Shopping for Individual Health Insurance in CT

Having health coverage helps you save a considerable amount of money on medical bills. If your employer doesn’t offer any health insurance plans or if your plan doesn’t include your spouse or dependents, you’ll have to do some shopping on your own to find individual health insurance or family medical insurance in Norwich, Connecticut.

When you’re comparing health insurance plans, it’s important to determine what type of coverage you need. Some common options you’ll find in CT include the following.

Individual Health Insurance and Family Medical Insurance

These health insurance plans are mainly for those who aren’t able to sign up for health coverage through their employer, those who are self-employed, or those who need to find coverage for spouses or dependents who aren’t covered through their employer’s group plan. Individual and family plans also benefit those who want to find coverage with lower premiums or those who need a plan that offers better coverage for their medical needs.

Short Term Medical Insurance

Short-term medical insurance provides health coverage for a certain amount of time, which can range from one month to one year. Those who typically benefit from this type of coverage are those who are waiting for a group plan to go into effect and those who are currently unemployed but looking for work; such as recent college graduates and those who are between jobs.

Health Discount Cards

These cards aren’t meant to replace health coverage. Instead, they provide discounts on prescriptions and certain medical services. They are sometimes used to supplement coverage for those on plans that have high deductibles for prescriptions or other medical services.

Health Savings Accounts

HSAs are savings accounts that can be used to save for retirement and pay for medical services. They’re paired with certain high-deductible health plans. Those with an HSA can use pre-tax dollars for eligible medical expenses, deduct all of their HSA contributions on their taxable income and save HSA money tax-free.

Finding the right health insurance in Connecticut can be difficult if you’re not sure what to look for. Call Waitte’s Insurance Agency, Inc. today at (860) 886-1961 to discuss the types of individual health plans that are available, and what works best for you and your family.

Seasonal Depression: Monster or Myth?

With summer in the rear-view mirror, the calendar begins to turn towards the autumn and winter months. Especially in New England, the temperatures will gradually decrease, the days will become shorter, and the warm sunshine will start to feel like an old friend that you just don’t get to see anymore. This combination of lack of sunlight and colder weather can cause many to feel a little down in the dumps. It’s not unusual this time of year to feel the winter blues, but is that all it is? Could there be an underlying cause? In the past couple of decades, a lot of attention has been given to Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) or how many refer to it as seasonal depression; but what is it exactly?

SAD Explained:

Seasonal Affective Disorder is the name given to a mood disorder that seems to affect people, who are otherwise fine the rest of the year, with symptoms of depression during the same time each year, typically in the winter months.  It is thought that the colder temperatures, which forces people to stay indoors longer, coupled with the lack of sunlight in the winter months, causes people to feel depression.  Symptoms include lack of energy, decreased motivation, withdrawal from friends and family, overeating (which can lead to weight gain), and difficulty concentrating.  It is estimated that this disorder affects up to 6% of the American population, mainly concentrated in northern climates where winter is most pronounced.

Fact or Faked?

However, even though SAD is now an official clinical diagnosis, the question remains “Is SAD a legitimate disorder?”  A number of recent studies seem to suggest otherwise.  One major study published in January of 2016 examined a major cross-section of the American public (over 34,000 participants) and concluded that there was no conclusive evidence to suggest that SAD is real, or that factors such as amount sunlight or temperature have any long-term effect on a person’s mental health. The results of the study suggest that SAD is an idea that might be  more rooted in folk psychology and old wives’ tales than actual science. In another clinical study in Norway — a location known for its long and severe winters — also examined a large subset of the population and concluded that there was no evidence to suggest that these symptoms were more prevalent in the winter.

The debate about Seasonal Affective Disorder will likely go on for years to come.  Even though many individuals continue to report having symptoms, evidence is mounting that SAD, in fact, might not be scientifically validated as the actual “disorder” as it was once suggested. As a result, many medical professionals are starting to question the prevailing school of thought.

Regardless, when there’s a chill in the air and the nighttime falls earlier, try not to let it get you down! Grab a nice book and bundle up by a warm, crackling fire or go outside and build a snowman with your family.  Continue to find ways to enjoy the unique activities that fall and winter can offer you in New England!

One particular activity that Connecticut and its surrounding states specialize in during the winter months is snowmobiling. Do you or someone in your family own a snowmobile and need to get it insured? No problem! Contact Waitte’s Insurance Agency to get coverage on all of your winter and recreational vehicles.

Connecticut Health Insurance: What Could Affect Your Premiums?

While the month of February includes Valentine’s Day, the time to consider those near and dear to your heart, it’s also the month to remember to care for your actual heart. February is American Heart Month, which is a designated time to raise awareness of the factors that contribute to good heart health. Among these factors are exercising regularly, a diet featuring plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, and controlling stress. Without these daily habits, not only will your physical health suffer, but your Connecticut Health Insurance premiums could also be affected.

What Determines My Connecticut Health Insurance Premiums?

Age:

Obviously, you cannot turn back the clock, but you do need to be aware that as a general rule, people over the age of sixty pay more (sometimes as much as 3 times more) for their health insurance than someone under that age. Younger people tend to be healthier, and as a group, file fewer claims than older policyholders. If you are over sixty, even if you are in perfect health, you can expect to pay more than someone in their twenties, even if that person has a chronic health condition. However, pre-existing conditions at any age do not warrant an increase in health insurance rates.

Tobacco Use:

Smoking’s negative effect on health is well documented and tobacco use is second only to age as a predictor of mortality. So it’s no surprise that smokers pay up to fifty percent more for coverage than non-smokers. The good news, of course, is if you are a smoker you can quit! Although you need to be aware that individual insurance carriers can impose a waiting period from between one and five years after you quit smoking before your rate comes down.

Profession And Income:

Let’s face it, some jobs are more inherently dangerous than others. While worker’s compensation is expected to cover most on-the-job accidents, if you cannot prove your illness or injury was directly caused by your job, you will be expected to assume the cost of treatment.

If you are in a low-income bracket with a household income of between 100% and 400% of the Federal Poverty Level and you do not have access to employer-sponsored coverage, you may qualify for tax credits. If your income falls below 138% of the Federal Poverty Level you may be able to take advantage of Medicaid or CHIP and enroll in their low cost or even free programs.

Where You Live:

The area where you live may have an impact on your insurance rates, as some areas have been identified as having a higher proportion of unhealthy residents. Perhaps this is due to poor environmental conditions, little access to healthy foods and other factors. These types of location-based assessments are frowned upon by regulators, as they may lead to discriminatory practices, so check with your carrier to assess their standards.

Marital Status:

People who are married tend to live longer, engage in less risky behavior and take better care of themselves than single people, so it’s no surprise that a married person’s insurance rate will most likely be lower than a single person who otherwise has the same risk profile.

Number of People Covered By Your Policy:

It just makes sense that the more people who are covered by the policy, the more the policy will cost. Do the calculations to make sure that getting individual coverage for each party who needs insurance would not be more expensive that getting a policy that covers everyone. Discounts can be granted to those with multiple people on their policy, so look into all of your options.

Ignoring the fixable factors that determine your Connecticut Health Insurance can be costly. Continue best practices towards a healthy lifestyle and your insurance premiums will surely follow suit.

If you have any questions regarding your current health insurance coverage, please call our office at (860) 886-1961.