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The Consumer Driven Healthcare Certification provides consultants technical, actionable information that can be used to help clients consider fast-evolving plans and implement them.
As healthcare costs continue to rise, consumers are becoming increasingly responsible for out-of-pocket expenses, regardless of their health plan type. By pairing health plans with a consumer-driven account, clients will not only save money but also provide their employees with a better way to manage their healthcare spending.
Employees have access to preventative medicine such as flu shots, mammograms, colonoscopy, heart and cancer screenings and more, generally available with small co-pay and some with no costs at all.
The Group Benefits Disability Specialist (GBDS) designation was created with the learning needs of insurance professionals in mind. The GBDS is the most complete professional designation available for industry professionals seeking to master the subject of group disability coverage. Individuals completing the GBDS program have demonstrated extensive knowledge in a critical functional area of group disability practice—insurance policy coverage—and will have applied that knowledge in real-life case study exercises.
A Registered Health Underwriter (RHU) designation is the premier credential in the health insurance market. This field of study broadens a consultant’s knowledge with the most comprehensive information available on group insurance benefits and health insurance for individuals and families. This program helps agents stay current with the major benefit protection laws, including COBRA, ERISA and HIPAA.
The Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) designation focuses on the comprehensive financial planning process as an organized way to collect and analyze information on a client’s total financial situation; to identify and establish specific financial goals; and to formulate, implement, and monitor a comprehensive plan to achieve those goals. The ChFC program provides financial services professionals with in-depth knowledge of the skills needed to perform comprehensive financial planning for their clients.
A Certified Public Accountant (CPA) is an individual who has passed the CPA examination administered by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and who has received state certification and practiced accounting. The individual must also complete 5 years of education and work experience. They must continue to have a certain degree of education each year to keep this designation.
The Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) designation has long been recognized as the fundamental and foremost educational credential for life insurance professionals. Since 1927, more than 94,000 individuals have earned their CLU, helping them build a successful life insurance practice by providing clients with knowledgeable and ethical advice. For financial representatives, field management, home office personnel, and others involved in providing life insurance products to the public, the CLU designation symbolizes continuing growth and commitment to professionalism.
Benefits Administrator. Jillian assists employers with implementing plans and communicating the benefits to the employees. She is the specialist for our online enrollment system, Employee Navigator. She is also the compliance administrator for our agency. Jillian graduated from McKendree University with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology.
Benefits Administrator. Autumn Rensing joined Lowery Benefit Service in January 2017 as a Benefit Administrator. Autumn works closely with both carriers and clients in servicing accounts. She is also the compliance administrator for our agency. Autumn graduated from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration.
Benefits Administrator. Assistant to the group benefits consultant and support staff. Michelle has been with Lowery Benefits Services since Sept. 2006. Her attention to detail and excellent customer service makes her a valuable member of the team.
Associate Financial Representative. Judy has been a member of the Lowery Group team since 1992. She received her CLU designation from the American College in 2002. Judy works closely with clients and understands the importance of confidentiality, attention to detail and excellent customer service.
Director & Benefits Consultant. B.S. in Human Resource Management and Business Administration, RHU (Registered Health Underwriter), Benefits Consultant and Group Benefits Disability Specialist (GBDS), Consumer Driven Healthcare (CDHC) Certified. Deb’s knowledge and expertise in the group benefits industry provides our clients with the most comprehensive planning strategies available in the marketplace today. She is responsible for coordination of plans and serves as the central contact for questions and services. Deb has her B.S. in Human Resource Management and Business Administration. She also is a Registered Health Underwriter (RHU), a Group Benefits Disability Specialist (GBDS) and is Certified in Consumer Driven Healthcare (CDHC).
Wealth Management Advisor. Chris believes in a disciplined investment approach based on diversification across broad asset classes. He balances this emphasis on individualized asset allocation with a focus on diversification and a long-term view of markets and performance. Understanding an individual’s investment attitudes and risk tolerance, and developing a unique financial profile are the keys to creating an appropriate asset allocation.
Founder & CEO. Roger Lowery has more than 40 years of experience in group benefits, insurance and financial services. He has developed Lowery Benefit Services into a successful practice of highly trained and experienced group benefit professionals who help their clients develop and administer state-of-the-art group benefit packages.
