The deadline for people to select a health insurance plan through the new Marketplaces is March 31, 2014! So, there is just a few days left for people to select new plans. Just go to www.healthcare.gov to learn about plan options in your area. If your state is running its own Marketplace, you will be directed to the right website. You can also call 1-800-318-2596 or go to https://localhelp.healthcare.gov/ to find local resources to help you select a plan.
There are bleeding disorders resources to help you select a plan. First NHF's Personal Health Insurance Toolkit which can help you evaluate plans based on what your particular health care needs. NHF and PSI have also partnered on a project for HTC social workers to be designated as Certified Application Counselors, providing them with special training in the rules of the new Marketplaces. For more information on the program, please contact Tiara Green.
The good news is that the sites are working more smoothly than they did last fall and so it is easier to compare plans and determine what they cover. The bad news is that it still takes some research – and potentially calls to plans – to figure out how factor is covered and whether HTCs are in network. So, don’t wait until 9 pm on March 31st to sign up.
There has been some confusion over the penalty for failing to comply with the , which is the requirement that most people have health insurance this year. The penalty is $95 per adult and $47.50 per child, or 1% of income per person, whichever is greater. So, depending on your family size and income, the penalty could be steep.
The way the penalty is calculated, a single adult with household income below $19,650 would pay the $95 flat rate. For these people, the maximum penalty per family is $285. A single adult with household income above $19,650 would pay an amount based on the 1% rate. For people paying using this method, the maximum is the national average annual price for a bronze health insurance plan on the new Marketplaces. The IRS hasn’t yet calculated that amount, but it has been estimated at approximately $3,600 for a single person and $11,000 for a family of four. Learn more about the penalty. There are several categories of people who are exempt from the individual mandate and can avoid the penalty for not having health insurance. Learn more about these exemptions.
Most folks already have health insurance and don’t have to do anything. But if you or any family members or friends are uninsured, the window is closing for picking a new plan. The government recently announced that it will give folks a bit of extra time to select a plan but you have to have started the process by March 31st to benefit from it. Don’t miss out!