As of 2014, all Americans will be required to carry health insurance. Any American who does not purchase a health insurance policy by January 1st will be subjected to a tax penalty. In 2014, the fine will be 1% of your yearly income or $95 per person for the year, whichever is higher. The fee increases every year. In 2016 it is 2.5% of income or $695 per person, whichever is higher. If you have children the fine will be higher as well.
There are some exceptions where you may enroll after the March 31 deadline, such as moving to a new state, which would create a special enrollment period. A birth or adoption in the family, a marriage or divorce or a job loss can also make you eligible to sign up for coverage after the March 31 enrollment deadline.
If you’re unsure if you can afford health insurance, be sure to review all the benefits and changes of the new law as you may be able to afford more then you think. Here are some of the major benefits that may help:
Parents Can Continue Insurance for Young Adult Children
In the past, parents could no longer carry health insurance for older children after their 18th birthdays unless they were full-time students. Once the Affordable Care Act plan (ACA) gets set into action, parents will be allowed to carry a health insurance policy on for their child until that child has passed their 26th birthday. There won’t be any exceptions to this rule.
Pre-Existing Conditions Won’t Be Grounds for Dismissal
Unlike recent history when people with pre-existing conditions, especially conditions like diabetes and cancer, were turned away and considered uninsurable, the ACA has made it virtually impossible for the insurance company to deny anyone at all. The only way that your claim can be dismissed will be if you stop paying your monthly bill.
New Plans Based on How Much You Can Afford to Pay
The ACA has created a few different standards of health insurance. The gold and platinum policies will be more than most people can afford, but the lower two standards, bronze and silver have been designed to be affordable. Anyone who purchases either of these policies will only have to pay a nominal monthly premium.
If you’re already stressed about how you’re going to pay your bills, it’s likely that you’ve also experienced some anxiety whenever you think about how you’re going to come up with extra money for the health insurance policy you need. Instead of stressing out, you need to find an online ObamaCare subsidy calculator and check out how large a subsidy you will qualify for. The subsidy won’t make you eligible for a break in your actual medical expenses, but you will save money on your premiums. See our tax credit calculator.
Providing Preventative Screenings
Forcing the health insurance companies to cover the cost of preventative medical procedures might be the best thing that the ObamaCare health program has done. It doesn’t matter if you purchased a bronze or a platinum plan, you will be able to get preventative screening for free. The free screenings include:
- Screening for types of depression
- Obesity screening and counseling
- Blood pressure tests
- Counseling that will help you stop smoking
- Breastfeeding counseling as well as some supplies
- Some brands of birth control will be covered, other brand names might not be
- Counseling to help deal with domestic violence
Not having to pay for any of these tests will put less strain on your budget and allow you to enjoy better health through preventative care.