This post will focus on purchasing a 2014 health insurance policy off the health insurance exchange. This will be a short post. Why? So far, I haven’t found significant advantage associated with using this option.
Most Connecticut residents who do not get their insurance coverage through Medicare, Medicaid or their employer will have three options for health insurance:
- Buying on the Connecticut Health Insurance Exchange (or Marketplace)
- Buying an Off Exchange Policy
- Buying a “pre-ObamaCare” policy (only available for effective dates before 1/1/2014)
(We can help you purchase with any of the options above. Just call us at 203-374-3645 or 1-800-467-8726.)
I’ve compared the off exchange policies with the plans offered on the exchange. The premiums are about the same off the exchange for similar coverage.
If your income and other factors qualify you for a tax credit or subsidy, it is important that you purchase an on exchange policy unless you do not want the tax subsidy. You cannot get a subsidy unless you buy on the exchange.
Before I had access the information I needed to compare the two options, I speculated that the off exchange policies would be have a lower cost for people who didn’t qualify for a subsidy. However, now that I have more information, I see that so far that is not the case for most people.
I still believe that at some point in the future, the off exchange policies may be significantly cheaper for an individual who does not qualify for a subsidy (a credit on his or her taxes).
One thing that may make a difference isn’t the monthly premium, but the availability of doctors. Some insurers will have more doctors in their provider list for their off exchange policies.At some point the premiums or benefits may change. However, so far these plans have similar prices for similar coverage. If your doctor is in the network for both the an on exchange policy and an off exchange policy and the benefits are similar, choose the one with lower premiums.