Individual Health Insurance
Since the inception of the Affordable Care Act, health insurance has been a hot topic and at the top of many people’s to-do lists.
The individual health insurance deadline is February 15th, 2015 for coverage to begin March 1st – this is for ALL individual health insurance plans be they with Covered California or not.
For those interested in Covered California premium subsidies, a good rule of thumb is 40,000 for an individual’s household annual gross income. For families that number is approximately doubled. If you fall into either of those two categories then you may qualify for subsidies through Covered California.
All Other Health Insurance Plans
If you don’t think you qualify for the subsidies through Covered CA, then there are a still plenty of health insurance options available to you “off the exchange.” This jargon simply refers to health insurance obtained not through the Covered CA website.
These plans are no better or worse than those offered through Covered CA, in fact they are offered by many of the same major health insurance companies such as Blue Shield, Anthem Blue Cross, Health Net, Cigna, Aetna, and Kaiser.
Important Health Insurance Considerations
When selecting a plan, the very first step is to determine whether or not you will be going through an HMO, EPO, or PPO (Health Management Organization, Extended Provider Organization, or Preferred Provider Organization).
These plans differ in that HMO plans provide the strictest limitations on which doctors you can see and what hospitals you can go to (for example Kaiser is the go to hospital for HMO plans). The EPO plans are slightly less limited than HMO and of course PPO plans provide the widest net of doctors and providers that will accept your insurance.
Plans are arranged in metal tiers of Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum in increasing levels of coverage – meaning a Platinum plan is the highest tier.
When choosing a plan, three of the biggest coverages, or benefits, to consider are:
- Co pays & coinsurance
- Maximum out of pocket per year
Possibly the most crucial decision making factor is whether or not your doctor will accept your insurance, and how attached you are to that particular doctor.
Our agents can help guide you through the process of selecting individual healthcare coverage and answer all of your burning questions prior to the February 15th deadline.