Obamacare – The New Health Insurance Coverage
Healthcare changes due to Obamacare have been all anyone has talked about for years now it seems. Still, despite all of the news reports, outreach programs, and TV commercials, the public remains confused about how Obamacare will impact them personally. Trying to figure out the new system can be frustrating, especially with all of the deadlines, changes, and potential penalties. Thankfully for many people Obamacare will actually save money; there are numerous subsidies available for those who qualify and ‘pre existing conditions’ can no longer hike up insurance premiums. We have outlined the basics of Obamacare in Florida to help our patients better understand how their new insurance will work and how to get started setting it up.
How to Get Coverage Through Obamacare in Florida
To secure accredited coverage before open enrollment ends for this year, visit www.HealthCare.gov; here you can enroll, check out your status, and pick out a qualifying plan. Unless you receive a legal exemption from obtaining health insurance coverage, the deadline for buying insurance is March 31, 2014. When you file 2014 taxes at the start of 2015, you will either report your coverage or exemption status to avoid penalty. Not just any health-related insurance is going to count, say for instance you only have dental insurance, this will not be accepted as health coverage and will still result in fault. While your current policy might cover all the bells and whistles, if you’ve been getting notices that your policy is scheduled to cancel you will have to select a different health insurance coverage plan that qualifies through Obamacare. Extensions continue to apply for some old plans but eventually they will be canceled, it’s best to be prepared and pick out a good alternative plan while you have the time.
To obtain sufficient health care coverage you must have at least one of the following:
- An individual health care plan purchased independently or through HealthCare.gov.
- An employer provided plan such as COBRA or retiree plan
- Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
- TRICARE, Veterans health care, Peace Corps coverage.
More information about what qualifies as coverage and what does not can be found HERE.
The Penalty For No Health Insurance Coverage
Rest assured, you won’t be thrown in jail if you fail to properly apply for and secure health insurance coverage, but you will be charged a hefty penalty come tax season next year. Those who applied in 2013 for Obamacare saw their new insurance instated on the first of January 2014. Others are just getting started with the enrollment process. Open enrollment will end on March 31, but if you enroll right at the deadline you might not see your insurance instated on time, which is partially why one can be uninsured for 3 out of 12 months and still skip paying any fines. That doesn’t mean wait until the last minute though, applying and picking out a plan is a process that does take time, you want to get going as soon as possible to avoid any problems.
Self-Employed Vs. Employer Responsibilities
If you are self-employed, meaning no one works for you (besides maybe a paid contractor here and there), your insurance can be purchased through the health care marketplace. If you have over 50 employees and you do not offer an insurance plan, your employees will be offered the opportunity to file for assistance. If even one employee is granted this assistance the employer must take responsibility for part of the bill, this will come at tax time and it won’t be cheap. To avoid costly mystery penalties, purchase insurance for your team and yourself on the Shop Marketplace.
Students & Obamacare
Understandably students are not the richest portions of the population; therefore they are granted extra benefits through Obamacare. For starters, adults can stay on their parent’s policies until they are 26 years old now. If this is not an option one can either get healthcare through their University, employer, or at a discounted rate through Obamacare. An applicant’s income and student status will be taken into consideration, costing as little as 8% of total yearly income for good healthcare coverage.
Will Obamacare Save Me Money? How Much Will It Cost?
The cost of a plan through Obamacare is going to depend on a variety of things. The five most important factors taken into consideration include:
- What your coverage plan includes, how much it covers, etc.
- How much money you make, do you qualify for government subsidy?
- The part of Florida you legally reside in.
- Your age.
- Do you smoke?
For those that have never been able to afford healthcare coverage, Obamacare offers an excellent opportunity. For qualified applicants there is a “bronze” policy that totals only 8% of your income. Also, since there are new rules and regulations, many who could not qualify for Medicare in the past now will. Obamacare might save you a lot of money, especially if you receive subsidies that cover a portion of insurance costs. The goal of Obamacare is to make sure everyone can afford a reliable healthcare policy, because we all deserve to be healthy and happy.