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2021 Arizona Health Insurance
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Shopping around for a new insurance policy? The cost is often a cause of worry for those in need of Arizona medical insurance. Arizona has joined other states in utilizing the federal marketplace, making it easier than ever to find a decent policy. However, you might be struggling with selecting a tier or plan that will protect you and your family, or you may be concerned about the cost compared with out of pocket expenses.
If you want to simplify the search for excellent family or individual health insurance, we have all the information you need to make an educated choice. Let’s get started.
Why You Should Have Arizona Medical Insurance
There are plenty of reasons why you should be prepared for the worst. 2020 has proven that you can never be too ready for the world to get flipped upside down by illness. With many Americans being unable to even spend $400 for a single emergency, you cannot go without health insurance, especially if you have medical conditions. Protect yourself and others by investing in a major medical plan.
Not only will you spend less money over time, but you also are guaranteed essential health benefits if you select even minimum coverage. Those essential health benefits include:
Having these things covered by a major medical plan will give you peace of mind. Knowing that you can receive help and care when you need it is just as important as a roof over your head.
Types of Health Plans
HMO plans are of the most popular in Alabama, with around 309,466 residents enrolled in one. HMOs, PPOs, and other kinds of health plans can be purchased in Alabama. Here is a short summary of each type:
The option in Arizona with the highest number of enrollees (over 2 million). HMOs restrict who you can visit to in-network providers. You must select a single primary care physician who will also write referrals should you need to visit a specialist.
The second most popular option for Arizona residents. The network has an exclusive group you choose from and must use. The sole exception is if you need to go to the ER outside of the network.
With POS, you are allowed to visit whomever you want, but you will pay more for those who are not in the preferred network. You also need to assign a primary care physician and receive referrals.
However, although common in other states, you should be aware that PPOs are very rare in Arizona. As of 2017, most of the insurance providers in the state switched to HMO plans. More EPOs and HMOs were introduced at the end of 2017, and it appears that all plans for 2020 and beyond are going to be HMOs.
Therefore, most insurance policies that you compare online are going to be HMO.
Short Term Health Insurance
In August 2019, Arizona extended the duration of short term health insurance plans from the previous 185 days to 364 days, as outlined by federal regulations. Once those 364 days are up, you get the option to extend up to a full 36 months. Presently, 11 insurers in Arizona offer short term health insurance.
The best time to get short term health insurance is if you happen to lose your job or are between jobs, switching residences, or find yourself in a predicament where you cannot qualify for a special enrollment period. At least with short term coverage, you will be able to enjoy state-mandated benefits, including emergency medical care.
What You Need To Know About Arizona Health Insurance
There are five tiers of coverage—catastrophic, bronze, expanded bronze, silver, and gold—available within the Arizona marketplace. Catastrophic offers the least amount of coverage, but it is also the cheapest. If you are under 30 years old, you can easily enroll into catastrophic health insurance, which costs an average of $245-290 per month but around $371 for someone 40 years old. Bronze tier plans are around $277, silver plans average at $325, and the cheapest gold plan is $427. Note that your age, gender, and zip code may change the cost.
Now for some good news. At the beginning of 2020, Arizona healthcare insurance premiums had decreased in Arizona’s insurance exchange. The biggest decrease was seen in the expanded bronze tier, which declined 16.98 percent. Regular bronze went from being $424 in 2018 to $382 in 2020, a decrease of almost 10 percent. Silver’s 2018 premium was $573 but dropped over 13 percent in 2020, bringing the premium to $497. Gold, as well, dropped 10 percent, bringing the 2018 cost of $728 to $655 in 2020. Keep in mind that these aforementioned premiums are based on rates for a 40 year old.
The cost of family health insurance in Arizona depends on the size of your family. However, family medical plans are more economical than trying to get individual policies for both adults. For instance, a family of three pays around $1,291 a month if both adults are over 40.
The top Arizona health insurance companies include Ambetter from Health Net, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona (BCBSAZ), Bright Health, Cigna HealthCare of Arizona, and Oscar Health Plan. Both BCBSAZ and Health Net expanded their areas of coverage in 2020. Other private providers are also available in Arizona but are not part of the federally run Marketplace.
Since you are required to have the minimum level of health coverage in Arizona, you should compare Arizona health plans as soon as possible. That said, with the repeal of the Tax Reconciliation Act in 2017, you will not be financially penalized for not having insurance.
Unemployed, Part-Time, and Self-Employed
Losing your job is stressful, and you may begin to worry what will happen if you get sick while you have no income and no health insurance. Because COBRA can be outrageously expensive, it is not recommended as a long term solution. Instead, consider looking at budget friendly health insurance for unemployed individuals, such as short term health insurance or even catastrophic tier insurance—if you qualify for the special enrollment period.
Those who are working but only part-time may not be eligible for coverage through their employer, even if it is offered. That means you will have to search for Arizona individual health plans as soon as possible. Similarly, health insurance for self employed contractors is an excellent option for those with limited income or dealing with financial hardships, since it is designed to be budget-friendly.
If you happen to be making 138 percent below the Federal Poverty Line in Arizona, you may qualify for discounts and subsidies. You will receive deeply discounted medical insurance but get to enjoy all essential health benefits.
Differences Between 2020 Open Enrollment and 2021
Ever since the Affordable Care Act began in 2010, open enrollment in Arizona has always started on November 1 and ends December 15. If you have purchased health insurance coverage through the Marketplace, you will automatically be re-enrolled at the beginning of 2021. If you apply for new insurance during the open enrollment period, your new coverage will begin on January 1, 2021.
Did you miss the open enrollment period? You have two options: either start short term medical insurance or check if you are eligible for a Special Enrollment Period. From the moment you lose your Arizona medical coverage due to a Qualifying Life Event, you get 60 days to get new health insurance through the special enrollment period.
Here are some Qualifying Life Events:
- Lost your employer-sponsored health insurance
- No longer have coverage through a family member
- Lost COBRA coverage
- Got married, divorced, or legally separated
- Had a baby or adopted a child (fostering or putting a child into a foster home also count)
- Change of address
- Gained American citizenship
- Turned 26 and left parents’ plan
There are other events that may qualify, so be sure to confirm with an advisor or by checking out HealthCare.gov.
The only main difference between open enrollment in 2019 and 2020 is that there was an overall decrease in premiums for 2020. While the global pandemic has influenced the market and will continue to do so, the trend hints to continued decreases in premiums.
Many things about major medical plans in Arizona may change by 2021 or shortly after, for the state is attempting to overturn the ACA. However, senators are making sure that protections from the ACA, like those in regard to preexisting conditions, remain in place.
Compare Arizona health plans today so you are better prepared for next window for enrollment. Be prepared and snag the best deals for 2021 Arizona open enrollment!
Keep Yourself and Your Family Protected
With so much happening around us these days, you need health insurance more than ever. Amid a global pandemic, knowing that you are guaranteed health care is a big deal, because you cannot be denied, and you will always be able to get medications and testing done. Plus, you don’t have to worry about paying off humongous hospital bills. Start looking for 2021 health insurance quotes now. Just enter your zip code and begin comparing all kinds of healthcare plans. Whatever you’re looking for, we have it!