It’s a complicated process that can leave you frustrated and angry, but you can get a private health insurance plan from the federal government.
If you don’t want to get your hands dirty, we’ve put together a step-by-step guide that will help you understand what it means and what you need to do to make the most of your options.
Here are five key things you need do to find a plan that fits your needs: Know the plan’s terms.
If your insurance plan doesn’t match your needs, it might be because of some of the provisions of the Affordable Care Act that the insurance company is required to offer.
You can find out which ones are most important to you, or how you can help yourself, in the ACA’s “essential health benefits” list.
In this case, it means coverage for birth control, screenings for breast cancer, maternity care, mental health care, prescription drugs and more.
Learn more about how your health insurance might differ from your private plan’s.
Choose your plan’s deductible.
When you sign up for a plan through an exchange, the company will ask you for the amount of your deductible and a rate of the premiums.
If the premiums are more than the deductible, you’ll have to pay more.
Find out more about the deductible on the ACA website.
Get insurance quotes.
If an insurance company offers quotes, you can compare them to the premiums you get from the company and get a good idea of how much you’ll pay.
If there’s a gap, you might be able to negotiate a discount.
Read more about insurance quotes on the Affordable Health Care Act website.
Find your plan online.
If no insurance company will give you quotes, check the website of your state’s insurance commissioner or the federal exchange where you live.
Ask the insurer if it offers a discount to help you find a better plan.
You’ll need to send a letter to your insurer explaining your needs and asking it to offer a better deal.
If it doesn’t, you may have to negotiate with the company.
Ask them to provide a list of recommended plans and prices.
You may have heard that companies may offer cheaper plans or lower premiums, but it’s more important to look for plans that match your plan.
If they don’t, ask them to list what they offer, how much it will cost and what the deductibles and premiums are.
If none of those options are listed, you should consider finding a plan with a lower premium and deductibles.
Find a plan online that offers the same coverage as your plan you are enrolled in.
This may mean the plan is cheaper than your private insurance, or it might not.
Ask what you can do to get the cheapest plan for you, such as getting a health savings account or a lower deductible.
Ask about your plan and compare prices.
If prices vary from what you’re told, contact your insurer and let them know.
If costs are higher than what you are getting, you could be out of luck if you can’t afford the premiums yourself.
If that’s the case, talk to your provider to find out if you’ll be able pay them off on your own.
Ask questions about your options before signing up for coverage.
You might get a quote from a company and then have to make a decision about whether to get a plan from another insurance company.
That’s why it’s important to ask questions before signing.
It’s also a good opportunity to ask your insurer for guidance on any health issues that might affect your health, such in pregnancy, pregnancy complications, childbirth, or the risk of an emergency.
Find more health care resources on the Health Insurance Marketplace.