Archive for category: Health Insurance

Key Factors That Can Affect Your Health Insurance Premiums

Health insurance premium costs have steadily increased over the years to the point where it pays to shop around. Everyone is in a unique situation when it comes to health. So consider your options based on your family size, the state of health of your family members, and other personal factors.

While each insurer has its own methodology for pricing, here’s a look at the five key factors that affect all policyholders.

  1. Your Age

    The older you get, the greater are your chances of getting ill and seeing a doctor. This means you’ll likely face rising premiums as you age. According to HealthCare.gov, older people tend to pay premiums that are three times higher than what young people pay. Part of the reason is that older people use medical services and medicines more often than younger people.

  2. Your Location
    States set rules and regulations for insurance firms that operate within their jurisdictions, affecting costs. Generally, higher rent places like New York City or San Francisco have higher insurance costs than regions where living costs are much lower. An advantage of living in a major market is that more insurance companies compete for customers, which opens the door to more discounts and special plans.

  3. Insured Parties

    Your health insurance premiums increase with the number of people your plan covers in your family. Overall, family plans tend to be more cost-effective than separate individual plans. It’s more important that you find the plan that delivers the best coverage to meet your family’s health needs than to worry about finding the lowest prices.

  4. History of Tobacco Use

    Tobacco smokers pay more for health insurance due to a surcharge in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that allows insurers to raise premiums. The surcharge may be as much as half of the premium cost. Although this surcharge on tobacco smokers is controversial, it’s designed to help people quit smoking. Insurers view tobacco as a financial as well as a health risk.

  5. Type of Coverage
    Here are the main categories of health insurance plans under the ACA:

    • Bronze plan – This plan offers the lowest monthly costs but the highest deductibles, which are typically over $6,000.
    • Silver plan – While this plan costs a little more than the bronze plan, it has a lower deductible. It’s a money-saving option if you have no chronic conditions and only see a doctor occasionally for checkups and preventative care.
    • Gold plan – You’ll be paying much higher premiums with this plan, but you’ll have low out-of-pocket expenses when you visit the hospital. This plan is suitable for patients with at least one chronic condition.
    • Platinum plan – This plan has the highest premiums but the lowest deductibles and is designed for patients with multiple conditions.
    • Catastrophic plan – Only people under 30 with proof of financial hardship qualify for this plan. The premiums are low, but the deductibles are high.

Getting the best deals on health insurance takes a bit of research, but it doesn’t come down to just who offers the lowest prices. You need to make sure you have access to health coverage that makes sense for your family.

When you need health insurance, contact our reputable agents at Chambers & Company Insurance Brokers to learn more. We are ready to help you find the health plan that suits your needs.

Health Insurance Coverage for Spouse/Partner: An Overview

Health-insurence

For the past few years, health insurance has been much easier to obtain than in years long past. Prior to the last few years, policies were either too expensive or inadequate to cover what was needed. The Affordable Care Act has made it possible for everyone to obtain insurance policies they can rely on to provide them with the coverage they need. It has also changed how spouses and partners get coverage. Having health insurance in place has become more important than ever with all of the different types of viruses we are exposed to on a daily basis.

Health Insurance Plans for Spouses

As soon as a couple gets married, the new spouse is eligible to be added to the husband or wife’s health insurance coverage. As a qualifying event, it is one of the few times that a spouse can be added to a policy during a special enrollment period. You have 30 days to make these necessary changes and to update any other information that has changed over the past year. Another qualifying event is if your spouse loses the insurance they had through their employer. For either of these qualifying events to be valid, you will have to provide the proper documentation during verification.

Health Insurance Plans for Domestic Partners

Unlike in the past, domestic partners are now eligible to receive health care coverage through their significant others’ work policies. For many years, same-sex couples and couples who lived as common-law husbands and wives were not eligible for their partner to be covered by the others’ insurance policy through their place of employment. This type of partnership is much harder to prove and may require letters from family members or some other form of evidence that the two of you are living at the same residence and sharing your living expenses. A six-month to one-year waiting period may be imposed by your employer before your domestic partner can be added to your health care policy. In states where same-sex marriage is recognized, your employer will normally offer the same health insurance coverage as if you were a traditional couple.

Buy Your Own Policy or Get One Through Work

There are instances when your employer may not offer health care coverage to domestic partners or your spouse if you are in a same-sex marriage. If that is the case, then you can search your state’s marketplace to find a health insurance policy that will meet the needs of both you and your domestic partner or spouse. Buying from the marketplace follows the same general rules as if you would have purchased your policy from your employer. If you have questions, make sure you get all of the answers you need before you purchase the policy.

When you need a good health insurance policy and are looking outside of what your employer is offering, you want to talk to agents who have the most experience. Call our reputable agents at Chambers & Company Insurance Brokers today if you want to find a policy that meets your needs. We can discuss your options with you so that you and your significant other are fully covered.