Note that Medicare Advantage and Part D Plans can only be purchased during annual open enrollment of OCT 15th to DEC 7th.
Medicare Supplement Insurance policies can be purchased at any time of the year and complement your Original Medicare Parts A and B. They cover some, if not all, of the expenses that Part A and B do not cover, like co-pays, deductibles and other charges.
There are many different types of Medicare Supplement policies available, however they are regulated so the benefits for these various policies (known as Plan A through N), are all the same regardless of the carrier. However, premiums can vary greatly among carriers.
Note that while Medicare Supplements can be purchased any time of the year, if you purchase a plan during Medicare open enrollment (October 15th to Dec 7th) you can avoid the medical underwriting process.
You must have original Medicare Parts A & B to buy Medicare Advantage, and plans can only be purchased during the Annual Open Enrollment period of October 15th to Dec 7th of each year. Medicare Advantage plans are offered by private carriers and replace your original Medicare Parts A and B, as they are rolled into one plan. You can select between an HMO or PPO, and most plans may cover more of your healthcare costs and have additional benefits, such as prescription drug coverage. Some may have dental or vision benefits. Premiums vary based on coverage, carrier and geographical location.
Ultimately, the best Medicare plan is one that is purchased from a quality carrier, has a low premium and leaves you with the least or no out-of-pocket expenses.
Prescription drug coverage offered by private carriers contract with Medicare. Because premiums vary greatly, you should carefully weigh your prescription costs against all variables of these plans. Selecting the wrong plan can wind up costing you thousands. Some Medicare Advantage plans may offer prescription coverage as well.
Medicare annual open enrollment is October 15th through December 7th every year.
To sign up for original Medicare Parts A & B, along with Part D, most people will have an Initial Enrollment Period which is a 7 month period around the time they turn age 65. This period begins 3 months before the month you turn 65, includes the month you turn 65, and ends 3 months after the month you turn 65.
Once your Initial Enrollment Period is over, if you wish to change or purchase Advantage or Part D Plans, you must act during the open enrollment period.
NOTICE: Once you are eligible for Medicare, do not wait to enroll in a Medicare Part D Plan or you could end up paying a penalty every month.
Once enrolled in Medicare, if you wish to change or purchase Medicare plans you must act during the open enrollment period.
When open enrollment is closed, there are special circumstances in which one may qualify to enroll outside of the enrollment period. Listed below are the qualifying events:
Onsite or offsite nutritional classes, access to other nutritional resources such as diet apps, blogs and other subscriptions. Access to a nutrition expert to guide your employees to foods and recipes that are based on their specific Health Risk Assessment and Dietary DNA Screening, and synergized to their body and tastes.
Members may also qualify for special assistance with diabetes management and more.
Employees have access to programs such as smoking cessation, substance abuse help, financial wellness seminars and more. Whether your employees need help with a specific issue or just want to talk through concerns with someone, a team of board-certified therapists, PhDs, and physicians are there for them, online or over the phone.
Employees can consult with a licensed physician, 24/7 via phone or video for little or no copay, on health matters for diagnosis and treatment, including medications. Employees can also access a nurse hotline 24/7 for general medical advice.
Health risk assessments, biometric screenings and access to a health coach to help create awareness, improve health and reduce claims of your most at risk employees. Included are the basics of measurement: height, weight, BMI, blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and much more.
Access to a personal fitness coach with onsite, offsite or virtual physical fitness classes. Special group events, such as 5K runs. Discounts to gym memberships. Access to additional resources such as fitness trackers, blogs, subscriptions and more.
We help retirees and other eligible employees tackle the challenges of ever increasing premiums and health care costs with quality Medicare Supplements offered by our top national carriers. We offer a guaranteed issue “true group” approach. The individual would need to have Medicare A & B. The group plans acts as the “supplement” and provides for coverage some, if not all, of the expenses that Part A and B do not cover, like co-pays, deductibles and other charges. The group Medicare plan can be sponsored by the employer but paid for by the individual, if the group chooses. The individual can see any doctor and hospital without a referral for most plans. There is no deductible for Rx coverage and includes coverage in the gap or the “donut hole.”
It has been proven that employees are more productive when they feel secure that their loved ones will be taken care of, in the event of illness or an untimely death. That’s why smart employers consider life insurance a key part of the benefit package, and a valuable tool in attracting top talent. A good life insurance policy provides for an employee’s final expenses, taxes, mortgage and more. Additionally, it may even pay for their children’s education.
