Novak Online Tax & Acounting
Tony Novak, CPA, MBA, MT
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One small business tackles national health care crisis
The tiny two person business FreedomBenefits.net may have taken on a bigger project that it can handle when it decided to publish health insurance planning advice based on the real life cases from a Web site operated by the giant Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Covertheuninsured.org includes a feature called “Share Your Story” that invites people to write about their problems related to having no health insurance. FreedomBenefits.net takes it a step further by teaming up with writer/adviser Tony Novak to offer planning suggestions and solutions from one of America’s best-known personal finance writers.
FreedomBenefits.net announced plans to publish up to 20 of the responses to real-life health insurance problems shared at Covertheuninsured.org. Novak points out that more than half of the nation’s uninsured could be enrolled in health insurance in less than ten minutes at a price less than the price of a monthly bus pass or a cellular phone bill. Many people take no actions that would lead to health insurance in the future and they may be unaware of the options. Information is power and FreedomBenefits.net empowers individuals to make personal financial decisions that will lead to adequate health care. Novak encourages users to be better informed and to take immediate action to address their lack of insurance. The response has been far more that he expected.
Freedom Benefits founder Tony Novak had no idea when he started the site fifteen years ago that his efforts would push him into the role as a spokesperson in the center of the national health care crisis. The independent accountant stressed the importance of proper health care planning for his clients but had no interest in working in the health insurance field. “I just wanted a place where my clients could go and sign up for a reliable health plan online quickly and easily. I was worried that so many businesses were lured into scams or were not provided with adequate information about health insurance plans”. Freedom Benefits screens health plans on the basis of price and quality then lists the best value plans on a state-by-state basis. Every low cost health insurance plan trades off some benefits for affordability, so OnlineNavigator offers live professional one-on-one support to help each user find the best health plan. We expect to publish personal health care planning responses for up to ten of the Covertheuninsured.org real life stories this month. The first three responses are published at FreedomBenefits.net.
Consumers appreciate specific advice about health insurance. Novak points out the irrational behavior of a business owner writing from Milwaukee and the senseless paralysis of a single mother calling from Tampa caused by worrying too much about health insurance. Yet his calm voice and reassuring written advice communicate a sense of engagement and compassion with individual FreedomBenefits.net users. “I am not saying that I have all the answers or that any of the available solutions are perfect”, says Novak, “but I emphasize that each of us needs to take the first step toward a national solution by acknowledging the facts of our health care situation as it exist now and taking the appropriate first step. Each of us is personally responsibility for our own financial well-being”.
The simple combination of low priced products backed by live professional personal service seem to be a winning combination for FreedomBenefits.net. “People usually start the phone conversation by saying that hey are surprised to get through to a live person or that they did not expect me to answer my own phone” . Novak takes pride in personally answering more than half of the incoming calls from FreedomBenefits.net users each business day. He handles ten to thirty calls or e-mails each business day and estimates that he has addressed more than 40,000 consumer questions on health care over the past twenty years. FreedomBenefits.net is one of a handful of Web sites that offers health insurance enrollment support in every state, but the only service of its type that offers direct access to a professional adviser.
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This Web site is independently owned and operated 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 a representative, agent, broker, producer or navigator for any securities broker dealer firm, federal or state health insurance marketplace or qualified health plan carrier and has no financial position in any stocks mentioned. Novak may act as and be compensated as an accountant, agent, adviser, writer, consultant, marketer, reviewer, endorser, producer, lead generator or referrer to the companies listed on this site or other commercial companies and non-governmental insurance exchanges. Information is from sources believed to be reliable but cannot be guaranteed. Any accounting, business or tax advice contained in this communication, including attachments and enclosures, is not intended as a thorough, in-depth analysis of specific issues or a substitute for a formal opinion, nor is it sufficient to avoid tax-related penalties.
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