Iowa Health Insurance – What you need to know
Health Insurance Basics
- Individual health insurance is health coverage that is purchased by an individual or a family that is not tied to a job or a group of policyholders.
- Many people get Iowa health insurance through their employers. However, if you do not currently participate in your employer’s health plan, or if your employer doesn’t offer coverage, obtaining individual insurance is a good route to go to ensure that you and your family can receive affordable routine health care and be protected from very high costs in the event of a medical emergency.
- In 2014, having some form of insurance that provides minimum essential coverage will become more important than ever. That’s because the Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires most individuals to obtain coverage or pay a penalty, beginning in 2014. While fairly small at first, the penalty increases significantly over the next two years.
- The following is an overview of types of coverage and where you can get them. Thams Agency can assist you with the purchase of these plans and help you find the right plan for your needs.
Obtain Insurance in the Individual Market
Obtaining an individual policy can be expensive. Before purchasing, shop around for the best plan with the lowest premium. In general, the lower the premium, the higher the out-of-pocket costs when you need care; the higher the premium, the lower the out-of-pocket costs. Make sure you are covered in case of a major medical accident and also for preventive care.
Health Insurance Marketplaces
- The Health Insurance Marketplaces (also known as Exchanges) are a new way to find and buy health insurance and apply for Medicaid. Created by the ACA, the Marketplaces are designed to help you easily find health insurance that fits your budget.
- Eligible individuals can shop for coverage using the Marketplaces. Qualified health plans in the Marketplaces will be sold and run by private companies, and every plan will cover a core set of benefits called essential health benefits, which include preventive care. Additionally, all plans offered in the Marketplace will provide free preventive care, with 100 percent of the cost paid for by insurance companies.
- Extended coverage policies are broken down into four categories: bronze, silver, gold, platinum. The category you choose affects how much your premium costs each month and what portion of the bill you pay for things like hospital visits or prescription medications.
- No qualified health plan can refuse to cover people with pre-existing conditions. You will have guaranteed coverage and renewability, regardless of a pre-existing condition (like cancer or diabetes), gender, age, etc. There is also a “catastrophic” plan option available to young people and low-income individuals.
- Open enrollment for 2015 coverage ends February 15, 2015. For specific information on Health Insurance Marketplaces view our dedicated page here.
- For more information on the Marketplaces, visit www.healthcare.gov.
Get on Your Parent’s, Spouse’s or Domestic Partner’s Plan
If your spouse or domestic partner has an employer-sponsored plan that is open to family members, consider joining and enrolling your children. The ACA extended coverage for young adults up to age 26 on plans offering dependent coverage, regardless of their marital or student status.
COBRA and State-sponsored Programs
If recently left your job or had your hours reduced and were subsequently dropped from employer-based coverage, you may be able to obtain coverage under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA).
Obtain Insurance Through Protections Under HIPAA
Under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), at least one private insurer must sell you a policy, if you meet all of the following conditions:
- You previously had 18 months of coverage without a break for more than 63 days
- The last day of your coverage was through your former or current employer
- You do not have a COBRA or mini-COBRA option available
Determine Whether you are Eligible for Medicaid or Other State Programs
Medicaid provides health coverage for some low-income individuals, including families and children, pregnant women, the elderly and people with disabilities. People who do not qualify for full Medicaid benefits may still be eligible for screenings for breast and cervical cancer or assistance with certain treatments.
Need some help? Put the Team at Thams Agency to work for you. Contact us today or call us at 712-263-3193.
Our clients say it best….
You served my folks well and I have found no reason to switch elsewhere. Your company seems rooted in Denison and an asset to the community, which is always an important part of being in business in any community.
Virginia Dobler McCurdyCustomer since 2011
After switching to Thams, I feel like I am getting as good, maybe even slightly better property insurance coverage for a whole lot less money. As long as the premium does not take any significant jumps in the next few years then I believe this was a great switch to Thams. Very friendly staff. I feel like I should have gone to see them many years ago.
Brian E.Customer since 2014
The agents at Thams make you feel like you are part of a family. They are extremely personable and the level of communication exceeds any company I have had experience with.
Client since 2004
We feel that we have professionals serving our every need at the Thams Agency whether it be house, auto, or health. One stop takes care of all of our insurance needs, and we know it’s done right. P.S. Your offices are lovely. Good move on your part to remodel and maintain the historical attributes of the building while still making it modern.
They have helped reduce my payments with discounts like homeowner, safe driving, multi car, etc. Their rates are better then the old insurance company I had, they just kept raising rates although I had never had an accident (and they didn’t have discounts either). When I first came in to to talk to Todd and ask about their rates, they were 50 % lower then what I was paying. Now they are even lower due to discounts.
Thams Agency has an honest, and straight forward approach to dealing with customers. They work hard to find the best insurance coverages and prices for the customer, while giving guidance and reasoning for customers to make the most informed decision possible.