We offer the following life insurance options, either as part of the employer paid main benefit offering, or on a voluntary bases. Coverage is is typically for a flat amount or for up to 2x to 3x the employee’s salary, with the option for the employee to buy up the policy, and or include coverage for dependents (spouse and children). Typically there is no exam required up to a certain amount. Coverage is portable when on a voluntary basis, meaning the employee can take the policy with them when they change employers.
Term Life Insurance
This type of life insurance does not build cash value. However, it will pay a set amount to the named beneficiary upon the death of insured within the stated term. Additionally, some policies may also make payments upon terminal or critical illness.
Permanent Life Insurance
A Term Life policy protects employees during their working years, however Permanent Life provides additional coverage that employees can utilize later in life. Employees can widen their safety net with premiums and benefits they can count on, as they don’t ever change.
Several advantages of Permanent Life include borrowing against the policy or building a tax deferred investment income, in addition to paying a death benefit.
Whole Life, Variable Life and Universal Life are all types of cash value life insurance. Cash value insurance is also known as permanent life insurance because it provides coverage for the policyholder’s entire life.
When an employee is unable to work due to illness or an accident, the financial impact can be devastating for them. When this happens, Disability Insurance replaces a portion of your employee’s income, while they are unable to work. While worst case scenario might seem remote, employees are often surprised to learn statistics show chances of becoming disabled are greater than dying between the ages of 25 & 45. In fact, more than one in four 20-year-olds will experience a disability for longer than 90 days before the age of 67.
With these statistics, it is no wonder that national surveys continue to show that Disability Insurance remains of high importance for most employees as an affordable strategy to widen their financial safety net. Those who wish to purchase a wrap-around policy to augment their employer provided coverage may do so. Group disability insurance is a product you don’t want to purchase solely on price. The employer really needs to understand the coverage and the language in the contract. Our group disability experts can help you and your employees do that plus help select the right plan. It is important that you understand the policy’s definition of disability, the offsets and the mandatory requirements. For instance, some require mandatory rehabilitation, while others do not.
Lowery Benefits Services has a very close relationship with one of the largest disability insurance companies in the industry allowing expedited service, quick answers to any questions and education of their products.
Short Term Disability
During the time an employee is unable to work due to a qualifying disability (illness or injury), STD generally allows for income payments to the employee to begin after about a two-week waiting period and will continue to pay the employee until he/she recovers or maxes out the benefits–usually anywhere between one month to two years, depending on the policy.
Long Term Disability
During the time an employee is unable to work due to a qualifying disability (illness or injury), LTD generally allows for income payments to the employee to begin after about a 90-day waiting period. However, it could be much longer depending on the policy. The policy will pay the employee far longer than STD–for a few years, up to age 65, or even for life.
Gap benefits allow employers to strengthen the benefit package, while saving significantly on group health premiums. A Gap plan provides benefits that follow and augment a low cost, high deductible major medical and comprehensive benefit package, as it will pay benefits directly to the provider, up to a maximum amount.
With healthcare costs skyrocketing, employees with extensive or on-going medical issues and high out-of-pocket costs will value a Gap Plan. Even when employees are required to pay for some or all of the Gap premium, an employee’s overall maximum out-of-pocket costs are greatly reduced with a Gap coverage.
Gap plans work by paying a significant amount of the deductible on a major medical plan. More specifically, the additional benefits help to cover out-of-pocket expenses related to coinsurance, co-pays and deductibles for inpatient and outpatient services. For example, if you have a $5,000 deductible on your major medical plan, gap coverage could pay up to $4,000 of that deductible.
Following are employee benefit plan options designed to save both employers and employees money on healthcare and premiums. The plans are similar in some ways, but also vary, each having unique advantages and savings opportunities.
A Health Savings Account combines a high deductible, lower premium group health insurance plan (HDHP) with an employee owned, interest earning savings account. Both employer and employee can contribute, with pre-taxed dollars, to the savings account. This effectively reduces the employee’s taxable income as well. Tax free withdrawals are used directly by employee to help fund the deductible and other qualified medical expenses (including prescription, dental, and vision related healthcare). Any unused contributions can roll-over to the next year, and the HSA is portable and stays with the individual, even when that person changes employers. For all qualified medical expenses see See IRS Publication 502.
