Get cheap health insurance 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 low-cost budget options are offered.
During 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.
Senior Medigap plans are available when you reach age 65 and are eligible for Medicare. A separate enrollment period is also offered from October 15th through December 7th, with Supplement, Advantage, and Part D drug prescription plans offered. You can coordinate your standard benefits with a supplemental plan that will pay many out-of-pocket expenses, and perhaps include dental, vision, and hearing coverage. The Affordable Care Act and future Trump Administration legislative changes generally do not greatly impact Medigap retiree options. However, Medicaid benefits and plans for persons under age 65 are typically affected.
Good Or Bad Health
If you are not in perfect health, or have conditions that require treatment and/or medications, low-cost plans may still be offered. 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. Note: Senior Medicare Supplement plans are standardized, and are not eligible for the same federal aid that applicants under age 65 receive.
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. 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 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
Gunderson -- Wisconsin
SummaCare -- Ohio
Montana Health Cooperative -- Montana
McLaren -- Michigan
Florida Health Care Plan -- Florida
Dean -- Wisconsin
Vantage Health -- Louisiana
USAble -- Texas and Arkansas
ATRIO -- Oregon
Local Initiative Health Authority -- California
MVP Health Plan -- Vermont and New York
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. Fewer companies are offering 2018 plans, and in many areas, only one company underwrites plans.
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 often greater 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 speeds 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 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. Advantage contracts will also offer low-premium options.
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 over-payment. Form 1095-A will also be needed. If your household income substantially changes during the year, you can adjust your financial aid accordingly.
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. The effective date is likely to be 2019.
Example Of Tax Credit That Helps Reduce Healthcare Premiums
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 Peoria County (Illinois) and your approximate household income is $100,000. Since you are not eligible for a subsidy, the unsubsidized monthly premium of the least expensive plans cost $1,561 (Humana Bronze 4800) and $1,700 (Humana Bronze 6150). The least expensive Blue Cross plan (Blue Precision Bronze HMO 103) costs $1,729 per month.
However, if the household income is only $80,000, the monthly premium of the Humana Bronze 4800 option plummets to $211, with the help of a subsidy worth more than $15,000 per year. A household income of $55,000 would reduce the premium to $0, although both children would have to enroll in CHIP to retain the family subsidy. 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. Conversely, a substantial reduction in income could also lower your premium by hundreds of dollars each month.
Naturally, there are many different scenarios involving four different plan options (Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum). The least expensive plan (Bronze) has higher potential costs if you have a large claim, while a Platinum-tier policy will minimize your deductibles, copays, and coinsurance, but also raise the premium. Often, the "sweet spot" of coverage is a plan with moderate office visit copays ($30 for pcp and $60 for specialists) and a mid-range deductible ($3500-$5,000). For health families with multiple children, a combination of high deductibles ($5,000-$7,150) and lower office visit copays ($10-$25) can be very cost-effective.
We help you review and understand all 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.