Securing proper health insurance is a crucial aspect of maintaining overall well-being. In this article, we explore four effective strategies to obtain health insurance coverage.
From understanding different plan options to navigating enrollment processes, these methods will empower individuals to make informed decisions and safeguard their health and financial stability.
1. The Affordable Care Act’s health insurance markets
Individuals, families, and small companies can access health insurance coverage through the marketplace at Healthcare.gov.
You may find out how much you can save on health insurance premiums through subsidies and tax credits, compare plans, enroll in a plan, and learn more through this online resource.
A health plan offered by your company does not exclude you from purchasing a plan through the marketplace; but, subsidies may not be available to you if you have employer-sponsored coverage.
Applying during either open or special enrollment is necessary to purchase a policy through the marketplace.
Most states’ open enrollment periods for 2023 health coverage start on November 1, 2023, and end on January 15, 2024, with the exception of the federal marketplace. Enrollment must be completed by December 15, 2023, for coverage to begin on January 1, 2024.
The open enrollment timeframes for various state exchanges could vary slightly.
A special enrollment period may be available to you if you are experiencing a significant life change, such as relocating, getting married, becoming a parent, or losing your current health insurance, and you are unable to enroll during open enrollment.
During open enrollment or after you’ve qualified for special enrollment, go to Healthcare.gov and input your ZIP code to start searching for insurance through the marketplace.
You can start shopping for health insurance through the federal marketplace or the exchange in your state.
2. An agent or broker for health insurance
If you need assistance choosing the right health insurance plan from among the many available, a broker or agent can be of great assistance.
Agents and brokers operate on commission from insurers, so you won’t have to pay them anything.
Set up in-person, phone, or email appointments with real estate agents and brokers using the federal government’s Find Local Help feature.
To have a broker or agent contact you regarding your plan options, you can also include your phone number or email address.
To offer health insurance, agents and brokers need to have the proper licenses from their respective states.
3. Straight from an insurance provider
Direct comparison shopping with health insurance providers might help some consumers identify policies that are more suited to their requirements and budgets.
You might discover a less expensive plan that doesn’t provide as extensive coverage as what’s available on the ACA marketplace, or these plans might fulfill ACA standards.
You won’t be able to take advantage of the premium tax credits and other subsidies offered by the marketplace if you buy your health insurance elsewhere.
4. Group health insurance and membership organizations
Anyone who is self-employed, has a small business, is unemployed, or does not have health insurance via their employer may be able to enroll in a group plan.
To be eligible for these health plans, you must be a member of a certain kind of organization. There is a way to find out if your companies provide health insurance through an association.
Association health plans allow self-employed individuals, small companies, and freelancers to pool their resources to purchase affordable group health insurance.
Plan options offered by certain membership groups should be carefully considered. These plans are more like “health services discount” programs than true health insurance. These plans don’t cover much, but they could save you money on medications.
People who purchase outside of main marketplaces should exercise caution when it comes to health care-sharing ministries.
These organizations collect contributions from members and then use those funds to cover specific medical costs.
Coverage for pre-existing conditions and reimbursement guarantees are not guaranteed by this health insurance.