Health Insurance 101

Jennifer Goedken is a licensed health insurance agent, in the state of Arizona. We sat down with Jennifer to ask her some common health insurance-related questions and to dispel some common myths about the health insurance coverage.

Q: Can anyone qualify for health insurance?

A: Yes, pre-existing medical conditions no longer prevent anyone from qualifying for health insurance.

Q: Will my monthly premium for health insurance be more expensive because of my medical issues?

A: No, health insurance rates are now based on age, zip code, tobacco use, and the health insurance policy design. There are no longer medical questions on health insurance applications.

Q: How do I get health insurance?

A: There are many ways to get access to health insurance:

At work – if your employer offers health insurance, you should consider this a strong option.  Although not all employers are required to offer health insurance; if coverage is offered, the employer is required to pay a portion of the cost for the employee.

Through This could be a good option for people who don’t have access to health insurance at work, who may qualify for financial assistance.

Directly through a health insurance company.

Through an agent. A licensed health insurance agent should be your advocate, who can assist you in finding coverage that best meets your needs. An independent agent can represent multiple insurance companies to provide you with a variety of coverage options.

Q: As an individual who doesn’t have health insurance offered at work, when can I get coverage?

A: Health insurance open enrollment begins 11/15/2014, and runs through 02/15/2015.  The soonest coverage can begin is January 1, 2015. Coverage is also available to people during a special enrollment period due to a qualifying event – such as losing coverage through an employer, divorce, or birth of a child, etc.

Q: If I ask several different insurance agents to get health insurance quotes for me, will the rates be different?

A: No, as long as each of the agents was given the same accurate vital statistics and has shopped from the same insurance companies, the rates will be the same.

Your insurance agent should be someone who listens to what you have said about your coverage needs and makes recommendations that best fit those needs.

Q: Do I have to have health insurance?

A: Health insurance is now a requirement. In 2015, if you don’t have health insurance which qualifies as minimum essential coverage, you’ll have to pay a penalty.

In 2015, the penalty is $325/person ($162.50/child). The maximum penalty is $975, or 2% of your annual household income. (According to, only the amount of income above the tax filing threshold ~$10,000 for an individual, is used to calculate the penalty.) The maximum penalty is the national average for a bronze-level plan. Each year, the penalty increases.  Uninsured people will pay the fee on the federal income tax return.

Q: I have more questions that didn’t get answered here or I’m still confused, now what?

A: I highly recommend calling Jennifer Goedken at (480) 773-2068 for a detailed conversation on your specific situation. I have worked with her for years and have come to trust her completely. Not only does she help my husband and I with our insurance needs on a regular basis, but she is the happiest and most knowledgable gal!

Call or Email Jennifer with more questions!

Jennifer Goedken Health Insurance agent

Benefits Gallery, LLC
Licensed Health & Life Insurance Broker
Phone: (480) 773-2068
Fax: (480) 347-0801
2524 S. El Paradiso Dr., #113
Mesa, AZ 85202

Jennifer Goedken is a licensed health insurance agent, in the state of Arizona, license #: 921010.  This information is not intended to be legal advice, or a complete instruction on any one topic regarding health insurance.