If you missed the opportunity to obtain affordable health insurance late last year, you now have another chance to protect yourself and your family members from the financial disaster that can accompany serious medical issues. President Joe Biden recently signed an executive order that established a special enrollment period for coverage under the Affordable Care Act. You can go to the trouble of signing up on your own, or you can enlist the help of a qualified insurance agent – which won’t cost you a thing.
In normal years, people can sign up for coverage under the ACA Open Enrollment period from Nov. 1 through Dec. 15. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, however, 2020 and 2021 have been anything but normal. As a result, the president reopened the federal Marketplace on Feb. 15
Karla Fields, who is a licensed agent with the David M. Gilston Insurance Agency, pointed out that all uninsured individuals and those who already have Obamacare but want to change their plan can now take advantage of the new enrollment period until August 15. You don’t have to make these potentially life-changing decisions by yourself, however.
“People can enroll on their own but enlisting the expertise of an experienced agent comes at no additional cost,” said Jennifer Hughes, who also is also a licensed David M. Gilston agent. There is no reason why individuals should be tasked with enrolling in health coverage on their own. Experienced agents can quickly determine if you are eligible for a government subsidy; if your doctors are part of a specific plan, and make sure that your medications are covered under a particular plan. Experienced agents also know how to find the best plan to meet the client needs. Would you be comfortable with a high deductible plan? Or do you prefer co-pays for visits to your doctor? Are you thinking about or already contributing to a Health Savings Account? How much can you afford to pay for health insurance?
“We make sure their doctors and preferred hospitals are in the network as well as discuss the benefits they are looking for in a plan,” Hughes said. “We look at their budget to find an affordable plan that will meet all their needs.”
Fields pointed out that many people don’t know that they can get help choosing an ACA health insurance plan at no extra cost.
“They think they have to pay an extra fee. We are here as a resource and a tool for our clients – to educate them along the way,” she commented, adding that anyone can enroll in an ACA plan at any time during the year if they have had a qualifying life event, such as getting married, welcoming a new baby to the family or losing insurance coverage.
The David M. Gilston Insurance Agency, which has offices in Charleston, Columbia, and Greenville, is a full-service brokerage house representing various carriers in health, life, vision, and dental insurance, with expertise in the growing senior market. The agency has been serving the insurance needs of South Carolina residents for almost 60 years. For help obtaining health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act, visit https://www.dgilston.com or call 1-800-GILSTON.