Advice & Tips When Applying For Obamacare

Mon Mar 31, 2014 12:53:32PM | Categories: Medicaid & Obamacare (Affordable Care Act)

President Obama signing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act on March 23, 2010By: Pete Souza
Need a one stop shop if you still haven't applied for health insurance coverage and are wondering what you need to do? Look no further. My hope is that this article will provide you everything you need to know to enroll in a health insurance plan before this years deadline.

Medicaid Expansion:

One thing I strongly recommend if you are on the fence and wondering if you will sign up or not is do a quick search to see if you may be eligible for Medicaid. Medicaid was expanded in 27 states including Washington, D.C. and was rejected or is pending expansion in 24 states. You can check to see if your state expanded Medicaid HERE.

If you live in one of the states that has not expanded Medicaid and still don't believe you can afford coverage then still apply for Medicaid. You may be eligible based off the Federal standards to enroll in the program.

Signing up for coverage if you do not qualify for Medicaid:

If you do not qualify for Medicaid, then you will need to apply for coverage in the marketplace. While that sounds like a confusing hodgepodge of options, it's actually quite simple. If you do not qualify for an exemption enabling you to opt out of purchasing coverage, then you will need to sign up for a plan by 3/31/2014. There are three main plans (Gold, Silver, Bronze) for you to choose from and two lesser known ones. I will go over them from the most expensive to the least.

Gold Plan:
Just like the name implies, this is one the most expensive plans. On average your health insurance will cover around 80 percent of your medical costs and you will be responsible for 20 percent. This is a plan that would be beneficial for someone who visits their doctor on a regular basis and doesn't want to be responsible for a higher percentage of each visit.

Silver Plan:
This plan is considered the middle of the road plan. On average your health insurance will cover around 70 percent of your medical costs and you will be responsible for 30 percent. This is a plan that would be beneficial for someone who may not use their insurance as much as someone on a Gold Plan does, but still would like the added benefit of a lower deductible when they do use their coverage.

Bronze Plan:
This is considered the lowest of the three major plan options. On average your health insurance will cover around 60 percent of your medical costs and you will be responsible for 40 percent. This is a plan that would be beneficial for a younger or healthy person that does not utilize their insurance very often. You are responsible for more of the costs, but have much lower monthly premiums.

There are two lesser known plans that are available as well.

Platinum Plan:
This is the most expensive plan out there. On average your health insurance will cover around 90 percent of your medical costs and you will be responsible for 10 percent. Your monthly premium will also be the highest out of any of the "regular" plans.

Catastrophic Plan:
This is a relatively new plan that is only available to individuals under 30 or have a hardship exemption. On average your health insurance will cover less than 60 percent of your medical costs and you will be responsible for the difference.

General Information:
Healthcare.gov: This is the main hub. You can sign up for coverage here if you state is using the Federal Exchange or you will be diverted to your state exchange via this site.

Contact Information: This link provides a list of phone numbers and other contact information for anyone who needs help or is having trouble signing up for coverage.
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