Written by Bethany DeMott, Group Benefits Account Manager
Traditionally our employer determines our health insurance, so where can you obtain health insurance when you are self-employed? This can often be the biggest pain point when deciding to take the leap and cut ties with your desk job. Shopping for health insurance is a daunting task. It is essential to have, expensive to get, and confusing to understand. That combination can be a recipe for an anxiety attack (I know it used to be for me!).
In New York, there are several ways to obtain health insurance outside of an employer:
- Apply directly though a health insurance carrier such as Excellus.
- Apply through the NY State of Health Marketplace.
- Call your local insurance agent.
Options 1 and 2 still leave you with lots of questions and decisions to make alone with no guidance. Am I choosing the right carrier? How do I navigate the marketplace? What is in-network and out-of-network? Are the prescriptions drugs I take going to be covered? These questions and more are why I recommend calling your local insurance agent.
A local insurance agency, like Perry & Carroll, will have access to the carriers in your area and has agents certified to guide you through the NY State of Health marketplace. This increases your options and provides you with a knowledgeable professional to answer your questions. We know the in’s and out’s of the policies and are able to help you pick a plan that is right for you. And, most importantly, there are no hidden agency fees. The price of the policy you choose is the same no matter which way you obtain it.
Don’t want to talk to an insurance agent? I get that. Your next best option is to tackle the NY State of Health Marketplace on your own. This is a safe website with no advertisements or gimmicks. Once you create an account you will have access to all the health insurance plans available in your area, as well as any financial assistance you may be eligible for. If you find that the website becomes too complicated, you can call your local insurance agent and they can help you pick up where you left off.
Finding health insurance can be a scary topic, but don’t let it. Always remember you have access to professionals in your area ready to help ease your mind. Who you gunna call … Your Insurance Agent!