Health insurance is one of the most important types of insurance to have because it protects your most valuable asset, yourself. Under the affordable care act, also known as Obamacare, most employers are required to provide health insurance to their employees. Unfortunately for some individuals, not all employers are required to provide coverage. Employers with less than 50 employers are not required to provide insurance. If you aren’t covered under some type of health insurance plan, you may be subject to tax penalties. Individuals who are self-employed or work for an employer that doesn’t provide health care coverage need to find alternative options to get healthcare for themselves and their families.
Choosing a health insurance plan
Choosing a health insurance plan isn’t as simple as picking the cheapest option. There are a few different things to consider before determining what health plan offers what you need. Get together some basic information such as the names of everybody in your household, ages and all sources of income. This information helps determine what kind of coverage you are eligible for and how much it costs to obtain coverage.
Blue Cross of Idaho or through the Idaho Health Exchange
Two options are to purchase coverage from Blue Cross of Idaho or through the Idaho Health Exchange. You might be worried that you can’t afford to purchase insurance, but roughly 85% of shoppers qualify for some type of tax credit to help assist with premium costs. The marketplace takes the income and family composition information you provide and offers plans based on this information. Plans with lower premiums tend to have higher deductibles, meaning you’ll pay more out of pocket before insurance coverage kicks in. Higher premium plans obviously cost more but tend to have lower deductibles and co-payments required. The plan you select should be based on your family’s healthcare needs. Keep in mind factors such as health conditions, how often you visit your PCP or specialists and how frequently you take prescription medication. It might make more financial sense to purchase a plan with a higher premium for better coverage.
Contacting a private insurance broker
Having the assistance of those experienced with health insurance ensures that you don’t end up purchasing too much or too little coverage. Contacting a private insurance broker is useful if you want to have one-on-one attention and the option to select from multiple health plans the agent seeks out. An agent bears the burden of the workload and explains policies in a way that you’ll understand them, making plan selection easier and more effective.
Don’t delay your search for healthcare any longer. Open enrollment to obtain health insurance opened on November 1st, 2016 and will close on January 31st, 2017. If you don’t have health coverage you could be charged a tax penalty for gaps in coverage.