During the ACA annual enrollment, the push is on to help more Americans get health insurance coverage for less

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Licensed insurance agent Carl Lishing, with HealthMarkets, offers a no-cost review so you can determine which ACA plan will work best for you—and whether you can take advantage of the continuing subsidies. (Photography: Francis Angelone)

By Beth Newcomb

Just like last year, the annual enrollment period for Affordable Care Act (ACA) coverage has been extended until Sunday, January 15, 2023. The reason? “The push continues to help more people get insured,” says Carl Lishing, a licensed insurance agent with HealthMarkets Insurance Agency. “We’ve been shown time and time again how crucial health insurance coverage really is.”

The American Rescue Plan Act, signed into law in March of 2021, provides significant, although temporary, enhancements to the ACA. The purpose was to help more people access coverage courtesy of increased subsidies, with the elimination of the upper income limit for subsidy eligibility in 2021 and 2022. However, due to the Inflation Recovery Act, this has been extended through 2025. (https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/fact-sheets/inflation-reduction-act-lowers-health-care-costs-millions-americans)

What this means is in the past if you didn’t qualify for a subsidy to help offset the cost of your health insurance coverage, you may now. And a great way to find out is to schedule a meeting with Carl, or his new associate, licensed insurance agent Gabriella Andrada, for a no-cost review of your standing and what options are available.

“The government passed a law that continues the subsidy savings for 2023, so it’s a good idea to meet with us now,” Gabriella states.

What is a Subsidy?
A subsidy is essentially a premium tax credit the federal government provides to individuals to help offset the cost of an insurance premium. For example, if your premium is $1,500 a month and you get a subsidy of $900, the government pays that amount and your total out-of-pocket to secure coverage is $600.

“Subsidies are based on household income,” Carl explains. “The way things stand now nobody purchasing coverage through the ACA has to pay more than 8.5% of their household income. Because subsidies are higher, some enrollees can get $0 premium Bronze or Gold plans.*”

In fact, with the current ACA marketplace structure, many more Americans have become eligible for lower premium Bronze plans. (https://www.healthinsurance.org/obamacare/will-you-receive-an-aca-premium-subsidy/)

Subsidies do not exist for people who have healthcare coverage that’s considered affordable and provides minimum value under their employer-sponsored plans. “ACA coverage is for people who are self-employed, unemployed, or for people who work at a company that does not provide health insurance,” Carl shares.

ACA coverage can also be a good fit for people who have pre-existing conditions. Under the ACA coverage umbrella, insurers can no longer charge more or deny coverage to you or your child because of a pre-existing condition like asthma, diabetes, cancer and even pregnancy. (https://www.hhs.gov/healthcare/about-the-aca/free-existing-conditions-index.html)

Preventive care is another big benefit. Most plans must cover a set of preventative services, like blood pressure, diabetes and cholesterol tests, at no cost to you. Also included are well-baby and well-child visits, and routine vaccinations to prevent diseases such as measles, polio and meningitis.(https://www.hhs.gov/healthcare/about-the-aca/preventive-care/index.html)

However, understanding your coverage options and subsidy amount (if any) can be confusing.

“You can certainly go it alone,” Carl says. “But as a licensed insurance agent with HealthMarkets, I’m qualified to help you understand your options in an easy-to-digest format. I’ll break it down so you can make the best choice for you and your family. And the best part is, my guidance is offered at no cost to you.”

Within the different ACA coverage levels there are many different plans to choose from. “Simplify the process by putting my expertise to work for you,” he suggests.

You can reach licensed insurance agent Carl Lishing at 216-228-0765. HealthMarkets Insurance Agency is located at 16506 Detroit Avenue, in Lakewood. Office hours currently by appointment. Find out more at ClevelandInsurance.info.

HealthMarkets Insurance Agency, Inc. 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. Agents may be compensated based on enrollment. No obligation to enroll. *Source: Healthcare.gov HM49088-HM-1122