US Healthcare System Explained - Here’s How It WorksRead More
Updated: October 31, 2018
Despite President Trump’s best efforts since taking office, the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) is still in place and doesn’t appear to be going anywhere anytime soon. So, if you’re looking to enroll in a new health insurance plan through the marketplace, you’ll have to wait until the Open Enrollment Period. However, anyone who wishes to purchase private health insurance online, from an insurance broker, or directly from a health insurance company can do so at any time throughout the year.
For many people, especially under recent laws, private insurance plans are the better option and provide many additional benefits compared to marketplace plans, which is why we’ll now present you with everything you need to know about purchasing private insurance.
If you weren’t able to find an affordable health insurance plan through the marketplace, or simply missed the deadline, there are other options for you. If you or your family fall into that category, then a private health insurance plan may be your best bet. Unlike marketplace plans that can only be bought through federal or state exchanges during the Open Enrollment Period, private or individual health insurance plans can be bought anytime during the year.
While there are definitely benefits, which we’ll discuss in a minute, to enrolling in a health insurance plan outside the marketplace disqualifies you from qualifying for subsidized coverage. Meaning, that if you are one of the many Americans that qualify for subsidized insurance or premium tax credits, it will still be necessary for you to purchase your plan on the state or federal marketplace exchanges during the Open Enrollment Period in order to receive your benefits.
Should you choose to purchase a private health insurance plan, the process is essentially the same as for those who purchase on the health insurance marketplace exchanges. First, you will need to compare the various plans available to you to decide which one is the best fit, and then contact the insurance broker or company to purchase the plan and sign the contract.
How To Find Private Insurance Plans
When it comes to finding private insurance plans, you generally have a few different options. Your first option is to contact a local insurance broker to discuss the various plans they offer. Alternatively, you could also browse and purchase a private insurance plan through a health insurance provider’s website. While both of these options are viable, the problem is that it can be quite difficult to directly compare each insurance policy and decide which one is the right fit for your needs and your budget.
Comparing Your Health Coverage Options
This is precisely why more and more Americans are turning to sites like FirstQuote Health, which allows you to compare plans side-by-side. All you need to do is enter your zip code, and FirstQuote Health will immediately allow you to start shopping for plans and comparing private health insurance quotes. If you find a plan that is just right, you can actually begin the enrollment process immediately!
As one of the nation’s top insurance comparison sites, FirstQuote Health gives you the freedom to find exactly the right insurance plan for your needs at a great price. The company works with most of the country’s major insurance providers, ensuring that you can get the insurance you need from a trusted provider.
Benefits Of Plans Outside the Marketplace
Even if your employer offers its own company-sponsored health insurance plan, there are still situations where it might be better for you to purchase a private insurance plan on your own. The same thing goes for people considering purchasing a marketplace plan, as you generally will have far more options when you shop for plans outside of the health insurance marketplace.
While the current President and his policies have been quite divisive, Trump did pass a few new rules that allowed for some relief for private health insurance plans outside of your state’s exchange. For example, short-term health insurance plans are significantly cheaper that marketplace plans, but under the old ACA rules, were essentially made illegal under tax penalty. Trump changed that, which means an individual or family looking for coverage they can afford would be able to enroll without having to pay a penalty come tax season.
Enroll in Qualifying Health Coverage
Under the terms of the Affordable Care Act, private insurance plans must still meet all of the minimum coverage requirements. This means that they must provide coverage of pre-existing conditions, have no cap on annual benefits and provide free preventative care. However, not all private insurance plans meet the minimum essential coverage requirements, in which case you would still have to pay the individual mandate penalty since your insurance doesn’t meet the minimum requirements. For this reason, it is essential that you check with the insurance provider to make sure that any plan you’re considering provides at least the minimum level of coverage required under the health care law.
The High Cost of Not Having Health Coverage
Although there is no guarantee that the Affordable Care Act will last any longer than one more year, it is important for everyone to remember that Obamacare is still the law of the land. This means that you need to follow the specific regulations to ensure that you are insured for 2018 so you don’t have to pay the tax penalty.
Not everyone will be subject to a tax penalty if without adequate health insurance. The purpose of the Affordable Care Act was to stop making healthcare such a financial burden. If you qualify for one of the many health insurance penalty exemptions, you don’t have to pay a penalty to come next tax season.
Use FirstQuote Health’s free health insurance penalty calculator today to find out what you may be paying!
The easiest way to avoid penalties, that will also help you avoid high medical costs is by finding a quality health insurance plan. If you couldn’t find one during Open Enrollment, you can still enroll in a private or individual plan at any time. No matter whether you purchase the plan through the marketplace or some other means, the most important thing is that you get the coverage you need.