Today, you have access to plans catastrophic plans with high deductibles, but many such plans will disappear in 2014. Fortunately, catastrophic plans with more limited benefits will still be available for people under age 30. According to a senior fellow at the Urban Institute, Linda Blumberg, adding more benefits is tantamount to premium hikes. Premiums will also increase on younger people, because they will be subsidizing older insureds. Young men will also be subsidizing the premiums for women, so they can expect the largest rate increases.
The health care reform law also mandated a lot of added health care benefits that are responsible for some of the increases in health insurance premiums. The removal of underwriting starting in 2014 will also result in much higher claims, and are expected to further drive costs up.
And, that’s not all that’s changing in 2014. Preventive care services are already covered with no out-of-pocket costs, but people are treated quite differently once they get sick. If they have to buy their own policy on the individual market, applicants with pre-existing conditions may find their application is denied. That’ll change as of 2014 and they’ll have guaranteed acceptance then. But, insurance companies will increase premiums in
order to cover added claims.
For those who find it impossible to pay for health insurance, the Affordable Care Act provides federal subsidies. Tax credits will be provided to individuals with incomes below 400 percent of the federal poverty level if they get health care coverage via a state exchange. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, compared to the cost of health insurance under the current rules, the tax credits could help a family of four with an income of $33,525 save $14,900.
How to Save on Health Insurance Right Now
Of course, with 2013 just rolling into view, you have opportunities to save on your health insurance right now. We offer our Annual Comprehensive Policy Review to see if a plan is available that has either a lower premium or more comprehensive coverage than your current plan. This is a free service and it comes with no obligation. December is one of the best times to compare health insurance. That’s because companies hand out rate hikes for Jan. 1. If you find a plan with 2012 rates this month, you can probably avoid switching to higher premiums for a whole year.
If you qualify, we can also help you establish a Health Reimbursement Arrangement. This can enable married self-employed people to legally run all their medical and insurance expenses through the business, saving potentially thousands in taxes every year.