Affordable Care Act
Answer: The ACA provides government-funded subsidies to help reduce monthly health insurance premiums for qualifying persons. Consumers may qualify for subsidies if they have an annual household income between 133% and 400% of the federal poverty level (up to about $46,000 for a single person in the contiguous United States, or $95,000 for a family of four). The dollar value of the subsidies you receive will depend on where your income falls within that range and on the cost of “benchmark” health plans in your area. Since subsidies are based on your estimated income for the current year, the amount of subsidies you qualify for may fluctuate depending on changes to your actual income. Any discrepancies in the subsidies you received and the subsidies you were actually due are reconciled when you complete your federal tax return for the year.
Answer: The new open enrollment period is for 2015 health insurance plans only. During open enrollment, coverage under any new plan you select can begin no sooner than January 1, 2015, at the earliest.
Answer: You are not required to enroll in a new plan for 2015, unless your insurance company or licensed agent tells you otherwise, but reshopping during open enrollment – especially if you used a government subsidy in 2014 or may qualify for a subsidy in 2015 – could save you money, and you may find a new plan better suited to your personal coverage needs.
Answer: The answer depends on your personal circumstances. When you first applied for a subsidy, did you give permission for your tax records to be accessed so that your subsidy could be automatically updated each year? If the answer is yes, and if your income hasn’t changed much and plan prices in your area do not change significantly, you’ll probably continue to receive the same subsidy as long as you remain in the same plan. If your income has increased to over 500% of the federal poverty level (about $58,000 for a single person in the contiguous United States, or $119,000 for a family of four) your subsidy will end after December 31, 2014 unless you re-apply for a one and enroll in a new plan for 2015. Likewise, if you received a subsidy in 2014 and did not give permission for your tax records to be accessed for the purposes of updating your subsidy, your subsidy will also end December 31, 2014, unless you re-enroll.
Answer: Here’s a simple breakdown of who should shop or re-shop for health insurance during open enrollment, and who may not need to. Find the category that best describes your personal situation:
Answer: No, you should not lose coverage under your current ACA-compliant health insurance plan in 2015, unless your insurance company or licensed agent informs you otherwise. Here’s a possible exception: your insurance company may decide to stop offering your plan. If that happens, they will probably advise you of other plans you may wish to consider. You should also work with a licensed online agent like eHealth to review plans from multiple insurers and make sure you find the best match for your needs.
Answer: A lot of consumers expressed frustration with their experience of the government-run health insurance exchanges during the last open enrollment period. The good news is that you may have other options, even if you’re eligible for subsidies. Licensed private health insurance marketplaces like eHealth can help. At eHealth, consumers from most states can apply for subsidies and enroll in coverage in precisely the same health insurance plans available through their government exchange.
Answer: When you shop with eHealth during open enrollment you may benefit in the following ways:
Answer: If you miss the ACA open enrollment period for 2015 you may run the risk of going uninsured – or being stuck in your current plan – for all of 2015. Outside of open enrollment, you may only be able to enroll in a major medical individual or family plan when you experience a qualifying life event such as marriage, the birth of a child, or a move to a new city or state. So don’t let open enrollment pass you by without taking a look at your eligibility for a subsidy and your coverage choices for 2015. You’ll be glad you did.
Don’t miss out on open enrollment for 2015! Open enrollment only comes once a year. The 2015 open enrollment period begins on November 15, 2014 and continues through February 15, 2015. Coverage under new 2015 health insurance plans can start as soon as January 1, 2015. If you miss open enrollment, you may only be able to purchase coverage if you experience a qualifying life event – and you may face tax penalties if you remain uninsured for more than three consecutive months in 2015.
Find out if you qualify for a subsidy – One of the things that keeps people from buying health insurance is the cost, but many Americans will qualify for government subsidies to make their premiums more affordable. If you earn less than 400% of the federal poverty level (in 2014 about $46,000 for a single person or $95,000 for a family of four) you may qualify. Subsidies can be a big help, but be aware that if you earn more during the year than expected, you may have to pay back some or all of your subsidy dollars at tax time.
Shop for coverage at eHealth – As a federally certified web-broker licensed in every state, eHealth has a wide selection of qualified health plans that can be purchased at our site using a government subsidy, if you qualify. But, eHealth also has major medical health insurance plans available from brand-name insurance companies that are not available on government exchanges, at all. And, major medical health insurance plans protect you from the uninsured tax penalty. If you want to compare qualified health plans to major medical health plans, you’ll find both at eHealth.com!
Get personal help from a licensed agent – Understanding which plans are best for you and whether or not it’s smart to apply for government subsidies can be difficult. Thankfully professional, personal help is available. Licensed agents like those at eHealth can provide you with free, unbiased advice and help you enroll in the best health insurance plan that offers the best fit for your family’s medical needs and your budget.