Why talk to a broker?

Here are some opinions from the experts:

Robert Smith, president of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors, said in a statement today. “Brokers do much more than sell insurance … Brokers explain critical differences in plan options and coverage. This may involve substantial research and fact-finding about the client’s needs.”

Gary Cohen, director of CMS’s Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight, elaborated on this sentiment.  He compared the role of brokers with “navigators” when providing information about the new Health Care Reform plans: “They are not making recommendations, they’re not selling,” he said of navigators. “Some things are the same; they will [both] provide education and inform people about options available to them. But I think you go to an agent because you want to ask the agent sort of the bottom-line question, ‘What do you think I should do?’ And if a navigator is asked that question they’re going to say, ‘I can’t tell you what to do.’”

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Questions about the new Health Care Reform (Obamacare)

– How will my medical coverage be affected?
– Will I have to change my health insurance plan because of the Health Reform Act?
– What is the Health Care Exchange/Marketplace?  Will I be better off with a health plan from there?
– Will the new Exchange/Marketplace plans save me money?
– Will I be able to get a subsidy or discount to lower my health insurance premiums?
– Do I have to keep my employer’s group health plan?  What if my employer doesn’t offer health insurance?

These are questions everyone is asking.  At J O’Brien Insurance Solutions, we have the answers.  Jessica O’Brien is an experienced Health Insurance Agent.  She has been working hard to stay ahead of all the new regulations coming from the Federal and State Governments.  Read her blog, give her a call—she can help.

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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 JessicaObrien@hotmail.com.

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