By now, we’ve all heard about “Obamacare.” Most of us know that a lot of the changes go into effect next year. One of the biggest questions is, “How do I get insurance in 2014?” There are 6 key ways you can get health insurance next year.
Why do I need insurance? Everyone, with a few exceptions, is required to have health insurance in 2014. If you don’t have coverage, you’ll pay a penalty to the IRS.
Here Are 6 Ways to Get Insurance in 2014
1. Under 26? Get Insurance Through Your Mom or Dad
The healthcare law allows young adults under 26 to stay on their parent’s health coverage. Once you turn 26, you have to buy your own health insurance coverage or pay a penalty to the IRS.
2. Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance
Today, many employers offer health insurance to their employees. Starting next year (2014), employers who have over 50 full-time employees will have to offer healthcare coverage to their employees or pay a penalty.
Some small companies that aren’t required to offer coverage may decide to offer their employees a subsidy to get health insurance on the public marketplaces. They can even get a tax credit for doing so.
3. Marketplaces (Exchanges)
As part of the Affordable Care Act, all states are required to have a public health insurance marketplace as of Oct. 1, 2013. A marketplace, or exchange, is a website that will allow consumers to shop for and buy health insurance.
Who Will Run the Exchanges?
If the state has chosen not to run their own exchange, the federal government must step in and run it on behalf of that state. See which states will run their own exchanges. Each state will have at least 1 public exchange and possibly several private exchanges as well.
Types of Plans
We’re hearing that there will be four types of plans on the federal exchanges:
- Platinum (Plan pays 90%, you pay 10%.)
- Gold (Plan pays 80%, you pay 20%.)
- Silver (Plan pays 70%, you pay 30%.)
- Bronze (Plan pays 60%, you pay 40%.)
See if You Qualify for a Subsidy
Many people will be eligible for a government subsidy to help pay for their insurance. See if you qualify.
If you’d rather not get your insurance on a government-run exchange, you can also opt for a private exchange. In these exchanges, private companies will run and operate the exchange as opposed to the government. Each plan on these exchanges must offer a minimum level of benefits and cover the 10 essential health benefits. Not all states will have a private exchange in 2014.
4. Broker or TPA
Some people like to have the expert guidance from a broker or a TPA (third party administrator) instead of making health insurance decisions on their own. You can still work with a broker or TPA to purchase health insurance for either yourself or your small group in 2014.
5. Over 65? Use Medicare
All Americans are automatically eligible for Medicare Part A on their 65th birthday. You can also purchase Medicare Part B. Learn more about Medicare.
6. Earn Less than $15,000 a Year? Use Medicaid
The eligibility rules for Medicaid are different for each state, but most states offer coverage for adults with children at some income level.
Beginning in 2014, most adults under age 65 with individual incomes up to about $15,000 per year will qualify for Medicaid in every state. Learn more about Medicaid.
Many times, the adult may not qualify for Medicaid, but the child will qualify for CHIPS. Check to see if your child qualifies. Learn more about CHIPS.