With the passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010, many predicted it would be the end of health insurance agencies. Not health insurance companies, the actual providers of healthcare plans, but the agencies responsible for pairing people with the best companies and plans.
As our friends at Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina have written, that’s not how things turned out. Now, health insurance agents like us at Osborne Insurance Services are more important than ever.
It’s Called the Affordable Care Act, Not the Simplified Care Act
The positive effects of the ACA are numerous. It makes it so that you cannot be turned down for health insurance if you have a pre-existing medical condition. It expands Medicare and Medicaid coverage so that more people who couldn’t previously afford health insurance now can. It allows young adults to stay on their parents coverage plan until they are 26 years old.
Another positive effect was supposed to be consolidation. With the ACA enacted into law, everyone should be able to go on Healthcare.gov to access the health insurance marketplace (some states set up their own marketplaces and their own websites). Because of that, some thought that health insurance agents wouldn’t be needed anymore because Healthcare.gov would have all the answers and be simple to use.
That isn’t the case, though. It can be difficult to navigate the different tiers on Healthcare.gov, especially if you don’t know what you’re looking for. As part of the law, the ACA requires everyone to have health insurance, so many of the marketplace’s customers are people who have never had to sign up before.
Many people are caught off by jargon and the apparent cost. Small business owners have questions about providing for their employees. The ACA has expanded and changed the healthcare industry in more ways than one, but it hasn’t made it any easier to navigate.
That’s why health insurance agents are more important now than ever. Families need help understanding the difference between a bronze-tier and a silver-tier plan. You might want to know the advantages of signing up with Blue Cross Blue Shield versus Humana or United Healthcare.
As your agent, Osborne Insurance Services can answer those questions, but we can do more than that, too. By sitting down and talking to you, we’ll learn your story. From there we can give you sound advice on the kind of health insurance plan you’ll need. You’ll walk away from your time with us better prepared to face the marketplace.
If you have questions how the Affordable Care Act has affected your choice of healthcare and doctors, please give us a call. Osborne offers assistance to families and business throughout North Carolina. We would love to help you find the information you need.