Health Insurance – a how to guide for 2017

Health Insurance – a how to guide for 2017

It’s not just Fall fun at we also want to share informative articles, which are of use to our readers. So, as it’s that time of year, we’ve decided to delve into the world of health insurance – with help from Mandi at Lee O’Keefe Insurance because she’s the expert!


When does open enrollment for health insurance in 2017 begin?

Open enrollment for health insurance begins on November 1, 2016. The deadline for enrollment is January 31, 2017.

If you are fortunate enough to have your employer pay for all, or a part, of your health insurance premium then consider yourself lucky. Nearly 50% of Americans are finding themselves in a position where they are footing the bill for their own health insurance premiums. Some premiums are even reaching levels above a monthly mortgage payment.  Fortunately, there are options out there to help lower the cost of your health insurance premiums.

 What are the first steps to getting health insurance coverage for my family and me?

The first step in considering your health insurance options is to speak with a licensed agent. He or she can provide you with the information you need to make an informed decision.

What questions will the insurance agent ask me?

Licensed agents will ask you a set of standard questions in order to best advise you and get you the coverage you need. The agent will also ask about household income to find out if you qualify for a premium tax credit.

 What’s a tax credit?

A tax credit (sometimes referred to as a subsidy) is a sum of money that is usually paid by the Federal government directly to the insurance carrier on your behalf. In Illinois, premium tax credits should be available to those individuals and families with a household income between 138% and 400% of the federal poverty level. Any household income below 138% would qualify for Medicaid based on income alone.                          

What happens if I don’t get health insurance?

If you do not purchase health insurance, and you do not qualify for an exemption, you will pay a fee when you file your federal tax return for the year you were without minimum essential coverage for more than three consecutive months. The fee is calculated by a percentage, or a per person fee, whichever is greater.

Outside of the open enrollment period, you can enroll in a health insurance plan only if you have a qualifying event, such as getting married, having a baby, or losing other coverage.       

If you have any further questions email Mandi Henson at - she has the answers!