2021 has marked a unique time for the Affordable Care Act, also known as “Obamacare.”
With the change in presidential administration back in November, it was obvious that the ACA’s fortunes had shifted significantly. But even the most dedicated healthcare watchers might not have suspected there would be a special open enrollment period lasting a significant portion of the year. That open enrollment period is scheduled to end on August 15.
Extended open enrollment has proven extremely popular. Some states have even taken the initiative to extend their open enrollment for a longer period of time. States like California, which operates an independent health insurance marketplace platform, have more leeway to adjust their policies. For most Americans, however, time is almost up to make an ACA insurance selection.
Not Sure About Open Enrollment? You Have Other Health Insurance Options
Nearly 1 million people signed up for Affordable Care Act health insurance policies this spring.
The enormous growth in ACA sign-ups was driven in large part by lagging employment numbers as many people lost insurance coverage through their workplace. As enrollment continues, thousands more Americans may have the opportunity to access healthcare while the country awaits a robust economic recovery to play out.
It is always a good idea to explore your health insurance opportunities during open enrollment. ACA “metal tier” plans have been developed to be easier to compare than traditional insurance plans. They cover a wide range of healthcare needs and even provide protection for those with pre-existing conditions.
That said, Affordable Care Act health insurance is not always best for everyone.
It was not that long ago when everyone was required to hold a health insurance plan or pay a penalty at tax time. For the 2021 tax year, that is not the case. And although it might change in the future, it means you have plenty of opportunities to get the right health insurance even once open enrollment passes by. A wide variety of health insurance plans remain available all year round.
Don’t know precisely what you need or where to start? Your local health insurance broker can help.
Contact Your Local Health Insurance Broker For Personalized Insurance Advice
Healthcare.gov has improved over the years, but it isn’t exactly what someone might call user-friendly.
One big issue with it is that it’s simply impossible to get personalized tips about the health insurance options available. Even though “metal tier” plans all have certain things in common, you still have to compare issues like the premium, deductible, cost of emergency care and prescriptions, and much more.
If you have ever found yourself confused during open enrollment, you’re certainly not alone!
With millions of people interacting with the website every enrollment season, it’s no surprise Healthcare.gov can’t be everything to everyone. Although it is much more stable than it was a few years ago, sometimes it is still difficult to get basic facts from the website, let alone detailed recommendations.
For real advice, you need a local health insurance broker.
A local health insurance broker combines deep insight into your insurance options with the independence to advocate for your needs, not an insurance company’s bottom line. Health insurance brokers act as advisers who develop relationships with various insurers but aren’t required to sell their plans or meet a quota. For many Americans who want more from the enrollment process, this is just right.
The majority of people get their health insurance from one of three places:
- Their employer
- The Affordable Care Act Marketplace
- Medicare, once they qualify at age 65
This creates the misunderstanding that these are the only three places to find insurance. In fact, people in Central Florida may have many health insurance options they don’t know about. Many organizations can offer insurance, including private companies, labor unions, credit unions, and more.
In some cases, you may need to be a member in good standing of another organization. Much of the time, however, you can access alternative insurance options from these sources with just a simple application. You might just find that these meet your needs far better than any of the traditional options above.
The problem: In Central Florida and beyond, most people don’t realize it.
A local health insurance broker is a trusted guide whose advice puts you in the driver’s seat. You no longer have to navigate all these different, competing options without knowing what’s really in store after you decide. Nor do you have to call up insurance agents, whose job is to sell policies, and “take their word for it.”
But do you need help from a local health insurance broker this year? You might if any of the following applies to you.
Signs That Affordable Care Act Insurance Might Not Be Best This Open Enrollment
Sometimes, Affordable Care Act insurance is exactly what you need. In other situations, it won’t serve you well – and could even cost you lots of money. These three red flags suggest you should look elsewhere:
1. Your Income Is Too High To Qualify For A Health Insurance Subsidy
The maximum income level to qualify for a health insurance subsidy through the ACA – also known as Advance Premium Tax Credits (APTC) – varies from year to year based on the Federal Poverty Level. In general, the highest income eligibility is four times the Federal Poverty Level, just over $50,000 for an individual in 2021.
2. Your Income Varies And Might Increase Throughout The Year
If your income varies, but you might find yourself exceeding the maximum allowable amount by the end of the year, it is often better to look for ACA insurance alternatives than it is to play guessing games. If you estimate your income incorrectly, you might find that you owe thousands of dollars in taxes the following April.
3. You Do Not Have Any Pre-Existing Health Conditions
One of the most attractive aspects of ACA health insurance is the built-in protections for people with pre-existing health issues. If you do not have any current health concerns, you might save hundreds or even thousands of dollars by choosing an alternative health plan with coverage aligned to your needs.
Choice Healthcare Is Here To Make Your Open Enrollment Season Easier
Even if none of these three scenarios apply to you, it’s always a wise idea to get a second opinion.
Call or sit down at the table with Choice Healthcare and you can finally get all your questions answered. We will be glad to let you know about all of the health insurance options you could qualify for, no matter whether you live in DeLand, Deltona, DeBary, Fort Florida, or anywhere else nearby.
When it comes to health insurance, quality information is crucial to making the right choices. Wouldn’t it be a relief to get the answers you need and finally feel confident that you have the best health insurance for you?
To get started, contact us at Choice Health.