It’s important to remember that just because the Affordable Care Act is a federal program, that doesn’t mean that the state you live in won’t have its own rules and regulations regarding the type of care you should and should not get. Arizona in particular has its own unique set of rules that you have to follow for the best possible results. Out of all of the things that are unique to Arizona about healthcare, there are five key points in particular that you’re definitely going to want to pay attention to.
1. You Now Have More Options Than Ever Before
To say that the Affordable Care Act had a rocky start is something of an understatement, especially as far as Arizona is concerned. The good news is that as of 2015, you now have more options than ever regarding coverage in the state. 13 different insurance companies are participating in the exchange in 2015, including these new additions:
- Phoenix Health Plans
- Assurant Health
- United Healthcare
2. Health Insurance Coverage Is Getting Cheaper
One thing that the Affordable Care Act was supposed to do was drive insurance prices down across the board. According to an analysis done by the Kaiser Family Foundation, this appears to be working—at least as far as Arizona is concerned. According to that study, premiums are down a full 10% over 2014 in the Phoenix area. As of 2014, premiums in Arizona are also lower than most other states.
3. You May Qualify for Financial Assistance
One of the biggest areas where most states differ regarding health insurance has to do with who qualifies for financial assistance and who doesn’t. In Arizona, these rules are very clear. If you’re an individual or family and you earn between 100 percent and 250 percent of the federal poverty level, you qualify for financial assistance for the plan that you purchase. This may include but is not limited to:
- Insurance cost-sharing plans
- Deductible cost-sharing
- Co-payment assistance
If you make between 100 percent and 400 percent of the federal poverty level, you also qualify for tax credits that will help reduce your costs even further.
4. Arizona Has Its Own Special Enrollment Period
As with most other states, you need to apply for health insurance during the open enrollment period in order to both make sure that you’re covered and to avoid any penalties that may apply. For the 2015 term, for example, the open enrollment period ended on February 15.
If you didn’t sign up for a policy during that time, though, hope is not lost. There are still two ways that you can get coverage in Arizona by qualifying for a special enrollment period. The first is if you’ve had a life-changing event of some type, like if you had a baby, lost coverage that you thought you had, or got married. The second is that if you were unable to obtain insurance during the enrollment period due to a limited income.
5. Seniors Are Benefiting, Too
If you’re a senior citizen and take prescriptions, new health insurance rules and regulations can help you save a huge amount of money every time you go to the pharmacy. According to HSS.gov, seniors across the state saved an average of $830 per person in 2013 alone by signing up for an Affordable Care Act compliant plan.
Contact Me Today for More Information
My name is Brad Lastovica and I’ve been in the healthcare industry since 1996. In that time, I’ve seen it all. If you have any questions about obtaining healthcare in Arizona, or if you’d just like to speak to someone about your options, or you’d like to get an independent opinion about what you should do next, please contact me today. I’m offering a completely free service, so it won’t cost you so much as a dime to reap all the benefits that come with working with a knowledgeable professional.