My Broker’s Advice About My Discontinued Policy

Dollar sign and health symbolIn August of 2012, my health insurance company, Anthem, sent me a letter telling me that my policy had been discontinued. Naturally, I panicked. I need health insurance, and this was the only plan I could afford. Later, they sent a letter telling me they were raising the premium cost. What to do? Here’s what my insurance broker advised.

After several unsuccessful attempts to find affordable health insurance, I went to see an insurance broker. This brilliant woman found me a plan that was comprehensive and that had a premium that was low enough for me to afford. If I remember correctly, the plan went into effect in April of 2012. In August of 2012, the insurance company sent me a letter telling me that it was discontinuing my health plan.

I sent an email to my broker who did some research for me. The plan was still the best one in terms of coverage and cost. She advised I stick with it instead of switching over to one of the new plans that Anthem was strongly encouraging me to change to. Those plans were more expensive and didn’t cover as much as my current plan did.

Towards the end of 2012, Anthem sent me a letter to tell me it was increasing the cost of my premiums by around 20%. Suddenly, the good, affordable, health plan I purchased (just a few months ago) was going to be a struggle for me to continue to pay for. What do I do, now?

Recently, I made an appointment to talk to my insurance broker about this. She suggested I stick with this health plan – for now. This may sound odd, until you consider all the factors.

I won’t have to pay the higher rate until April. This means I can still afford that plan through February and March. The health insurance exchanges are expected to be up and running by October of 2013. I live in California, a state that has been working on its exchange for a very long time, and that has had it approved by the federal government. That exchange will be ready on time!

In October, I can come back to my insurance broker and she will be able to help me figure out the exchange. Based upon the amount of money my husband and I make, we are considered to be low-income. My broker believes that he and I will qualify for assistance with paying for health insurance premiums, and that this will allow us to purchase a platinum plan (the ones that cover the most).

In short, her advice was to stick with the (soon to be unaffordable) plan for now. Pick up a new, better, plan in October through the health insurance exchange. Dump the expensive plan as soon as the plan from the exchange takes effect in January of 2014. I intend to give this a try!

Image by Mike Licht on Flickr