Health Insurance Basics

Are you looking for affordable medical coverage for yourself or your family?  In Virginia there are several insurance companies offering health insurance plans that you can buy yourself–but they are not all equal.  Until 2014 when the new Health Care Reform (Obamacare) rules come into effect, plans in our state can vary quite a lot in coverage and premiums—and in their eligibility rules.

Basically insurance companies want to sell their plans to “healthy” customers only.  There are a range of plans available for these lucky customers, though some plans may be more comprehensive than others and the prices vary widely.

For higher risk clients applying for coverage, however, health insurance coverage may cost more or even be denied.  In Virginia, only Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield offers coverage on a “guaranteed” basis.  This means that Anthem is the “insurer of last resort” in our state and will offer plans to all applicants, even those that are denied by other insurance companies.  However, these “guaranteed” plans are not the same ones offered to preferred (“healthy”) clients and the premiums are higher for less coverage.

As of January 2014, however, coverage can no longer be denied or limited due to health conditions.  In fact, insurance companies will no longer ask questions about your health on their applications.  Everyone will be able to find coverage and all plans will have to provide coverage for a comprehensive range of benefits.

Information on these Affordable Care Act (ACA) plans will be available as of October.  Based on your income, you may be able to get a premium subsidy or other cost reductions.  Though you can enroll in these plans starting October 1st 2013, coverage will not begin until January 1, 2014.

For more information , contact Jessica O’Brien at 757-258-0800 or

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