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Where To Get The Best Ohio Health Insurance Deals

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So you need to buy an Ohio health insurance plan. You want an affordable high quality policy and want to make sure you are getting the best deal. And it is important to that you are working with licensed experts that can provide guidance and expertise.

Congratulations! Somehow, you have made it to the right place. We feature company-direct rates and make it very simple to apply for coverage directly through our website. We can help you pick the right plan or you can compare costs and benefits on your own. Whether you know exactly what type of benefits you need or are relying on our assistance, we assure you that the best Ohio health insurance deals are here.

Shopping For Plans

When you go shopping for plans, it’s important to establish a budget and also have a clear understanding of the type of coverage you want. If you have small children, of course well-baby visits and immunizations may be high on your list of priorities.Is it important to have mental illness or visits to a chiropractor covered? If not, why pay extra when you don’t have too.

Conversely, if you are primarily concerned with protecting your assets by adequately covering  large hospital and ER bills, then obviously, you will need a different type of policy. We will help you avoid the mistakes that many people make when purchasing a policy, and also help you understand the total benefits and costs of the plans you are considering. The more knowledgeable you are about your benefits, the easier it will become to pick the best options.

Ohio health insurance tips

We Will Save You Money!

What we do best is carefully compare hundreds (Yes, we really look at that many) of different options from the most highly-rated carriers. Some of these companies include Medical Mutual, Anthem Blue Cross (Wellpoint), Golden Rule (UnitedHealthcare), Aetna and Humana.

You won’t see any “no-name” carriers because we purposely omit them since they usually are more expensive and don’t provide essential benefits. And we make it easy to shop each company. For instance we have a single page devoted to the best Anthem BC rates.

We rate each policy for what out of pocket costs you are likely to incur, how cost-effective the plan will be, based on your claims history, and the projected stability of the premium. Naturally, if the average annual rate increase is 20%, we will not recommend that plan. As you can see, we customize our research so you are truly getting the best deal.

The Human Factor

But perhaps the most important element in the process is the human factor. The content on this website and all of the information you are provided, is generated by live persons, who live here in Ohio and have been licensed brokers since 1980. Yes, that is indeed a long time! We believe that a combination of our human interaction (phone, email, in person or whatever!) and superior technology always outperforms a random E-website that provides rates, plan descriptions and high-turnover employees that are reading from a script.

Of course we utilize the most advanced software to provide all of the specific policy details and live instant quotes. But when you are communicating with us, either by phone, email or in person, that’s where you notice the difference most. You’ll quickly understand the level of experience and understanding we have and how easily we can help you understand how copays, deductibles and network discounts affect your rates.

Quite simply, we earned our consumer-website top-ranking by helping consumers in a professional manner without bias. If there is a better solution for you through your employer or a professional association, we’ll know about it and direct you there. If your medical history won’t allow you to qualify for a preferred rating, we’ll work to find the best choice and help you determine which features are the most important.

The Exchange

When an Ohio Health Exchange offers policies to residents of our state, our Agency will be a resource that explains the process of applying for coverage. It is expected that in 2014, the Department Of Health And Human Resources will help create the “Exchange” that will perhaps help individuals and families buy affordable health care. Since it is possible that it will be very consumer unfriendly, our website will take you step by step through the process.

The first step to securing the best deals for your medical coverage in Ohio is finding the right broker and website. Now that you have already done that, please take the time to read about different policies and glance at the live quotes you provide. We’ll be standing by if you need any help.

What Do You Do If You Lose Your Job?

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If you live in Ohio and have recently lost your job…you’re not alone. The state has lost more than 260,000 jobs since 2000, about 5 percent of all jobs. The hardest hit areas have been Trumbull County, losing 20.5 percent of its jobs, and Montgomery County, losing 14.1% of its jobs.

President Barack Obama’s health care ideas are now facing delay, when Tom Daschle, who was chosen to head the initiative, suddenly withdrew his nomination for the health secretary position. Health care reform has taken a back seat to more important matters…such as the failing economy and helping auto manufacturers and some financial institutions.

