November begins the open enrollment season for ObamaCare under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  That means you have from November 1 to January 31 to sign up for a health insurance policy if you don’t have one, or if you want to change your coverage from the plan you had last year, or if you are losing your coverage because the carrier is withdrawing from your state on the exchange as is happening in Kansas with Coventry/Aetna.

You are eligible to receive a subsidy as an individual if you make up to $47,080 a year.  And a family of four can receive a subsidy with earnings up to $97,000 a year.  Children can stay on their parents’ plans until age 26.

Everyone who is a citizen of the United States is required to have an ACA compliant health insurance plan this year.  If they don’t sign up for health insurance, adults face a penalty of $695 per person (children are penalized at $347.50 per person) or 2.5 percent of their household income, whichever is greater.

The process is complicated, and picking a health insurance policy that works for you is even more complicated.  Online services are there to make the sale but disappear after that sale is made.  An exchange-certified, licensed independent broker (like our brokers at Benefits By Design who serve the individual health insurance markets primarily in Kansas City and the Wichita metro) stays with you throughout the process and is there for you year-round to solve claims, provider and policy issues.  We don’t tell you to call the 1-800 I-Don’t-Give-A-Damn number at the carrier and solve your own problem.  And, the best part is, it costs you nothing to use Benefits By Design as your broker/agent.

You probably wouldn’t represent yourself in court in a legal case, and you shouldn’t represent yourself dealing with policy issues with a major health insurance carrier.  Let the trained professionals at Benefits By Design help you find an affordable health insurance plan!

Cary Hall

America’s Healthcare Advocate