Frequently Asked Healthcare Questions


The short answer is yes but not during the term of your policy. Obviously, one of the biggest concerns with healthcare coverage is the cost. Just like other goods and services, prices do trend higher year over year. Also, given the current political and healthcare landscape, prices have increased significantly in recent years. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that your rates will increase. There are many factors the go into calculating the price of health insurance. Your insurance company will make a determination as to whether or not rates should increase every year.

While you may be able to lock in a good rate for your monthly premium during the initial term of your policy, you cannot be sure that the price will remain unchanged when it is time to renew. So, it is important to understand what makes your rates increase. Being an informed consumer can help you keep your premiums as low as possible.

Factors Affecting Insurance Rates

There are a lot of factors that can change the rates that you have to pay for insurance coverage. The first factor is age. Inevitably the older you get the more medical procedures you will require. Insurance is all about risk and older policy holders are riskier for insurance companies. So, in order to counteract that risk, they increase the price of your coverage.

Lastly, changes in personal habits can increase your insurance premiums. If you begin smoking or drinking excessively, your premiums will likely increase. Again, this is all based on the risk associated with someone that smokes or drinks regularly.

Prices Always Vary

There is one constant in life and that is change. Insurance policies are no different, they change. However, if your prices do increase you don’t have to pay them. there are plenty of insurance companies offering hundrends of plans. If you feel like you rate has gone up more than you are willing to pay, shop around. You may be able to find a similar policy for less money.




Health insurance can provide valuable protection for you and your family if you dedicate time to shopping around before you buy a policy. The cost of health insurance, such as a dental health coverage plan, can vary significantly from one insurance company to another and from one plan to another. To get a plan that includes the coverage you’re looking for with a fee structure that fits your budget, it’s essential to shop around and compare policies from several of the most reliable providers.

If you don’t shop around before you secure insurance, you may end up paying more money than you anticipated for your health care. Unless you compare your options before you buy a policy, you may not be able to discern which plans offer the most value for your specific circumstances. To find the plan that gives you the most value for your money, consider your family’s needs carefully. While some applicants need comprehensive coverage, others are primarily interested in covering the costs of treating major illnesses or severe injuries.

Comparing Online Estimates

Online technology has made it more convenient than ever to research the different types of health plans and compare estimates from multiple companies. The major health insurance providers now offer extensive information online, including comparative reviews of the plans they offer. You can evaluate the type of policy, the deductible, the monthly premium and the coinsurance for a variety of plans at a glance by visiting a provider’s website or by requesting information from several providers through a reliable comparison site.

Most insurance providers will not give you the specifics on how much your individual coverage will cost until you’ve completed an application. The initial estimates that you find are often based on the average costs for your age, gender, location and smoking status. The number of people you wish to cover and the type of coverage you’re looking for will also affect your estimates. Before you can receive a quote on exactly how much your monthly premiums will be, your application must be considered on an individual basis.

During the underwriting process, an insurance company will rate your application based on your personal factors. The greater the risk that an applicant will need medical care, the higher the rate will usually be. Applicants with serious medical conditions like cancer, heart disease or HIV/AIDS may not qualify for coverage through conventional insurance providers; however, medical insurance is available in most states through high risk pools or through federal programs for medically uninsurable individuals.

Coverage for Pre Existing Conditions

If you have a pre existing medical condition, it’s especially important to shop around before securing health insurance. Providers differ in the way they cover treatment for pre existing illnesses. Whether your pre existing illness is a serious condition like cancer or heart disease or a less severe problem like seasonal allergies, you may be required to wait for a period of time before you can receive coverage for this illness when you buy a new insurance policy.

Some providers will offer coverage for a pre existing condition right away at a higher cost. If you have had coverage through another insurer within the past year, coverage for this condition should not be interrupted, according to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA. If you cannot get medical insurance because of the severity of your condition, contact your state insurance board about your eligibility for a high risk, state-administered plan. Shopping around for health coverage before you secure a policy increases your chances of finding a plan with the right benefits at an affordable price.