If you find yourself out of a job, between jobs, or your employer is reducing your hours, your health insurance may be affected.  In many cases, your current coverage extends for a few months (or less), and then the search for an affordable individual medical plan begins. But there are many affordable options, including those persons with serious health conditions.

Cobra is one option. Under this program, workers laid off from companies with 20 or more employees can extend their employee-provided health insurance for 18 months. Of course…premiums are often extremely expensive. And with the current recession and no end in sight, Cobra’s premiums are not a viable health insurance option for many Ohioians.

However, if you have no significant medical issues, such as cancer, diabetes or heart disease, you may qualify for an individual  policy. The application process is simple and physicals are rarely required. The most popular Ohio companies are Anthem Blue Cross, UnitedHealthCare, Medical Mutual, Humana and Aetna. Kaiser and SummaCare are great options in the Northern portion of the state.

No job and bo work get health insurance

Get Affordable Ohio Healthcare When Not Working

For example, in Franklin County, a nonsmoking family of four (Parents-Age 40 & Children-Ages 8 & 10), with no medical issues, can buy a “catastrophic health” plan for about $140 per month. A “comprehensive” plan, which offers many more coverages, would cost between $250 and $330 per month, depending on the major medical deductible.

Naturally, prices will be substantially less if only one person is insured. Also, existing medical conditions can raise the rate. With your own policy, your coverage is portable, so you may keep the policy as long as you want. Also…with individual coverage, unlike group coverage, your rate is not affected by a large amount of unhealthy persons in the group.

The Office Of Unemployment Compensation can also assist you with other matters besides your medical benefits. They will help you find a job, estimate your unemployment compensation, discuss eligibility requirements and many other helpful topics.

Ohioquotes.com offers free quote comparisons and you never pay any fees for using our website. Feel free to contact us or use the quote engine which gives you instant rates. 

UPDATE: September 2013. A lot has changed since the original article was written in 2009. However, unemployment in Ohio is still a problem. And so is underemployment, where workers often accept positions in which they are vastly overqualified for.

However, a big positive change is that regardless of your health status, you will be able to find quality benefits if you lose your job. And since a federal tax subsidy is now based on your individual or family income, you’ll probably pay much less for a policy now, compared to prices in 2009. If you fall under 400% of the “Federal Poverty Level,” you are entitled to financial aid.

Online Ohio Healthcare Quotes

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Did you really go online and request an Ohio healthcare Exchange quote? Well…let me guess what happened. You received 26 phone calls the first day, and about 15 calls every day for two weeks. If you went on multiple websites, you may still be getting calls!

You're the eighth Ohio health insurance broker to call me!

Eight different brokers called you. Two were from Ohio, two from Florida, two from Texas and a gentleman from Nigeria offered to share his lottery winnings with you if you bought a health insurance policy from him.

Maddening isn’t it? It might be too late, but I have created a Top-10 list of “Do’s and Don’ts” when going online and requesting an Ohio health insurance quote.

Here they are:

10. If any broker asks for your credit card number, checking account number, or attempts to charge you an application fee…run away!

9. If any broker insists they are calling from Ohio, but your caller ID indicates otherwise…run away!

8. If any broker says that you better “lock in the rate” since the premium is going up the next day…run away!

7. If any broker is unwilling or unable to send you a hard-copy proposal in the mail…run away!

6. If any broker insinuates that only they can offer you the lowest available rate…run away!

5. If any broker thinks the Ohio State Buckeyes are a band from the 1980s…run away!

4. If any broker quotes rates from a company you never heard of…run away!

3. If any broker tells you they can’t email the proposal, and they need to show you in person… run away!

2. If any broker tells you that you don’t have to pay the first monthly premium since you won the Nigerian lottery…then run away!

1. And finally…If any broker tells you that you have to pay your premiums in Euros…run away!

Buying affordable healthcare in Ohio really isn’t difficult any more. The Obamacare subsidy will help reduce premiums for many households. If you don’t meet the requirements for the subsidy, you can consider a  policy that is purchased without Marketplace financial help. We are happy to explain the details to you.

