Individual Health Insurance

By Madalyn Altschuler, Manager, MarketLink & Benefits Communications

clock March 17, 2014 at 10:00 AM

Common Questions Employees Are Asking

Do you have employees who are ineligible for your employer-sponsored plan and still need help securing individual health insurance before the fast approaching deadline? Are you an individual having a difficult time deciding on a health care plan? For most individuals, if you aren’t enrolled in a plan by March 31, 2014, you may have to pay a penalty!

We sat down with one of Barney & Barney’s own Insurance Advocates to learn firsthand what questions individuals are asking when it comes to buying coverage. Maybe you’ve heard these questions too and could use our insight to respond to your employees’ inquiries:

  1. What advice would you give to individuals looking to reduce their insurance costs, while still reviewing the best plan options available?

First, let’s start with the basics by finding out how many people are in the household and what the annual household income is. Based on this information, we may be able to look at health plans on the public Health Insurance Exchange to find out if a subsidy would be given to help the individual pay for health coverage.

If the individual is not eligible for a subsidy, we would suggest looking at Silver plans through the Exchange, as these have lower deductibles and copayments for services. For an individual that just needs coverage to avoid paying a penalty for failing to have coverage, we would likely recommend a Bronze level plan.

  1. What should individuals consider when deciding on the best health plan?

One of the main factors in choosing the best plan for each person comes down to the doctor networks, especially if the individual really wants to use a particular doctor. The reason is because not all doctors and hospitals are available with every plan. Fortunately, we can review the doctor and hospital directories with our individual clients to see which doctors accept the different plans, which will help us better determine the best health plan for the individual.

  1. How can individuals determine the monthly cost of health coverage?

Before worrying about price, individuals should determine if they qualify for a subsidy through the Health Insurance Exchange to help them pay for health coverage. They can do so by contacting Barney & Barney’s Insurance Advocates. If a subsidy is available, the individual may have access to an inexpensive plan with a great insurance company that includes a selection of doctors. If a subsidy is not available for a healthy and price-conscious individual, they may consider a Bronze plan, which has a lower monthly cost.

When an individual contacts an Insurance Advocate or the Health Insurance Exchange, they will be informed of the monthly costs of each plan option to easily compare and determine what is best suited for their budget and health care needs.

 

Topics: Employee Benefits, Health Care Reform, Individuals

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