Important Update:

Medicare Open Enrollment

Open Enrollment for Medicare plans - Supplementals, Advantage and Drug plans - runs from October 15 thru December 7. At this time you can add, drop, change plans. Call if you need assistance with this.

Montana Health Insurance Experts in Missoula & Kalispell

Health Insurance Agents in Missoula who serve all of Western Montana!

We specialize in helping Western Montanans find their best health insurance options.

Why use a health insurance agent or broker?

Health insurance has become amazingly complicated. The bureaucratic rules, details, and proliferating deadlines can cause mistakes, and mistakes carry consequences that are sometimes heart-breakingly severe. Financial consequences are serious and can be prolonged, but the worst consequences are being uninsured, or underinsured for a year (regular health insurance) to life (Medicare insurance).

Professional agents and brokers are experts on all of these rules, regulations and pitfalls so that normal people don’t have to keep up with it all. The assistance of a professional agent or broker is always free to the client.

Why use Montana Health Insurance Experts?

We are health insurance brokers, not agents, which means we represent you instead of an insurance company. We are appointed with all of the insurance companies on the Montana Health Insurance Exchange (currently Montana Health Coop, Blue Cross Blue Shield, PacificSource and Assurant) and a wide array of Medicare insurers, so we can offer impartial guidance as to which company, as well as which plan, might best meet your needs. Since we are licensed on the Exchange, we can assist you all the way through enrollment.

We have spent the time to become experts in the field, and we continue to spend as much time as it takes to help each client. We are your advocates, not just your "agents". We help you resolve issues with your insurer and with throughout the year, not just at enrollment time. Calls come from all over Montana for precisely these reasons.

Finally, we smooth the transition from regular health insurance to Medicare. As the time draws near for Medicare action, we'll contact you and make sure you understand what needs to be done, when, and what all the options/consequences/pros and cons are. You're not left alone to sort out the barrage of information that hits your mailbox "when you're 64".

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Renewal notices can be misleading if you have a subsidy

Insurers will soon be sending out renewal notices soon.  Just like last year, in some cases they will show your “new payment” for 2017 using your old subsidy.  In no case will that be your 2017 payment, as subsidies will automatically go up to absorb the price increases of the two lowest cost silver plans.  BCBS […]

Get your new plan before your old one expires – not after

You have 60 days from the date your old insurance expires to sign up for new insurance outside of Open Enrollment – but there’s a downside to letting the old insurance expire (besides being uninsured for a while).  If your old insurance is still in effect, you can enroll in the new right up to […]

Don’t get on the wrong side of documentation for the Marketplace

The biggest documentation issue is income documentation.  The Marketplace is getting aggressive about demanding “proof” that your income will be close to what you estimate.  Here’s the thing:  you’ll always pay the correct premium, even if they take away your Advanced Premium Tax Credit (APTC), because you reconcile your real income with your estimated income […]

Big pharma is worse than I’d realized

Read the expose of Valeant in the Summer 2016 issue of Vanity Fair – it will astound you.  The new model is to buy companies, cut R&D for big short term profit increase, and raise prices (by factors of 10 and 20) on acquired drugs.  The end result, of course, will be no more pharmaceutical […]

Be careful when you put insurance premium on autopay

Autopay is convenient and keeps you from paying late.  But there are two problems I keep seeing.  One is when you switch to a different company at open enrollment and forget to stop your auto-pay on your old insurance.  You can get the money back from the old insurer, but it’s a big hassle. The […]

Growing pains of ACA hurt, even though they’re to be expected

The whole reason Obamacare uses Estimated Current Year Income (instead of last year’s verifiable income) is that, despite its complexity, it is more relevant.  It’s a recognition of the fact that what you USED to make isn’t relevant to what you can afford now.  People lose their jobs, switch to lower paying jobs, had extraordinary […]

Feds can’t second-guess your income estimate

There’s been a lot of trouble this year with income documentation.  Last year the documentation issues were caused by the Marketplace’s inability to correctly receive and record documentation that was already sent to them – sometimes three or four times.  There’s still some of that, but the bigger issue this year is that the Marketplace […]

Kudos to Montana Health Coop

Montana Health Coop appears to be one of the seven insurance coops, nationally, left standing. Out of 23 coops established under the ACA, most have folded. The reasons make total sense -coming blind into a claims-experience chaos that even the seasoned actuaries couldn’t figure out….being undersupported by the feds and having their budgets cut even […]

Confusing time around Special Enrollment Periods (SEP’s)

Both the Marketplace and BCBS have changed how things work to establish a Special Enrollment Period.  This will address just three items in this area:  The Marketplace has changed the rules on the “move” SEP – now you have to show that you had insurance for at least one day in the 60 days prior […]

Why I don’t work with people who are “shopping around” with other brokers

This is a new development for me – caused in part by this web site.  My business used to be 98% referrals from very happy clients. None of those clients would even think of working with someone else who wasn’t so enthusiastically referred. But with people who call me from my web page, I’m just one of […]