Medicare Choices and The Affordable Care Act

Clear the Path of Confusion During Open Enrollment

With 23 years working in the health insurance industry, my experience tells me that we are clearly in an unprecedented time of change. The idea of finding and enrolling in a health insurance plan is a daunting task for most people. With over 60 plans to choose from, where do you begin? Who should I contact? How can I enroll?  There are a numerous questions that need answers! For example, if you travel, you will need to account for medical coverage when you are out of the area.

What are the nuances of the Affordable Care Act? Issues abound in dealing with subsidies, buying direct, when to buy, how to buy, and when should my older children have their own policy?

What about Medicare? Will the costs be increasing?  When can I enroll?  What are the plan changes for this year and are all of my doctors and hospitals in network?  As a health insurance professional, these are issues that I deal with on a daily basis as I help  guide my clients through the entire process.

The key to answering all of these questions is contacting an agent. These experts simplify the process. The best news is, it will cost you nothing! Agents are compensated by the carrier and this will not affect your premium. The advantage to using an independent agent is that they have exposure to all plans and as a result, will find the perfect fit for your individual situation. Also, if you have an issue, you can call your agent directly which can save you a lot of time and frustration. Help is available and costs you nothing.  Why not take advantage of free professional advice?

Let’s Review Some Information You’ll Want to Know

Medicare open enrollment runs from October 15- December 7. During this time you may make any plan changes for the upcoming year if you desire. Specific concerns surrounding your health issues may require a more in-depth review, such as current medications or certain diseases such as arthritis. You may also stay on your current plan. However, it never hurts to have a professional review your current coverage to make sure you understand your plan and explain any changes that will take place for the new enrollment period. In addition, Medicare’s Trustees have reported that your Part B premium may be increasing in 2016, which you will need to understand and plan for accordingly.

With the Affordable Care Act, understanding the opportunity for a subsidy and how it may impact your premium, enrollment, taxes and penalties are vitally important. Depending upon your income, it may be beneficial to go direct to a carrier to purchase a plan that fits your individual and family needs. You can also consider your choices if there is a group policy available at work and how an individual policy might compare. Open enrollment runs November 1- January 31, 2016. Your plan start date will depend on your enrollment date, so timing is crucial. If not enrolled properly, you may be without coverage for a month, which leaves you at risk.

With insurance and the health care environment constantly changing, you owe it to yourself to consult with an experienced and knowledgeable health insurance expert. It’s free, and could ultimately make the difference between the right or wrong decision.  Your access to affordable healthcare is too important to take a chance.