Archives For buying 2014 health insurance

Last Chance to Enroll in Health Insurance

Unless you have a qualifying event, March 31 will be your last chance to purchase 2014 health insurance coverage.

You have until midnight on March 31, 2014* to beat the deadline for enrolling in 2014 health insurance coverage.

*A qualifying event will allow you to enroll after March 31

Applying for Coverage Without a Subsidy

If you are not eligible for a subsidy (click here to find out), you can enroll quickly and easily by filing an application directly with the carrier of your choice:

Getting a Health Insurance Subsidy

If you are eligible for a subsidy, you must to apply for coverage through your state’s health insurance exchange in order to collect the subsidy.

So that we may assist you through the life of your policy, please follow these instructions:

Virginia Residents – Visit Federal Exchange

Go to www.healthcare.gov.

On the page that asks:   “Tell us if you’re getting help from one of these people”.
Select “Agent or Broker”; fill in all four of these fields:

a) First name: Jonathan
b) Last name: Katz
c) FFM User ID: JONKATZAGENT
d) NPN Number: 1585616

Maryland Residents – Visit the Maryland Exchange

Go to www.marylandhealthconnection.gov.

Enter our Consumer Assistance Reference ID#:   Jonathan Katz’s ID# = 9000116389.   Click here for instructions.

DC Residents – Visit the DC Exchange

Go to www.dchealthlink.com.

Click on Apply Now and create an account.
Once the account is created please click on “select the trained expert assisting you” in the upper right hand corner.
Enter our reference number  – 5376842
Click search, then next.

Act Now to Avoid a Penalty

If you have not enrolled in a health insurance plan by midnight on March 31, 2014, you will be assessed a penalty tax when you file your 2014 tax return.  So don’t delay!

Please be patient as we manage a high volume of calls and emails.

March 31 Deadline for Health InsuranceThis week’s big news surrounding the Affordable Care Act was the Obama administration’s announcement of a partial extension to the March 31 deadline for enrolling in 2014 health insurance.

Another extension?  Sort of.  Before you believe you now have longer to enroll, remember it is a partial extension.  And in fact, the administration is careful to call it a special enrollment period rather than an extension.

Who Can Enroll in 2014 Health Insurance After the March 31 Deadline?

The special enrollment period applies only to people who started an application through the federal health insurance exchange prior to the March 31 deadline, but were unable to complete the application process before midnight on that date.  It applies to applications started on paper, by phone, or online at healthcare.gov.

By checking a blue box on healthcare.gov, anyone who has already “gotten in line” by March 31 will be able to request a little more time — until mid-April — to complete the process. The extra time is being granted to accommodate those applications delayed by technical glitches and/or a complex family situation.

IMPORTANT:   If you are not purchasing health insurance through the federal exchange, there is no extension and the deadline remains March 31.

Virginia Medical Plans Can Help

If you have not yet gotten health insurance — through the exchange or off the exchange — we urge you to act quickly.  Do not delay!

Contact us via phone (1-800-867-0800) or email (jkatz@vamedicalplans.com), or use the Instant Health Insurance Quotes button to get started right away.

Please note if you are purchasing health insurance through the exchange, be sure to enter our information (below) so that we can assist you now and for the life of your policy.  There is no charge to you for using our services!

  • First name: Jonathan
  • Last name: Katz
  • FFM User ID: JONKATZAGENT
  • NPN Number: 1585616

Thank you for your patience as we manage a high volume of calls and emails.

We have entered the final weeks of Open Enrollment for 2014 health insurance.Buy Coverage On Exchange or Off Exchange

As such, many individuals are scrambling to meet the March 31 deadline to purchase 2014 coverage.  If you are one of them, you may be wondering — EXCHANGE or NO EXCHANGE?

Should you go through your state’s health insurance exchange (in Virginia, the federal marketplace, or healthcare.gov) or should you purchase coverage directly from a carrier?

The good news is, whichever route you choose, Virginia Medical Plans can help, as we are an authorized broker both on the exchange (in Virginia, Maryland, and DC), and for all the major carriers off-exchange.

Why Buy Coverage on the Exchange?

The main reason for purchasing health insurance on the Exchange is that it is the only way to collect a subsidy to help pay for coverage.

Eligibility for a subsidy is based upon household income as follows:

# People in Your Household

1

2

3

4

5

6

You may qualify for a premium subsidy if your yearly household income is between ….

$11,490 -$45,960

$15,510 – $62,040

$19,530 -$78,120

$23,550 – $94,200

$27,570 – $110,280

$31,590 – $126,360

If you think you are eligible for a subsidy, click here for instructions on using the exchange in Virginia, Maryland, or DC.

