I got involved in 2012 when a client walked into my office in Wenatchee and asked me, ‘how does Obamacare affect me?’ If you do nothing then you will have a fine and let’s take a look at it next year. When the summer of 2013 came around, we priced it and found that she could get insurance for around $50 a month. For the first time in her life Health Insurance was affordable. I priced more of my friends to discover that it would have a large impact in the Wenatchee Valley.
I did this because of the Patient Bill of Rights protected was critical in policy change. Insurance Companies had to accept everyone and they couldn’t drop you when you got sick. They limited how much profits that Insurance companies could have by using an 80/20 rule. It reshaped health insurance to something usable and took away some of the dirty tricks.
Because of my interactions with the exchange, navigators, providers and insurance companies I adopted a rule.’ Always use a broker’. This is why:
1. You never know when you need a professional on your side. Example: Dec 30 a client canceled her exchange policy and the case worker assigned to the case did not want to return the premium to the client. I had to step in and remind the case worker of the Laws surrounding premium.
2. It costs you zero dollars and any compensation returns to community. 98% of plans sold on the exchange had some form of compensation. A broker is a professional resource that spends money locally with goods and services. If you like stimulating the local economy then a simple 2 minute selection goes a long ways.
3. Brokers spend hours learning how plans work. If you want to save yourself a lot time then have the conversation with a broker. Some plans have benefits that go before a deductible. Some plans function well across state lines. Brokers can also have additional information concerning dental insurance or Health Savings accounts. Unless you are an expert in Health Insurance then it can help you to have the conversation with an expert.
4. Remember the 80/20 rule? If you don’t’ select a broker then the insurance company receives the money instead of small business.
If everyone that had purchased insurance had selected a broker then it would have added $1,000,000 a month to small businesses across Washington State. It is a pretty amazing way to support your community with 2 minutes time and no cost.