Health Insurance Marketplace opens on October 1

On October 1, the Health Insurance Marketplace opens for business.

This means that people who up until now could not get affordable health care through their Medicaid, Medicare or their workplace, will be eligible to buy health insurance on their own without any worries of being turned down.The health coverage they purchase through the Marketplace will go into effect on January 1, 2014.

The enrollment period closes after March 31 of 2014 unless there is a major life event like relocation to another state changes to one’s income or changes in family status. There will be a penalty for failing to have any kind of health insurance in 2014. The penalty in 2014 will be $95 per adult or 1 percent of adjusted family income, whichever is higher. The penalty will increase to $695 or 2.5% of income in 2017.

People enrolling will have a choice of four levels of insurance:  platinum, gold, silver and bronze. Platinum will have the highest premium but the lowest out-of-pocket expenses. Bronze will come with the lowest monthly cost but the highest possible out-of-pocket costs.

Remember, the new Health Insurance Marketplace does not affect Medicare or those on Medicare. The Marketplace is specifically for people who do not have affordable health insurance or cannot be covered by Medicare or Medicaid.

I will be posting regular updates on this topic. Please send me your questions and I’ll do my best to answer them here. Send them to lmutsko@mutskoinsurance.com.

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