Health Care – Insurance You Can’t Live Without
In order to be competitive, insurance companies must continually evaluate the products they offer. Today, a much sought-after product is health insurance, fueled by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), commonly referred to as Obamacare health insurance. As the law of the land, consumers are scrambling to sign up for health insurance, and for good reason – there is an increased sense of urgency – most Americans must have health coverage by February 15, 2015, or pay a penalty for not having health insurance. Under the ACA, California has set up a new online Marketplace, called Covered California, where people can buy insurance.
With 28 percent of California’s Latinos still uninsured, Freeway Insurance, sister company of Cost-U-Less Insurance, identified an immediate need throughout the communities they serve, and has entered the health care arena. To help deal with the shortage of bilingual brokers faced by many local communities, Freeway Insurance will expand access to bilingual health enrollment experts and health educators across the state, offering consumers free, personalized assistance in Spanish to sign up for health care coverage at 30 Freeway Insurance locations.
For many individuals, the ability to speak with someone in person and review their unique health insurance needs, provides a greater sense of confidence in selecting the best plan for their specific needs.
Many consumers find the choice between the types of health insurance confusing, and don’t understand the differences between an HMO and a PPO – with an HMO plan, you pick one primary care physician. All your health care services go through your chosen physician, which means, you need a referral before you can see any other health care professional (except in an emergency situation, which will be defined in your chosen plan). Visits to health care professionals outside of your HMO network typically are not covered by your insurance. PPO plans give you flexibility. You do not need an assigned primary care physician; you can go to any health care professional without a referral – inside or outside of your network.
Another area of widespread confusion among consumers is how to qualify for subsidized no-cost or low-cost health insurance. Middle and low-income families that qualify will receive tax credits that cover a major portion of the cost of coverage.
The move by Freeway Insurance to provide bilingual enrollment agents will help smooth out the enrollment process for members of the Latino community and ensure that individuals find a health plan that is right for their specific needs.
How do you feel about the Affordable Care Act? Do you think insurance companies are doing enough to help consumers find what’s best for them? Feel free to share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.