As we get deeper into the ramifications of health care reform, we’ve noticed more and more insurance companies pulling out of the market. We noted last week that American Enterprise Group, parent company to World Insurance and American Republic, closed its individual major medical insurance business. This is just the latest instance in which insurance companies can’t maintain their businesses in the wake of ObamaCare. And while the closing of businesses is never a good thing, the real consequence is that thousands of consumers find themselves without health insurance.
One option to quickly regain coverage is to join your spouse’s employer plan, if possible. However, that alternative seems to be becoming less popular. These days, we’re fielding lots of calls from people whose employer plan rates have skyrocketed for both individual and family health insurance. Group insurers are facing higher costs in attempts to meet new health insurance regulations, and these costs are passed along to the customer. Because of this, individual health insurance plans are becoming attractive options for replacing costly employer plans.
After losing their insurance, most people jump on the Internet to research their options. Of course, given all the providers, plans and prices, this typically leads to confusion and frustration. Since there’s no need to tackle it alone, we always recommend that people work with a local health insurance broker who represents multiple insurance carriers. A broker can help you navigate your options and steer you toward an affordable health insurance plan that’s right for you and your family.
As a Texas health insurance broker, one of the first questions we get asked is, “What’s your fee?” The thing is, reputable brokers like Custom Health Plans have no fee. We are compensated by the insurance companies, which means we can offer guidance and advice and set you up with a new plan without charging you a cent. And since we represent multiple carriers, we’re not beholden to anyone. We’re on your side.
Plus, if you have questions about your plan or coverage options, we’re your liaison. Rather than calling an 800 number, listening to a hundred automated prompts and finally dealing with someone who doesn’t know you, your history or your health needs, you can call us. We’ll deal with the insurance companies; and again, there’s no fee for our services. And if you’re worried about rates, rest assured because health insurance rates are state regulated. This means that the quote you get from a broker is the same as the quote you’d get straight from the insurance carrier for an equal plan. But for that rate, you’re also getting the broker’s guidance, expertise and customer service – three things you can rarely expect to receive from a big insurance company.
As evidenced by business closings and daunting details in nearly every news report, ObamaCare has caused much uncertainty in the market. Even though most changes won’t go into effect until 2014 – and there’s a possibility of repeal – consumers should do their best to stay prepared. A lapse in coverage can be dangerous for you and your family, so we always urge consumers to maintain coverage in some capacity.