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The Ins and Outs of Individual Health Coverage

Sometimes referred to as “Obamacare”, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was enacted in 2010 to make affordable individual health insurance available to more people. If your household income falls within a certain range, you could be eligible for tax credits toward your monthly insurance premiums.

Regardless of whether or not you are interested in obtaining a tax credit towards your insurance premiums, the ACA impacted how all Individual Health Insurance plans can be obtained. There are two times during the year when an individual can apply for a health plan: 

  1. During the Annual Open Enrollment Period, which runs from November 1 to January 15 each year. These plans would take effect on January 1 or February 1 of the following year. 
  2. During a Special Enrollment Period (SEP). Certain life events qualify an individual to enroll in a health plan outside of the Annual Open Enrollment Period. These SEP life events include: 
  • Loss of health coverage, such as from an employer 
  • Moving 
  • Getting married or divorced 
  • Having a baby or adopting a child 

SEPs only allow 60 days following the life event to submit an application for an individual health plan. If you’ve recently lost health coverage, it’s important to contact our team right away so you don't miss your enrollment window! 

Dental, Vision & Ancillary Individual Coverage

In addition to your health plan, Towne Benefits can assist in finding you the dental, vision, and travel insurance you and your family rely on. Unlike medical plans, these types of insurance can be enrolled in at any point during the year and they can also be stand-alone.

Towne Benefits represents many prestigious carriers with local networks you depend on, including Anthem, Delta Dental, Dominion National, IMG, VSP, and more.

Short-Term Medical Plans

Short-Term Medical Insurance (STM) refers to health insurance plans with a limited duration, typically several months to a year. These plans were initially geared toward people who need temporary medical insurance to bridge the gap between longer-term plans. For instance, people who are switching employers, starting graduate school, or young adults who have become ineligible for coverage under their parents' plans and are searching for their own insurance might use a short-term insurance plan until obtaining a more permanent solution. 

man holding daughter

STM Rules in Virginia: 

Short-term health insurance plans in Virginia cannot have initial terms of more than three months, and if the plan is renewable, the total plan duration cannot exceed six months. The plans also cannot be sold during the open enrollment period for ACA-compliant coverage

STM Rules in North Carolina: 

In North Carolina, federal regulations regarding short-term health insurance apply, which means consumers can buy short-term health insurance plans – and can get policies with initial terms of up to 364 days with the option to renew for a total duration of up to 36 months (some insurers impose more restrictive term and duration limits). 

No matter where you are, our team can help you understand and enroll in an STM plan.

Long-Term Care  

Having a plan in place to address the possible need for long-term care provides clarity for your family as well as peace of mind. Many of us share these common concerns when considering their long-term care options: 

  • “What impact would a long-term care event have on my retirement savings?” 
  • “I don’t want to become a burden to my family and I want to choose my care.” 
  • “I’ve heard long-term care is expensive.” 
  • “I want to maintain personal dignity and independence.” 
  • “I’ve seen firsthand the financial burden and exhaustion that a long-term care crisis can trigger.” 
  • “When it comes to long-term care, I hear conflicting advice.” 
  • “What are my chances of needing long-term care and what does it cost?” 

Our team can provide a better understanding of long-term care, the value of creating a plan, and the ways the risk is prepared and paid for. 

What Our Clients are Saying
I'm a raving fan of Towne Benefits.

With pre-existing conditions, I had decided I couldn't afford individual health insurance and had pretty much given up on finding a solution. Towne Benefits made the process easy. No wrangling with the cumbersome health insurance marketplace website. Instead, they handled it all—quick to answer every question. Now I sleep easier at night knowing my healthcare needs will be covered. Thanks, Towne Benefits! You truly do care. 

Pam Catindig
Thank you for making my job easier!

I would like to take a moment to send a praise regarding our new Towne Benefits Insurance Broker, Blake Hadley. He has done such a wonderful job with our account. I believe I have had more contact with Blake than any previous broker. His work ethic is impeccable and I appreciate that he goes above and beyond. Thank you, Blake for making my job easier!!

Frances Berman
Allergy & Asthma Specialists, LTD