Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Options for purchasing health insurance

One of the major goals behind health care reform is to give those without health insurance affordable options for health care.  For those who cannot get affordable insurance through their employers, the individual marketplace in each state offers a new way to purchase individual insurance.  Health reform also includes some incentives for employers to offer health coverage to employees, so employees should check first with their employers to find out if they qualify for coverage.

Here are a few different scenarios that people without insurance may experience, and some options they may want to consider:
  • I work part-time, and I’m not eligible for my employer’s health insurance plan.  What can I do?  If your employer doesn’t offer you coverage or their coverage doesn’t meet the new government standards, you can buy a plan in your state’s Individual Marketplace.  You can also buy insurance from a health insurance company directly or through an insurance agent outside of the Marketplaces.
  • I can’t afford my employer’s health insurance.  How can I get a plan I can afford?  Health reform includes some incentives for employers to offer affordable plans to their employees. First, check with your employer to see if they are offering new, more affordable plans. If so, their plan is likely to be your best choice.
    If your employer doesn't offer a plan that is affordable, use an online subsidy calculator to see if you can get help paying for a plan through the Individual Marketplace in your state. But only the Marketplace can determine if you will be eligible for government financial assistance. If you have a low income you may be able to get a government subsidy to buy a plan in the Individual Marketplaces. You'll have a range of plans from which to choose.
  • I’m new to this whole thing!  I don’t have health insurance.  Where do I start?  If you work at a small company, health reform is making it easier for your employer to offer a plan that meets the new government standards. Talk with the person in your company who handles benefits to learn what's available.
    If you're not working, or your employer doesn't offer an affordable plan, you may be able to get a subsidy to help you buy a plan through the Individual Marketplace in your state.
For more information on health care reform and why it matters take a few minutes to view this video, then go to our website to learn more about your health care reform options.

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