are in sticker shock. Many colleges are planning to re-bid their health insurance contracts in order to lower costs (next year).

 But, there is an alternative.  If you’re a college student, or have a college-bound child, you are free to shop around for more economical coverage elsewhere. Call me at Blue Cross and Blue Shield Health Plans of North Carolina, and ask for a health insurance quote that meets the health care regulations for students. I’ll work carefully on your behalf to put the best possible health insurance quote and plan together for you. It will be based on your needs, and while it will meet the law’s requirement, it will be customized based on you or your child’s need as they leave home.

 Before being charged for an expensive health insurance plan that you may not need, check with the college, and find out when the deadline is to offer proof of other insurance. You may be able to opt out of the university’s plan…

 Then call me, Judi Goloff, and find out how affordable and comprehensive my temporary health insurance plans will be. I don’t just sell health insurance. I help you find the right health plan for you and your family. When researching health insurance quotes and plans in North Carolina, let me help you ask the right questions and find the right answers. Join the millions of North Carolina residents that have chosen the affordable medical and health insurance plans from Blue Cross Blue Shield of NC®.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of NC Can Help You Understand the Affordable Care Act

A couple of posts ago, I wrote about the Affordable Care Act of 2010. I didn’t expect we would have an answer so soon. As you probably know, the Supreme Court upheld the ruling that mandating health insurance coverage is constitutional.

So what does the Affordable Care Act mean for you?

  • All of us must have medical insurance starting in 2014 or face a penalty tax of $95 or 1% of your income, whichever is higher.
  • Parents can cover their kids under their BCBS health insurance plan in North Carolina until they are 26 years of age
  • If you have no coverage, you will have to get insurance quotes and buy health insurance from an independent agency by 2014
  • Low income earners can qualify for Medicaid if you earn 133% less than the federal poverty level (currently $14,856).
  • If you earn up to  400% of the poverty level ($44,680) and you don’t have health insurance from your job, you may be eligible for federal help to purchase a health insurance plan
  • Federal tax credits are available to businesses with up to 25 employees if they want to provide health insurance coverage
  • Businesses with 50 or more employees must offer health insurance to them
  • Over 200 employees? Health insurance enrollment in the company’s health care plan is mandatory
  • Finally, by 2014 no one can be denied health insurance coverage because of a pre-existing condition

This means a lot of different things to a lot of people, and there are three variables that will affect each person’s opinion and use of the health system: Job security, your health, and finances.

A mother or family with a chronically ill child requiring continual care will certainly feel different than a healthy 30 year old who doesn’t think he needs health insurance, and is made to pay the government tax.

What do I believe? Since I’m a cancer survivor, it is comforting to know that Blue Cross Blue Shield will not deny me coverage, and that my out of pocket costs for deductibles and co-payments are capped at 30% of the total cost of my insurance.

Politics aside, we will have a long way to go before the problems in health insurance quotes, coverage and implementation are resolved. No plan will ever be perfect. Do you think we’re closer now? Call me if you want to understand how your health insurance quote may change based on the Supreme Court’s ruling. I can help you compare plans and know your options for the best coverage and costs available. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina has innovative programs, and wants to help decrease the costs of our health care system. I love helping people, and would love to help you find the best insurance match for your family.

Are ACOs the Answer to an Affordable, Quality Healthcare & Health Insurance System?

Remember the Affordable Care Act of 2010? It’s the one Congress titles: Quality, Affordable Health Care for all Americans. How about the part where it will be the responsibility of every single American – requirement – to maintain (and report on) minimum essential health insurance coverage? Ah, now you remember.

This is the biggest question on which we’re waiting for the Supreme Court to make its ruling. Passing it would mean that millions of uninsured Americans would have their health insurance coverage subsidized by the federal government. The question isn’t whether or not it’s a good idea. The real question for the Supreme Court is whether mandating health insurance coverage is actually constitutional.

Whatever happens will turn out to be a double edged sword, and there is no easy answer.

There is good news. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina has started to 1) pay doctors bonuses if they improve efficiency, 2) encourage patients to shop around for treatment, and 3) pay doctors to install computerized records. I believe all of these are good, and no matter what happens at the Supreme Court, we’re not going back to the ridiculous status of healthcare and insurance of 2009.

Increasing health insurance costs, associated with our aging population and more disease, will ensure continuous efforts to expand coverage, reduce costs, cut waste and improve healthcare. We’ve got to figure out ways to address of all these issues. I’m glad to see BCBSNC taking a proactive approach to working on a solution.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is creating (i.e. funding) with the University of North Carolina Health Care System (UNCHCS) a private accountable care organization (ACO) in which a shared risk model means patients will have easier and better access to their doctors, medical records, and test results.