To ensure that you have access to affordable medical treatment and that there’s no interruption in your care, it’s best to secure affordable coverage as soon as possible. If you’re in between jobs, have just graduated from college or you’re waiting to qualify for Medicare benefits, a reliable health insurance plan will cover your medical needs. By maintaining consistent coverage, you can also avoid some of the restrictions that insurance companies impose on pre existing health conditions.

Securing Coverage When You’re Healthy

The best time to get affordable health insurance is when you’re young and healthy. As you age, rates for health insurance increase, and coverage becomes even more expensive if you develop a serious medical condition. If you’re physically fit, have no history of serious health complications and don’t smoke, you can find health insurance at a very competitive rate. Your age and gender will also play a part in your chances of getting a good deal on health insurance.

Having a history of illness or injury doesn’t necessarily exclude you from getting affordable health insurance. Insurance providers understand that few people have a perfect health history; therefore, pre existing conditions may be covered after you’ve passed a waiting period. With some plans, you may also secure coverage for a pre existing condition by paying a higher rate. Pre existing conditions may include diabetes, cancer, heart disease or high blood pressure, or less serious conditions like seasonal allergies.

If you’re in your 20s and you’ve just graduated from college, it may seem too early to invest in health insurance. However, the sooner you get coverage, the more likely you are to have affordable medical benefits when you need them most. Even a major medical plan that emphasizes coverage for serious illnesses and injuries may help you cover your basic needs and establish a consistent history of being medically insured.

Getting medical insurance right away can help you maintain optimal health and avoid chronic disease as you grow older. The sooner you detect potential health problems, the more quickly they can be treated, and the more likely you are to avoid serious complications. Detecting the early signs of Type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol or high blood pressure, for instance, will help you and your doctors manage these diseases, so that they don’t turn into life threatening conditions.

Maintaining Health Insurance Coverage

During the transitional periods in your life, it’s important to maintain your health insurance coverage. If you’ve just lost a job, are traveling extensively or have recently graduated from college and you don’t have medical insurance, it’s best to enroll in a reliable, affordable plan as soon as possible. If you go without health insurance for more than 12 months, you may be subject to restrictions on treatment for pre existing conditions. If you’ve had coverage within the last year, these restrictions may not affect you, according to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA.

Even if you have no health concerns at this time, health insurance is a wise investment in your future. The sooner you have coverage, the sooner you’ll be protected against the high costs of medical care. You can maintain your physical and financial health with an affordable medical plan.

With comprehensive medical benefits, parents can get the care they need to prepare for a healthy pregnancy and cover their children’s medical needs as they grow. The sooner you establish care with a reliable provider, the better equipped you’ll be to manage your family’s health. Securing coverage right away is the best way to make sure you have access to affordable medical care at any time.




The cost of insuring a whole family will depend on the type of insurance plan you choose, the number of people in your household, your family’s health status and the health insurance provider and agent that issues your policy. For many families, health insurance expenditures take up a sizable percentage of their annual household budget. Nevertheless, the price of health insurance is much more affordable than the cost of paying for acute illnesses, emergency treatment or major medical expenses out of pocket.

Costs of Family Insurance

When you’re considering the cost of health insurance, it may be helpful to consider how much a policy will cost per year as well as how much you will pay each month. The price of health insurance for a family generally includes a monthly premium, an annual deductible and co-payments for specific services. Once you’ve met the deductible, your insurance provider will cover a percentage of your medical costs. Certain services may not be subject to a deductible, such as routine preventive care.

A managed care health insurance plan, like an HMO or a PPO, may have higher monthly premiums and a lower deductible than an indemnity policy. Monthly premiums for a basic indemnity policy may cost several hundred dollars per family, while premiums for a comprehensive managed care plan may cost up to $1,000 or more each month. With a managed care plan, your family’s medical treatment is overseen by a primary care physician, or PCP, who refers you for services within your network. If you seek treatment outside of the network, your costs will increase.

