The Norman Transcript

Headlines

November 5, 2013

Presenting other ways to shop for health insurance

NORMAN — Looking for health insurance? Can’t get the Obamacare website to work?

There are other ways to shop. You can go directly to insurance company websites, where you’ll find coverage details and premium costs of every policy each company is offering both on and off the federal health insurance marketplace.

You also can contact an independent insurance agent, who can compare plans offered by several insurance companies and help you pick one that best fits your circumstances.

Neither option has received much attention in the initial rollout of the Affordable Care Act marketplace in Oklahoma and other states.

You may not be able to finish the process until the federal government’s bug-afflicted website is fixed, which may be weeks away. But at least you’ll be able to compare plans and premiums and receive estimates of how much your policy will cost after federal tax credits are figured in. If you know you’re ineligible for subsidies, you can enroll in a health plan now.

“They don’t have to go through the marketplace portal,” said Deputy State Insurance Commissioner Mike Rhoads. “They can go directly to the company websites and start that enrollment process. Or if they want to get all of the array of offerings out there, they can go to an agent who can shop that for them.”

“It’s really going to depend on the person and their own personal shopping preferences,” said Blue Cross Blue Shield spokeswoman Ashley Hudgeons. “For someone who is used to the online shopping-cart experience, that might be a good choice for them. For some people, it might be going to an agent or a navigator.”

One caveat: Insurance company websites might be a good starting place, but they can’t provide official calculations of federal tax credits and cost-sharing subsidies. For that, you’ll still need to go through the ACA marketplace by Dec. 15 if you want your policy to take effect on Jan. 1. (You can wait until March 15 and not pay a fine, but your policy won’t take effect as soon.)

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Headlines
  • Baker home 3 Moore resident lands in new home 14 months after tornado

    She crawled from the rubble of what used to be her home. The neighborhood was destroyed. It was the afternoon of May 20, 2013, and Jamie Baker was homeless....

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Additional details come to light in Campus Corner incident involving Sooner recruit

    The 911 call from Pickleman’s Gourmet Cafe early Friday morning brought forth more details from the incident that has Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon under investigation for an alleged assault....

    July 30, 2014

  • Police rule out homicide in Norman woman’s death

    Norman Police Capt. Todd Gibson said Tuesday they have eliminated the theory of homicide after a Norman woman was found dead in her home Monday afternoon. “We’re moving in a different direction with the investigation,” Gibson said. “It’s ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Voter registration deadline is Friday

    Friday is the last day to apply for voter registration to be eligible to vote in the Aug. 26 Runoff Primary Election. Races include federal, state and county offices, but for Cleveland County voters, the field is limited....

    July 30, 2014

  • Norman High student argues his way to the top

    Knowing the ins and outs of an argument that involves complex research is the type of skill one expects a high paid attorney to have not a high school student. Yet debate competitor Nicky Halterman has been arguing his way to the top of ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Senate approves new VA secretary

    WASHINGTON — The Senate on Tuesday unanimously confirmed former Procter & Gamble CEO Robert McDonald as the new Veterans Affairs secretary, with a mission to overhaul an agency beleaguered by long veterans’ waits for health care and VA ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Tampering accusations surface in OKC bombing case

    SALT LAKE CITY — A Utah lawyer suing the FBI over his public records request for surveillance videos from the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing said Tuesday that one of his witnesses backed out after being visited by government officials last ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Shelter construction ongoing; residents voice concerns

    A regular quarterly meeting of the Animal Shelter Oversight Board prompted Norman residents to speak up about more than just a photo release issue Monday night involving Friends of the Animals of Norman volunteers and the city of Norman. ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Senate passes highway bill, sends it to House

    WASHINGTON — The Senate on Tuesday voted to change the funding and timing of a House bill to keep federal highway funds flowing to states in an effort to force Congress to come to grips with chronic funding problems that have plagued ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Police log

    Police responded to the following incidents Monday: · 8:20 a.m. larceny report, 2000 block of West Lindsey Street · 9:04 a.m. stolen vehicle, 3400 block of Bart Conner Drive · 9:11 a.m. larceny report, 1200 block of Ed ...

    July 30, 2014