A Health Reimbursement Arrangement pairs a high deductible, low premium health insurance plan (HDHP) with a tax-favored savings account to cover the high deductible. The HRA is funded by the employer and money is distributed only when a claim is incurred, typically for co-pays and other qualified expenses submitted by the employee, prior to the deductible being met. HRA contributions are not considered income to the individual. This type of arrangement helps both the individual and the business owner. The individual gets financial assistance paying medical bills and the employer only pays money when a claim is incurred, plus gets a business deduction.
A Premium-Only Plan allows employees to select, purchase and pay monthly premiums for their own individual insurance plan with pre-tax dollars. Employees elect a set amount of wages to be deducted from each payroll to be used by the employer to reimburse the employee for the monthly premium. Qualified benefit plans range from traditional health, dental and vision plans to supplemental health plans such as accident, cancer and or hospital indemnity plans.
A Flexible Spending Account is a tax-favored savings account funded solely by the employee through regular pre-tax payroll deductions. The funds can be withdrawn, tax-free, to pay for eligible medical, dental, vision, prescription and dependent daycare expenses. Employees elect how much they want withdrawn from each pay period. By participating in a FSA, an employee always has cash to pay for these expenses, and as an added benefit, their taxable income is reduced which also increases the percentage of pay they take home. One disadvantage of using an FSA is that funds not used by the end of the plan year are lost to the employee, known as the “use it or lost it’ rule. In 2021, the maximum allowed per employee in a medical flexible spending account is $2750 per plan year.
A self-funded plan requires the employer to assume all the risk, paying all claims on the plan, and will often partner with a PPO to provide healthcare services for the plan. They will also hire a third-party vendor TPA to service the plan’s administration. In other words, the employer becomes the insurer. Main advantages of self-funding are the savings in taxes and premiums the employer will enjoy, and also having more customization and control over the benefits that the plan offers. Most plans include wellness and chronic disease management at no cost to the employee.
The downside of a self-funded health plan is the employer runs the risk of a large catastrophic claim and must purchase stop-loss insurance to protect themselves in such an event. Even with the additional expense of stop-loss insurance, employers save a significant amount of money on premiums and other advantages.
Partially-Funded Plans (aka Level-Funded) are a variation of a Self-Funding and allows small employers to take advantage of all the cost saving and benefit design features of a fully self-insured plan, however, they share the risk with one of our top national carriers. The premiums for shared funding plans are generally much lower than fully insured plans. An employer may save even more by implementing wellness programs into the benefit strategy.
What is a fully-funded health plan?
A fully-funded health plan is one where the insurance carrier assumes all the risk in exchange for a monthly premium. The carrier pays all claims on the plan, and services the plan’s administration. The main advantage of a fully-funded plan is the employer knows exactly what the plan is going to cost them. The downside of a fully-funded health plan is when benefits go unused, the employer does not get any money back.
A Health Maintenance Organization (HMO)
An HMO group health plan requires employees to appoint a primary care physician who directs treatment utilizing service providers affiliated with the HMO. HMOs offer access to a comprehensive package of health care for a low monthly premium. A small co-payment is often required for services, depending upon the type provided.
Preferred Provider Organization
PPO group health plans offer a vast network of quality healthcare providers and facilities. Employees save the most money on healthcare if they use providers within the network, as some services may be only partially covered or not even covered at all when outside providers are used. Also, many services may not be covered if deductibles are not first met, however, the plan includes important wellness and preventative services provided outside of the deductible with a small co-pay.
Point of Service Plans (POS)
POS plans combine features of HMOs and PPOs. Most POS plans require members to choose a primary care physician from within the POS network, but allow them to use out-of-network specialists with a referral from a primary care physician. Co-payments will be higher for out-of-network services.
Cancer insurance is a safety net for your employees, designed to help them when they are fighting a cancer diagnosis. With more than 2 million new cancer cases a year, this type of insurance is an important benefit option you can offer your employees to enhance and supplement your traditional health coverage. Benefits (a lump sum) can be paid directly to your employee to help cover copays, deductibles, and other expenses that come with the long battle of fighting cancer.
