This year, make it your resolution to begin exploring insurance options immediately. Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), forgoing insurance is punishable by tax penalty. Enrollment is only open through January 31, and the experts at Health Markets Insurance Agency in Medina warn against waiting.
“The best advice I can offer is to not try and select a plan or complete enrollment on your own,” says Licensed Insurance Broker Patrick Althof. “You owe it to yourself to have a licensed professional guide you through the process. Our guidance at Health Markets is free, and we are not tied with any single carrier. Instead we educate to help you make the best decisions.”
As 2017 begins and we move closer to Inauguration Day, there seems to be much uncertainty about what will happen with healthcare. However, through 2017, no requirements set out by the ACA will be changed. If you already have a plan through the ACA, now is the time to change or add on supplemental plans like critical illness or accident policies.
“After January 31, you need a qualifying life event to obtain new coverage,” says Patrick. “Without an event like a marriage, divorce, or move, you cannot get new coverage. However, if somebody misses the deadline, we still offer ways to get coverage past the deadline.”
To find the best plan for you, an insurance professional will ask questions about doctor visits, medications, preferred providers, family history, and preexisting conditions. The best way to predict the future, explains Patrick, is to look at what has happened in the past. It is important to be informed about your options, because simply investing in insurance based on price increases the likelihood of gaps in coverage.
You may also have made a fitness or health resolution this year, and obtaining new coverage may actually help you accomplish your goals.
“A lot of health insurance policies will allow membership for fitness classes, visits to a chiropractor, and of course, yearly wellness visits for things like mammograms, colonoscopies, and pap smears.
“Almost daily, I hear about the excessive costs of medications. At Health Markets, we want to help you prepare for both the expected and unexpected by keeping you informed about your options. Now is the time to take advantage of open enrollment. But don’t wait—everyone else is coming in last minute, and you want to make sure we have time to get to you.”
Health Markets, located at 3705 Medina Road, will be accepting walk-ins Mondays through Saturdays. To schedule an appointment, call Patrick at 216.407.9824. Visit HealthMarkets.com/palthof for more info.