Ask Washington’s Health Insurance Experts

Every client has different healthcare needs and deserves personalized service. We look forward to learning more about you. Together, we can help you find the best healthcare plan.

Before we talk in person, by e-mail or over the phone, here are answers to a few of our most frequently asked questions:

How much will your services cost me?

We provide professional insurance counseling to you free of charge.

How do you get paid?

We are compensated by the companies we represent.

Do commissions influence the plans you recommend for me?

Some insurance providers pay us more than others; some pay us nothing at all. Instead of focusing our energy on commissions, we focus on fully understanding each healthcare provider and plan inside and out. That’s how we can help you find the best coverage that fits your healthcare needs and budget.

With so many healthcare providers in Washington, how do I find the plan that’s best for me?

A variety of factors will determine which plans and providers best suit you. Are you unemployed? Disabled? Self-employed? A dependent? An employee? Retired? We discuss the benefits, premiums, pros and cons of each eligible plan to help you make an informed decision. Your age, health history, lifestyle, habits, income and the demands of your occupation are all determining factors into which plan is best for you.

What’s the difference between Gold, Silver and Bronze plans?

Most Washington healthcare providers offer good, better and best options. At first glance, you will see differences in monthly premiums, deductibles and the maximum annual out of pocket expense, but there are a variety of other benefits to compare before making a decision.

Is the plan I had last year still the best one for me next year?

Every year, you should ask yourself if a free healthcare review with Financial Designs makes sense for you. Did you change jobs? Suffer a serious illness or injury? Get married? Divorced? Have a milestone birthday? Is your preferred doctor no longer in network? If so, we should review your coverage to see if a new provider or plan makes sense for you.

Do I need to buy my healthcare insurance through the Exchange?

If you or your family qualifies for a financial help from the federal government, you must purchase your insurance though the Washington HealthPlanFinder. We can help you enroll through this site with ease. If your income exceeds the threshold, you can buy direct from the provider through us. All Washington State healthcare plans are priced exactly the same whether you buy through a broker or direct from the provider.

What is “Open Enrollment” and when can I sign up?

Open Enrollment is when anyone can switch healthcare providers and plans. It happens annually between November and January 15th. Financial Designs starts booking appointments in September, so be sure to secure your free consultation as soon as possible.

I missed Open Enrollment; do I have any options?

If you recently moved to Washington, changed jobs or marital status, you may qualify for special enrollment. If you need insurance before Open Enrollment, call us to discuss your unique situation.

If you specialize in healthcare insurance, why is your company called Financial Designs?

Financial Designs started out helping small businesses manage their healthcare plans. Healthcare is an expensive investment for a small business, but essential to attracting and retaining quality employees. 16 years ago, we expanded by offering free counseling to individuals and families. Our company grew but the name just stuck. Most businesses know us as Financial Designs, Inc. while most individuals and families simply call us Carol and Karol.

What’s the difference between Financial Designs and insurance brokerages that offer every type of insurance?

You’ve probably heard the term, jack-of-all-trades, master of none. That inspired us to stay focused on what we know – healthcare insurance — and do what we do best, helping people find the best providers and plans. That’s why we don’t also sell auto, home, life and business insurance. If you’re looking for those products, we can refer you to colleagues we trust. Every year, healthcare providers enter or exit the marketplace. Their plans are constantly changing. We need to stay up on every little detail so that nothing gets lost in the fine print. Our clients keep us abreast of the quality of service they receive and we share their feedback with you. Providers come and go, but our clients stay with us for years. We’re here to help you make smart healthcare insurance decisions at every stage of your life.

What’s the difference between Financial Designs and a Healthcare Navigator?

A healthcare navigator is an administrative person whose sole job is to help you navigate the complex and often frustrating series of menus you need to fill out to enroll in a healthcare plan through the Washington HealthPlanFinder. By law, they are not allowed to offer you advice as to which plan you select. We are professional healthcare insurance advisors. We stay on top of the ever-changing list of healthcare providers, plans, laws and regulations concerning healthcare insurance for individuals, families and small businesses in Washington. Our job is to help you find the best providers and plans, select the one that’s best for you, and enroll with ease. We help clients who qualify for financial help to register within the Washington HealthPlanFinder. For everyone else, we enroll directly with the provider. Our service is always free of charge.