Health Insurance Plans Alabama
Alabama is nicknamed Yellowhammer after its state bird and is acknowledged for its rich history and collegiate football programs.
This state doesn’t make to the top of the list when it comes to health and healthcare but one thing is sure that this state is always looking for improvement in healthcare. If you are a resident of the Alabama state then you can keep yourself and your loved ones healthy, firstly by maintaining an active lifestyle and eating right, and secondly by enrolling in a good health insurance plan that protects you in case of medical emergency. Alabama’s health insurance market was historically considered least competitive and it still remains a market dominated by Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance company, which is the only insurer offering plans in most of the counties. Earlier Individual and family health insurance was sold through the federal marketplace by Humana and Blue Cross and Blue Shield and they were later joined by United Healthcare. These three insurers were offering most of the plans in Alabama’s exchange but currently Blue Cross Blue Shield is the major insurer carrier for the Alabama state. At the end of 2016 both United Healthcare and Humana left the Alabama exchange so individual plans were not available on or off Alabama exchange from 2017. Therefore, the enrollees of these insurance companies had to switch to Blue Cross Blue Shield plans, if they wished to remain insured. Blue Cross Blue Shield was the Alabama’s lone exchange insurer in 2018 and was later joined by the Bright Health in the Birmingham area in the same year and it continues to offer coverage in 2019 too. Alabama uses the federally facilitated marketplace, where residents enroll in exchange plans through government healthcare site.
Highlights and Updates from Alabama Health Insurance Marketplace
- Exchange enrollment in Alabama has been declining since 2017 and there has been about 2% decline in the year 2019 too.
- The federally run Alabama health insurance marketplace gives residents access to affordable health insurance plans, as per their needs and budget.
- Alabama like most of the other U.S. states abides by the federal Open Enrollment Period.
- Alabama health insurance marketplace is run by the federal government and will be open for its residents during the Open Enrollment Period.
- Health insurance is not mandatory in the Alabama state, though after Affordable Care Act coming into effect it created individual mandate, but with President Trump coming to office he eliminated the individual mandate and therefore in 2019 there is no federal requirements for people to enroll in health coverage.
- Health Insurance premiums are lower in the year 2019 compared to 2018.
- In Alabama short term health plans are available with initial plan terms of 364 days.
Individual and Family Health Insurance in Alabama
Alabama residents who are self employed or without insurance from their employer need to look for individual and family health insurance options in Alabama. There is a whole range of individual and family insurance products available in Alabama and you can choose the best plan based on your budget and requirements. The federally run Alabama health insurance marketplace provides its residents access to affordable individual and family health insurance plans as per their needs and budget. Many residents of Alabama have the opportunity to get affordable individual health insurance during the open enrollment period.
Some of the Individual & Family Health Insurance Options Include:
Affordable Care Act or Obama Care
You can purchase Affordable Care Act plans through the Health Insurance Marketplace and these plans meet government requirements as per the Affordable Care Act. Obamacare or the Federal Affordable Care Act was signed into law by President Barack Obama in 2010 to protect consumers. It is due to Affordable Care Act that insurance companies have to cover people with pre-existing conditions and prevent them from randomly canceling their coverage. The law also requires health insurance companies to cover healthcare services with a standard set of benefits and prevent coverage denials based on preexisting conditions. When you enroll in ACA compliant health plans sold through the federal insurance marketplace you are eligible for income-based financial assistance that help you lower your monthly insurance premiums as well as out-of-pocket expenses for healthcare. Blue Cross and Blue Shield Alabama and Bright Health Insurance Company are the carriers offering ACA compliant individual health insurance plans in Alabama.
Short Term Health Insurance in Alabama
If you are looking for affordable health plans that provides coverage in emergency then short-term health insurance might prove best for you. Short-term insurance is a cost-effective practical solution that fill coverage gaps between jobs or in case if you missed the Open Enrollment Period. However, you need to understand this type of coverage or you could be saddled with out-of-pocket costs. If you are looking to buy short-term plans then you must keep in mind that these plans do not provide comprehensive coverage and there are limited benefits of these plans and you can be denied coverage in case you have pre-existing conditions. Alabama has approved the short-term plans with duration as little as one month to up to three years of coverage. 10% of Alabama residents are without the health insurance and affordable short-term plans prove good option for such people to obtain coverage. Residents of this state can purchase short-term plans through private insurers at any point during the year.
Dental Plans in Alabama
Dental insurance plans in Alabama are categorized as Indemnity or managed care plans. Alabama indemnity plans provide a wide selection of dental care providers and in this plan the carrier pays for covered services only after receiving the bill. It means that you first have to pay up front and then obtain reimbursement from your insurance carrier later. The managed care dental plans maintain a network of dental providers who agree to perform services for patients at pre-negotiated rates and submit the claim to the dental insurance company for you. You will have lower out-of-pocket costs with a managed care dental plan and a broader choice of dentists with an indemnity plan.
Vision Plans in Alabama
Vision plans offered in Alabama are designed to save insured money on a wide array of vision care products and services. As a member of the vision plan you have the opportunity to visit any of the participating eye care providers who offer vision care services at a pre-negotiated price, which is considerably less that their actual cost.