[symple_accordion_section title=”What has changed?“]
Health insurance companies have had to change their insurance policies in several ways:
• Insurance carriers can no longer deny health insurance to you if you have a pre-existing medical condition.
• Insurance carriers must charge the same premium to men and women of the same age living in the same geographic area.
• Insurance carriers are only allowed to charge more for insurance based on age, tobacco use, and the cost of medical services in the area where you live.
• Insurance carriers must include a wide range of preventive medical services, and they must pay 100% of the bill for covered preventive services.
• Insurance carriers must cover maternity care, prescription drugs, mental health, plus dental and eye care for children.
• Health insurance exchanges were introduced in October 2013.
[symple_accordion_section title=”What is a health insurance exchange?“]
A health insurance exchange is not an insurance company. It is a website at which you can explore several insurance options and purchase a health plan. An insurance exchange can be operated by a private insurance agency, insurance company, or a government agency like MNsure in Minnesota. INSUReasy.net is a private health insurance exchange and offers you the assistance of licensed, professional insurance agents.
On an exchange website, you can explore many insurance options to fit unique needs. You can apply for insurance online or request hands-on assistance from a licensed health insurance agent.
[symple_accordion_section title=”What is INSUReasy.net?“]
INSUReasy is a private health insurance exchange on which you can quickly and easily compare health insurance plans, view premiums, deductibles, costs, companies, rates, and more. At INSUReasy, you can purchase a personal health insurance plan directly and securely from the insurance company in minutes based on what you believe is most important. All that is needed to receive a quote is your date of birth, gender, zip code, and smoking status.
[symple_accordion_section title=”How is INSUReasy.net different from a government insurance exchange?“]
When you ask for an insurance quote at a government exchange – like MNsure – they must gather a great deal of private information. The information is stored in a government data base, and shared with several government agencies that use it for a variety of purposes, many of which are unrelated to insurance. At INSUReasy.net, you only enter your date of birth, zip code, and smoking status. When you apply for insurance using INSUReasy.net, only the insurance company receives your confidential information.
[symple_accordion_section title=”Who should use INSUReasy.net?“]
Individuals who are:
• Without employer-paid health insurance.
• At any income level.
• Dependents of an employed person, but who do not receive or cannot afford employer-provided insurance.
• Beneficiaries with expensive COBRA continuation insurance.
• Up to 50 employees.
• More than 50 employees. (Ask us how INSUReasy.net can work for large employers who prefer fully-insured health plans.)
[symple_accordion_section title=” Is INSUReasy.net used by individuals whose employer provides health insurance?“]
If an employer offers health insurance with an affordable premium and you choose to accept it, INSUReasy.net will not be useful, except if you need insurance for your dependents. The employer may not cover very much of the premium for your spouse or children, making it more cost effective to enroll your dependents in an individual health insurance plan. It is possible, however, that the employer may want to consider changing the health insurance benefit, and INSUReasy.net could assist in this process.
[symple_accordion_section title=”What are some features of INSUReasy.net?“]
INSUReasy.net features several valuable functions. These include:
• A tax credit calculator for you to see if you qualify for government tax credits to help in paying insurance premiums, and if so, how much. This is done without entering private information.
• Several filters, helping you to customize the insurance plan to meet your needs. These filter for specific insurance companies, provider networks, and benefit levels.
• Direct links to allow a search for specific prescriptions and physicians.
• Access to an experienced, licensed insurance agent to provide advice – at no cost to you.
[symple_accordion_section title=”How much will I pay to use INSUReasy?“]
Nothing. You do not pay a fee to use INSUReasy.net.
[symple_accordion_section title=”Who qualifies for tax credits and other assistance to help pay the cost of health insurance premiums?“]
You might qualify for government-paid assistance to reduce your monthly health insurance premium. The dollar amount of assistance you might receive is based on your household income and various life situations, such as marital status, dependent children, or pregnancy. This complicated calculation requires you to share personal and family information at a government health insurance exchange – like MNsure.
Before using MNsure, however, click here to use a simple calculator – it does not require personal information. Then if you believe it may be valuable to try for a government subsidy, contact one of our licensed insurance agents to assist you going forward.
Depending on your household income, you may qualify for:
• Premium tax credits. Available immediately if you qualify, the government will pay a portion of your monthly insurance premium. The greater your income, the lower the tax credit.
• Medical Assistance (M.A.). M.A. is a health plan for low-income individuals and families. M.A. enrollees do not pay monthly premiums.
• MinnesotaCare. MinnesotaCare enrollees pay a very low monthly premium. The premium increases slightly as income increases, but is lower than premiums paid by individuals who otherwise qualify for tax subsidies.
• Children’s’ Health Insurance Program (CHIP). CHIP provides premium assistance under MinnesotaCare for children in homes with income at 275% above the federal poverty guideline income. In some cases, children can qualify for CHIP even though parents do not qualify for MinnesotaCare.
[symple_accordion_section title=”I like my current plan, so I don’t need to think about other coverage, right?“]
You cannot be sure, because the new health care law changed many health insurance requirements. For instance, one-third of individual insurance policies previously offered have out-of-pocket caps that exceed the limits in the new law. The new law also mandates that many preventive medical services must be covered, and 100% of the cost must be paid by the insurance company. If you have had the same plan for a long time, then there is no guarantee it will qualify under the new law, or even be available in the future. Use INSUReasy.net to consider one of the new health insurance options that do comply with the new federal law.
[symple_accordion_section title=”What happens to someone who does not purchase health insurance?“]
The law requires all individuals to be covered by either a government health plan, like Medicaid, or an insurance policy. Beginning in 2014, individuals who fail to enroll will pay a tax penalty, collected by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
For those not insured during 2016 the tax penalties will be the greater of:
- 2.5% of your yearly household income. (Only the amount of income above the tax filing threshold, about $10,000 for an individual, is used to calculate the penalty.) The maximum penalty is the national average premium for a bronze plan.
- $695 per adult for the year ($347.50 per child under 18). The maximum penalty per family using this method is $2,085.
[symple_accordion_section title=”What is open enrollment and how does it affect choosing a health plan throughout the year?“]
Low-income individuals who qualify for Medical Assistance or MinnesotaCare can apply for coverage at any time. The government prohibits you from purchasing a commercial health plan except during open enrollment.
For 2017 coverage, the open enrollment period is November 1, 2016 through January 31, 2017. Prior to and after those dates, you will not be allowed to purchase health insurance, except for certain life events, such as:
• Getting married.
• Having, adopting, or placement of a child.
• Permanently moving to a new area that offers different health plan options.
• Losing other health coverage (for example due to a job loss, divorce, loss of eligibility for Medicaid or CHIP, expiration of COBRA coverage).
Note: Voluntarily quitting other health coverage or being terminated for not paying your premiums are not considered loss of coverage.