About the author: Rand Ragusa is Managing Partner at digital insurance agency FleurINS – Twitter @randragusa & LinkedIn.
There are new alternatives to Healthcare.gov. The Trump Administration now permits, and promotes, the sale of the health insurance marketplace plans through private insurance exchanges that make it easy for consumers to shop, compare and enroll in plans online.
These exchanges are certified by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and simplify enrollment in health plans sold through the Federally Facilitated Marketplace for the open enrollment period which runs through December 15th.
For the first time brokers and consumers can start and finish their health insurance enrollments on a single website in 10 minutes or less. Individuals can find information about private health insurance options, purchase health insurance, and obtain financial help with premiums and out-of-pocket costs if eligible.
The Affordable Care Act provides a new Premium Tax Credit based on your income and family size. Advance payment of the tax credit is calculated and can be used right away to lower your monthly premium costs. The website provides a quick view of qualifications for different savings programs in your state. You’ll find out exactly what you qualify for only when you fill out the application and get your eligibility results.
The premium tax credit is a refundable tax credit designed to help eligible individuals and families with low or moderate income afford health insurance purchased through the exchange. The size of your premium tax credit is based on a sliding scale. Those who have a lower income get a larger credit to help cover the cost of their insurance.
GetInsured, a market leader in individual health insurance e-commerce, became one of the first companies to pass the official CMS audit and launched in July of this year. The online exchange offers an overview of benefits you qualify for and allows all household compositions to take advantage of simplified health insurance enrollment.
GetInsured’s AgentExpress enables licensed health insurance brokers to quote and enroll individuals for Health Insurance plans, Medicare Advantage, Medicare Advantage Part D, Medicare Prescription Drug Plan, Medigap, Short Term Medical, Dental, Vision, Accident, Critical Illness, and Final Expense Life Insurance, in addition to many other ancillary plans.
Not only does the online exchange support the quickest direct enrollment with the carriers available in your market – reducing enrollment time by up to 35 percent – it also gives brokers an online CRM dashboard to manage and service clients throughout the plan year. Instead of sending clients to a call center, all enrollment and service tasks can happen within the site.
Individuals enter their name, social security number, date of birth, address, tobacco usage, and annual income – then view a list of insurance plans by price, displaying any discounts the individual qualifies for based on tax credits and cost sharing programs.
Employers of all sizes are quickly recognizing the benefits of moving employee populations from group coverage to an individual exchange offering. This offers employers choosing to no longer offer group insurance an easy way to contribute to employee’s healthcare while allowing them to purchase policies in an individual health insurance marketplace.
There’s no denying that shopping for health insurance online has come a long way in the past decade since the failed launch of Healthcare.gov! These new exchanges are changing the game because of their ability to streamline insurance comparison shopping while making it easy for people to buy and manage their health insurance.
To see for yourself just how easy it is to shop for health insurance online, checkout our agency’s AgentExpress portal. I bet you will be impressed (like I was) to see an Apple-like technology solution with a seamless user experience as the ultimate outcome to the controversial Obamacare legislation 10 years after being sworn into law.
Thanks to the Obama Administration, their BIG (some people say “crazy”) entrepreneurial idea for creating an online marketplace to buy and sell health insurance is finally working!