Five Tips For Shopping For Health Insurance

Tips For Shopping For Health Insurance

Five Tips For Shopping For Health Insurance

Do you need health insurance tips? This year’s Open Enrollment Period is November 8th to December 15th. That means there are only 45 days to shop for coverage. Compared to years past, this enrollment period is shorter. This shorter period is not the only aspect that has changed this year.

Although Congress has pushed for the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, it remains in effect. If you are not covered through your job or a government program, you are still able to get coverage. If you meet income eligibility requirements, you will receive aid from the federal government to afford your premium and even other out-of-pocket costs. If you receive premium assistance in the form of tax credits, then you will probably not have to pay more because as premiums go up.

The requirement for most people to have insurance is still in effect. The fine for not having insurance in 2017 and 2018 is the greater of $695 or 2.5 percent of your income. Fortunately, you can claim an exemption from the fine if you demonstrate that you cannot afford insurance in your area. The IRS stated it would start rejecting returns filed in 2018 that don’t indicate whether the taxpayer had health insurance. Therefore, make sure you specify when filing your taxes this year! Larger employers that have 50 or more full-time workers are required to offer coverage to their workers or pay the penalty. The coverage provided by employers must be comprehensive and affordable.

As always, It’s important to shop around and compare options – especially this year. To begin with, you need to pick a plan yourself so that the marketplace doesn’t automatically enroll you for 2018 coverage. The auto-renewal date this year is expected to be December 16th. If you are assigned a plan you don’t like, then you won’t be able to change it until the 2019 Open Enrollment season.

This year the premiums are going up. Some states have instructed insurers to put additional costs on the mid-level plans that cover about 70% of an average person’s medical costs. Additionally, the price increase for Silver plans may drive up the tax credits that help Americans pay premiums. Try looking beyond the official federal and state marketplaces! Some states ordered insurers to load additional costs only onto marketplace plans; therefore, the marketplace plans might cost less.

AWS cares about your wellbeing and wants to ensure that you are knowledgeable on all topics surrounding insurance. For an experienced insurance broker’s help with the confusion surrounding health insurance, don’t hesitate to call AWS.

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Melinda Martin

Account Executive

Melinda began her insurance career in 1985 with Alexander & Alexander where she received her Property & Casualty and Life & Health license. Since then she has worked at various agencies in the New Orleans area and in California as a senior account manager for Employee Benefit Plans.  While in California, she was also the Membership Director for the Burbank Chamber of Commerce. Melinda joined the AWS team in July of 2015.

Michael A. Seeling

Vice President

Graduated from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette with a B.A. in Insurance Risk Management and is a graduate of Archbishop Rummel High School in New Orleans. He joined AWS in October of 2008 and has been awarded the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Certification (PPACA). Additionally, he is working towards his Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC), Registered Health Underwriter (RHU), and Registered Employee Benefits Consultant (REBC) designations. He is also a member of the National Association of Health Underwriters (NAHU), National Association of Insurance Financial Advisors (NAIFA), and is an active member of the Fore!Kids foundation.