Open enrollment started for the healthcare law for individual and family policies on October 1st, with a start date of January 1st, 2014. There are a lot of misconceptions out there and people will end up wasting time looking for something that is not true. Tens of thousands of people only pick up their information from the media or their dear friends. Sometimes this can leave you with unanswered questions. This can really cost you some money.
Many people in Chicago are trying to get a glimpse look at an Obamacare plan to see what all the hype is about. Through all of their fruitless searches, they end up empty handed.
Obamacare is the nickname for the actual Healthcare Law signed in March of 2010. Some people are offended when people use this term because it was smeared by some opposing parties. However, the President himself actually endorsed the term. With his endorsement, it no longer a negative impression to the naked eye.
Obamacare created the infrastructure to change the way health insurance policies are bought and sold in the marketplace. That's it! They built a big shopping plaza similar to Amazon.com®. This is called the Health Insurance Marketplace, formally the health insurance exchange. The theory behind it is the health insurance companies can compete for pricing inside one Marketplace, or shopping plaza. At the time of this writing, health insurance companies are not required to participate inside the Marketplace. Without the requirement to participate, it will lack the original idea of the health insurance companies competing for the business in one place.
This is because a health insurance company can choose NOT to participate inside the Marketplace and sell plans outside of it. This will be no different than all of us purchased plans in the past, except the plans must include all healthcare reform mandates.
This infrastructure created a series of health plan models to simplify the process for consumers picking plans and clearly seeing what is covered. It was very confusing in the past. Now it is just a little confusing. We still have mud on our windshield.
The idea behind this is when a consumer is reviewing a health plan with one carrier against another, they can see they are VERY similar in coverage. Each carrier has their own personality to things such as the amount of co-pay, co-insurance and out-of-pocket expenses on a health plan. This will, in theory, make it easier for consumers to shop health plans.
The playing field has definitely changed forever as we know it. Any time there is change, it creates short-term turmoil in the marketplace with the end user. Obamacare is a prime example of this.
The Health Insurance Marketplace is the only place where an individual or family can receive a tax credit for purchasing a health insurance plan. There are certain things that are required for you to qualify for a health insurance tax credit with the new law.
Just briefly, it will depend on what is indicated on your tax return. This will include your income, family status, and age. There may be other requirements that can change your eligibility status. The purpose of healthcare.gov is to determine your eligibility status. You will still be applying for coverage with the carrier that you choose, not the government website.
It is not required to purchase a health insurance plan inside the Marketplace. It is a HUGE misconception about making a move with the new health plans. If someone, or a family, does not qualify for any tax credit, there is absolutely no reason to purchase a plan inside the Health Insurance Marketplace.
Outside the Marketplace will have a few more options to choose from, along with the same, exact, health plans inside the Marketplace. The same plans inside and outside of the Marketplace will have the same premium. There is no difference in coverage or cost.
The health insurance carrier is the same, inside and outside the Marketplace. The plans and the price are the same (When comparing the same ones) inside and outside the Marketplace. When you purchase a plan, you will be paying the health insurance company, not the Federal government.
Obamacare is just the law of the land. That is it. There is no health plan sold through the Federal or State government. You are still purchasing a plan from a Major health insurance carrier that is qualify to sell in your state. Obamacare just wrote the rules on what would be required by insurance companies in order to sell a health insurance plan in the future and how an individual or family will purchase that plan to protect everything they have worked so hard for.