Private Insurance Agents Vs. Health Insurance Marketplace
Why do people have health insurance?
• This type of insurance protects one from unexpected costs when acquiring health services, for example in case of accidents. If one requires surgery, the health insurance company pays for it instead of you looking for the whole amount before undergoing surgery which may be difficult.
• Health insurance provides essential health benefits at a cheaper price than paying for the services every time you go to the hospital.
• You can also get free preventive care like vaccines with health insurance helping in prevention of diseases.
• Moreover, people with insurance do not have to wait for long queuing to see a doctor as in most cases, they have their own doctor they go see at the hospital.
Difference between private insurance agents and health insurance marketplace
Private or rather independent insurance agents are contractors who work independently with insurance companies to represent such companies before clients. They find clients seeking health insurance and educate them about insurance policies and plans, giving the clients the chance to find what suits them best. They have a lot of knowledge on the current insurance laws and all aspects of the insurance market. They are usually the best option for discussing an Obamacare health plan best for consumers.
On the other hand, health insurance marketplace is offered by the government to its citizens. People are able to access subsidized insurance without using an agent of a company. Different companies also use this insurance for their employees.
Why choose private insurance agents over health insurance marketplace
If you want to get quality, fast and reliable health services, then it is advisable to use health insurance companies that work with independent agents. Some of the reasons for choosing this as the better option are as follows;
• You can use the services offered by these agents without paying for them. This is because the agents are paid on commission for the number of clients they bring to the company. Their salary is already included in the different insurance plans hence no need to worry about paying extra money for services given to you by the agent. In comparison, the health insurance marketplace does not have agents but you will pay almost the same price as with the private insurance agents.
• Since it is possible for you not to clearly understand some insurance policies, the agents will explain to you some of the technical terms or places you may not understand clearly. They will do this with ease as they have a lot of knowledge as this is what they concentrate on most times. However, the health insurance marketplace may not take time to explain to you their policies in depth leaving you in the dark on the kind of insurance you will be using.
• The agents that advised you to use a specific insurance plan can also advise you on the way forward if you want to buy a new health insurance plan. They act as your lawyer in this process. As with the health insurance marketplace you may not get someone to show you an alternative insurance plan in case you want make changes.
It is clearly better to use private insurance agents rather than opting for health insurance marketplace as agents are keen on helping you choose an insurance that suits your needs as well as those of your loved ones. Do not spend a lot of money on health services every time when you can simply get a convenient insurance company that ensures quality health services.
What do the Different Levels of Obamacare Health Plan Entail?
Obamacare health plan is among the most preferred insurance plans for many Americans. Like many other plans it is offered at different levels namely Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze. Just like in nature, these come at different prices but with health plans it is not just about the cost but so much more. Also known as metal plans, these plans correspond to the metals they are named after in terms of value. Here is a detailed look at each of these tiers starting from the least to the most valuable.
This is the cheapest plan that has an actuarial value of 60%. This means that on average, it will cater for 60% of the covered hospital expenses for the insured person(s). The remaining 40% will be paid for by the policy holder. This plan is ideal for low-income earners who do not plan on having many medical services since they would otherwise spend much paying out-of-pocket costs. The benefits provided by the plan are basic and the hospital and doctors networks covered narrow.
Thanks to advanced premium tax credits those who earn less than 400% of the Federal Poverty Level, this plan costs 9.5% of your income or less. Though the actuarial value may differ depending on factors like your state and profession, a Silver plan must have a value of at least 70%. For low income earners this may be a more viable option especially if you qualify for cost reduction subsidy. This is a subsidy in which reduces the out-of-pocket payments you make in the course of a policy period such as a year. In order to qualify for this, you need to be among those who earn up to four times the Federal Poverty Level (that is 250% below the Federal Poverty Limit or about $46,500). This can increase the actuarial value by up to 93%.
Though this will cost you more than bronze and silver on a monthly basis, the Gold plan has better out-of-pocket cost sharing coverage with an actuarial value of 80%. This means that you and your family members will get the healthcare they need without having to worry about money when the time comes.
This plan has the highest monthly premiums but the lowest out-of-pocket costs. The actuarial value is on average at 90%. If you want the best care for your family or have a medical condition that requires expensive care continuously then this is the plan to settle for. This is only advisable for those whose medical expenditure may be more than that of the premiums paid.
In general, all plans offer essential health benefits including prevention and wellness, laboratory services, ambulatory services, emergency care, pediatric care, mental health and substance use disorder, maternity and rehabilitation. The only major differences come in the actuarial values and the monthly premiums paid. Another plan level offered by the Obamacare is catastrophic plan which caters for people under the age of 30 who have limited income. These are characterized by low monthly premiums, narrow network and high out-of-pocket expenses but is useful in ensuring young adults comply with the need to have an insurance and prevent them from paying the shared responsibility fee for not having the coverage.
Finding Discount Insurance
Finding Discount Insurance is always best done locally. If consumers want discount insurance, here are the following steps they should proceed to getting their hands on health insurance for better prices than the typical healthcare.gov site enrollment.
- Search Locally: Local searching is the best way to find Private Health Insurance Agencies that will help you enroll in a plan that’s best for you. A way to find these agencies is by Googling “Obamacare (City)” for instance, if you lived in Miami, you’d make your search query “Obamacare Miami”. The agencies that rank highest are usually best for consumers.
- Online referral: Searching around online throughout the plenty of sites that offer free quotes is another good way to go. sites such as aca.acapros.org can give you insight on what plan would be best for the consumer and their family by giving them details on plans they are qualified for, while showing them what’s included in the plan before even speaking to anyone.
If neither work out for you, the average consumer can easily find a plan on healthcare.gov. Is it at the best price? Not necessarily, but coverage is definitely recommended over non-coverage with the 2017 tax penalty.