I’ll write again about these ACO provider alliances. Will they deliver lower-cost but still high-quality health care via new payment models, particularly ones that reward efficiency? It’s premature to tell. But I can help you find the right and most affordable plan for you and your family. Let me help you ask the right questions when getting health insurance quotes and comparing health insurance plans in North Carolina. I am happy to help you find the right answers for your needs.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina Supports Farm to School Program

BCBSNC

Farm to School Program

Last month I told you about the irony of me being a cancer survivor and selling health insurance. Although I always felt I was a healthy eater, I became even more of a fresh, local produce advocate as a result. So you can imagine how great I felt learning that Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina® (BCBSNC) Foundation, along with the NC Department of Agriculture, announced a $1.2 million grant to benefit the North Carolina Farm to School program. This is great news for our kids (and for those of us requesting health insurance quotes each time our policy renews). Healthy kids become healthy adults, and that ultimately reduces insurance costs for everyone.

Here are the facts:  About 15% of adolescents (12-19 years) and children (6-11 years) are obese, and about two thirds of us are considered overweight. In fact, America is the fattest country in the world! Being overweight leads to so many costly medical conditions – heart disease, diabetes, cancer, asthma and sleep apnea, just to name a few. Obviously, heavy people pay more for their health insurance plans than others.

But even the healthiest people pay the health insurance cost of obesity in America, because quotes and rates are based on statistics. Health insurance providers like BCBSNC know all too well the cost of obesity on health insurance plans. This weighty issue is great; it’s one of the reasons I’m proud to represent some of the best health care insurance plans around…even if you’re uninsurable, I can help.

Blue Cross Blue Shield Of North Carolina Health Insurance CEO Brad Wilson explained the motivation behind the foundation’s grant, “The reason we are doing this is because we have an obesity epidemic in our country. We are in crisis mode, and this is one small step that is going to make a difference.”

Back to the Farm to School program. Children spend more time in school during the week than at home. Do you know which foods your child is eating, or has access to, at school? The NC program has been supplying school cafeterias across our state with the freshest, locally grown produce from North Carolina farms since 1997 (Buncombe County did not participate in 2008 and 2010). It has also provided valuable resources for nutrition directors, teachers, parents and students learning about food and agriculture.

Kudos to BCBSNC! I’m proud to work with an insurance company that is helping. A healthier lifestyle means a healthier community, lower healthcare costs, and a healthier economy. Think of what we can do with the millions of dollars we would save on health care expenditures and insurance rates if we – and our children – can reverse the obesity trend!

I don’t sell health insurance. I help you find the right health plan for you and your family. When researching health insurance quotes and plans in North Carolina, let me help you ask the right questions and find the right answers. Join the millions of North Carolina residents that have chosen the affordable medical and health insurance plans from Blue Cross Blue Shield of NC®.

PS – You can learn more about our Foundation on the web at bcbsncfoundation.org.

Calm and Happy Children, Calm and Happy Parents

In homes, schools, medical clinics and even insurance agencies, people talk about psychological health and well being and the great numbers of adults and children with attention deficit, hyperactivity, anxiety or depression. How health insurance plans or medical offices will deal with a person’s situation depends upon each case and coverage. Costs for dealing with these conditions can be quite high.

 Millions of children in the U.S. are medicated for ADHD alone, according to the Center of Disease Control (CDC). Over a million preschool children in the U.S. are said to be depressed. North Carolina has more parents who report their children as having ADHD than any other state. Yet parents and children everywhere are happiest when both parents and children feel great without requiring prescription medication for mood, impulses, behavior and so on!

 The vast subject of ADHD, depression and anxiety and their counterpart (a positive sense of well being) aren’t that well understood. Our diet is a big part of our environment and the diet greatly impacts how we feel.

 Google search “ADD+diet” and we find over 128 million pages results! Googling “depression+diet” brings over 17 million page results. While such isn’t solid research, it would be a bit silly to think that diet and chemistry do not affect our minds and our sense of well-being. Attention to diet can often identify various causes of imbalances so we can rectify the imbalances make needed changes serious medical conditions develop. Parents report amazing results for both themselves AND for kids when they remove dietary items proven to create difficulties.

 A most helpful method to finding answers is the do-it-yourself Rotation Diet. This method of rotating foods and observing changes was developed by obesity expert, Martin Katahn, PhD.

 Since it’s a highly individual matter, people can observe their reactions to items with the rotation diet and learn exactly what foods subtly (or not so subtlety) disagree with them. Depression, anxiety, hyperactivity, sluggishness, digestive upsets, headache or migraine, feeling “scattered” and unfocused, etc., are sometimes only a result of a few key food choices that don’t support one’s chemistry.

 It’s common for people to put up with feeling poorly over many years, to later learn that discomfort, headache, aches and pains, arthritis and mood issues were food sensitivity related. (Allergy tests don’t typically reveal such sensitivities, which are different from allergy.)

 There are a few essentials that every human needs. In addition to supporting our physical wellness, these nutrients also support our moods, behavior and general feeling of wellness:

 Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) — A guaranteed-pure fish oil benefits the brain and nervous system and virtually every other system in the body. In research studies, fish oil has often proved to be beneficial to those with depression. Not only are EFAs good for feelings of well-being, they are needed for correct adrenal and thyroid function, the development and function of the brain, healthy hormonal activity, breaking down fats and many other things! EFAs are in fish, especially the skin of the fish, as well as nuts, flax, green and leafy vegetables.

