Photo by Benjamin Margalit/Margalit Studio
Insurance coverage to the max
by Beth Newcomb
Whether you’re overjoyed or not with the results, the election of our nation’s newest president hasn’t changed a thing when it comes to the Affordable Care Act. All requirements pertaining to the ACA are still set in stone.
“Nobody knows what the future will bring, but for now the law is still the law,” says Patrick Althof, a licensed insurance agent with HealthMarkets Insurance Agency in Medina. “The earliest anything can happen is in 2018, which means that most people who are self-employed or don’t have employer-paid health insurance are required to obtain insurance under the Affordable Care Act. Enrollment is happening now until January 31. In order to begin coverage in January, you must be enrolled in a plan by December 15.”
“Several insurance carriers have exited the ACA market while others have made significant changes to their plans,” inserts Mark Odabashian, who is also part of the Medina HealthMarkets team. “If you’re not sure where you stand, scheduling a free review with one of us is an important step.”
You can go it alone by visiting the government website set up for the ACA, but why?
“Our guidance is absolutely free and we are not tied to any particular carrier. We can offer a variety of plan options, including Medical Mutual,” Patrick states. An advantage to meeting with one of the licensed Medina agents in person, which also includes Bethany Barrett and Travis Woods, is learning about all of your plan options and finding the one that’s right for your situation.
“Picking the most expensive or least expensive option may not be your best route,” Mark says. “If you don’t look at the details of the plan you’re considering, regardless of its cost, you could be left with some significant gaps in coverage.”
If you’re already in an ACA plan, now is the time to make a change. If you haven’t enrolled, now is the time to do so or you may be faced with a penalty for missing the deadline come tax time. Now is also the time to consider adding a supplemental insurance plan to address any gaps in your coverage.
“We hear stories all of the time,” Patrick says. “Remarkable things you wouldn’t expect to happen to people can and definitely do.”
“I had a client who was diagnosed with a stroke who traveled to another state to see a specialist,” he recalls. “Because this man had a specific type of supplemental insurance, he was able to use his plan’s cash benefit to cover the cost of going out of network.”
“We try to provide the best possible solutions to help with financial protection,” Mark inserts. “We have access to many different supplemental plans, something that could be very important as you make your decision about which Affordable Care Act plan to enroll in for 2017.”
“When it comes to supplemental insurance, a lot of people only think of life, dental and vision plans,” Patrick says. “It’s really so much more than that. HealthMarkets also offers disability, cancer, accident, critical illness and hospital coverage.”
Supplemental coverage, Patrick says, can help to protect you financially from out-of-pocket expenses when you are hospitalized or unable to work.
“No matter what happens in the political arena, we’re there out in front,” Mark provides. “And we’ll be there, too, continuing to serve the needs of our clients and helping them to make any changes if necessary.”
HealthMarkets Insurance Agency is located at 3705 Medina Road, Suite B, in Medina. The office phone number is 330-241-4208. You can find out more online at HealthMarkets.com/PAlthof.
HealthMarkets Insurance Agency is d/b/a of Insphere Insurance Solutions, Inc., which is licensed as an insurance agency in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Not all agents are licensed to sell all products. Service and product availability varies by state. HMIA003601