Purchasing healthcare coverage is like filing your tax return. You know you have to do it, but it’s time-consuming, frustrating and you hope you don’t have to pay too much. And thankfully, you only have to take care of it once per year. You hope your premiums didn’t go up from the previous year (or not much), and you won’t spend too much time on the shopping, comparison and enrollment process
Here in Ohio, we get a big break. Not only are rates lower than most states, but we have a much broader selection of companies that offer policies. Whether its Anthem BC, Medical Mutual, Premier, Aetna, Ambetter, CareSource, Humana, HealthSpan, or UnitedHealthcare, low-cost policies are typically available. And of course, the federal subsidy often saves thousands of dollars per year in premiums for Marketplace plans.
Where Do You Get The Lowest Health Insurance Rates In Ohio?
So…Back to the original question. When you’re shopping for a policy, where do you find the best prices? Since rates are closely scrutinized and mandated by the Department Of Insurance, you can’t get a better “deal” by using a specific, broker, company website or Exchange. However, finding the best low-cost plans that match YOUR unique needs are best addressed by an experienced broker.
Instead of comparing policies from one specific carrier, you can view the best available policies from all major top-rated companies. It’s just like shopping for a vehicle or appliance. Typically, you would like to see more than one brand before buying. The same applies to buying Ohio health insurance plans. While Anthem may be the perfect fit for your neighbor, perhaps Humana or Aetna offer better policies for you. Thus, it’s critical to use an independent broker.
Fees? Not Here!
What about fees? Although many Agencies and some brokers charge a fee for their expertise and advice, we don’t. We never have and never will. It’s simply not ethical (in our opinion) since we are compensated directly by the insurers. At no cost to the consumer, we calculate your federal subsidy, and apply it directly to your premium, and show you customized options that will be the most cost-effective plans available for enrollment.
Interesting Fact: Most carriers prefer working with experienced websites/brokers since we handle much of their customer service needs at no cost to the carrier or consumer. When you need to add or drop a dependent, change plans, change subsidies because of an increase (or decrease) in household income, or renew or re-enroll your coverage, we handle it. And the insurer saves money since they don’t have to hire extra personnel for those specific tasks.
What Is A “Navigator?”
The Navigator position was created when the Affordable Care Act legislation and Section 1311(i) was passed. Although lacking the experience, knowledge, and training of most licensed brokers, their job is to assist consumers with the enrollment process. Federal dollars are allocated to train and promote the services they provide.
However, they are prohibited from recommending specific plans, and typically focus on applying for coverage and helping consumers that may prefer to enroll in person, as opposed to online. We feel that the in-person assistance they provide in low-income neighborhoods is very valuable, as long as accurate and unbiased reccomendations are provided.
Not Just “Any” Broker
Brokers come in all shapes and sizes. Some are young and inexperienced, and others are terrific resources for information and assistance. Their websites may be constantly updated or simply contain pictures of their favorite pets! You just never know.
With our website, you get the best of everything. We have the luxury of 35 years of experience along with utilization of the most modern and updated healthcare software, that helps us research, compare and recommend your best choices. When it’s time to apply or enroll for coverage, we’re at your side (if you want) throughout the entire process.
Or, just a phone call or email away. The choice is yours. We also provide an updated Q&A page that may easily answer many of your questions and concerns. Change is a constant in our business. However, by anticipating changes in federal legislation and Marketplace plan availability, we can continue to customize options that save you money.
Our promise is that you will be presented with the best available options at the lowest possible costs. A federal subsidy, if applicable, will reduce your premium, and only the most reputable companies will be used.
Who should I contact
to compare plans, enroll, and seek advice?
A Licensed Agent
The Government Exchange
Will they show plans ON the government Exchange Marketplace and plans OFF the Exchange (in the Private Market)?
Yes, if they are participating in both markets
No, shows only plans on the Government Exchange (Marketplace)
Can they show plans from ALL major health Insurance Companies in the state?
Yes! Independent Agents (Brokers) are licensed and contracted with many insurance companies
No, only shows their own plans
No, only the insurers on the Government Exchange (Marketplace) and only those specific plans
Yes! Access to the same personal advisor, a licensed and insured Agent (Broker), who has years of experience and specialized training in the new laws
Many advisors in a call center, but no access to the same advisor. Many of them have years of experience and specialized training in the new laws.
Many advisors in a call center, or unlicensed and uninsured Navigators and Application Counselors, newly hired and newly trained
Personal Phone Call?
Call Center only
Call Center only
Unlicensed newly hired Navigators or a meeting at the Exchange Call Center
Customer Service after the Sale?
Customer Assistance and help with understanding the insurance plan, claims, billing, enrollment rights, subsidies, problem resolution?
Yes, service from an employee of the insurance company
Yes, for some but not all issues. The service is from a government employee.
The insurance price is the same no matter which choice you make.
You do not pay a higher rate by using a broker and/or their website.