HealthMarkets agent Joanie Keehn says fresh changes to the Affordable Care Act mean more coverage options

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Joanie Keehn is a licensed insurance agent with HealthMarkets Insurance Agency. During the ACA enrollment period, November 1-December 15, she will help hundreds of people understand their options. (Photography: Benjamin Margalit)

By Beth Newcomb

One of the hallmarks of last year’s Affordable Care Act (ACA) enrollment was the elimination of the tax penalty for those failing to acquire coverage.

“The law requiring coverage was and is still in place, but the individual mandate on the tax penalty was eliminated last year,” says Joanie Keehn, a licensed insurance agent with HealthMarkets Insurance Agency. “This was a tax code change, not an ACA change, but it obviously impacted everyone covered under the Affordable Care Act.”

The tax code change gave people who were subscribed to an ACA plan more options. Some chose to stay with the ACA coverage they already had, others chose to switch to a non-ACA governed plan. “I don’t think many people realize that determining whether or not to stay on an ACA plan or make a switch has less to do with government oversight and more to do with what makes sense to them, their health and their budget,” she says.

“People with pre-existing conditions and those who are subsidy eligible still fit into the ACA mold and may want to continue their coverage,” Joanie explains. “Healthy people who are not eligible for a subsidy may want to consider a plan that falls outside of the ACA. It could save them some money. The choice is really determined by a person’s individual circumstances.”

If you are on an ACA plan right now, it makes sense to schedule a free review with Joanie to see if that plan is still the right fit. If it is, she’ll tell you. If it isn’t, she’ll help you determine which coverage option better fits your needs.

“For example, if your income for 2020 will go up significantly, you’ll want to make sure you make an adjustment now so you aren’t faced with a hit on your taxes the following year,” she explains. “I can run the numbers to make sure you’re where you need to be personally and financially.”

“ACA plans do a great job of including all of the things a healthcare plan should include, like standard essential benefits and access to doctors and hospitals in your area. They also offer preventative coverage options, and things like maternity care if you need them. These plans offer really excellent benefits and some people will want to stick with what they’ve got,” Joanie explains.

With the Cleveland Clinic jumping into the ACA arena in Geauga County, those who previously utilized clinic doctors can switch back if they choose.

This year, a new provider makes its debut in the coverage arena with its own signature plan. “It’s going to give people in Geauga County the opportunity to go back to doctors they may have had before,” Joanie says. “But making that switch should really be based on sound information. A free review with me will give you exactly that.”

The best part is, a review with Joanie, her time, and her guidance are all free of charge.

“People who want or need ACA coverage still need to follow the enrollment dates (November 1-December 15), or they need to change plans. With me, you’ll have the power to learn about all of your options, and you can feel confident that the plan you’re in, or perhaps another plan, is the best fit for you and your family. You have the power to choose,” she says.

Because Joanie is a licensed insurance agent with HealthMarkets, she has access to a number of different plans. In fact, HealthMarkets isn’t limited to just one company’s insurance plans. They have hundreds, including brands you know.

“Everyone needs health insurance coverage,” she says. “The difference I can offer is that my services are free of charge, and I can provide access to carriers some other agents cannot. I can help you determine if you should elect coverage outside of the ACA, or if staying with the ACA makes better sense.”

Joanie Keehn of HealthMarkets Insurance Agency has a storefront at 3104 Hubbard Road, in Madison. Hours are Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., appointments preferred; Saturday, Sunday and evening hours by appointment. The phone number is 440-536-1228. Office is 440-983-4203.

HealthMarkets Insurance Agency, Inc. is licensed as an insurance agency in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Not all agents are licensed to sell all products. Service and product availability varies by state. Agents may be compensated upon enrollment. No obligation to enroll. HMIA007459 10/2019