COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. - Wayne Sakamato helps consumers through the stressful process of choosing insurance. The President of Health Insurance Interactive has one easy recommendation for people getting ready to sign up.
"Don't rush it," said Sakamato.
On October 1, those without insurance can purchase coverage. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recently released what it will cost you depending on where you live. People who live in Lee and Collier counties will see a difference.
"The cost of health care in Lee County is higher than Collier County and one of the reasons that I really believe is the fact that Lee County would have Lee Memorial which is a major health care provider with not very much competition, they only have the HMA hospital in Lehigh. Where as in Collier County you do have two major competing hospital groups that are helping to keep the cost competitive and lower."
There are four tiers of marketplace insurance plans: platinum, gold, silver, and bronze. For example, under the bronze plan, a 45 year old in Collier County would pay $262 a month. In Lee County that same plan would cost $294 dollars. These numbers come from the HHS 2014 Databook for Marketplace Premiums. A spokesperson for HHS tells WINK the rates come from insurance providers who have signed contracts to issue plans, but the names of the providers won't be released until October 1st.
Sakamato said bigger cities like Fort Lauderdale and Tampa will be less expensive because there are more options. Coverage begins on January 1st and Sakamato said to make sure you do your research before picking a plan because once you do, you'll be locked in for the entire year.