Open Enrollment kicked off this week and, very understandably, many of those who looked at their carrier's renewal notice for the first time found themselves in a state of health insurance sticker shock. Again. Just like last year. And the year before that. Premiums have increased, unfailingly, each year since the passing of the ACA, though this year has more of a 'hits home' feel to it. Rate increases are topping 50-60%, and for many it's more than already stretched budgets allows.
So once again, we find ourselves scrambling for ways to help keep premiums affordable without grossly compromising the quality of medical coverage. Let's review a few scenarios where calling a licensed health insurance agent can be a good idea. It's free, why suffer?
If Your Monthly Premiums Increased More than Anticipated
If your premiums are shooting up to a tier that is simply out of the question from a budgetary perspective, an agent can show you plans, combination coverage and other options that you might never find on your own.
If You Recently-turned or are Turing 65
As if healthcare reform wasn't frustrating enough, the 2017 Medicare enrollment overlaps it, and this can further complicate things for the turning-65 crowd. An agent can explain it all and assist with plans and supplements.
When Buying Coverage for the First Time on Your Own
The good old days of just picking a plan are gone, sadly. In their place is a process known to confuse even the most insurance-savvy. If you're new to shopping for medical coverage, spare yourself the frustration and call an agent.
If Your Carrier is Leaving the Marketplace
Close to one-hundred carriers left the marketplace in 2017, and this means that scores of people will be right back to square one. Working with a broker can expedite the process significantly and help you find the right coverage.
Self-employed or Recently Left Your Company
If you recently became self-employed and this marks the first time you need to buy individual, family or small-group coverage, the process can be a bit overwhelming. Most agents do not charge a dime for expert help, so it's worth considering.
If You're Expecting a Significant Life Change
If you elected to wait-out the Special Enrollment period after, or leading up to a qualifying life change (marriage, moved, new job, baby, divorce, etc), working with an agent can spare you hours of backend research and confusion over plan options.
Don't Lose Hope Over 2017 Premium Increases
We have to buy our own insurance too, at the exact same rates, so you can take us at our word when we say that we get it. The coming rate hikes may be scary at face value, but there are definitely solutions out there for those willing to seek expert advice. Premier has been serving Lisle, Chicago and all of Illinois since 2003, and we know the ACA/HCR system inside-out. There are no fees for our Open Enrollment services, and never an obligation to buy coverage from us.
If you have questions about this year's premium increases, comparing new coverage plans, or other healthcare-related issues, we invite you to call and speak with one of our staff of licensed Illinois agents. We can be reached at 800-369-0287 or by e-mail through our website contact page.