When you're looking to buy a new health insurance plan, you may think that comparing insurance rates is the best way to find a plan. However, it's important to understand you and your family's health needs in comparison to your budget requirements when you shop for plans.
At HealthMarkets Insurance Agency, we work to simplify the process of finding and enrolling in health insurance. By working with over 180 insurance providers nationwide, we have access to thousands of plans of all levels of coverage and insurance rates to help you narrow down to the right one for your family.
What to Compare When Shopping Health Insurance
While it's important o make sure that your health insurance plan is affordable, it's equally important o make sure that you're getting the coverage you need from your plan. Regardless of whether your family is healthy or needs to visit a specialist or the hospital a few times a year, it's important to make sure that you're enrolling in a plan that covers your medical needs.
Know Your Metal Level of Coverage
With the passing of the Affordable Care Act in 2010, four levels of coverage, or "metal levels," allowed for families to pay for the amount of coverage their health insurance provider gave. In general, the higher you're willing to pay in monthly premiums, the more coverage you received. These four metal levels are:
- Bronze: 60% covered by your health insurance provider, 40% covered by you.
- Silver: 70% covered by your health insurance provider, 30% covered by you.
- Gold: 80% covered by your health insurance provider, 20% covered by you.
- Platinum: 90% covered by your health insurance provider, 10% covered by you.
Understand Your Subsidy Eligibility
Another important consideration to take before you begin comparing insurance rates alone is understanding your eligibility for a subsidy. Under the ACA, families making a modest income may be eligible to have their monthly premiums and/or out-of-pocket costs lowers or covered. There are two programs you may be eligible for:
Premium Tax Credit is a type of subsidy that helps reduce monthly premiums for families making between 100% and 400% of the Federal Poverty Line. It's done so in one of two ways: the government directly pays your premium directly to your health insurance provider, or you can claim your premium in your annual tax return.
Cost-Sharing Reduction is a type of subsidy that helps reduce out-of-pocket expenses for families making between 100% and 250% of the Federal Poverty Line. This means that your health insurance provider will cover more of your out-of-pocket costs (e.g. copayments, coinsurance, deductibles) when you receive health care.
Let HealthMarkets Help You Compare Insurance Rates
When you contact HealthMarkets and tell them what your budget and coverage needs are, we'll help match your specifications to the policies that fit your needs. We work with over 180 different health insurance providers nationwide to find the right options for you.