Get cheap health insurance Exchange rates by easily comparing the best Marketplace prices in your area. You're just minutes away from finding the most affordable medical plans for individuals, families, the self employed, Seniors, and small business owners. The online quotes we provide are free, and our 37 years of unbiased recommendations, expertise and experience ensure you receive the best prices and you will be able to easily enroll online. You can always view options from multiple companies in your area 24/7, and many cheap options are offered.
During 2017 Open Enrollment, subsidized plans are available from top-rated companies along with Medicaid/Chip options, depending on your household income and size. Both before and after Open Enrollment, special exceptions are offered if you lose qualified coverage, have a baby, move to a different area, get divorced, or qualify for many other situations. You can also obtain affordable coverage "outside" of the Marketplace, where the number of available network providers (doctors, specialists, hospitals, Urgent-Care, and other facilities) is often larger. Note: Newborns can obtain guaranteed coverage at any time of the year, regardless of any existing conditions or pending surgery. A "special life event" allows you to qualify for an SEP.
We understand that each applicant has different healthcare requirements, largely depending upon what medical conditions (if any) they are being treated for. Since every insurer now underwrites policies according to more consumer-friendly guidelines (non-medical), we shop all of the large reputable companies so you will be matched with the best available offers. Of course, other factors can impact premiums such as where you live, your age, and the type of benefits you need. Also, as later discussed, your income will determine the eligibility and level of federal subsidy you receive to help pay premiums. But you will not be denied a policy because of existing conditions, such as diabetes, cancer, or heart disease.
Good Or Bad Health
If you are not in perfect health, or have conditions that require treatment and/or medications, it does not mean you can not purchase coverage. Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) legislation, your pre-existing conditions are covered, and do not impact the premium you pay or the benefits you receive. Marketplace plans are also eligible for an instant federal subsidy that can pay a substantial portion of your policy costs, and possibly the entire premium. You may also find several plans that have a $0 net premium after the instant tax credit has been applied. The subsidy is based on your projected income for the upcoming year, and not your earnings from previous years. It is not taxable, and you can adjust the level, depending on current household income projections.
The more dependents in your household, actually, the higher your financial aid becomes. In some states, the eligibility requirements for Medicaid have expanded, and more children are eligible for free or extremely low premiums. CHIP benefits are very comprehensive and it is possible for parents to qualify for conventional plans while their dependents qualify for Medicaid or CHIP. Often, the combination of parents having Marketplace coverage, and their children covered through CHIP, creates a very cost-effective combination. Higher-income households can find cost-saving Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) that allow deposits to pay for qualified medical, dental. and vision expenses. Many of these options are not found on the healthcare.gov website, since they are not subsidized by the federal government.
The cost that you pay for coverage may change each year, depending on your renewal premium. The main factors that determine that premium, are where you live, your age, the size of your household, and whether you smoke. States like New York, New Jersey and Connecticut still cost more than Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania, and many other states in the Midwest. But several national and smaller regional companies have begun to offer policies in most parts of the country. The result has been more affordable and innovative private policy options. Examples of regional companies that offer very competitive rates include:
Maine Community Health -- Maine
Piedmaont Community Health Plan -- Virginia
Geisinger -- Pennsylvania
Meridian Health Plan -- Michigan
Premier -- Ohio
Dean -- Wisconsin
USAble -- Texas and Arkansas
ATRIO -- Oregon
Local Initiative Health Authority -- California
Each state has an "Exchange," where highly-rated insurers and Co-operatives offer coverage. The number of plan options vary, depending on the state, and the approval time is typically streamlined. We guide you through the entire enrollment process so you easily find affordable medical coverage. Most State Exchanges are federally-run, since it is less expensive, and more government assistance is provided. Also, several state-run Marketplaces (such as Oregon) have resulted in the failure to properly enroll applicants safely and timely. The average cost of health insurance can vary greatly between states, and also counties within the same state.
You can also purchase policies that are considered "off-Exchange." These plans contain all of the required "essential health benefits" and provide an exemption from paying a non-compliance tax. Major companies (Blue Cross Blue Shield, Aetna, UnitedHealthcare, Cigna, Kaiser, Humana and others) frequently offer these policies. Premiums are not eligible for subsidies, although the number of available network providers is typically larger than comparable Exchange contracts. The enrollment process is also streamlined, and can often be completed in less than 10 minutes. Generally, HMO, PPO, and EMO network options are your provider-network choices. Many companies offer "tiered" networks, which provide lower copays and out-of-pocket expenses if you choose "preferred physicians and specialists. Western Pennsylvania's UPMC, for example, offers "Partner," "Select," and "Premium" options.
The Marketplace application is short, but there are many confusing questions, including income and identity verification. Our experience and expert guidance will speed up the process so you can obtain coverage quicker, and avoid the glitches and delays that have impacted many persons. We not only help you find the right policy, but we'll assist you in the subsidy calculation that reduces your rate. If any family member is eligible for Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP, or any other federal or state program, we will review the specific details. Seniors that are Medicare-eligible, can review supplemental plans and prescription drug plans (Part D) offered in your area.
Regarding the previously-mentioned subsidy, it is applied in the form of an instant tax credit. You do not have to file a tax return to get it, and you won't have to copy a form and send it in the mail and wait six weeks either. It's instantaneous and is applied directly during the initial process. If you qualify for a federal subsidy, and subsequently use the credit to pay your premium, IRS Tax Form 8962 (Premium Tax Credit) should be filed to reconcile the amount. For example, if your income was less than originally projected, you will receive a refund for the premium overpayment. Form 1095-A will also be needed.
The Affordable Care Act legislation requires you to buy health "qualified" insurance. Since it is the law, you will be assessed a tax penalty (2.5% of 2017 household income) if you don't comply with this "minimum essential coverage mandate". If you are covered through an employer-provided group plan, CHIP, Medicaid, or Medicare, incarcerated, or you are an undocumented immigrant, the penalty does not apply. However, after 2017, it is widely assumed that President Trump will initiate several changes, including the elimination of the requirement.
Here's a quick example: Assume you and your spouse are 55 years old and you have two children in the household. You reside in Champaign County (Illinois) and your approximate household income is $100,000. Since you are not eligible for a subsidy, the unsubsidized premium of the least expensive "Silver" plan would cost $1,771 per month (Health Alliance HMO 300b Elite Silver). The least expensive Blue Cross plan (BCBS Solution 102)) costs $2,274 per month.
However, if the household income is only $78,000, the monthly premium would plummet to $614, with the help of a subsidy worth almost $13,000 per year. A household income of $50,000 would reduce the premium to only $264, although both children would have to enroll in CHIP to retain the family subsidy. Obviously, the qualification of federal assistance has a huge impact on the price you pay. But if your income changes, it is imperative to recalculate your subsidy to avoid a massive tax bill.
Naturally, there are many different scenarios involving four different plan options (Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum). The least expensive plan (Bronze) will have higher potential costs if you have a big claim, while a Platinum-tier policy will minimize your deductibles, copays, and coinsurance, but also raise the premium.
We help you review and understand healthcare options in your area, subsidies, tax breaks, and how it impacts the price you pay for your medical coverage. Any changes implemented by President Trump are also reviewed, so you can take advantage of more flexible options. We also do what we do best. And that's find the lowest health insurance Exchange prices in your area. The Marketplace was created to provide subsidized plans for low and middle-income consumers. For upper-income households, affordable policies are also offered.