There are few things in life more important than your health and that’s why buying health insurance is one of the best purchases you can make. The right plan is one that gives you access to the kind of health care you want, is affordable and helps protect you financially in the event of a health crisis.  The wrong plan can have a negative impact on both your health and your wallet. Yet in this brave new world of healthcare reform, the process of purchasing insurance can be confusing. There are state exchanges, the federal exchange and other sources as well. So where are the best places for buying health insurance?

Public Marketplaces

Fortunately, the health insurance marketplace offers lots of options. Buying health insurance through your state’s exchange or the federal exchange—at HealthCare.gov—gives you access to qualified health plans along with government subsidies. That may sound straightforward, but buying directly from government exchanges can actually have several downsides.

To start with, the government representatives that will answer questions and provide help aren’t licensed insurance agents. And unlike licensed agents, they haven’t undergone standard background checks or received the education and certification required to give reliable advice about choosing an individual health insurance plan or a family plan. In fact by law, government representatives aren’t able to give you any advice at all.  Another downside? Government representatives can only offer plans available on the exchanges, which could take better insurance options off the table. The federal government’s exchange also has a reputation for long call wait times and technical glitches that have made shopping frustrating and difficult.

Another option is buying health insurance from a private health insurance marketplace like HealthMarkets. A private marketplace gives you access to the same qualified health plans that government exchanges offer, including plans with government subsidies. But private marketplaces also give you access to “off-exchange” health plans, which could be a better fit for your needs, especially if you earn too much to qualify for a subsidy and are looking for broad coverage. You can also find supplemental insurance plans that cover things like vision, disability, accidents, critical illness and cancer. These plans can help fill gaps in your base health insurance plan, giving you and your family more comprehensive coverage.

The Benefit of Private Marketplaces

Perhaps most important though, is that using a private, independent marketplace like HealthMarkets means you get advice from a licensed, professional insurance agent. That agent has undergone the proper background checks and received the education and training needed to help you and your family navigate the complex insurance marketplace.

With access to more than 200 different insurance companies and the ability to lower your premium costs through government subsidies, HealthMarkets is well equipped to find the right plan for you. Customers have the option of buying health insurance via a representative online, calling (800) 304-3414 anytime day or night, or meeting in-person with one of our 3,000 local, licensed health insurance agents nationwide.

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