The Los Angeles Times recently reported that people who purchased individual health insurance in California has increased by 64 percent, raising the number of plan holders to 2.2 million since Obamacare was put into full effect in 2014.
If you are in the remaining 36 percent and are interested in getting individual health insurance, it would help to learn more about it first. What is it exactly, and who needs it? Healthcare.gov defines it as a policy “for people who are not connected to a job coverage”. If your employer does not offer health insurance as benefit, you need to purchase one for yourself and your family, as mandated by the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
Professional Advice Recommended
Covered California is the state’s official health insurance exchange, and here, you can find a wide variety of coverages from a number of different suppliers. Going through the offerings of California health insurance companies and picking the right one for you and your family, however, is not as easy as it may sound. Factors affecting coverages and premium costs can be quite complicated.
This is where companies like Good and Associates Insurance Services can help. They offer valuable information on insurance-related matters, and conduct extensive search and reviews among the many providers to help shoppers find plans and policies that best suit their needs. This kind of service has become even more important because of the numerous and dramatic changes to individual health plans that the ACA has brought.
In any given year, enrollment is limited to a certain window called the open enrollment period. If a person wants to get coverage for the year, he or she must enroll during this period. One may still purchase coverage outside the open enrollment period during special enrollment periods, but only if certain conditions are met. Health insurance services provide consumers with the information they need about these enrollment periods, and what the alternatives are if these periods are missed.
Individual policies may be acquired through Covered California or outside it. Either way, coverage must encompass the same set of essential health benefits. These benefits are defined by a metal tier system.
Platinum plans offer the most coverage of up to 90 percent of medical expenses, but also have the most expensive premiums. Gold plans can pay up to 80 percent, Silver plans up to 70 percent, and Bronze plans up to 60 percent. Premium costs, however, are inversely proportional to the amount of coverage. Other factors, such as a health plan’s network and scope of coverages, vary greatly. All these choices and information can be confusing, making guidance from a health insurance information resource indispensable.
California’s individual health insurance market grows 64% to 2.2 million, Los Angeles Times, Apr. 29, 2015
Consumer Guide to Individual Health Insurance, NAHU.org