is Here – What You Need to Know
October 1, 2013
Vol. 9, Issue 10
The Obamacare health insurance plans that are approved by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) are now available for enrollment, with effective dates starting January 1. The initial open enrollment period lasts through the end of March, and anyone who wants to sign up for a plan can do so, regardless of pre-existing health conditions.Any new plan that is purchased moving forward will have to be ACA-qualified. What is an ACA-qualified plan? It has to offer very specific Essential Benefits outlined in the law President Obama signed on March 23, 2010. All plans also cover preventive care with no deductibles or other payments due on your part.
Who Must Enroll?
Unless you qualify for an exemption (covered under a federal program such as Medicare or Medicaid, proved hardship, or other reasons), you are now required by law to provide proof of health coverage when you file your 2014 tax return.
(Keep in mind that even if you are exempt from enrolling in a health plan during 2014, you need to show proof of your exemption on your tax return for that year.)
Not everyone has to get a new ACA plan. If you have a health insurance plan that’s been effective since before Obama signed the law back in March of 2010 (a “grandfathered” plan), you don’t have to buy a new plan (as long as your insurance company continues to carry the plan).
Also, if you enrolled in a health plan after March 23, 2010, it will end either the end of this year, on the anniversary date of the policy, or you may get to keep it through 2014--depending on your carrier. Assurant Health, for example, is extending current non-grandfathered plans through 2014. After that, you will be required by law to get a new ACA-qualified plan or risk tax penalties. (HSA for America clients will be receiving information from us regarding the status of their particular plan, and their options.)
Available Plans and Tax Credits
All plans will be categorized as Bronze, Silver, Gold, or Platinum. Most HSA plans will be Bronze plans. If you start off with a Bronze plan and later get sick, you will be allowed to switch to a Gold or Platinum plan during the next year’s open enrollment period.
If your individual or household income is less than 400 percent of the federal poverty level, you will qualify for a premium subsidy (otherwise known as a tax credit). If your income is less than 250 percent of the federal poverty level, you will also qualify for cost sharing benefits that will lower your deductible, coinsurance, and maximum out-of-pocket expenses.
Get Answers From Experts
We believe in breaking down the complexity of health insurance, and making things simple and easy to understand. And never has that been more of a challenge than now!
If you are required to sign up for a new plan, you want to talk to someone who really understands how this all works. Choosing the wrong plan can literally cost you thousands of dollars, and few insurance agents will really understand how to best guide their clients. And I can assure you, no government-employed navigators will have the training or experience to properly guide you.
HSA for America brings 25 years of health insurance experience to our team of licensed Personal Advisors. We are a family of experts in every aspect of health care reform and how it affects you. We have done the research and we stay on top of every update about grandfathered plans, metal tier plans, subsidies, tax credits, health savings accounts, tax-favored strategies and coverage changes for carriers in your state. We do all this research so you don’t have to.
When you are ready to review your coverage options, talk to your Personal Benefits Consultant, call us at (866) 749-2039, or email us at info@HSAforAmerica.com. We’ll continue to look out for your best interests.
To your health and wealth!