Individual Health Insurance
A health insurance plan is an important investment for yourself and your family. With the use of several Internet tools, you can easily choose and purchase the right individual health insurance coverage for yourself and your dependents.
The birth of the Affordable Care Act lets you obtain coverage no matter what your pre-existing condition is.
What are the Types of Health Plans You Must Know?
There are various health plans available and they vary in structure and costs. With healthcare reform, you can get coverage regardless of your health condition. Health plans in the ACA marketplace have different categories. For that reason, it is easier to make a comparison shopping.
Here are the categories you must know before purchasing an individual health insurance plan:
Platinum: Your share is 10% while your insurer will pay 90% of the overall health care costs.
Gold: You will pay 20% of the overall health cost while your insurer will shoulder 80%.
Silver: Your insurance company will handle 70% while paying 30%.
Bronze: You will pay 40% and the remaining 60% will be handled by your insurer.
To avoid the higher co-payments, deductibles and co-insurance, consider paying more for your monthly premium. It can be achieved through a platinum plan. But if you wish a lower premium but can deal with high out-of-pocket expenses you may choose bronze or silver.
When determining the right plan to pick, study your previous healthcare needs. Then, anticipate your healthcare costs for the following year. Most people would choose bronze or silver because of the lower monthly premiums. eHealth reported that the average monthly premium for silver is $481 while bronze has $440. Platinum plans have an average premium per month of $706 while gold has $596.
In terms of structure, the most common plan design is a health maintenance organization (HMO). Only a few individuals would opt for a preferred provider organization (PPO) plans. But these plans, the PPO, are more popular among employer-sponsored health plans.
The Best Time to Purchase an Individual Health Plan
There is an open enlistment period that you must be aware of when purchasing an individual health plan. Before, it was just easy to purchase a plan as you can buy one at any time of the year.
You must follow the open enrollment period for 2020 health plans. The period starts on November 1, 2019, to December 15, 2019, in most states. However, there are some states with longer open enrollment periods.
Here are some states with extended period:
California: It starts on October 15, 209 to January 15, 2020.
Colorado: It begins on November 1, 2019, and ends on January 15, 2020.
C.: It commences on November 1, 2019, but ends on January 31, 2019.
In Minnesota, New York, and Massachusetts, they have the same opening dates. In that case, they accept applications on November 1, 2019. But the closing date for Massachusetts is on January 23, 2020, while New York is on January 31, 2020. Minnesota and Rhode Island have the same closing dates on December 23, 2019.
You cannot purchase a plan outside the open enrollment period. However, if you have a qualifying event, you can buy a plan. If you are moving to a new state or having a baby, you can apply for a plan outside the enrollment period.
The qualifying event will let you apply during a unique enlistment period, which happens within 60 days of the qualifying event. Here are some cases where you are eligible to apply for health insurance outside the open enrollment period.
Having or adopting a baby
Becoming a resident of the US
Losing health insurance coverage
Losing Medicaid qualification
The tax penalty is no longer applicable these days. Thus, you can go on with your life without having health insurance. But it is not advisable. Keep in mind that you never what will happen to you.
Short Term Health Insurance 2020
Do You Have a Pre-Existing Condition
The healthcare reform will now allow you to obtain health insurance even if you have a pre-existing condition. That is, no insurer can deny you coverage for having a medical condition. The reform also denies insurers to impose expensive premiums or deductibles.
With the healthcare reform, you can get the right coverage if you are suffering from a serious illness or pregnant. Your plan will not have a maximum benefit.
Here are the 10 health benefits that every health insurance plan will provide:
Outpatient medical care
Treatment of substance abuse and psychological cases
Health screenings or preventive service
Shop and Compare
If you are ready to shop, then you will be happy to know that there are several avenues you can go to. For example, you can visit a comparison shopping site or visit a health insurance company site. You may also shop at your state’s health insurance marketplace.
But if you are qualified for government subsidies, make sure to purchase health insurance through your state’s marketplace.
A premium discount is given if your income is lower than 400% of the poverty level. If it is 250% below the poverty level, then you may be eligible for a lower out-of-pocket costs policy.
When visiting a comparison site, you will know whether you qualify for a tax break. But the catastrophic plan has no subsidies.
Who Belongs to the Network of the Plan?
When you compare health insurance plans, you should determine who belongs to the plan. Choose a plan with a great choice of doctors, hospitals and specialists. And if it is vital to you, choose a plan that includes your preferred healthcare provider.
What is the Plan’s Structure?
There are four plans that you can choose from. To choose the right plan, you must examine the out-of-pocket expenses and the premium costs. You should evaluate whether you want higher out-of-pocket costs or upfront costs. After knowing what you want, you can determine whether to go with Platinum, Gold, Silver or Bronze.
What is the Type of Coverage?
You must compare the plan’s benefits. Then, make sure that you know the prescription medicines you need and find out if the plan includes those medicines.
What out-of-pocket Expenses to Know?
There are out-of-pocket expenses associated with your plan. One of them is deductible, which is a payment you need to settle before your plan begins to pay.
When picking the right plan, you should
need in the following year and compare that to the previous year. Make sure to compare the health insurance costs and the related out-of-pocket expenses for each plan. Choose a plan with a high deductible if you rarely go to a doctor or hospital.