The Health & Healthcare Blog  

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

How Will Buying Health Insurance Change in 2014?

The deadline is fast approaching for Americans without health insurance to purchase a plan in order to avoid a penalty, as outlined in the Affordable Care Act. That deadline is 2014. Most people--84 percent--already have health insurance, and 60 percent of that is provided through employers. The remaining Americans without health insurance will need to find a plan and are already wondering where they can go to look.

Under the Affordable Care Act, states will be required to offer marketplace exchanges that give people a choice of policies and premiums. Some states are already developing these exchanges. How will they be offered? And how do low-income families with incomes no more than 400% of the poverty level receive the government subsidies they are entitled to in order to help them purchase health insurance?

State exchanges will offer websites that enable people to look at what is available and compare options before purchasing a health insurance plan. In addition, the websites will allow purchasers to see if they qualify for a subsidy. Once they have selected their policy, they will be able to purchase their health insurance online through the exchange website. The exchanges are also to provide consumer help lines to answer questions and provide information to anyone wanting to buy health insurance.

Health insurance companies will also be offering insurance options through their websites. Some of the larger health insurance companies like UnitedHealthcare, Aetna, and Blue Cross Blue Shield are actually opening retail stores in states such as Florida, Pennsylvania, New York and others where consumers can go and shop for health insurance.

The Affordable Care Act has set minimum standards for health insurance to ensure that all Americans are able to find a policy they can afford. Although costs and benefits will vary by state, federal guidelines will dictate how the exchanges will operate. State exchanges, for example, will be required to offer five plan levels, and all insurance companies will be required to "speak the same language" when it comes to using a standard format in describing health insurance coverage.

Families who will need to purchase a health insurance plan should continue to check with insurance companies, on the website, in the news or call their state government office to find out when an exchange will open in their state.
DISCLAIMER: The content or opinions expressed on this web site are not to be interpreted as medical advice. Please consult with your doctor or medical practictioner before utilizing any suggestions on this web site.
SHARE THIS PAGE: