The new health insurance marketplace officially opened for enrollment on October 1st (for coverage beginning January 1, 2014). The new website in which individuals can shop for health insurance coverage that may be eligible for subsidies has experienced its share of malfunctions. But the level of site traffic that was recorded shows just how many people are looking for health insurance coverage. However, many people are still uncertain of how this new public marketplace works and what their options are when it comes to getting health insurance.
Beginning January 1, 2014 all U.S. citizens are required to have qualifying health coverage or else face penalties. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) created a new marketplace in which uninsured Americans can shop for and purchase standardized coverage and offers subsidies to offset premium costs to those who qualify. However, many people don’t realize that the public marketplace is not the ONLY place you can purchase health insurance coverage; the private marketplace is still an option. Premiums are comparable to plans available in the exchanges, but subsidies are not available to help cover premium costs. The biggest change with the ACA the end to the pre-existing condition exclusions, which limited coverage based on an individual’s medical history.
So where do you start? As with any insurance purchase, having a local agent to help you identify your needs and navigate your options with you is always the best place to begin. They can help you determine whether you may qualify for a subsidy within the public exchanges or if you’d be better suited to buying coverage outside of it. The best part is that the local leaders at AW Welt Ambrisco are able to help you get coverage in either the public exchanges or the private marketplace!
Top 5 HCR Questions:
- How did the ACA impact the way health insurance is purchased?
- The ACA created a NEW way to buy coverage in addition to the current marketplace – you can buy in either!
- Can AW Welt Ambrisco help me through the changes?
- Yes, AW Welt Ambrisco can help you navigate your coverage options and get coverage either in the exchange or outside of it.
- If I elect not to take my employer’s offered coverage, can I get a subsidy in the public exchange?
- No. If you are eligible for qualifying coverage outside of the exchange, such as your employer’s coverage, you are not eligible for a subsidy. The same is true if you qualify for Medicaid or Medicare coverage. However, if you elect NOT to take employer offered coverage, you are still able to purchase coverage in the private marketplace.
- How much can I earn and still qualify for a subsidy?
- Households earning up to 400% of the Federal Poverty Level can qualify for a subsidy to help cover the cost of premiums (but only on coverage purchased through the public marketplace.)
- Am I required to have health insurance coverage?
- YES. Starting January 1, 2014 all U.S. Citizens are required to have qualifying health coverage or face penalties.
If you have questions about how Healthcare Reform will impact you, call the agents at AW Welt Ambrisco Insurance (319) 887-3700. We are here to help!