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Health care coverage deadline is March 15 

Q&A with local insurance agent Steve Weber

Steve Weber

Insurance agent Steve Weber

With all the confusion and uncertainty surrounding health care right now, we decided to chat with a local insurance agent to get some answers. We caught up with local State Farm Agent Steve Weber in Paso Robles to see if we could get a handle on how consumers can better understand what type of health care coverage is best suited for them.

Why is there so much confusion out there?

Steve Weber: With so many plans and carriers to choose from, it’s easy to get overwhelmed.

So how do you help clients determine the best plan for their needs?

Steve Weber: We have found that if you can answer a few simple questions, choosing a plan becomes much easier.

1.) Do you qualify for a subsidy?
2.) Do you want a Health Savings Account Compatible Plan?
3.) Do you have ongoing medical issues that require frequent treatment or prescriptions? Once we have the answers to these questions, it is much easier to narrow down the plans that fit.

How does someone know if they qualify for a subsidy?

Steve Weber: If you google “health subsidy calculator” there are a number of websites that can help you determine that, or we can help as well.

OK, what is a Health Savings Account?

Steve Weber: A Health Savings Account is a savings account used in conjunction with a high-deductible health insurance policy that can provide substantial tax savings if done correctly.

Help us understand the penalty for not having health insurance?

Steve Weber: Here is the thing most people aren’t aware of. You have to apply by March 15th of this year to avoid the penalty. There is plenty of info out there as to how much your penalty will be, but if you don’t get a plan in place in time you will likely be facing a penalty.

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About the author: Publisher Scott Brennan

Scott Brennan is the publisher of this newspaper and founder of Access Publishing. Follow him on Twitter, LinkedIn, or follow his blog.