How you buy health insurance in Ohio can affect the rate you pay and the type of benefits you receive. It’s important that the insurer is a reputable company and you are working with a licensed broker and/or website located here in Ohio, and not 1000 miles away. That’s why we represent only the top companies and allow you to apply for a policy with our help, or directly online, with a link to the carrier. Either way, you receive the lowest rates available to consumers.
You also have a choice whether you prefer to enroll in a subsidized Obamacare Marketplace plan, or a policy that is considered “off-Exchange,” and does not receive federal monies. Both options are “guarantee-issue” during the Open Enrollment period. Your application will not be denied, and if you are treated for an injury or illness, any associated costs will be covered and not excluded.
“Off-Exchange” options are also offered by the large carriers, and many include expanded Network coverage for physicians, hospitals, and related facilities. Rates are identical, although you may receive slightly expanded benefits in some areas. NOTE: Often, an “X” designation for the provider network results in a more limited choice of doctors and hospitals. Anthem utilizes an “X” for Marketplace plans. Examples are the Bronze Pathway X HMO 7900, Bronze Pathway X HMO 6000, and Bronze Pathway X HMO 5000.
When you purchase coverage, it is extremely important that your policy is issued by a reputable “A” rated company. The policy you buy should contain the coverages you are likely to use most, and place deductibles and high coinsurance limits only on treatment and procedures that you are least likely to utilize. NOTE: “A” ratings are determined by reputable rating agencies such as Standard & Poors, A.M. Best, or Moodys.
For example, if you take a non-generic prescription, such as Accupril (diabetes), Pulmicort (asthma), or Prozac (depression), a Bronze-tier plan may result in high out-of-pocket expenses. However, choosing a Gold-tier or Silver-tier policy may save you thousands of dollars, even after paying a higher premium. Taking advantage of mail-order prescription discounts can save money. Part of our job is to review all policy options and to select the most cost-effective plan. However, each year, plan options and prices change, and often existing plans are no longer offered.
“I Never Heard Of That Company”
If you don’t recognize the name of the company, it may be a “discount plan,” and not standard medical coverage. You can request one of our free in-depth reports at any time. We review the safety of the company and consumer ratings. We also monitor any changes that would impact the security of any carrier. Mergers (Aetna and CVS) often create additional new healthcare opportunities, and we routinely study their impact on the Buckeye State.
Many discount and limited benefit policies are not considered “qualified coverage” and often feature a disclaimer (in small print of course!) that they don’t provide major medical coverage. Often, the companies utilized for these types of benefits are unrecognizable and are merely a collection of several smaller insignificant companies that work together. The product offered is not considered “mainstream” and may not be widely accepted by your physician, specialist, or hospital.
Never provide your personal information to an out-of-state website or a broker that does not specialize in health insurance plans here in the Buckeye state. Our own website is extremely secure, and we take security very seriously. Typically, the carrier bills you for coverage, and not the broker. Although we can assist with the process and help change the mode of billing (if needed), statements are sent directly by the insurer. Any unusual bills (especially if received via email through an attachment) should be treated very cautiously.
And if you’re accustomed to purchasing your coverage yourself, the enrollment process has changed. The Ohio Exchange Marketplace started operating five years ago. Our website (and 38 years of experience) offers direct simplified enrollment with no fees. All available policies can be reviewed before the purchase process. 12-month short-term policies are also available from several carriers (National General) and should be considered if the Open Enrollment deadline is missed.
We understand the bureaucracy and confusion that typically accompanies government-assisted (Medicare or Medicaid) programs. That’s why we can also explain in the simplest of terms how you will qualify for the lowest prices. The CHIP program provides excellent options for lower-income households.
Helpful Hints Before You Enroll
Please review these tips before purchasing a policy.
· Determine if your need is short-term or long-term. If you only need coverage for 12 months (or less), an inexpensive temporary policy may be the best option. Rates are typically very low, and policy-approval is often within 24-48 hours. Benefits are limited and adding a prescription drug or office visit copay will increase the premium. However, many policies do include Urgent Care and “Telecoc” benefits with a small or no copay.
· Allow us to help you enroll in the right policy. With our unbiased experience, we will ensure you are getting an affordable high-quality plan that provides the coverages you need most. We work for you, and not one specific insurer. We can assist you with finding federal tax credits that could dramatically cut your premium. For Exchange plans, you might be eligible for federal aid. It’s very important to correctly calculate the amount of the subsidy.
· If you obtain insurance from us, please do not hesitate to call or email any time you have any questions regarding your policy. Often, we will provide an answer quicker and easier than directly contacting the health insurer. Usually, you can expect to receive a live email or phone response quite promptly. On weekends, we answer all emails.
· Consider a “catastrophic” plan or a Health Savings Account. HSA rates in Ohio continue to stay very low. If you don’t visit the doctor often, and are in good health, the savings could be substantial. Ohio prices are traditionally very low compared to most states. Higher deductibles will lower the cost. NOTE: HSA plans are eligible for federal tax credit subsidies. Typically, they are offered in Bronze and Silver tiers.
Anybody can go online and buy a policy. But, by using our free service, you can be certain that you are getting the guaranteed lowest published rate, and a resource that will always be available. We understand the complexities of attempting to figure out which plan is the best choice. Our expert experience will make certain you enroll in the best option.