Choosing a health insurance policy can often feel daunting and overwhelming, but with the assistance of the dedicated experts at Slater Agency / Statewide Health Insurance, it doesn’t have to be.

Located at 6606 Broadway St., Ste. 102 in Pearland, Craig Slater started the business under Farmers Insurance Agency in 2003 after a 20-year career as an aircraft mechanic. Slater’s inspiration stemmed from initially being denied health insurance and witnessing how misinformation can make the process feel intimidating.

“We were declined coverage and that was such a shock to me. Fortunately, there was some misinformation in our medical records,” Slater said. “We were able to get corrected, but it really did highlight the significance of good and accurate information as it relates to obtaining and maintaining health insurance.”

How it works

Unlike many agencies, Slater Agency likes to stick to talking to individuals or small groups about what affordable health insurance actually means and looks like.

“The Affordable Care Act comes not from a decrease in the cost of administering the plans but the government helping you pay for your insurance,” Slater said. “I like to say that the government is not in the health insurance business, they're in the helping you pay for it business, if you qualify based on your income.”

A helpful tool the agency uses is an online calculator that shows different health insurance options that are available based on a person’s income or projected income. It is also able to show how much money a person could save under the Affordable Care Act.

The three steps at Slater Agency:
  • Determine if someone is going to qualify for a premium tax credit or assistance in helping pay for their health coverage costs
  • Look at the affordable plans that are available in their area and verify participating providers are in the carrier's network
  • Explore the dynamics of how the plans work
Why act now?

Once a person decides on a health insurance plan, the next step is making sure they sign up for it during the open enrollment period.

This year’s enrollment period started Nov. 1 and will continue through Dec. 15 for the policy to be effective starting Jan. 1, or a person could enroll between Dec. 16 through Jan. 15 for a Feb. 1 start date. Enrollees are also able to make changes to a plan they’re currently enrolled in during this time.

However, there are some exceptions called special enrollment periods, such as a person turning 26 or switching careers after the enrollment period.

“These are some very specific special enrollment periods that you would qualify for. But as a general rule, you have to have had health insurance to be able to then continue having it,” Slater said.

How to get started

For those ready to discuss next steps in terms of health insurance, Slater is always ready to lend a helping hand, even if it’s past normal business hours or on the weekends. Slater also recommends people check out the website, which has a vast amount of helpful information.

“We point people towards our website that gives them kind of an expectation whether they're gonna qualify or not,” Slater said. “We're here to help them talk about the different plan options and make sure that their doctors are in the network.”

To figure out what insurance plan might work best, visit the website, call 281-485-0088 or stop by the office at 6606 Broadway St., Ste. 102, Pearland.

The above story was produced by Community Impact's Senior Multi Platform Journalist Sierra Rozen with information solely provided by the local business as part of their "sponsored content" purchase through our advertising team.