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The Benefits of Health Insurance Brokers in Seattle

Health Insurance can be tough to understand. Insurance brokers are a resource available to everyone to help you find the right health insurance plan. But you have questions. Does it cost anything to use a broker? Will I get the same prices? These are some of the things health insurance shoppers have to know when trying to decide if they should use a health insurance broker. To answer those questions: no you will not pay anything to use a broker and yes you will receive the same prices as if you shopped directly with the carrier. Health insurance brokers in Seattle do the work for you for free.

If you have never bought a coverage plan before there are some things you need to keep in mind when searching for a plan to meet your needs. Below is an outline of all the basics you need to know when preparing to find a health insurance plan.

The Affordable Care Act has made it mandatory for all individuals to have health care coverage. If you are over 26 or not otherwise covered by a spouse or parent’s insurance plan, you must obtain coverage in order to comply with the Affordable Care Act. If you do not have health coverage, you may be fined with a tax penalty.

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Health care coverage comes with multiple benefits

Free Preventative Care:
Many preventative services such as immunizations and vaccines, routine checkups, health screenings, as well as services for pregnant or expecting mothers can be received free of charge when you have a health care plan. For a full list of free preventative services, visit preventative care benefits.

Get help with medical bills:
Depending on the tier of the healthcare plan you choose, 60-90% of your health care costs will be covered. Those who are uninsured may end up with unforeseen high medical costs that may turn into debt down the road.

Avoid penalties
Those who go without a healthcare plan are subject to tax penalties. For 2017, those tax penalties were $695 per adult, plus $347.50 per child (with a family maximum of $2,085) or 2.5% of annual family income, whichever amount is higher. The 2018 fee is likely to remain at 2.5% of annual family income, but the flat fee will be adjusted for inflation.

How does the metal tier system work?

Depending on which tier plan you choose, your health expenses can be covered up to 90%. The state of Washington has developed a tier system that meets the ACA requirements. Bronze, the lowest tier, will cover 60% of your health expenses. This will leave you to pay the remaining 40%. Silver tier plans will cover 70%, gold will cover 80%, and platinum will cover 90%. As the tier level increases, so will your premium, your monthly bill.

What Will You Pay Out of Pocket?

Your total costs will vary depending on multiple factors, determined by your specific plan. To estimate your total costs, keep in mind not only your monthly premium, but also your deductible, co-pay, and co-insurance amounts. However, regardless of these amounts, there is still an out-of-pocket maximum of $7,150 for individuals or $14,300 for families. Keep in mind that this amount does not include your monthly premium or out of network services.

When Can You Use Your New Plan?

If you buy your plan before the enrollment deadline, your plan will go into effect the beginning of the new year. This means that if you have any medical needs anytime after the beginning of the year you will have access to your coverage benefits. If you are undergoing a preventative care procedure this too will be covered. However, keep in mind that you may still have to pay your deductible before you have full access to your benefits.


The Risk of Not Having Insurance

Going without health insurance can leave you and your family unprotected from large medical bills that may arise due to illness or an unexpected medical emergency.
Additionally, under the Affordable Care Act, it is now required that all residents have health care coverage. If you decide not to find coverage, you may be penalized by the IRS. These penalties vary by your income level. Over the next two years, it is expected that the penalties for not having health care coverage will increase. Currently, the penalty is $695 per adult and $347.50 for every child.

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