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So you don’t have health insurance….

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There are some huge changes coming up for our economy in the form of the Affordable Care Act. Starting January 1, 2014 all Americans, except for those that file for an exemption, will be required to have a minimum of health coverage. A lot of people already qualify for having minimum coverage. If you have the following coverage, then you can pretty much stop reading this post now.

 

Minimum Essential Coverage

  •  Employer-sponsored coverage (including COBRA coverage and retiree coverage)
  • Coverage purchased in the individual market
  • Medicare Part A coverage and Medicare Advantage
  • Most Medicaid coverage
  • Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) coverage
  • Certain types of veteran’s health coverage administered by the Veterans Administration
  • TRICARE
  • Coverage provided to Peace Corps volunteers
  • Coverage under the Non-appropriated Fund Health Benefit Program

Minimum essential coverage does not include coverage that gives you only limited benefits like vision or dental, worker’s comp policies, or disability policies.

So what happens to the rest of us? My husband and I don’t have health insurance. What are we going to do? I certainly don’t want to face fines or penalties.

I have shopped for health insurance before. To be honest, it drives my crazy. I start by searching Google. Most companies make you sign up or call them for a quote. You then have to talk to aggressive sales people who continue to harass you for months afterword. Fortunately, we should no longer have to do this.

Welcome to the Health Insurance Marketplace. Starting October 1st, you can fill out a short enrollment form. Most middle class Americans will qualify for a subsidy. The lower your household income, the higher your subsidy will be. When you enroll, you will be told your subsidy amount.

You will then be able to shop for policies. The policies will be laid out in an easy to understand format that will allow shoppers to easily compare prices and options.

I assure you, on October 1st, when the Health Insurance Marketplace crashes. I will be one of the people logging in and helping it crash. I don’t know what my subsidy might be. I don’t know how much money health insurance is going to cost beyond our subsidies. But I am looking forward to finding out!