August 12, 2013
First you want to figure out if you will be eligible for tax subsidies (based on income) if you get coverage through the Exchange/Marketplace in January. You will get assistance paying for health coverage if your household income is between 100% and 400% of the Federal Poverty Level. Calculate your expected health insurance expense with this subsidy calculator.
If you are below 50 or so and in good health, you may want to apply and secure a private medically underwritten plan now before the PPACA regulations go into effect. Predictions show that young healthy men are most likely going to see the largest premium increases with Health Care Reform. We will know the rates starting Oct 1st. If you get a medically underwritten policy now, you could at least ensure the current rates through 12 months from when you apply before going to a PPACA compliant plan. This may not be the best decision, though, if you would qualify for substantial subsidies on the Exchange.
If you are older or if you are uninsured due to pre-existing conditions, you will definitely want to explore your options on the Exchange. We will have the application on our website as soon as it becomes available (you can apply on October 1st).
For anyone, there will be tax penalties if you cannot prove insurance coverage to the government. For 2014, the fine is $95/adult for the year or 1% of your income (whichever is higher). This rises each year until it caps off at $695 per adult or 3% of your income in 2016.
Call us at (800) 564-6063 and we will walk you through this decision process at no cost to you.
By: Liz Kennon