In 2010, it became mandatory for every person to have some type of individual health insurance. Failure to do so would result in a penalty when filing their taxes. While this has been met in both bad and good ways, the idea behind it was to ensure that every American has access to healthcare. In the past, providers could deny coverage to someone due to their medical status or charge them exorbitant amounts of money to cover them due to a medical issue. Obamacare, which is also known as the Affordable Care Act, made it illegal to charge more in premiums simply due to medical status and they made it against the law for an insurance company to deny coverage to someone with a pre-existing condition.
Understanding Individual Health Insurance Product Options
There are a lot of options out there on the market for individuals to choose from regarding health insurance. The first and most talked about option is known as Obamacare. This option is available through your state insurance marketplace or via healthcare.gov and it offers a variety of different individual health insurance plans, as well as subsidies for some people to help cover part of the cost of health insurance. This is called on-exchange health insurance. Off-exchange health insurance is via your employer or through a private source, such as directly from an insurance carrier. Depending upon the plan, this could be more expensive or cheaper than buying on the marketplace. That is why you want to carefully evaluate not only the costs between the two, but also the plans that they offer to be sure that you can get the right coverage.
Affordable Care Act or Obamacare Options For Individuals
There are different tiers or levels of coverage that are offered with the on-exchange or subsidy program that is known as Obamacare. This individual health insurance is separated into different metals, with bronze being the lowest level of coverage and platinum being the highest. For example, bronze coverage will pay 60% of your out of pocket costs, and platinum will pay 90%. Of course, the more coverage that you choose, the more it will cost you, so it is important to consider that when you are making your choice.
AFFORDABLE CARE ACT OR OBAMACARE OPTIONS FOR INDIVIDUALS
Obamacare is not insurance just from one carrier. There are different carriers that have different coverages and work better in different areas of the United States, due to doctor availability. When you are considering your options, you want to be sure that you think about that, as you want to have convenient healthcare that is close to your home or business. You can only apply during the open enrollment period, which normally runs from November through January, but if you have a qualified life event, such as divorce or death of a partner, you may be able to get coverage as soon as 2 weeks after applying. There are different tiers or levels of coverage that are offered with the on-exchange or subsidy program that is known as ObamaCare. This individual health insurance is separated into different metals, with bronze being the lowest level of coverage and platinum being the highest. For example, bronze coverage will pay 60% of your out of pocket costs, and platinum will pay 90%. Of course, the more coverage that you choose, the more it will cost you, so it is important to consider that when you are making your choice.
Off-Exchange Health Insurance Options For Individuals
Off-exchange individual health insurance means that you are not getting a subsidy. This type of insurance is widely available through employers, as well as private purchases with the insurance carrier themselves. This type of insurance is not a one type fits all. You can purchase insurance for maternity care, disability, a high deductible catastrophic plan, and other plans that will both fit your needs and your budget. Since the insurance carrier cannot deny you due to a pre-existing condition, this could be a great place to start your insurance search – especially if you are not in the open enrolment period for Obamacare. Whether you look for coverage through different carriers to buy directly or you have a job that offers individual health insurance, it is important to note that the prices can vary, depending upon your gender and location of the plan that you are considering. This may mean that it will cost you much less to go with an employer-sponsored plan, as they pay a portion of the costs. It is important to note that your employer may also have an open enrolment period, unless you have a major life change for which you may still be able to make changes in your coverage. Check with your insurance carrier or human resources department to determine if you may fall into that group. You may be surprised to learn that you do.
Individual Health Insurance Is Essential
Not only is insurance essential to keep you well, but it can also cause you to be penalized if you choose to not purchase a policy. Whether you purchase one through the exchange or at work, this can save you money on your income tax obligations, as the uninsured in 2016, will have to pay up to 2.5% of their income or $695 per adult if they simply do not have insurance. Many think of this as cheaper than insurance, but it can quickly use up all of your tax refund and can even cause you to owe money to the IRS. The changes made with the Affordable Care Act being signed into law were good ones for many reasons. Many individuals who had a pre-existing health condition were not able to purchase an individual health insurance plan, due to denials or the fact that the carrier raised premiums according to their medical status. This law helped to ensure that everyone has access not only to some type of healthcare, but that it is affordable for the majority of people. Even more importantly, it made certain benefits free to those carrying insurance, such as wellness visits with the doctors to make sure everything is working properly, annual exams, such as gynecological, breast, and prostate exams, and free birth control. Individual health insurance is something that everyone deserves to have, even if they are healthy. Nothing is worse than being sick and not feeling as if you can go to the doctor because you do not have insurance. By researching your insurance options both on and off-exchange, you can ensure that you make the wisest choice for you, as an individual. Don’t do without. Find the right plan to ensure that you can keep yourself healthy and enojy life.