Continue Reading: Ask Frank: Can Employers Pay Obamacare Premiums?
Three in 10 U.S. jobs are held by the self-employed and the workers they hire. Taking the leap into self-employment or starting a small business means figuring a lot of things out, including how you will obtain health insurance.
Continue Reading: Benefits for One, Please
Maybe you already have an Obamacare plan, or perhaps you are in between major medical policies and do not qualify for a special enrollment period to buy health insurance at this time. Whatever your situation, you’re probably reading this piece because you’re looking for ways to help make healthcare costs more affordable.
Health insurance premium and deductible amounts—they’re the numbers you probably look at first when shopping for coverage. What will you pay each month? How much will you pay out of pocket before your benefits fully take effect?
Continue Reading: Deductible Dilemmas
Welcome to Health Insurance Deductible 101. It’s time to get to know one of your health plan’s key components and better understand how health insurance works.
Continue Reading: Health Insurance Deductible 101
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$5,731. That’s the average bronze plan deductible for individuals who purchase an Obamacare health insurance plan from HealthCare.gov, according to HealthPocket.com. And a New York Times review found that more than half of plans for sale through HealthCare.gov have a deductible of $3,000 or more.
As The New York Times points out, the Obama administration has touted low health insurance premiums available through the Affordable Care Act’s marketplaces (i.e., state-based and federally facilitated exchanges); however, many consumers are experiencing sticker shock when they get sick and need to use their coverage.
If you find yourself in a position where you can’t afford your Obamacare deductible, you have some options that may be able to help.
First, you may want to revisit your coverage before 2016 open enrollment ends on Jan. 31, 2016—you may still have time to switch plans. Did you purchase your Obamacare plan through a state-based or federally facilitated exchange? Did you apply for income-based financial assistance?
In addition to premium tax credits that can reduce what you pay for coverage each month, you may qualify for cost-sharing reductions that help lessen your healthcare costs beyond premium, including your deductible, coinsurance, copayment and out-of-pocket limit.
Only silver plans purchased through a state-based or federally facilitated exchange are eligible for cost-sharing reductions. You must also earn between 100 and 250 percent of the federal poverty level.
It may seem counterintuitive to spend more money, but you might also consider supplemental products that can help with your out-of-pocket healthcare expenses. You can purchase supplemental coverage whether or not you qualify for cost-sharing reductions, and whether you buy your health insurance plan from an Obamacare marketplace or the private market.
1. Metal Gap and Metal Gap 2 – These products are considered medical gap insurance. Metal Gap plans cost about $1 per day, and the cost of Metal Gap 2 plans varies. In return, they pay a lump sum benefit when a covered accident or illness occurs—the amount depends on the coverage you select. How you use the payment is up to you.
You can use the benefit toward your deductible, non-covered medical bills, household expenses, childcare and more. Plan availability depends on what state you live in. Click here for an example of how Metal Gap and Metal Gap 2 work.
2. The Telemedicine package with a patient advocacy benefit –Telemedicine is not insurance, but it is a supplemental product that can help reduce the cost of care when you see a doctor and can also save you a trip to the clinic. With the Telemedicine package available from healthedeals.com, you can receive over-the-phone healthcare consultations for minor ailments, such as a cold, sinus infection, allergies, and pink eye, to name a few—anytime of day, any day of the year, anywhere you are with a phone signal.
The Telemedicine package does not require you to use a network, and you pay $15 per consultation. In addition, you receive access to a patient advocacy benefit that can help you should you find yourself with large out-of-pocket expenses due to a high-deductible health plan, out-of-network charges or expensive prescription drugs.
Be sure to consult a health insurance professional who can assist you in selecting ACA-compliant health insurance as well as determine which supplemental benefits might be helpful to you and your family. Call the number at the top of your screen to speak with a health insurance producer (i.e., agent or broker) today.
 HealthPocket.com “Bronze Plan – Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).” Jan. 4, 2016. https://www.healthpocket.com/individual-health-insurance/bronze-health-plans
 Pear, Robert. “Many Say High Deductibles Make health Insurance Law All but Useless.” The New York Times. Nov. 14, 2015. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/15/us/politics/many-say-high-deductibles-make-their-health-law-insurance-all-but-useless.html?_r=0
METAL GAP and METAL GAP 2
THIS PLAN IS NOT CONSIDERED TO BE MINIMAL ESSENTIAL COVERAGE AS DEFINED BY THE PATIENT PROTECTION AND AFFORDABLE CARE ACT (ACA). ENROLLING IN AND MAINTAINING THIS PLAN WILL NOT EXEMPT YOU FROM THE SHARED RESPONSIBILITY PAYMENT (TAX) THAT MAY APPLY IF YOU DO NOT HAVE PLAN WITH ACA-COMPLIANT COVERAGE.
The Telemedicine plan is NOT insurance. The plan is not insurance coverage and does not meet the minimum creditable coverage requirements under the Affordable Care Act.
© 2015 Teladoc, Inc. All rights reserved. Teladoc and the Teladoc logo are trademarks of Teladoc, Inc. and may not be used without written permission. Teladoc does not replace the primary care physician. Teladoc does not guarantee that a prescription will be written. Teladoc operates subject to state regulation and may not be available in certain states. Teladoc does not prescribe DEA controlled substances, non-therapeutic drugs and certain other drugs which may be harmful because of their potential for abuse. Teladoc physicians reserve the right to deny care for potential misuse of services. Teladoc phone consultations are available 24 hours, 7 days a week while video consultations are available during the hours of 7a.m. to 9p.m., 7 days a week.
About The IHC Group
The IHC Group is an organization of insurance carriers and marketing and administrative affiliates that has been providing life, health, disability, medical stop-loss and specialty insurance solutions to groups and individuals for over30 years. Members of The IHC Group include Independence Holding Company (NYSE:IHC), American IndependenceCorp. (NASDAQ: AMIC), Standard Security Life Insurance Company of New York, Madison National Life Insurance Company, Inc. and Independence American Insurance Company. Each insurance carrier in The IHC Group has a financial strength rating of A- (Excellent) from A.M. Best Company, Inc., a widely recognized rating agency that rates insurance companies on their relative financial strength and ability to meet policyholder obligations. (An A++ rating from A.M. Best is its highest rating.) Collectively, the companies in The IHC Group provide insurance coverage to more than one million individuals and groups. For more information about The IHC Group, visit www.ihcgroup.com.
About IHC Specialty Benefits, Inc.
IHC Specialty Benefits, doing business as Health eDeals Insurance Solutions is a full-service marketing and distribution company that focuses on small employer, individual and consumer products. Health eDeals markets products through general agents online, telebrokerage, advisor centers, private label and directly to consumers. For more information about Health eDeals visit www.HealtheDeals.com.
Continue Reading: I Can’t Afford My Obamacare Deductible. Now What?1