How to protect yourself from the skyrocketing cost of health insurance

The moves you should be making right now
Posted at 7:03 PM, Oct 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-26 09:59:44-04

At All Phase Glass in Tampa, Kristie and Jim Hall are trying to figure out how to provide their employees with health insurance, while keeping their business healthy.

"I can not afford to pay my employees insurance rates," says Kristie.

"To lower our monthly premiums so we could afford it... we have a higher deductible, no maternity, it's basically a major medical plan," she says.

Business owners and employees across the Tampa Bay Area are now scrambling to find affordable health insurance in the age of the Affordable Care Act.

The White House confirmed Monday that double digit increases-- an average of 22%-- will go into effect next year. The news comes just one week before open enrollment starts on November 1st.

Jason Greif runs US Health Advisors, "We can help them navigate the market place and show them options that are off the marketplace," he says from his bustling Tampa office.

Greif says until the Affordable Care Act is reformed, rates will go up.

"If you got a risk pool and anybody can jump into the pool, either you got cancer, heart problems, diabetes, mental illness... The rates have to go up."

So how can you protect yourself?

Jason's strategy: Forget Obamacare. Pay the penalty. And find insurance off the market.

"Our clients pay the penalty... they are able to get access to better coverage , and they are way ahead of the game," he says.

Like many other bay area businesses, Kristie and Jim are paying the fine.

"Your penalized one way or the other... You take their insurance you pay the high premium...Or you pay the fine," says Kristie. "It was cheaper for us to go outside , got better coverage, took the penalty and we still saved money," says Jim.

Important to clarify: for people who qualify for government subsidies, the rate increases will not as big next year. But for folks who make "just enough"... their rates will go up.

To get an estimate of what your penalty could be, if you decide to go that route,  head to ""

Bottom-line: Experts say buying health insurance is now something you should seek professional advice on every year, almost like a tax accountant.