Why Buy Coverage OFF the Exchange?

If you are not eligible for a subsidy, then we always recommend you consider plans offered off-exchange as well.  Why?

Provider Networks:  Some of the plans sold outside of the exchange offer wider provider networks.  This means access to more doctors, pharmacies, hospitals, etc. when you need care.  We even have found cases where the same carrier offers plans both on and off the exchange, and the off-exchange plans have different networks than the exchange plans. One of the primary carriers in Virginia, for example, has a significantly reduced network of hospitals on the exchange version of its plans.

Options:  Plans sold off-exchange offer more options in terms of combinations of deductibles, co-pays, coverage, etc.  Although all plans — sold either on- or off-exchange — will cap deductibles at $6,350 for an individual and $12,700 for a family, the more flexible the options, the better the selection in terms of finding the right balance for each customer’s needs, wishes, and budget.  For example, someone who may have trouble paying a high monthly premium may be better off with a plan that has a higher deductible.  More options off-exchange mean a better likelihood we can find the right plan.  Click here to read an earlier post about this.

Application Process: It is no secret that both the federal and state health insurance exchange websites have seen some problems.  By purchasing off-exchange, you avoid those issues by applying directly with the carrier.

Deadline to Purchase is March 31

Whether you purchase your coverage on- or off-exchange, the deadline for buying a 2014 policy is quickly approaching.  You have until March 31.

After that, absent a qualifying event (change of job status, change in marital status, birth/death/adoption of a child, loss of coverage, etc.), your next opportunity to purchase coverage will be during 2015’s open enrollment (currently set at November 15, 2014 – February 15, 2015).

We are available to assist with on- and off-exchange applications. You can reach us by phone 1-800-867-0800 or email jkatz@vamedicalplans.com.

Or you can get started now by clicking  Instant Health Insurance Quotes.

For exchange applications, our broker information is found below.  When you enter this information into your online application, you are guaranteed our guidance and assistance for the life of your policy:

First name: Jonathan
Last name: Katz
FFM User ID: JONKATZAGENT
NPN Number: 1585616

Thank you for your patience as we manage a high volume of calls and emails.

What Should You Do if You Think You Can’t Afford Health Insurance in 2014?

Affordable Health CareIf you have searched for health insurance and believe it is too expensive, please let us help you find a solution that meets your needs and fits your budget.  The worst thing you could do is remain uninsured because the premiums feel out of reach.

We can often find a plan that fits into your budget by making adjustments to some of the features of the plan.

For example, we can lower your monthly premium by choosing a policy with a higher deductible.

This is a trade-off, but one we feel is worth it if the other option is to have no coverage at all.  Look at it this way:

What is the known?  The monthly premium is known.  When you select a policy, we know for certain you will be writing a monthly check for the stated premium amount.

What is the unknown?  Your health care needs for the upcoming year are unknown.  We don’t know if your health care expenses for the upcoming year will be $500, $5,000 or even $50,000.

But even if a higher deductible is something you may have trouble affording, you are still better off — way better off — having coverage with a high deductible than no coverage at all.  At least you know the extent of your exposure for covered medical treatment for the policy year will be no higher than the amount of your deductible.

Raising a policy’s deductible is just one example of a way to lower the premium.  There are other tweaks we can make to a plan’s options in order to get the premium into a more comfortable range.

Other Benefits of Having Health Insurance

Being insured affords you other concrete, money-saving benefits, regardless of the pricing or coverage options.  For example:

  • Lower negotiated rates for services.  Health insurance companies work with doctors, pharmacies, hospitals, and other medical providers to provide treatment at reduced rates.  If you are not insured, not only will you pay for all care out of your own pocket, but you will pay a higher rate for that care.
  • Physical exam component covered at 100%.  Under the provisions of the Affordable Care Act, physical exams are fully covered.  Without health insurance, you lose this important benefit.

Everybody Must Have Health Insurance in 2014.  It is the Law.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) says you must have health insurance.  But, we believe the reason for being insured goes beyond the government mandating it.  Having health insurance protects you financially from the impact of major illness or injury.

Give our office a call today, or send us an email.  Or click the button on the upper right for instant quotes.  We can help you find the right policy to meet your specific needs.

Our phone is 800-867-0800 and our email is jkatz@vamedicalplans.com.

Our services are FREE!

But get in touch today because time is running out to get 2014 coverage.  The deadline is March 31.

Please be patient as we manage a high volume of calls and emails.