Frequently Asked Questions
No. Brokers like us are paid by the insurance companies. We make a commission off our clients’ premiums – so we have a stake in you being happy with your coverage!
No. The health insurance industry is unique in that the prices are fixed, meaning your policy will cost the same regardless of how or from whom you buy it. Nobody (including us) has any special deals or prices. We are paid a commission by the insurance companies, but because the prices are unaffected by this, our service comes at no extra charge to you. So you get all of the advantages of using a health insurance broker at no extra charge.
Looking for health insurance can be a confusing process. A broker will help you identify and understand the options that best suit your needs, preferences, and budget. We know the industry and the market and can guide you through the process of picking a plan and applying for coverage. We’ll help you compare prices with a variety of insurance carriers and work through underwriting issues. A good broker can also serve as your liaison with the insurance company after you buy coverage. Lastly, our service is free for you.
Can I get a better deal with another health insurance broker or by dealing directly with the health insurance company?
No! And don’t let anyone mislead you! Our industry is unique in that the prices are fixed, meaning your plan will cost you the same no matter how or from who you buy it. The only way to adjust the price is by adjusting the various plan options.
A discount health plan and/or a limited benefit plan is an alternative to major medical insurance, typically for those who cannot get individual major medical health insurance coverage or just can’t afford it. Unfortunately, many unlicensed agents try to lead consumers to believe that it is major medical insurance! Don’t be misled! There are many viable limited benefit plans and discount plans on the market, but we only recommend these if individual health insurance is not an option. Contact AC Forrest to learn more or get quotes.
The insurance providers we deal with are major national carriers who typically have networks in place (or agreements with other companies) so that you should have no trouble obtaining healthcare when you travel. If there are particular places you frequent, let us know and we’ll make sure you’ll be covered there. (If you travel internationally, talk to us about overseas options).
Most of the providers we deal with are major national carriers who typically have networks in place nationwide. So you would likely have continuity of coverage, though your premium could change based on the cost of healthcare in your new area.
Your health insurance premium will be locked in for a specific amount of time – usually for one year. When your coverage is up for renewal, your premium may change. In fact, to be honest, your premium will almost certainly go up a bit each year, if only because the cost of healthcare goes up an average of 15% each year. Of course, should your renewal be too high, we are happy to once again help you examine other health insurance plans, options, and providers.
Tobacco use will not automatically disqualify you from getting health insurance, but you will likely pay more than you otherwise would (though there is at least one exception in South Carolina).
Individual health insurance plans do not include maternity coverage. That will change on January 1, 2014, when the new requirements of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) take effect. At that time, all major medical health insurance plans will be required to cover maternity. If you’re pregnant now, we suggest you negotiate with the hospital and the doctor’s office now (not when in labor!). Ask them for the Blue Cross Blue Shield price and get it in writing. If you happen to still be pregnant on January 1, contact us to get on a health insurance plan before you have the baby. They’ll have to cover you! Maternity is a standard benefit in group health plans.
There may be other options for you. While there are certain circumstances and conditions that will result in an automatic decline with any health insurance carrier, the underwriting guidelines are not the same in every case. Here again is a benefit of using an independent health insurance broker – we have some familiarity with the underwriting practices at different companies, and we often pre-screen clients before going through a full application to get an idea of what the outcome might be.Talk to us about the specifics of your case and we’ll do our best to help you find coverage. If individual health insurance is not an option, there are limited benefit plans or discounts plans that could benefit you.All of this will change on January 1, 2014, when the new provisions of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) take effect. At that time nobody can be denied coverage on a major medical health insurance plan. Contact us beginning October 1, 2013 to discuss enrollment options.
Absolutely! It happens every day. We are blessed with secure technology that expedites the process for everyone involved.
No. As long as you pay your health insurance premium, you’ll have coverage. But if you stop paying your premium, your coverage will end. There is no obligation on your part to maintain coverage (this is not like the contract you sign with a cell phone company) and no penalty if you drop it.
You can change health insurance plans, but it is much easier to raise your deductible than it is to lower it. If you want to lower your deductible, you will likely have to go back through the underwriting process. If you cannot decide between two deductibles, we suggest you apply for the lower deductible, because it is no problem at all to raise it.