With the skyrocketing cost of healthcare, most people do not have enough savings to cover an unplanned illness or accident. In fact, according to many studies, over 65% of all personal bankruptcies are caused by medical bills. Voluntary Critical Care Plans will allow your employees to focus on getting better by providing benefits that go beyond traditional employer sponsored health insurance, helping people to cover deductibles, copays, living expenses and more in the event of an unforeseen critical illness.
Some key features include cash benefits paid directly to the employee and plans to fit different levels of coverage/budgets.
With the skyrocketing cost of healthcare, most people do not have enough savings to cover an unplanned illness or accident. In fact, according to many studies, over 65% of all personal bankruptcies are caused by medical bills. Voluntary Accident Plans will allow your employees to focus on getting better by providing benefits that go beyond traditional employer sponsored health insurance, helping people to cover deductibles, copays, living expenses and more in the event of a sudden accident.
Employees always appreciate dental & vision coverage as part of the benefits package. We offer both dental and vision as part of the employer sponsored package or on a voluntary basis.
Studies have shown that regular dental exams help employees to stay healthier and more productive in the work place. Additionally, you can detect serious underlying conditions such as heart disease and diabetes, through regular dental exams. In fact, the National Association of Dental Plans and the Centers for Disease Control have performed studies that show that employees with dental insurance have better attitudes and are less likely to suffer from depression, a common condition in today’s fast-paced world.
Dental insurance offers a variety of diagnostic, preventative care and corrective services. This includes cleanings, exams, x-rays, fillings, root canals, orthodontia for children, and emergency care while traveling.
Similar to dental policies, vision plans are inexpensive and save employees money on routine eye care. Examples of care include exams, eyeglass frames and lenses, contacts, and even discounts on procedures like LASIK. Additionally, monitoring your eye health with regular exams helps to prevent serious eye diseases like glaucoma and cataracts. In addition, regular eye exams help to detect early stages of diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.
Accidents can happen anytime. Accident insurance helps to protect employees from financial hardship due to a great deal of medical and out-of-pocket expenses that follow accidental injuries. For example, emergency treatment, hospital stays, medical exams, transportation and lodging needs are just a few of the expenses that accident insurance can help cover. In fact, some policies can even pay benefits in as little as one day, based on time of claim submission.
A hospital indemnity policy is designed to supplement coverage to major medical, Medicare, and Medicare Advantage plans. With hospitalization costs soaring, hospital indemnity insurance is a very affordable strategy that helps people cover out-of-pocket costs when they have an expensive, unplanned hospital stay.
Hospital Indemnity plans have become very popular for individuals aged 65 to 84 who account for almost 30 percent of all inpatient hospital stays. And, much research shows that original Medicare or MA plans do not cover the entire costs of these stays.
These policies are also a good fit for other, younger individuals as most people do not have enough savings to cover an unplanned illness or accident. In fact, according to many studies, over 65% of all personal bankruptcies are caused by medical bills.
How it works
Unlike a traditional major medical plan that reimburses you or pays directly to a provider for approved hospital stays and medical care, a Hospital Indemnity Plan pays a lump-sum payment directly to the insured. The cash payment helps with out-of-pocket expenses and covers you when you are off work due to a hospital stay, allowing you to focus on getting better instead of worrying about bills. The coverage is usually a set amount per day, per week, per month, or per visit depending on the benefit level selected.
Accidents can happen anytime. Accident Insurance is very affordable and provides benefits in addition to your regular health insurance and/or disability insurance, in the case of a accidental injury. Accident Insurance can go a long way to protect you from financial hardship due to a great deal of medical, recovery and out-of-pocket expenses that follow accidental injuries.
In the event of a covered accident, Accidental Injury insurance pays benefits directly to you or anyone you assign. How you use the money is up to you. Cover deductibles and copays for primary care visits and physical therapy, emergency treatment, hospital stays, medical exams, transportation and lodging needs, along with other expenses that regular health insurance doesn’t cover when you have an accident. Some policies can even pay benefits in as little as one day, based on time of claim submission.
Following are types of major-medical health plans you can purchase from one of our top carriers. Note you must purchase your health plan during open enrollment – November 1st through December 15th.
