In this week’s tidbit Tuesdays, I have some exciting news about being an Austin Marketplace Coverage Agent as well as the Marketplace coverages that will be occurring later this year. This may seem a little premature, but the open enrollment window is less than 2 months away – November 1st through December 15th – and so it’s good to have it on our minds. During open enrollment, you can view the Marketplace plans and evaluate your current coverage for any changes. Any changes will then be effective from January 1st. This applies only to traditional open enrollment. If you have a special open enrollment period, then this may not be as exciting, but for those waiting for open enrollment, these new upcoming offerings are exciting.
I still do not know exactly how all these changes will look, as certain companies and the state insurance board are still in the process of getting approval in order to offer these different types of coverages. However, I know for sure that Aetna, Cigna, and United Healthcare are going to be key players this year in the Marketplace coverages.
Again, I do not exactly know if they’re going to be HMO’s PPO’s, or EPO’s. But I have already seen that Oscar is going to expand their coverages and benefits. This should make for a good upcoming year, as you should have a lot more choices, which I’m very excited about. It gives us more to work with, better options, especially considering the subsidies will still be in place for 2022.
The subsidies will carry on until next year. By the end of the year, you should have a good gauge of what your income was for this year, and maybe even an estimate of what your income will be next year. This will be helpful in determining how much subsidy you can get.
The important thing is to have an agent to help you with Marketplace coverage. You can call the Marketplace yourself, however, I strongly recommend you don’t do that. The primary reason being is that they do not ask enough questions to make sure you get the correct coverage. The other main aspect is why would you want to do it? I am a local agent, and it does not cost you anything to make use of my agent services. I am able to look at all the different plans, and thorough investigation of your circumstances, I can narrow down the choices for you – to the best choices for the coverage that you need and the budget you have.
I have clients that do not want to bother me with small changes to their plans such as adding children. One particular client called Marketplace, and by the end of the call, the Marketplace representative had recommended he change his plan. And although the good news is his premium stayed the same, his copays and deductibles have increased. And now that special enrollment has ended, I can not help him make any changes until open enrollment in November. This is why I strongly encourage people always to reach out to me when there’s a change or if you have questions about anything, please do not utilize the Marketplace representatives (deleted). Their job very likely is related to getting credit for as many policies as they sell or selling a certain kind of policy. I don’t do that. I actually truly figure out what the best policy is for you and your needs. And we don’t want to change that or accidentally get it changed -like this client I mentioned above, who didn’t even realize his plan had gotten changed because maybe he didn’t understand what they were telling him on the other end of the phone.
I can review your coverage, we can even look at times when open enrollment begins because I won’t be able to see any new plans until that point. But if you have questions about your existing coverage and want to chat with me before November 1st, please feel free to do that. I can actually bring your application into my portal so that I can see the existing coverage you have. This way you are on my to-do list when November 1st comes around and we can certainly look at everything, see what the new plans are that are being offered. We can see how your subsidy fits in and make sure that you get the plan you need at a price point that makes sense for you and your family.