2021 Iowa Health Insurance - Affordable Health Plans

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    Health insurance is one way to keep yourself protected in times like these, where you don’t know if a sniffle is just allergies or something else more dangerous. Without medical coverage, you could be denied access from care, and no one wants that. But you may also not be aware of your options or have troubles finding rates that meet your needs and your budget. The good news is there are plenty of options for Iowa medical insurance.

    You just have to know where to look! The next open enrollment season is right around the corner! But before you start gathering 2021 health insurance quotes for individual and family health plans, there are some things you need to know.

    Let’s get started.

    Types of Health Plans

    Iowa has several metal tiers of coverage, including bronze, silver, and gold. No matter the level of coverage you choose, you will also have a network option. Not all insurance carriers have different plans, so it is smart to know what kind of plan you are enrolling into, so you know what to expect when you need to visit a doctor or specialist.

    There are three main plans:

    You have the least flexibility with your healthcare providers and must choose a primary care physician (PCP). The PCP will give referrals for you to visit in-network specialists. If you visit out of network, you will have to pay in full. The advantage of HMOs is the affordability.

    More costly than HMOs, a PPO has a preferred network that you can choose. Or, you can go out of network and pay a little more. You do not need referrals. If you want flexibility, search for a PPO.

    Moderate flexibility and a lower premium than a PPO. However, there is no coverage of out of network care. You need a primary care physician, but you do not need referrals.

    Other options you may see are Point of Service (POS) plans, high deductible health plans (HDHPs), and health saving accounts (HSA). HDHPs are often linked to HSAs.

    Why You Should Have Iowa Medical Insurance

    There are a couple of reasons why you should have health insurance. For most people, Iowa health insurance is reassurance. Annual screenings and preventative care can catch the signs of common diseases and medical disorders. Do not just assume that because you are healthy now that you will not need hospitalization in the future.

    The other reason is protection against financial strain. Did you know that 60 percent of all bankruptcies are caused by unexpected medical bills? With appropriate coverage, you can budget accordingly and avoid any unforeseen financial hardships.

    The Affordable Care Act (ACA) also mandates that all Americans must have medical coverage. Some states have penalties for remaining uninsured. Instead of getting fined or penalized during tax season, why not use that money to protect yourself and your family?

    Since the passing of the Affordable Care Act all private insurance plans must have a core group of essential health benefits. These benefits are:

    There are some instances where your individual health insurance or family health insurance does not contain these core benefits. The most common reason is having a “grandfathered” plan. In other words, your medical insurance was enacted prior to the signing of the ACA in March 2010 and has not been changed since. Also, if you have employer-sponsored health care in a workplace with more than 50 employees, the essential benefits are not part of the package.

    Short term health insurance doesn’t have essential health benefits either, but some states, like Iowa, do have mandates in place.

    What is not covered by ACA-compliant health insurance, you ask?

    Anything not deemed “essential.” For instance, cosmetic surgery and travel vaccines are not covered. If you are unsure, get in touch with a representative from an insurance company or visit Healthcare.gov.

    Short Term Health Insurance

    Alabama follows the federal ruling on short term health insurance. Since a 2017 Executive Order and subsequent alterations to regulations by the Department of Health and Human Services, short term health insurance in Alabama can be offered by some private insurers. The maximum initial term is 364 days, but you also get the option to renew for 36 months.

    What You Need To Know About Iowa Health Insurance

    In 2020, three insurance carriers provided insurance through the federally-run Marketplace: Medica, Wellmark Value Health Plan, and Wellmark Health Plan of Iowa. Rates in 2020 are cheaper than in 2019. For example, bronze and gold policies dropped 13-15 percent, depending on the insurer.

    To compare, the average monthly cost of a bronze plan in 2019 was $467 for a 40 year old. In 2020, it dropped to $398. The lowest silver plan in 2019 was $662 but decreased by nearly $30 in 2020. Gold plans in 2019 cost about $607 per month and $527 in 2020.

    Interestingly, Iowans have more grandmothered and grandfathered plans than ACA-compliant plans. In 2019, there were over 54,000 residents with outdated policies. If you have such a plan, it may be time to start shopping for Iowa individual health plans.

    The first step is finding insurers that offer the best protection at a reasonable monthly price. When you compare Iowa health plans, you will see which policies are best for you and your family and can make an informed selection.

    Unemployed, Part-Time, and Self-Employed

    Most Iowans have medical insurance through their employer, which is why being laid-off can be so devastating. Not only do you lose your income, but you immediately lose health insurance, too. Health insurance for unemployed Iowans is limited. You may choose to get COBRA, but the prices are higher than average and can add to your struggle. Instead, seek out short term health insurance or catastrophic insurance. You may also be eligible to enroll in another long term policy if your situation qualifies you for a special enrollment period.

    Health insurance for self employed individuals with no employees other than themselves have options similar to individual and family health plans. You are able to choose between ACA qualified coverage or a policy from a private insurance company. The same pathway is available to individuals who are not sponsored through their employer because of their part-time or temporary status.

    Differences Between 2020 Open Enrollment and 2021

    If you missed open enrollment for the 2020 season or you have recently started looking for better coverage than what you have now, you won’t have to wait much longer to enter the Marketplace. 2021 Iowa open enrollment begins on November 1, 2020 and will run until December 15, 2020. Last year, the open enrollment period closed on December 18, so keep a lookout to see if it is the same this year. All insurance policies will begin coverage on January 1, 2021.

    Health Insurance Check

    Did you know that you may qualify for a special enrollment period (SEP) if you recently lost coverage or had another major life event? Some of the reasons you could be eligible for an SEP are:

    • Your address or place of residence has changed
    • You were released from jail
    • You lost eligibility for Medicaid or lost coverage through your employer or COBRA
    • Your employer has given you a chance to enroll into another plan
    • You had a baby or adopted a child
    • You lost insurance through a spouse or parent

    There are other events that qualify, so be sure to check with the insurance company you are interested to learn more.

    Keep Yourself and Your Family Protected

    Peace of mind is important—just like your health. Having health insurance protects you from the unexpected, whether that’s an injury or an illness. That is why you should never go without medical coverage. Fortunately, rates are dropping across the board in Iowa, so you can find affordable plans faster than ever.

    Getting the best coverage at an affordable price is easy! Start with your zip code then compare Iowa health plans, side by side. Soon, you will have peace of mind for you and your family.

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