Options…we’ve grown up in a world where we want and naturally expect to have options to choose from. If I go to the store to buy shampoo I am probably going to have one hundred types to choose from; do I want volume or sleek, and shiny? Maybe I want chemical free today… We want to choose what works best for us in the moment in time so why should health insurance be any different? The landscape is a little confusing right now so let me help you navigate when it comes to your individual health insurance options.
Option 1: Blue Cross Blue Shield
Everyone knows BCBS, they are in all 50 states and in Oklahoma as far as ‘normal’ health insurance they are really the only option for individual policies. These are typically going to be PPO plans meaning that you have a network of doctors that they prefer you stay in and will give you a better deal if you stay in it, but there’s also typically coverage even if you go out of network- you just may be on the hook for more. It also means that you won’t have to have a referral if you have to go see a specialist.
Since they are really the only option they control the market. Individual policies are down to about 8 options to choose from ranging from deductible options of $1,000 – $7500 and your choice of which kind of network you want. Blue Advantage is going to be the most limited network that includes Mercy, but not Integris where as the most broad is going to be the Blue Preferred Network.
In order to get an Individual Oklahoma Health Insurance Quote you can go to a licensed independent insurance agent that has access to Blue Cross Blue Shield of Oklahoma.
Option 2: Exchange aka ObamaCare aka Affordable Care Act aka ACA Plans
All different names for the same thing.
You’ve probably heard of the exchange. It’s the infamous www.healthcare.gov where you can go and enroll yourself for individual health insurance. They will look at your annual income versus how much health insurance will cost you and depending on the balance may or may not give you credits to help pay your premium. Just know that they will monitor this when your tax return filed to make sure you truly make what you say. For example, I had an acquaintance that said he would only make $20,000 for the year. He received some credits and only paid about $100 a month for health insurance. When tax time rolled around he made a lot more and instead of a happy tax return he owed money…not fun!
The two companies that are offered on the exchange website are going to be Blue Cross Blue Shield and Medica. Medica is new in 2018 to Oklahoma, but they have been around in other states for a while.
Option 3: Sharing Programs
Sharing programs became popular when Americans found out that there would be a tax penalty for not purchasing health insurance. Most sharing programs got around the penalty because of a loophole for belonging to a religious group so be aware many sharing programs are Christian based. This is important because some things may not be covered like pregnancy out of marriage, STD’s, and birth control prior to marriage.
A sharing program operates just like the name sounds. People dump money into a bucket and when an individual suffers a claim, money comes out of the bucket. That is an oversimplified version, but you get it. Usually there is a cap on what they will pay out, but it depends on the company. It’s important to look at what they will and will not pay for, what is the max limit in the event of a major event, and the rules for joining before signing up. Each program will be different. The four most common programs are Christian Healthcare Ministries (CHM), Liberty HealthShare, Medi-Share, and Samaritan Ministries.
These are the most common options we are seeing, but these are not the only options. There are also short-term health insurance plans and local networks that have put together programs. If you have questions regarding your individual health insurance options, ECI is always here. Get a Oklahoma health insurance quote by calling (405) 373-2977.