Avoid Larger Tax Penalties: No Cost Expertise for Health Care Consumers
January 31 will be the end of the third annual Open Enrollment for the health insurance exchange and the opportunity for millions of individuals and families to sign up or renew their medical coverage for 2016. Those who don’t have health coverage by then will face a large income tax penalty. Some will take a “do it yourself” approach to sift through the options and fill out the forms on the web site. Surveys from the prior two Open Enrollments have shown that many who took this route said they bought coverage that wasn’t a good fit. Maybe they didn’t understand the limitations on the doctors or hospitals available, or found that the upfront costs were a lot higher than they expected.
But health care purchasers actually have access to expertise that can help them understand their choices, costs and range of providers and take care of the paperwork for them. Best of all, this help doesn’t cost them any more than doing it themselves! By working with a certified agent, individuals and families can get their questions answered, avoid picking a plan that isn’t right for them, receive unbiased advice and simplify the process of purchasing coverage.
Our focus has been to provide a no-cost resource for our clients’ early retirees, dependent children reaching age 26, non-benefitted and part-time employees – to determine premium subsidies, explore plan alternatives and locate preferred providers. We assist through the entire enrollment process and throughout the year.
Health care providers, such as hospitals are also teaming with agents to assist their customers with health coverage needs. For example, we have collaborated to provide enrollment services in connection with Dignity Health, Adventist Health and Cedars- Sinai. We also conduct outreach to communities facilitated through organizations like the CalAsian Chamber of Commerce and California Farm Bureau Federation.
By working with an agent, individuals and families are able to receive continuous service and support throughout the year. The difference is having an independent, knowledgeable advisor offering guidance that’s specific to the individual’s situation. When service and expertise comes at no additional cost, it’s a real added value.
About Sam Cole
Sam Cole serves as Vice President of KeenanDirect. He has more than two decades of experience in the California insurance market. He is a Lifetime qualified member of the National Association of Health Underwriter’s (NAHU) Leading Producers Round Table.