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Income Guidelines:

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The Penalty or Tax

If you did not have coverage in 2016, you will be penalized when you file your 2016 tax return in April of 2017. The penalty is $695 per person ($347.50 per child under 18) or 2.5 percent of your yearly household income, whichever is greater.

Health Insurance Agent (Brokers) Role

To start know that the price of a health plan DOES NOT change if a certified agent helps you enroll in a plan. Agents are typically paid by insurance companies or will provide a fee schedule for their services. Typically, you do not pay anything extra. If your agent works with a lot of insurance companies like us, it puts us in the best position to recommend the right plan for YOUR NEEDS.

Also know that there are 2 types of agents or brokers, Captive or Independent. Captive agents only get to offer plans that the agency they represent offers, they are not allowed to show or offer plans that they have not contracted with the parent agency. In many cases, this could limit the customer’s choice in plans and the perhaps leave them with inferior coverage. In worse cases, clients are shown bundles or packages of products to think they are all integrated as one. Each product offered is independent of each other and should be shown that way. Independent brokers can contract with any and all companies and they can make recommendations with the client’s best interest in mind to fit their needs. They can show multiple products from multiple companies that works best for each client’s situation. In all cases only insurance brokers can help clients through the enrollment process and with after enrollment service.

One other group that helps enroll clients in health plans are Health Coverage Guides, they however cannot make plan recommendations. You have to be state licensed in order to make any recommendations. Please look at the difference below.