Are you one of the estimated 48 million uninsured in the U.S.?
Living without health insurance can weigh heavily on your mind. So can the idea of paying for health insurance or doctor bills you simply cannot afford.
The Affordable Care Act is forcing millions of Americans to face this dilemma head-on. Thankfully, there are measures taking effect in 2013 and 2014 that will help those who cannot afford health insurance to obtain coverage in the most financially palatable way possible given the current U.S. healthcare system.
Here are some quick facts to help you understand some of what the Affordable Care Act means to ordinary consumers:
- Medicaid is expanding in some states. You may now qualify for free or low-cost assistance from Medicaid even if you unable to qualify for Medicaid previously.
- If your income level disqualifies you for Medicaid, you may still qualify for Federal health insurance subsidies.
- Qualified Health Plans (QHPs for short) are available to all U.S. citizens under age 65 through government facilitated insurance Exchanges, which are simply websites where you can shop for insurance.
- A Qualified Health Plan is a health insurance policy that meets certain minimum coverage requirements and cost restrictions that Exchanges impose based on they think will allow the most people to afford basic health insurance and still be reasonably well covered. A plan must be considered Qualified in order to be sold through a government Exchange.
- There are three levels of Qualified Health Plans: Bronze, Silver, and Gold. Each have different levels of coverage and thus different costs for monthly premiums.
- If you purchase a Qualified Health Plan through an Exchange, you are not buying insurance from the government. You are stilling buying a health plan from a private company, but the plan offered meets the cost and coverage requirements dictated by the Exchange.
- Subsidies are government assistance payments for health insurance that are available for those who qualify, and can dramatically lower your monthly health insurance premiums, but they will be taxed on an annual basis. Make sure your know how subsidies will affect your tax return before taking them.
- You are not required to purchase a QHP through an Exchange. While QHPs offered through Exchanges should generally offer lower premiums than insurance purchase off-Exchange, QHPs may not have the right coverage for you. It is incredibly important to make sure that your plan has the right coverage for you. Finding out too late that you aren’t covered for something important can be as dangerous to your health as to your pocketbook.
Head spinning? It’s okay. The Affordable Care Act is a mammoth piece of legislation and it’s going to take some time for everybody to understand the full extent of how it works. Remember that you are not alone, but instead quite the opposite. Every citizen in the country is required to have health insurance in 2014 or face a financial penalty.
We’re here to help. Call us today and we’ll give you a free no-nonsense consultation to help you make sense of your best options.
For more information, you can also visit the new healthcare.gov website by clicking below: