Who are the major Ohio health insurance companies?
Anthem Blue Cross, Aetna (Coventry), United Healthcare (UHC), Humana, SummaCare, HealthSpan, and Medical Mutual offer the most competitive rates in Ohio.Other Participating carriers include Molina, Ambetter, CareSource, Premier, Aultcare, Paramount, and Assurant.
What if I only need coverage for a few months?
An Ohio “short-term” policy might be your best option. Premiums are substantially lower than regular policies and you can pick the number of months you would like to be covered. Applications are brief and are often approved within 24 hours. As previously mentioned UnitedHealthcare (also known as "Golden Rule") and Humana offer very low pricing.
NOTE: These types of policies are not Exchange or ACA-compliant. Therefore, you may be liable for a 2% household-income penalty, depending upon how long you don't have qualified coverage.
What are the Exchanges?
The "Exchanges," also known as a "Marketplace," became available in October of 2013, for 2014 effective dates. It is one component of the "Affordable Care Act," which was the overhaul of the US healthcare system. Some of the changes included the elimination of medical underwriting (other than smoking status) and the addition of tax-credit subsidies that could potentially reduce premiums, depending upon your household income.
Policy choices can be limited, since you only choose between four basic levels - Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze. However, there are some variations of each level that we will later explain. And several additional benefits are mandated (meaning that they must be included), which raises the cost for many persons that don't qualify for the federal subsidy.
How Do I Buy A Policy Through The Ohio Exchange?
Actually, the process is simple. You can continue to use our website as your primary source of information, quotes and applying. We utilize a special enrollment link that allows you to compare plans, calculate your subsidy, apply for coverage, and get approved in less than 15-25 minutes.
There are no medical questions and we help you calculate the amount of federal subsidy you will receive to lower your premium. Since it is income-based, you could receive anywhere from $0 to $15,000. Your subsidy takes the form of an instant tax-credit and is immediately applied to your premium.
If your household income is below 138% of the federal poverty level, then you are eligible for Medicaid. For example, If you are 55 years old and make less than $15,000, your cost would be very low because of your Medicaid eligibility. It is possible that your household income will change from one year to another, and thus your eligibility may change.
NOTE: Since the amount of financial subsidy is based on your household income, if you anticipate a large change for an upcoming year, modifying your information may save you a large tax bill the following year. Otherwise, a projected tax refund will be reduced to pay for the excess funding you received.
What is “catastrophic” health coverage and should I consider it?
“Catastrophic” plans are designed to cover major medical expenses, such as hospital visits, surgical expenses and emergency room charges. Ohio Premiums are quite low, but office visits and prescriptions are generally not covered. For healthy individuals and families, this type of coverage can potentially save a substantial amount of money, and is worth considering.
A common catastrophic plan is a "High Deductible Health Plan," (HDHP) which is required to take advantage of a Health Savings Account. Preventive benefits are completely paid by the carrier and additional tax savings is part of the contract.
NOTE: During Open Enrollment, subsidized catastrophic plans are available, and premiums are quite low. However, you must be under the age of 30 to apply, or you must qualify for "financial hardship." Otherwise, you can purchase any of the other tier contracts. If you are under age 30, several popular options include Medical Mutual's "Market Young Adult Essentials," Anthem's "Catastrophic Pathway X PPO 6600," SummaCare's "Individual Value-LO," and Humana's "Basic 6600/Dayton HMOx."
What is a PPO?
A PPO is a “preferred provider organization" that negotiates lower rates with groups of doctors, hospitals and other providers. Membership in the PPO provides a substantial discount below their regularly charged rates. Most Ohio companies offer PPO policies, and they are the most popular type of option.
In most parts of the state, there are a large number of available network providers. Anthem has the largest number of providers, followed by Aetna and UHC (Golden Rule). With most plans, you can still be treated "out of network," although you may have to pay more. Recently, Humana expanded their network (ChoiceCare), which includes more than 500,000 physicians and other practitioners
Will my pre-existing condition be covered?
If you apply for coverage during an Open Enrollment period (assuming you are purchasing an on or off-Marketplace policy), they will be covered. No extra copay, deductible, coinsurance or waiting period will be applied to the condition. Also, the rate you pay will not be dependent on any aspect of your medical history.
This includes any past, present or projected future condition or procedure. However, most plans have built-in copay and deductibles, so it is still likely that you may incur out-of-pocket costs with your condition. For example, if you are an insulin-dependent diabetic, many Bronze and Silver-tier plans will place deductibles and higher coinsurance on non-generic drugs.
How much do I have to pay to use this Web service?
There is no cost for our services and we never charge any fees. We can also guarantee that you will receive the lowest allowable premium since the Department of Insurance regulates rates. No other company or website can legally quote a lower rate. And our free service continues after you purchase a policy.
Can I buy a customized Ohio health insurance policy?
Yes, you can. Once we have determined the type of plan you want, we can create a personalized recommendation that features the deductibles, copays and premium that you want. We’ll make sure that your doctors are network-approved and the company is highly-rated. The benefits and rate will match your needs and budget.
How long do I have to keep my policy?
Fortunately, every policy allows you to cancel the plan at any time. Whether you need coverage for a month or 20 years, you are never required to keep the policy any longer than you want. Cancellation is quick and easy, and refunds are promptly returned by the insurers.
I already have health insurance but my rate keeps increasing. Should I change?
If you are in good health and there is a substantial savings by purchasing a new policy, it may be advisable to apply. However, it is imperative that you do not cancel the existing policy until you have been approved and have had ample time to thoroughly study the new offer. Also, Open Enrollment restrictions must be considered.