Smart Choice in Insurance
For most of the first 20 years of my married life, we had to buy a private insurance policy; as farmers we were self-employed. In my community many farm families now have at least one family member who has employment “off the farm” primarily to provide medical insurance coverage. It will be interesting to see if the change in how health insurance is obtained and the measures to reduce costs will result in greater employment flexibility. Will it result in more individuals starting their own business, more partnerships between retiring farmers and business men and young people entering the workforce because one barrier to early retirement will be diminished?
I have been reading a lot of articles lately about the issues faced by those in or close to retirement age. The most recent article spoke of people between the ages of 50 and 64 who typically have more health problems than those who are younger and are not yet eligible for Medicare. It pointed to the availability of health insurance through the state marketplace and stated that it may make a big difference for people in this age bracket.
Starting October 1, state-based health-insurance marketplaces will be open for business. For those without access to insurance through work, or for the self-employed who have been buying coverage as a sole proprietor, the marketplace will serve as a clearinghouse for evaluating and buying health plans. The policies, which take effect January 1 will cover 10 essential benefits, including preventative services, hospitalizations, mental health and prescription drugs.
The Family Finance Specialist across the state will be offering a new program: SMART CHOICE: Options in the New Health Insurance Marketplace to help individual better understand individual needs and how to compare policies. Contact your local Extension office for details. ~Brenda