All your Florida individual health care questions, answered


This article is sponsored by Murray Insurance Agency.

Are you feeling like you need an expert in your corner when it comes to all your health care options?

It's understandable to feel that way.

As you might know, open enrollment for individuals and families is underway now, as the period opened Oct. 1 and runs through Dec. 15. If you have a subsidy or need help paying for your coverage, your open enrollment period ends Nov. 1.

And if you sign up for a plan during open enrollment, your coverage will start Jan. 1, 2020.

Let's go over some other frequently asked topics and questions, with the help of Murray Insurance Agency.

There have been a lot of changes since the implementation of the Affordable Health Care Act in 2017. Is financial help still available?

Yes, subsides or tax credits are still available.

The ACA remains the law of the land, so financial assistance based on income is still available to help ensure health insurance is affordable.

I've been on healthcare.gov and looked around online, and it's confusing.

It certainly can be.

"We actually complete the application with our clients to ensure it's filled out correctly, confirm the subsidy or financial amount, then move on to plan options including the benefits and costs, to find just the right fit," said Renee Cline, with Murray Insurance.

Cline said the monthly premium is not always the best way to choose a plan. In fact, it may even cost you more in the long run. For example, choosing a low-cost plan sounds great, until you find out you have to drive an hour just to see a doctor, or that you're responsible for your deductible before your insurance company pays for anything.

It's important to take a look at the benefits and the network before selecting a plan.

"Our agents are trained to do this," Cline said.

Florida Blue also offers a rewards program to members to help reduce their premiums by up to $100 a year. The program was designed to encourage members to follow their doctors' recommendations and to encourage healthy decisions and behaviors.

How does someone decide what plan or option is best for them?

The best way to get help deciding what plan or option works best is to meet with a licensed agent, Cline said.

"Each client we meet with has different needs and situations," she added. "As agents, we ask a lot of questions to help us understand each person's health care needs and priorities. Things like doctors and specialists they use, current prescription drugs, and even if they travel frequently and need access to care outside of Florida."

At Murray Insurance, agents spend time educating clients, reviewing key insurance terms like deductible, out-of-pocket max and coinsurance, and then they help to find the best option for each person's needs.

"One size does not fit all," Cline said.

Murray Insurance Agency helps to insure Orlando and the rest of the state.

The company was founded in 1981. Since its appointment as a contracted general agency for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida in 1983, Murray Insurance has assisted more than 250,000 people with their health insurance. The company's No. 1 goal is to find affordable solutions to people's personal insurance needs.