Lowest Priced Medical Plans In Ohio – Anthem, Medical Mutual…

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There are many low-priced Ohio health insurance plans that have premiums 15%-40% less than the typical standard policy. Coverages are often quite rich and the underwriting criteria is identical to all other contracts. And if you qualify for a full federal tax credit subsidy, your entire premium could be waived. That’s called free healthcare coverage!

Generally, the major differences between the most expensive plans and the “low cost” plans are the out of pocket expenses on major claims and the number of allowed office visits per year. Also, non-generic prescriptions may be limited or not covered under the low cost catastrophic plans. But you no longer have to prove you are in good health to qualify for a policy.

The two categories on the Ohio Health Insurance Marketplace that offer the cheapest prices are “Bronze” and “Catastrophic” policies. Although eliminating all of the premium is nearly impossible (unless you qualify for the maximum subsidy), a large portion of your financial obligation is often paid by the government.

However, “Silver” plan options should always be included in comparisons because of their “cost-sharing” provision that is not available in any other Metal policy. Essentially, it works like this: If you qualify for household income guidelines, immediately, you will receive a reduced deductible and/or copay. A $2,500 deductible can quickly turn into a $1,000 deductible. Sometimes, it reduces to $300 or lower.

Since the subsidy reimbursement is based on your income (along with income of other adult family members), any sudden increase in pay could increase your premium. And of course, if there is a substantial reduction in your wages (or if your spouse stops working), you may be presented with more affordable options during the next Open Enrollment. Or you can take the extra money as a tax refund.

Although each situation is different, some of the cheapest plan options are Medical Mutual’s Market Young Adult Essentials, SummaCare’s Individual Value, Kaiser’s Catastrophic,  and Anthem Catastrophic. All of these policies are available to applicants under the age of 30, You may also qualify if you meet non-affordability guidelines based on income.

The lowest-priced policies that are available to everyone include: Kaiser Bronze HSA, Medical Mutual Market HSA, SummaCare Individual, HealthSpan 6000 and Anthem’s DirectAccess cbu. Each of these options is a “Bronze” Metal plan that offsets lower prices with higher deductibles. Lower deductibles are offered through “silver” and “Gold” plans.

Lowest Cost Medical Plans Ohio

Don’t Go Nuts Trying To Find Cheap Ohio Healthcare. Let Us Help!

 

 

 Perhaps the most critical requirements of the newer policies are the “Essential Health Benefits” that must be included. There are no exceptions. These extra benefits are mandatory and can not be removed. Mental illness, maternity and drug coverage are three of the most prominent ones. The list of 10 also may increase, depending on Congressional approval for proposed additions.

I don’t believe any rational person will disagree that hospitalization and emergency-room coverage should be a key component of all newly-designed plans. But when pregnancy benefits and child-dental benefits become mandatory, naturally, many consumers will will begin to question the legislation itself.

But to stay on-topic…the new “low-cost” plans are now less expensive than a few years ago. Of course, there is a small catch. You need to qualify for federal subsidy relief. If you do, expect to see savings of up to 50%-100% compared to the price you paid a few years ago. For more prosperous households, higher-deductible HSA plans continue to be the best choice.

UPDATE May 2011-  It’s hard to believe that I wrote that article 3 1/2 years ago. Time does fly! Many of the plans mentioned in this article have changed or are no longer available. For example, Anthem’s Value plan is not offered.  But there are still many affordable plans that are rich in coverage.

UPDATE December 2013 – Now that Exchanges are fully operational, there are multiple low-priced policies offered in all parts of the state. And the Obamacare subsidies (if you qualify) will eliminate most or all of the premium payments in selected situations. Some of the least-expensive policies are listed below:

KP Bronze 5000 Medical

Mutual Market HSA

SummaCare Individual 6350

HealthSpan 6000

Medical Mutual Market Young Essentials

Anthem Catastrophic Direct Access

UPDATE February 2014 Open Enrollment extends to March 31st. After that date, alternative options are available. Also, guaranteed coverage will still be offered in special situations, such as divorce, job termination, children reaching age 26 etc…

McCain or Obama? – Which Candidate Is Best For You?

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Tough choice. If you”re an Ohio resident and health insurance coverage is one of your key concerns, there are many factors to consider.

