2019 is just around the corner. With the new year, comes the need to renew your Pennsylvania health insurance. The open enrolment period will begin on November 1st, and you will need to finalize your healthcare policy by December 15th.
This guide will help you to understand what is changing in the market and what you are entitled to with basic Pennsylvania health insurance. You’ll also learn how to choose the best insurance based on your needs, before comparing available policies with Mutual Health Partners.
Obama Care is Out, Trump Care is in: What Has Changed for Pennsylvania Health Insurance?
Before you even start to compare the different policies that are available for 2019 health insurance, you will need to consider the changes that President Trump has introduced through health and tax reforms.
To be clear, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is still very much part of United States law. While the Obama Care era of the act has now passed, many of the provision created by the last administration are still in effect. For example, essential health benefits remain for Federal and State insurance plans. This means that you can expect a basic level of care and coverage, even on the most affordable health insurance plan.
President Trump’s largest change to the ACA was introduced indirectly, through tax reform. In recent years, you would be penalized by the IRS if you didn’t have an active health insurance policy. For 2017 and 2018, the cost of the penalty was typically higher than simply purchasing insurance. President Trump’s tax policy means that there is no longer any financial penalty for not having insurance – at least as far as the government is concerned.
No Individual Mandate Penalty? You Still Need Pennsylvania Health Insurance
While you won’t receive a penalty for not buying insurance, the actual impact on yourself, your family, and your finances could be high. Health care is notoriously expensive in America. For most families, shouldering the cost of medical expenses without insurance can be financially devastating. Health costs are a leading cause of bankruptcy in the United States, which is why the previous administration made it a priority to incentivize health insurance and create penalties for those who didn’t have it.
On paper, you could save money by not having an insurance policy. However, as soon as you need to visit a doctor, or if you have a medical emergency, then the savings would be immediately negated.
It simply makes better financial sense to have health insurance. Even if you are healthy and don’t often get sick, then health insurance will still be beneficial.
Essential Health Benefits Provided by ACA Compliant Health Insurance
Under provisions of the ACA, you will be entitled to essential health benefits under a basic health insurance plan. These benefits are surprisingly comprehensive, especially considering that they are the bare minimum of what most insurers are legally allowed to offer.
Essential benefits include ambulatory outpatient services, maternity services, mental health services including addiction rehabilitation, hospitalization, pediatric care including eye and dental care for your children, rehabilitation for injury or disease, screening for diseases, chronic health condition management, medication cost sharing, and laboratory services.
The exact amount of coverage you will receive is dependent on the plan that you buy. With high premium plans, the costs of medical care could be covered up to 80% or even 90% in some cases. On the most affordable plans, you will have higher out of pocket costs.
Choosing the Right Plan Based on Your Budget and Your Health
With Mutual Health Partners you will discover the most competitive Pennsylvania health insurance plans that are available for 2019. Of course, the “best” insurance for you will be dependent on your needs.
Health insurance in Pennsylvania is offered in different tiers. These are based on a metal rating system to keep things simple for consumers.
- Bronze insurance coverage is typically the lowest available tier. You will enjoy low premiums, but the deductibles will be higher. Bronze insurance typically covers 60% of medical costs.
- Silver insurance will require higher premiums, but the out of pocket costs will be lower. This insurance can cover up to 70% of costs in most cases.
- Gold insurance is again a step up, offering 80% of cost coverage for higher premiums.
- Platinum insurance may not be available from every insurer. This is the highest tier where cost coverage can be up to 90% in the best-case scenario. You will pay the highest premiums for this type of plan.
At first glance, you might assume that the most affordable (Bronze) plan would be the best to go for. However, this is only true in specific scenarios.
If you visit the doctor often throughout the year, for an existing medical condition or for regular specialist visits, then a low premium plan could become extremely costly. With Bronze insurance, you would end up covering most of the costs yourself.
With a higher premium plan, your monthly costs would be more, but you would have better coverage for regular visits to a doctor or specialist.
Get the Best Options from Mutual Health Partners
Enrolments for 2019 Pennsylvania health insurance are approaching. It’s time to make a decision for the year ahead. If you haven’t started comparing your options, then it’s time to talk to the experts at Mutual Health Partners.
Based on your needs and your budget, we can offer policies from the most reputable insurers in the state, with the best coverage that is available under current law. With a health insurance policy, you will have complete peace of mind, and you won’t have to worry about the “what if” when it comes to your health.
Talk to us today and ensure that you and your family are covered for 2019.