Shopping for Health Insurance
Written by: Twin City Group
Regretfully, the holiday shopping season isn’t reserved for just getting the perfect gift for those you love. It is also the open enrollment period where many citizens must divert their focus from holiday gifts to Health Insurance. Bah Humbug!
For those consumers who are fortunate enough to get their insurance through a group plan at work, there is not much to do but consider a few changes and maybe take advantage of some of the voluntary products that your company may offer. If you do nothing, you simply re-enroll with the coverage you’ve had for the last 12 months.
However, you might want to hurry and choose a plan in the event you want your policy effective on a certain date. Here are the dates to take action in order to get your desired policy effective date for 2016:
For everyone else, there may likely be some trepidation on the horizon. Last year’s health shopping was nothing short of traumatic and now you have to do it again? The good news is that you can go it alone and take your time to do a little research that will go a long way.
Understanding Health Insurance
Health insurance planning is really not that difficult. The perceived difficulties are manifested by the way health insurance marketers fail to present the products in an easy to understand fashion. You simply need to grasp the understanding of where you will need to pay out-of- pocket and where you won’t. You need to learn about deductibles, co-pays, and coinsurance.
Once you understand these three main terms, selecting a plan will be that much easier. Most of this information is available on Healthcare.gov if you will take the time to search for it.
Take Advantage of the Essentials
The Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as Obamacare, mandates that all qualified insurance plans offer certain coverages deemed “Essential” by the Act. Most of the essentials have to do with health maintenance so that every policyholder can have an annual physical and some other necessary tests without having to pay out-of-pocket. Even if you have to select a high deductible to afford your plan, at the very least, make your carrier pay for the physical and any other tests or exams that are mandatory coverage.
The Agent or the Marketplace
Not too long ago, the consumer was unable to purchase health insurance without having an agent involved; but the Affordable Care Act has replaced the old rules with new rules. Now, the consumer can go to their state’s Marketplace website or the Fed’s Healthcare.gov and complete an application in the privacy of their own home. Yes, coming out of the gate many of the web portals were a disaster, but finally, the exchanges have gotten the bugs out. Now, navigating the website is much easier, and more consumer friendly and the better news is, you can still have an agent or “navigator” assist you with completing your application, shopping the plans, and enrolling online. You can also discover if you are eligible for any subsidies or Medicaid. While you’re reviewing the plans, your “net” premium is calculated for you based on the allowable subsidies resulting in a true monthly cost. What could be easier?
The safest way to purchase something as important as health insurance for your family is to locate and take advantage of an experienced health insurance agent. Using an agent is no cost to you since they are paid by the insurer and you will find much peace knowing that your decision was an informed decision.