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Health Insurance Information

We can help you go through all of your options for Illinois Individual Health Insurance 

Health insurance is a subject that is getting plenty of attention lately due to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Our agency has provided health insurance advice and products for many years. We have many products including policies designed for health savings accounts (HSA) both on the Federal Insurance Exchange and off. We also offer policies that cover disabilities or long-term care (nursing home) policies as well as Medicare supplement policies. We represent a number of companies that help us keep up with all the changes that are happening in this area.

How do I get individual health insurance coverage?

You can apply for insurance online, by phone, or with a paper application. Most people prefer some assistance so you can also apply with an insurance agent. If you would like us to help you with this please call our office at 815-432-5401 or email us your questions and an agent will reply promptly

The first questions to ask is “do you want to go on-exchange or off-exchange?

Individual health insurance is available on-exchange or off-exchange. Some states have their own exchange but many use the federal exchange – Another term for the exchange that is sometimes used is the health insurance marketplace.

What are the benefits to using the exchange as opposed to going off-exchange?

The main difference is the availability of the premium tax credit. This is a tax credit that is available for individuals or families whose estimated household income will be below 400% of the federal poverty level. This tax credit is only available for people that don’t have any insurance available from their (or their spouse’s) employer. This credit is only available if you apply on-exchange.

Why would I apply off-exchange?

We find that some people who know that they will not qualify for the premium tax credit prefer to not get involved with the ACA or the exchange. For that reason most of the insurance companies on the exchange also offer very similar plans off-exchange.  

Can I sign up anytime? In other words can I just wait until I get sick?

There is an open enrollment period when anyone can sign up for insurance from November 1st to January 31st. If you need insurance outside of that period you have to qualify for a special enrollment period. Certain life changing events can trigger a special enrollment period (marriage, divorce, birth of a child, loss of a job, etc.)

What is an HSA qualified policy?

An often overlooked and underutilized option is the use of a high deductible health policy paired with a health savings account (HSA). An HSA is a medical savings account that you can fund with pretax money. In other words you don’t pay taxes on the money that goes into the HSA. You can then use that money to pay for qualified medical expenses. There is a limit to how much an individual or a family can fund in a year but any unused funds are rolled over to the next year.

What happens if I don’t have health insurance?

If you don’t have coverage in 2016, you’ll pay a penalty of either 2.5% of your income, or $695 per adult ($347.50 per child) — whichever is higher.

What should I look for in an individual health insurance policy?

When comparing plans (on-exchange or off-exchange) you should look at two items primarily. How much you will be paying per month and how much your out of pocket limit is. These two items determine what your cost will be for the year if you have no health issues and how much they will be if you have significant issues.  

What if I am age 65 or older?

At age 65 you are eligible for Medicare. You will still need a Medicare supplement policy. You can view our Medicare supplement page here.

Is this really this complicated?

We have helped a lot of people with their health insurance. Please call our office at 815-432-5401 or email us your questions and an agent will reply promptly. 


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