Ask Tammy Your Health Insurance Questions

If you’re struggling to understand health insurance, we can help. Ask Tammy about how to navigate health insurance and maximize your benefits.


    What's your health insurance question?

    Note: Questions and answers may be published with your first name. Your email, phone, and location will remain confidential.


     

    The Latest Health Insurance Questions and Answers

    Health Insurance Affordability

    What is the most affordable type of health insurance? ― Mark

    Hi Mark,

    In many states, Medicaid is the most affordable option for health insurance, followed by Affordable Care Act (ACA) Health Insurance Marketplace plans. However, Medicaid eligibility varies by state and is not an option for everyone.

    ―Tammy

    How much is health insurance monthly? ― Sarah

    Hi Sarah,

    There’s no exact amount for health insurance. Many factors play a part in the cost of health insurance and are truly based on each individual circumstance. Plans can be as low as $0 if you qualify.

    ― Tammy

    What is the income limit for ACA insurance? ― Brandon

    Hi Brandon,

    Generally, to be eligible for a subsidy through the ACA, your household income should range from 100% to 400% of the federal poverty level. Income limits may be higher in Alaska and Hawaii because the federal poverty level is higher. Example of income as follows:

    Household of 1: $13,590 to $54,360
    Household of 2 $18,310 to $73,240
    Household of 3 $23,030 to $92,120
    Household of 4 $27,750 to $111,000
    Household of 5 $32,470 to $129,880
    Household of 6 $37,190 to $148,760

    Learn more about the federal poverty level.

    ― Tammy

    What can I do if I can't afford health insurance? ― Laura

    Hi Laura,

    If you are unable to qualify for Medicaid or ACA and can’t afford health insurance, there are a few options available:

    • A high-deductible, catastrophic, or short-term medical plan can be more affordable than major medical insurance and can help put a cap on out-of-pocket expenses.
    • Telemedicine has become a cheap and easy alternative to getting prescription refills and treatment for nonemergencies.
    • Another option is Federal Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) and rural clinics. These are clinics that receive grants to provide free to low-cost medical care even if you have no health insurance. To find one of these clinics in your area, visit https://findahealthcenter.hrsa.gov/.

    ― Tammy

    How can I get free healthcare? ― John

    Hi John,

    FQHCs and rural clinics are available in every state. These are clinics that receive grants to provide free to low-cost medical care even if you have no health insurance.

    To find one in your area, visit https://findahealthcenter.hrsa.gov/

    ― Tammy

    Health Insurance Plan Choice

    What's the best health insurance? ― Emily

    Hi Emily,

    This question can be answered in many ways. To put it simply, “the best” is what meets your specific needs and checks the most boxes for you. Consider affordability, network size, deductible, copays, coinsurance, and max out-of-pocket cost. It is always good to check a company’s ratings and financial stability, too.

    ― Tammy

    Is health insurance mandatory? ― Betsy

    Hi Betsy,

    In January 2019, the tax penalty mandate for health insurance was eliminated. While it is no longer mandatory on a federal level, some states have mandates that include tax penalties. Some of those states include Massachusetts, New Jersey, Vermont, California, Rhode Island, and Washington, D.C.

    ― Tammy

    Where can I get affordable health insurance? ― Steve

    Hi Steve,

    The primary option for affordable health insurance is the Health Insurance Marketplace. This option proves to be one of the most affordable. Licensed insurance agents or brokers can also help guide you to what best suits your needs. Many times they can do the shopping for you. If you work for a company that provides health insurance and your employer assumes some of the cost, always consider this as a top choice.

    -Tammy

    Can you get affordable health insurance without a job? ― Kristen

    Hi Kristen,

    Yes, you can get affordable health insurance without a job. Some health insurance is based on household income. Even if you do not have a job, if someone in your household, such as a spouse or parent has income, you can still qualify or even be eligible for coverage under their plan. In some states, Medicaid may be an option.

    ― Tammy

    author-img
    Insurance and health care consultant

    Tammy Burns is an experienced health insurance advisor. She earned her nursing degree in 1990 from Jacksonville State University, obtained her insurance billing and coding certification in 1995, and holds a health and life insurance license in Alabama, Georgia, Iowa, Mississippi, and Tennessee. Burns is Affordable Care Act (ACA)-certified for health insurance and other ancillary, life, and annuity products. She maintains an active nursing license and practices private-duty nursing.

    Burns’ background as a nurse, insurance biller and coder, and insurance consultant includes infectious disease, oncology, gynecology, phlebotomy, post operative, family medicine, geriatrics, home health, hospice, human resources, management, billing, coding, claims, fixed annuities, group and individual health and life products, and Medicare. She’s always been driven by a desire to help people, spending more than 25 years as a practicing nurse in hospitals, private doctors’ offices, home health, and hospice. As a nurse, Burns supported patients filing insurance claims with Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance companies as well as responding to billing questions from confused patients.

    Seeing firsthand how unsuspecting patients are frequently confused by an overly complex system they don’t understand led Burns to become an insurance agent and health care consultant, now helping people understand the medical system. Since becoming an insurance agent in 2013, she has worked with some of the largest and most reputable insurance carriers and agencies in the nation, and she has built a large and loyal clientele by way of her commitment to transparency and personalized service.