Obama’s plan would have the government take a stronger role in reducing the number of uninsured Americans.

McCain’s proposal would tax workers for the value of their employer-provided health plan, at the same time giving tax credits of $2,500 to single people and of $5,000 to families. The idea is for the employees to use the money to buy individual health insurance plans.

 

 A Female Perspective

 

Speaking from the Ladies” Gallery in the Ohio Statehouse, Nikki Rigano, a worker at the New Albany Kroger and member of UFCW Local 1059, had some interesting things to say about Senator McCain”s health care proposals:

“Senator McCain”s plan to establish a brand new ”health tax” would be irresponsible during the best of times, but during an economic crisis it threatens the well-being of middle-class families everywhere. Instead of creating new taxes, he should be helping hard-working Americans keep the tools they need to stay healthy. Putting affordable, quality health coverage out of reach for more than 900,000 Ohioans is simply not an acceptable option.”

 

I don”t  necessarily accept Rigano”s notion, and in fact believe McCain”s plan will help more Ohioans with their health insurance than Obama”s plan. 

More than 1.2 million Buckeye state residents currently have no health insurance and one million more are under-insured. These figures are hardly surprising, considering  premiums have risen more than 250% since 2000.  According to a recent report by the Center for American Progress, a middle-class Ohio family could expect to pay an extra $900 in McCain”s “health tax” by 2013, and 920,000 would lose coverage altogether under his plan.

 

However, the nonpartisan Factcheck.org has said this assertion is false. Factcheck.org is a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania. Its mission is to monitor the validity of political advertising and rhetoric so that voters will be able to make a more informed choice at the polls. (Quick Disclaimer- Our website does not necessarily endorse or support Factcheck.org)

Presidential elections and healthcare changes

Warning! Warning! Sometimes, What You Read Is Not Always True


 False Claims

“The Obama-Biden ad falsely claims McCain says he wants to “do the same to our health care” that “Wall Street deregulation” has done to the banking industry,” Factcheck.org said in its analysis.

According to them, the ad takes a phrase out of context from an article Sen. McCain wrote in the September/October issue of “Contingencies,” a journal of the American Academy of Actuaries.

The full quote provides the context. What Sen. McCain is talking about is permitting people to buy health insurance across state lines – a practice currently not permitted. Although this would not drastically lower premiums, it could potentially result in a 5% across-the-board decrease in prices.

Sen. McCain wrote, “I would also allow individuals to choose to purchase healthcare across state lines, when they can find more affordable and attractive products elsewhere … Opening up the health insurance market to more vigorous nationwide competition, as we have done over the last decade in banking, would provide more choices of innovative products less burdened by the worst excesses of state-based regulation. Consumer-friendly insurance policies will be more available and affordable.”

  Buying Insurance Across State Lines 

Sen. McCain”s proposal echos what  industry analysts have been saying for years. Currently, the residents of each state can only buy insurance from companies operating in that state. Industry analysts say that benefits mandated by legislators, which have little to do with consumers, drive up costs.

For example, families in New Jersey, which mandates more benefits than Pennsylvania, such as infertility, a family plan can cost $1,652 per month, while a family can buy a plan in Pennsylvania for $707 per month. Critics point out 60-year-olds have little need for infertility benefits. And there are several other benefits that may not be wanted or needed. Maternity, mental-health, dental/vision, and generic drug copays are a few examples.

UPDATES:

March 2011. Well…I guess we know who won the election. Obamacare has been passed but it appears the Supreme Court will rule its legality in 2012. I believe we need reform, but Obamacare may not be the answer. Stay tuned.

August 2014. Wow! Has it been more than three years since the last update? As we await the second Open Enrollment under “The Affordable Care Act,” although rates have not reduced as promised, for most persons here in the state, prices have not skyrocketed either. For 2015, prices will be going up, but most carriers are staying under the 10% level.

Federal subsidies will continue to drastically reduce costs…if you qualify. It’s not unusual to pay under $100 per month (even for family coverage), if your household income meets the Federal Poverty Limit guidelines. This huge break should continue, unless the Obamacare legislation is repealed. We don’t anticipate that happening.