SOURCE: GetInsured


February 03, 2015 08:00 ET

GetInsured Offers Shopping Tips for Those Who Still Need Health Insurance

With Just Two Weeks Left to Purchase a 2015 Health Plan, Company Advises Consumers About the Potential Costs of Being Uninsured, Underinsured or Having a Plan That's a Bad Fit

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA--(Marketwired - Feb 3, 2015) - GetInsured, a leading innovator in health insurance marketplace technology, today shared four crucial tips for consumers who still need health insurance, or who are planning to auto-renew their 2014 health coverage. In year two of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) -- and with an estimated 40 million Americans still without coverage -- GetInsured wants to help consumers understand how health insurance and the lack thereof can directly impact their wallets, and what they can do about it.

"There are compelling financial reasons for the uninsured to purchase coverage this year, and also for those who are already insured to explore their options rather than going on auto-pilot," said Egon Smola, senior vice president and general manager of consumer business at GetInsured. "In many cases, going uninsured or failing to shop around can end up costing far more than it would to have health insurance."

In the home stretch to buy health insurance this year, GetInsured offers these four key pieces of advice.

Tip #1: If you're uninsured, be prepared for tax penalty sticker shock.
If you don't purchase a plan in the next two weeks, you could be in for an unwelcome surprise on your 2015 federal tax return. That's because the tax penalties for being uninsured during 2015 are dramatically higher than they were in 2014, when the penalty for not having insurance was either $95 or 1 percent of your annual income, whichever was greater. (If you made $50,000, the penalty would be $500). In 2015, that penalty skyrockets to the greater of $325 per adult and $162.50 per child, or 2 percent of household income. Read more about tax penalties here.

Tip #2: Know what you risk by not having coverage.
So you're undaunted by those tax penalties? Think about this: Unpaid medical bills are the leading cause of bankruptcy in the U.S., and if you're aged between 25 and 34, you have a one in 20 chance of incurring medical bills of at least $27,000 this year, and a one in 10 chance of medical bills of at least $13,000. If you're not insured, that money comes out of your pocket.

Tip #3: If you auto-renew your current plan without shopping around, you may be in for a few (unpleasant) surprises.
Gone are the days of buying a policy and then forgetting about it. Auto-renewing your healthcare policy without shopping around could leave you paying more than you have to. GetInsured took a hard look at plans that were offered last year and again in 2015, then crunched some numbers and found some pretty big changes to plan premiums. Some of the largest price swings were in Texas: Consumers in Bexar, Comal, and Guadalupe counties who don't change their 2014 plan might see their premiums go down as much as 38 percent, whereas consumers who live in Bee, Jim Wells, Kleberg, and Refugio counties could see them go up as much as 50 percent. Florida, Arizona, and Ohio are other states where premiums of renewed plans fluctuate widely. Florida, Arizona, and Ohio had big changes to renewed plans, too.

You'll also want to review your current plan to make sure that your doctors and other health providers are still in network.

And welcoming a new baby or getting laid off from a job (which affects your household size or income) can change your eligibility for tax credits or cost-sharing reductions. If you experience either of these big changes in life, you'll want to shop for the best deal all over again and look carefully at all of your options. 

Tip #4: Don't pick a plan based on the premium price alone.
You wouldn't buy a car based solely on the monthly payment, ignoring factors like mileage, reliability and safety. Yet most people buy health plans with that mindset, focusing almost exclusively on the monthly premium payment. This can put a big dent in your wallet if the lower-premium plan comes with a high deductible, high co-pays, or high out-of-pocket limits. So before you purchase, take the time to better understand how various health plans will actually meet your healthcare needs over the entire year. At a minimum, estimate how often you visit the doctor and use prescription drugs annually, and calculate the amount a health plan will cost you before you meet the plan's deductible.

About GetInsured
GetInsured is a health insurance exchange platform that combines modern cloud-based technology and customer service capabilities to make health insurance shopping easy and efficient. Since its founding in 2005, GetInsured has helped millions of consumers find the right health insurance plan for their needs and budgets. GetInsured is approved by the federal government to enroll Americans in subsidized health insurance plans, and also provides state governments and employers with SaaS-based technology solutions for public and private health insurance exchanges. For more information, please visit

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