If you aren't covered under an employer-based health insurance plan, the fourth quarter of the year is an important time to review your current coverage and make sure you and your family are properly protected. Whether you are enrolled in Under 65 or Over 65 Medicare coverage, there are decisions to make.

“The annual election period for many coverages happens during the fourth quarter, and it is not a ‘one size fits all’ decision,” says Steve Kammeyer, vice president of health insurance services with Farm Bureau Financial Services. “It is important for each individual and family to consider what is best for their individual situation — and your local Farm Bureau agent can assist you in making those decisions.”

For those under age 65, Farm Bureau agents can help you with two valuable products.

For those eligible for tax credits under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Farm Bureau offers specific ACA-compliant plans that are administered by our long-time partner, Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Iowa. These plans provide comprehensive benefits to help protect you and your family.

Farm Bureau health plan

For those not eligible for ACA tax credits, Farm Bureau also offers the Farm Bureau Health Plan, an underwritten plan that offers very similar coverage to the ACA plans, but at a much lower cost than is available in the ACA market. This plan can be a perfect fit for young families, early retirees or others in the market for individual health coverage. Each applicant is subject to underwriting, and some members have seen savings of as much as 50% compared to their previous premiums. For more information, go to www.iowafbhealthplan.com.

In the over age 65 market, Farm Bureau agents can help you with various options, including the following Wellmark options:

• Medicare Supplement Plans ­— These plans supplement the Medicare coverage you have through the federal government and, when paired with a prescription drug plan, can significantly reduce your out-of-pocket costs for medical care. 

• Medicare Advantage Plans — These plans operate differently than traditional Medicare supplement plans and typically offer lower premium costs upfront, with more cost-sharing at time of claim. They look similar to traditional employer-based plans and also offer ancillary benefits like vision and dental coverage.  

Kammeyer added, “It is important to take time to review all of your coverages on a regular basis to make sure you have the protection you need, and the fourth quarter is a perfect time to do that with your health coverage.” 

Contact your local Farm Bureau agent for more information.