When you choose your health insurance coverage in Ohio, it is important to compare the best plans that are offered. But not just one company or one policy. Rather, hundreds of different medical plans from all of the best insurers in the Marketplace, so you know you're finding quality, yet affordable coverage.
Picking the most economical policy for yourself, dependents and other family members involves calculating your government subsidy, which is based on the "Federal Poverty Level." It's a rather simple concept. The lower your AGI (Adjusted Gross Income), the more help you are going to get from Uncle Sam. But the process can be confusing, so we automatically show you the amount you are eligible for with every quote.
We Search So You Save
We save you money by searching companies like Anthem Blue Cross, Medical Mutual, Humana, Aetna, Ambetter, Molina, SummaCare, and UnitedHealthcare (and many more) and providing their lowest direct rates so you can safely apply or enroll for the plan. We not only research every option (more than 500!) but help you understand what features you should be looking for and at what cost. For instance, if you need weekly physical therapy, we show you the plans that minimize those costs.
If you are currently insured under a group or individual contract, we will happily review your benefits and give you expert advice regarding what changes (if any) will lower your costs. In recent years, many small and large businesses are scaling back benefits and employee working hours, which often means you need to begin shopping for alternative medical coverage.
Review Your Own Expenses
One of the best ways to cut your premium down is to examine your healthcare expenses in 2016. That is, how much did you spend and what services did you receive. Were most of the costs associated with one person or one condition? Are these conditions still present or have they been treated and are no longer an issue? Do you suspect you may need a procedure or surgery in the next 12 months? Has your overall health declined in the last five years?
All of these questions are important in determining the type of coverage you should have. For example, if you answered "yes" to most of those questions, then minimizing your expected out-of-pocket costs for 2017 should be a priority. It may also mean that you will have to remain with your existing company (at least for now) until you can qualify for a less-expensive plan.
But assuming you are very (or fairly) healthy, and you had reasonably few expenses in 2016 and previous years, you need to ensure that your current coverage is designed to minimize your premium. Here's how:
Your Medical History
Ask yourself how many times you saw a physician in the last three years. But don't count any preventive visits such as annual physicals or OBGYN exams. Was your answer less than 10? If it was, and you have a "copay" on your policy, you may be putting dollars in places that aren't so cost-effective. Most of the time, a simple trip to see the doctor for a virus costs between $40 and $90, depending upon where you live. So if you have a copay of $35 and the cost was $70, you only saved $35 (or less if you factor in the discount).
If you had to pay out-of-pocket for those eight visits (in this example), that might have cost you between $400 and $700, depending on where you live and of course, the amount your doctor charges you. However, if your policy was structured so that symptomatic office visits were discounted instead of being subject to a copay, you might have saved between $1,200 and $3,000. That's a better deal!
Naturally, there are many variables, including other benefits that may have been utilized (such as prescriptions) or the number of family members on the policy. But ironically, the more healthy persons you insure, the bigger the savings becomes when you eliminate the copay. If you have at least four members of your family and everyone is at least eight years old, getting rid of the non-preventive copay benefits may make a huge difference.
Exchange Metal Plans
The only Available "Metal" plan that allows you to eliminate that benefit is the catastrophic option. You must be under 30 years old or meet a "financial hardship" requirement to be able to purchase that policy. Otherwise, you can consider plans that are not offered through the Exchange. However, forfeiting your subsidy eligibility (if your income allows you) may not be a sagacious financial choice.
Don't forget about product changes that will make attractive options even more attractive! For example, UnitedHealthcare just added a $6,000 (individual) and $12,000 (family) deductible on their HSA plans. These new policies will offer greater savings on an already popular concept. However, under Obamacare guidelines, you may not be able to buy these exact plans.
But if they were purchased in 2010 or earlier, you may be able to retain benefits under the "grandfather" clause. This allows you to keep the contract without being forced to add any required benefits. If you changed your deductible after you originally purchased the policy, you may not be allowed to keep it.
The graphic below (courtesy of Kaiser) illustrates that 77% of uninsured persons are eligible for either a subsidy or Medicaid through a Marketplace plan. Many of the new policies offer special features that reduce deductibles at no extra cost. CHIP can also help children in low-income households.
In 2014, Ohio will utilize a federal-run Exchange as an option to purchase coverage. You can still use Ohioquotes.com for comparing and buying your policies since we are linked directly to the Marketplace. However, there will be no medical questions to answer. This will be great news for some of you, but perhaps result in higher premiums for others. We'll help you select the most appropriate policy that minimizes your premium. There will be no "one size fits all" solution for any individual or family.
November 14 2013 - Enrollment for 2014 policies has begun. We will help you compare, select and apply for the best policy. The number of plan choices has decreased from about 500 to less than 100. Although you can no longer pick and choose as many companies, copays, deductibles and riders, the approval process is much quicker and effortless.
September 9 2014 - UnitedHealthcare, which was so popular in Ohio prior to 2014, will offer Marketplace plans in 2015. We expect prices to be extremely competitive. In the past, they marketed plans under the "Golden Rule" brand name.