If you're in Illinois and have been paying any attention to the news lately, you've heard some rather grim tales about the drastic health insurance premiums that are on the way. From the most accurate reports we can gather, premiums on medical insurance are expected to go up an average of 51% this year. And, no, this is not a typo. These are real increases with the potential to take a real toll on a family or individuals' disposable income.
For those who purchase their own coverage and are concerned about which direction to take, here are a few things that you should be aware of prior to enrolling in a new plan.
Pay Attention to Mail and Carrier Notifications
It can be easy to disregard the onslaught of mail that gets sent to you from your health insurance carrier. But this is the time to really be paying attention. At the time of this writing, many notices have been going out informing families and individuals of their new premiums. Keep in mind that these numbers reflect making no change to your plan. While stepping down to a less expensive plan might not be the most desirable option, it may help in reducing your monthly premiums if they've reached a tier that is simply unaffordable.
Do an Honest Assessment of Your Current Coverage
If you've been in the same plan for several years, this would be a good time to do an in-depth review of the coverage you're paying for. In some cases, you may be able to take a higher deductible or copay in order to reduce the amount you pay each month. Another option would be to purchase a less expensive plan and supplement it with Critical Illness or Accident coverage. If these are new to you, a licensed Illinois health insurance agent can help explain them in greater detail.
Consider a Subsidy if Rates Exceed Your Health Insurance Budget
Many are still reeling from the increases over the past two years, and now face some very tough decisions: Go uninsured, take the penalty, get a part-time job, or apply for a subsidy. If the latter is the most logical option, you may be able to sign up for a healthcare tax credit. We understand that this is not the route many wish to go, or ever saw themselves going, but it is there for those who are unable to afford coverage in light of the coming increases. This can be done online or by working directly with a local agent.
Work with a Qualified Agent Who Understands the ACA
We can't stress enough how helpful it can be to partner up with a broker who does this day in and day out. There are options that you might never consider, including combination plans and smaller carriers, and these are just two areas where an expert can make the process more streamlined and affordable.
Get Free Expert Assistance with your 2017 Health Insurance Enrollment
If the coming premium increases are stressing you out, we can assure you that you're not alone. Premier is one of the most trusted and well-recognized IL health insurance agencies, and has been serving Chicago and the state of Illinois since 2003. Before you commit to a plan that breaks your budget, we encourage you to see how Premier has helped others in similar situations.
Open enrollment starts November 1st. To speak with one of our staff agents or schedule a meeting, get in touch with us through our contact page or call toll-free at 800-369-0287. There's no obligation to buy anything from us, and we will do everything in our power to help make your health and medical coverage as affordable and rewarding as possible.