Be Informed, Prepared For Insurance Exchange
By Dr. James Palermo // August 31, 2013
CALCULATE PREMIUMS AND PROJECT SUBSIDIES
ABOVE VIDEO: EHealthInsurance provides a step-by-step, straight forward explanation of how subsidies are determined for individuals shopping the Obamacare insurance exchanges for health coverage.
A centerpiece of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA, aka Obamacare) is a requirement that all individuals carry some minimum health insurance or pay a tax. The new system aims to provide insurance through state Marketplaces and subsidies for tens of millions of Americans who are otherwise uninsured.
Beginning October 1, exchange Marketplaces open across the country in which people under age 65, who are not eligible for coverage through their employer, Medicaid, or Medicare, can purchase insurance and apply for tax credit subsidies to help offset their premium costs. The tax credit subsidies will be available on a sliding scale to individuals and families with incomes between 100 and 400 percent of the federal poverty level. The Marketplace is scheduled to be open through March 31 for 2014 coverage.
CHECK INCOME LEVEL AND CALCULATE PREMIUMS AND SUBSIDIES
Individuals can go to Families USA income reference chart to estimate their income as it relates to the federal poverty level, and to the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) premium/subsidy calculator to project the cost of insurance premiums and tax credit subsidies.
By entering different income levels, ages, and family sizes into the online KFF calculator you can get an estimate of your eligibility for subsidies and how much you could spend on health insurance. Premiums and eligibility requirements may vary from state to state.
BREVARD-BASED HEALTH FIRST HEALTH PLANS INCLUDED IN EXCHANGE
Florida opted to defer to the federal government to develop and manage the state exchange. Ten insurance companies have received federal approval to sell Floridians health plans on the exchange.
In Florida’s 67 counties, there will only be one or two insurance companies selling plans predominately through the new marketplace as reported by the Insurance Commissioner’s Office. No county will offer plans from all 10, but apparently Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida will be in all 67 counties.
The approved plans are: Brevard-based Health First Health Plans, Aetna Life Insurance Company, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida, Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company, Coventry Health Care of Florida, Inc., Florida Health Care Plan, Inc., Health First Insurance Company, Health Options, Inc., Humana Medical Plan, Inc., and Molina Healthcare Of Florida, Inc.
Go to Healthcare.gov for more information and answers to enrollment questions.