 Adequate magnesium is a must. 80% of Americans are said to have a magnesium deficiency. Signs include anxiety, irritability, hyperactivity, confusion, fidgeting, difficulty sleeping, learning difficulty, constipation and even dangerous heart rhythm problems. Magnesium is found in beans, nuts and other vegetables.

Zinc is a common nutritional deficiency among children who are hyperactive. A person with zinc deficiency has trouble thinking, and is prone to being anxious. Zinc is found in meats and grains.

 

B vitamins give people lots of energy and a good feeling of vitality. Bs are found in meats, milk,  whole-grain cereals, eggs, fish, yogurt, nuts, fruits and many other foods.

 

Vitamin E is a calming vitamin. Without enough of it, we have poor nerve conduction in the brain, among other problems. Almonds, olive oil, wheat germ oil and many other foods have vitamin E.

 

Vitamin D deficiency if rampant! It causes depression. D comes from the sun. D is a powerful immune system supporter and is needed for strong bones. Many adults and children are highly deficient in D, which also offers protection against many cancers, viruses and infections. D3 is said to be the health promoting and non-synthetic form of the vitamin which is added to milk and other products.

 How we eat can indeed be our “medicine” and help us to feel at our best.

 We at www.nchealthplansonline.com wish you a happy and healthy season ahead! Call Judy Goloff for NC health insurance information. Judy’s primary focus is on identifying and meeting your individual medical care needs with a variety of health and life insurance plans from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina ® (BCBSNC). She will walk you through the entire process to make sure you get what you need in a health plan. 1-800-582-2262.

Health Insurance for Starter Families

Starting out in life is tough and starting out with a family can be even tougher. You want to do everything you can for them and, just in case, you want them protected. One of the most important types of protection is Health Insurance.

 Why Health Insurance?

 Health insurance protects you and your family from the high cost of medical care. In the most basic form you pay a monthly premium and the provider offers certain coverage.  One common fear is the cost of health insurance but imagine what the consequences could be of not having coverage.  Medical bills from a small playground accident can delete any savings and a major illness could put you into bankruptcy.

 Comparing Plans

 There are basically two types of plans, Traditional or Indemnity and Managed care.

Indemnity also known as ”Fee for Service” generally covers illness and accidents. There are no provisions for preventive care (flu shots, birth control, yearly wellness checks). And they may not offer prescription coverage. A big advantage is that you will have more freedom as to choice of doctors but you will pay for it with higher premiums.

 Managed care is what most of us are more familiar with. These include HMOs (Health Maintenance Organization) and PPOs (Preferred Provider Organization). HMOs offer lower premiums by offering care through a network of doctors and hospitals.  Co-payments are generally lower and prescriptions, preventive care and mental health are covered.

 PPOs are like a combination of the “Fee for Service” and the HMO. You have the option to use doctors out of the network but you will pay a higher portion of the cost. Using doctors within the network will save you in out-of pocket-costs which could include co-payments, deductibles, or other fees that you are required to pay outside of your health benefits plan. Premiums for PPOs are generally higher.

 Choose a health Plan

 Health insurance can add to the family budget, but there sensible ways to save money by shopping wisely. If you look around you will find options.  If your employer offers insurance you should take advantage.  You will almost always get a better premium with group or employer-subsidized plans.

 Whether you are getting insurance coverage through your employer or you have to buy it yourself it is important to do your homework and pick the plan that is right for you. Another good idea is to investigate insurance brokers. A broker has access to multiple providers and can help you make the right choice. Some questions you should ask your broker or while shopping around:

 – Does the plan cover the services I may use? Are there any pre-existing conditions, do you plan on having children. Does their network cover favorite doctors or hospitals?

– Prescription cost, how much they cover, what they cover. Do you have any special prescription needs?

– What are the co-payments?

– What are the deductibles? A common mistake is to choose a high deductible to keep the premium low. This could actually prevent you from getting care if you can’t cover it so keep the deductible realistic.

– What expenses have t be paid before reimbursement

 Before you make a final decision with a company take a few minute and get online and check them out. Look for things like complaints or high dropout rates. Look for accreditations and memberships. Purchasing health insurance is one of the most important decisions you will make for your family and it is a choice that needs to be made wisely.

I’m A Breast Cancer Survivor

I’m about more than North Carolina health insurance, I’m a firm believer in living a healthy whole life and I’ve practiced that with my own for a long time. But life can throw you a curve ball.

I was going along thinking that I was doing everything right then wham I’m diagnosed with breast cancer. I’m proud to say that I am a two year survivor but my point is that no matter how well you think you are taking care of yourself “shit happens” and that is the truth. If I did not have my health coverage the medical bills could have cost me my home and my way of life.

 I believe life is a gift and you should choose to live healthy. If you go to my blog you will find articles about cooking healthy, essential oils for health, quitting smoking with many more to follow. But, I also believe in “prepare for the worst” and things happen in life that are out of your control like a car accident for example so you have to have a good health insurance plan.

 Please go to my site, see what I offer and feel free to contact me.