Ways to Save Money on Health Insurance
Posted on Wednesday, October 9th, 2013 at 7:00 am
The health insurance marketplaces opened on October 1, 2013. For the first time, millions of Americans can use them to access affordable health insurance. It doesn’t cost any money at all to use the marketplaces and take a look at what health plans are being offered to you. Here are some tips and resources that can help you to save money on health insurance.
Start at HealthCare.gov
The health insurance marketplaces are designed to make it easy for you to find an affordable health insurance plan. To find your state’s marketplace, start by visiting HealthCare.gov. The marketplace open enrollment period ends on March 31, 2014.
Do you qualify for Medicaid?
People that use the marketplace will be informed if they qualify for Medicaid (or if their kids qualify for the Children’s Health Insurance Program). Eligibility is based upon your household size and income.
It also is based (somewhat) on where you live. States that chose to expand their Medicaid programs will cover all people who make up to 138% of the federal poverty level. According to Kaiser Family Foundation, that equates to about $33,000 for a family of four.
Do you qualify for a subsidy?
It is possible that you may qualify for financial assistance to help you pay the premiums on a private health insurance plan. That assistance is called a “subsidy”. It is being offered to individuals and/or families who are low income. You can use the Subsidy Calculator from Kaiser Family Foundation to find out if you qualify for a subsidy.
Do you have health insurance through your employer?
If you like your plan, and it covers a set of essential health benefits you don’t have to change plans. You can choose to take a look at what the marketplace can offer you. However, you will not qualify for lower costs based on your income unless your job-based insurance is unaffordable or doesn’t meet minimum requirements.
All health plans offered through the marketplace will cover certain essential health benefits. It is advisable to compare the different plans you are offered anyway. They will not all be the same.
It is a good idea to consider using the services of a health insurance broker to help you with the marketplace. He or she will use their skills, knowledge, and expertise to find you the most affordable plan. The broker can also answer your questions about each plan and offer advice about which plan would best fit your needs. There is potential that the broker can help you save more money on health insurance.