Understanding Insurance Issues

Tips For Using The Health Exchange To Reduce Your Stress

If you have recently lost your job or if your employer no longer offers a health insurance plan, then you may need to find a health insurance policy for yourself on the individual marketplace. This is often confusing and stressful for individuals who are unfamiliar with the exchange. However, there are a few tips that can help reduce your stress.

You Can Call The Exchange

There are several ways that you can fill out your application for health insurance and gain access to the exchange. While you can complete the paperwork and questions online, you also have the option of calling the exchange directly so you can speak with someone. This individual will help you by completing the online form for you, and you will be asked a series of questions.

Typically, you will need to apply for health insurance during open enrollment which runs from November to sometime in December. This date can change, so keep this in mind. For example, the open enrollment period ends on December 15 for 2017. The majority of people will sign up during this period, and dedicated customer service personnel will be available to help in greater numbers at this time.

However, if you have lost your insurance, then you will likely qualify for a special enrollment period where you can apply for insurance outside the open enrollment window. You should know that you will need to sign up for your insurance within about 60 days of the qualifying event. In other words, you have two months to get insurance from the time that you lose it. 

Investigate The Subsidies

If you have looked at health insurance plans before filling out qualifying information, then you may be surprised at the expense of a simple health plan. However, most people do qualify for a government subsidy based on their income. If you want help paying for your health insurance, then you will need to pick a plan that falls under the silver category. Bronze plans are cheaper, but they cover fewer expenses, and the government does not provide any assistance for the costs. 

You have the option of choosing a gold plan as well, but the government subsidy will be the same whether you pick a silver or gold plan, and the silver plan will be less expensive. 

You can pick an insurance company that offers a plan under the silver or gold category. All insurance companies under the specific category offer the same benefits, so it is up to you who you want to pick. Most people will choose the least expensive option, but you can find an insurance company you know and trust.