Health Maintenance Organization Or HMO
An HMO offers lower premiums and a significant savings on routine and preventative healthcare. However, this type of health plan requires you to appoint a primary care physician and to use doctors and facilities that are affiliated with the HMO. Thus, if you use healthcare service providers outside of the HMO, there is a good chance those charges won’t be covered by your policy. But, the great thing about an HMO is that the only charges you incur, outside of your premiums, are co-pays for doctor’s visits and other services such as procedures and prescriptions.
Preferred Provider Organization Or PPO
A PPO will save you money on services if you use the preferred providers within the network. Keep in mind that deductibles must be met on this plan before some services will be covered. The good thing about a PPO is they generally will allow a certain amount of services annually outside of the deductible with a small co-pay, and most often the PPO has a large network with quality care providers and excellent prescription drug coverage.
Health Savings Account (HSA)
An HSA is a tax-advantaged bank account tied to certain high-deductible health plans. It allows you to use tax free dollars to pay for allowable health expenses, such as copays, prescription drug costs and more.
Temporary or Short Term Medical Plans can be purchased any time of year and are health plans designed for times of transition and help to bridge gaps in coverage for individuals and families. In the past, short term plans have been available for up to three months, but new federal guidelines allow for plans up to one year, and are renewable for up to three years. The great thing about short term plans are they are generally less expensive than traditional health insurance, however, they do not provide full coverage and they typically do not cover pre-existing conditions.
Based on your needs, you can select the length of time and from a range of available deductible amounts. Additionally, short-term health insurance plans do not contain the essential benefits as required by the Affordable Care Act. For more information on the ACA, click here.
Individual vision plans are similar to individual dental policies, as they are inexpensive and save you money on routine eye care, such as exams with dilation, eyeglass frames and lenses, contacts, and even offer big discounts on procedures like LASIK.
An estimated 11 million Americans have uncorrected vision problems, ranging from refractive errors (near- or far-sightedness) to sight-threatening diseases such as glaucoma or age-related macular degeneration. Vision insurance encourages people to take care of their vision and health. Regular eye examinations can also identify other health conditions, such as diabetes, that can affect the eyes even before the individual experiences noticeable symptoms.
For those who don’t have employer-provided medical benefits, many individual medical plans offer vision coverage as an add-on. You can also buy a separate individual vision insurance policy from VSP, voted one of the best carriers in the nation offering vision coverage.
Individual dental plans are inexpensive and can contribute greatly in promoting overall good health. Studies have shown that regular dental exams can optimize oral health to prevent cavities and bad breath. In addition, they help to detect serious medical conditions such as heart disease and diabetes. In fact, studies have shown that dental insurance encourages preventive dental care, which saves an estimated $4 for every $1 spent by eliminating the need for expensive, invasive and painful procedures.
Most dental insurance plans cover:
-Twice-yearly cleanings and exams
-Restorations (fillings and crowns)
-Periodontics (treatment of gum disease)
-Endodontics (root canals)
-Bridges and dentures
-Some also cover orthodontics. Many dental insurance plans let you see any dentist, while some use a network of dentists.
Types of dental plan coverage:
Most insurers offer managed care plans designed to encourage wise use of dental benefits, with lower out-of-pocket costs for preventive services such as exams, x-rays and cleanings. Many plans also offer benefits for orthodontics, but pay a lower percentage for orthodontics than for restorative services such as fillings, root canals, etc.
Under this “traditional” insurance plan, the plan pays dentists according to a formula—usually a percentage of the dentist’s fee, up to a “usual and customary” maximum. The dentist can bill insureds for the difference, or copayment. Most plans also have patients pay a deductible per visit or per series of treatments as well.
Preferred Provider Organizations (PPOs)
A dental PPO consists of a network of providers who agree to accept a certain discounted payment for their services. PPO plans give insureds financial incentives to use these “preferred providers” by paying higher percentages of claims they submit than for those submitted by non-preferred providers. Insureds pay the uncovered portion out of pocket.
Dental Health Maintenance organizations (HMOs)
In an HMO, dentists agree to provide specified dental services to members in return for a periodic per-capita payment—usually monthly. Payments do not depend on the number or type of services rendered, and the HMO accepts the financial risk for providing covered dental services to members.
Note that Major Medical Plans can only be purchased during annual open enrollment of NOV 1st to DEC 15th.
Note that Short-Term Plans can be purchased any time of the year.