With an indemnity policy, you will have a higher deductible, which means that your family’s out of pocket costs for specific services will be higher. Each time you need to visit the doctor, have a diagnostic test, seek emergency care or go to the hospital, you will be required to pay for these costs until the deductible has been met. There may be an annual deductible for families and a lifetime maximum coverage limit. Deductibles may range from $1,500 per year to $10,000 or more. The higher the deductible, the lower your monthly premium will usually be.

Comparing Benefits to Costs

When you compare the costs of family health insurance plans, compare the benefits that each plan provides to the cost. A comprehensive family plan may include routine checkups and screening exams, vaccinations, specialist consultations and outpatient procedures, physical therapy, inpatient treatment and hospitalization costs. A managed care plan can cover all aspects of your family’s health needs. A fee for service plan may cover checkups and annual screening, but most other medical services are subject to the deductible.

If you’re starting a new family, adding maternity services to a family health insurance plan will increase the cost. Most standard health insurance policies do not include maternity care, but you may add these benefits by purchasing a rider, or additional insurance. Adding a dental plan or vision coverage to your policy, two supplemental benefits that families with growing children should have, will increase the cost of your policy.

The cost of providing comprehensive insurance to a whole family can be substantial. However, the benefits that you and your children receive from a reliable health insurance plan are worth the cost. A family health insurance policy can give you greater peace of mind about your family’s physical condition and your household’s financial security. Routine checkups, annual screening exams, dental examinations and vision tests help prevent serious medical complications that could cost far more to correct in the future if they’re left untreated.




If you have recently had a major change in your life, the chances are that you are eligible to enroll in a new health insurance plan. For instance, losing your job, getting married, losing healthcare coverage, getting divorced, moving to a different ZIP code, or having a change in income all qualify as major life events. When one of these occurs, you are eligible for what is known as the “special enrollment period.” This means that you can buy a new healthcare plan during the sixty days after one of these “qualifying life events.”


If you have not had a qualifying life event in the last sixty days, you must wait until open enrollment to buy a new health insurance plan. If you are unsure of whether you qualify for special enrollment contact us, we will be glad to help.



Once a year, individuals that do not currently have health insurance or wish to change their health insurance can do so freely. The open enrollment period begins on November 1st and ends December 15th. Open enrollment also applies to any individuals that receive coverage from their employer.



The short answer is yes. With the passing of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, requires everyone to have health insurance. If you decide not to carry a health insurance plan, you will face a fine when completing your taxes. If your employer decides to move their employees to exchange-based plans, you will want to sign up for a new plan during the open enrollment period.



While Obamacare has it draw backs, one benefit is the fact the people with pre-existing conditions can now qualify for health insurance. Gone are the days of insurance companies denying you coverage because of a previous health issue. People with pre-existing conditions can now shop for insurance just like anyone else. Additionally, people with pre-existing cannot be discriminated against with higher prices.



Obamacare also includes a provision that allows people to receive subsidies based on their income, for health insurance. Lower income individuals will receive a subsidy from the government that will reduce their monthly payments depending on their income. It is important to be as accurate as possible when disclosing your income. If you report too little income, the subsidies that you receive during the year will be deducted from your tax return.



You are now eligible to stay on your parent’s healthcare plan until the age of 26. After your 26th birthday, you must find your own coverage.



No, you can buy insurance any way you choose. Family First offers both on and off-exchange plans that could fit your needs. There is no requirement as to how you buy your health insurance, just that you have coverage.



These tiers, which are also known as Obamacare Metal Plans, are meant to streamline your health insurance shopping experience. Each level represents a different breakdown in the cost sharing between the health insurance plan and the individual. The average percentage breakdowns are as follows:


  Health Plan You
Bronze 60% 40%
Silver 70% 30%
Gold 80% 20%
Platinum 90% 10%

The higher-level plans have the lowest out of pocket costs and deductibles. However, they also have the highest premiums.



The answer to this question depends on many factors. For instance, if you have a chronic medical condition, you may be best served to have a higher-level plan that requires you to pay less out of pocket. However, if you plan to use your health insurance for mainly preventative services, which are free under Obamacare, it is best to choose a lower level plan. Our trained representatives can help you determine what plan will offer you the best coverage for the best price.