plans offered through the exchange will have lower monthly premiums, but you
will likely pay more out of pocket when it comes time for a visit. Some
will be higher premiums, and others will fall somewhere in the middle (such as
with car insurance).?For instance, if you do not plan to have a lot of
doctor’s visits, you are probably going to want to opt for the Bronze or Silver
plans. If you plan to have a lot of doctor’s visits, you might want to choose
the Gold or Platinum plans.?If you have very
little income and under 30, you may be eligible for a catastrophic plan (http://www.healthcare.gov/can-i-buy-a-catastrophic-plan/
(again, this is analogous to catastrophic car insurance coverage).
You can find out more(http://www.healthcare.gov/why-should-i-have-health-coverage/
between premiums, deductibles, co-payments, coinsurance, out-of-pocket maximums
and lifetime limits.
credit subsidies could offset your cost. Depending on your income
and family size, you may be
eligible for some discounted rates on the plan you choose. You will be
able to find out your eligibility as soon as you submit your Marketplace(http://www.healthcare.gov/what-is-the-marketplace-in-my-state/
(as early as October 1). Essentially, the lower your income, the more you will
According to a report released by Health and Human Services (http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2013pres/07/20130718a.html
a single person whose income is $17,325, this person’s plan could cost as low
as $34 a month. A 25-year-old who purchases a silver plan without tax credit
will cost $174 a month. A catastrophic plan (for those eligible) can be
purchased for $117 per month. You can estimate if you qualify for subsidies
using this calculator (http://kff.org/interactive/subsidy-calculator/
from The Kaiser Family Foundation.
When Will I be Required to Have Insurance?
Beginning January 1, 2014, you and any family members will be required to have
coverage. You can begin enrolling in your state’s exchange beginning Tuesday,
October 1, 2013. You have until March 31, 2014 to complete open enrollment in
an exchange. After March 31, you won’t be able to get coverage through the
marketplace until the next annual enrollment period unless you have a
qualifying life event (http://www.healthcare.gov/glossary/qualifying-life-event/
(like moving to another state, marriage, divorce or pregnancy). For
a personalized checklist to get you ready to apply (http://www.healthcare.gov/quick-answers/#step-1).
You can even sign up for text or
email updates (http://www.healthcare.gov/subscribe/).
What Happens if I Don’t Buy Insurance?
If you don’t buy insurance(http://www.healthcare.gov/what-if-someone-doesnt-have-health-coverage-in-2014/
you will be assessed a fine when you file taxes. Beginning in 2014, anyone who
chooses to go without some form of available coverage will be fined $95 a year
or 1% of yearly income, whichever is higher. The fee for uninsured children
will be $47.50 per child, up to but not exceeding $285.?By
2016, this fine for individuals will jump to $695, or 2.5% of yearly income,
whichever of the two is greater. There are some people who will not
be fined, such as if someone has only been uninsured for less than three months
out of the year, if your income is determined to be too low and coverage is
considered to be unaffordable, or if you live in a state that has not opted for
Medicaid expansion, you will not have to pay this fine. You may
also file for a hardship exemption on your 2014 tax return. More
information will be available on October 1, 2013 with your state’s exchange.
Why is This Happening (and Will it Really Make a Difference)?
The average cost of a three-day hospital stay is $30,000. Fixing a broken leg
costs $7,500. Essentially, the government stepped in to protect consumers from
debt and bankruptcy due to unmanageable health insurance costs. The
plan is based on preventive care without a copay.(http://www.healthcare.gov/what-are-my-preventive-care-benefits/
(a wide range of health services, including HIV screenings, flu shots, herpes
screenings, diet counseling for high risk folks, mammograms, well-woman visits,
contraception and depression screenings). It holds insurance
companies accountable for rate increases, and if they do invest at least eighty
percent into your healthcare needs and quality improvement efforts, you may get
a rebate in the mail (http://www.healthcare.gov/how-does-the-health-care-law-protect-me/
. If you made a honest mistake on your application, your insurance company is
now prohibited from arbitrarily canceling your coverage(http://www.healthcare.gov/how-does-the-health-care-law-protect-me/#part=5)
It’s estimated that 19 million young adults between 18 and 34 do not have
largely due to cost. Under Obamacare, a whopping 17 million of 19 million
uninsured young people are likely eligible for subsidies or Medicaid under
Note: Know that if you have been covered with health insurance since March 23,
2010, you may have a grandfathered plan (http://www.healthcare.gov/what-if-i-have-a-grandfathered-health-plan/
in which case you must carefully read the fine print, as some of these
provisions will not apply. For
instance, grandfathered plans do not necessarily need to cover preventive care