Information on health insurance coverage in the US

In the last few years, more people have opted to have health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. It was passed that each person in the United States needs to have insurance or face paying a penalty per year. The Affordable Care Act is designed to offer affordable health care for everyone. Some love it, and others do not. Whether people like the idea of mandatory health insurance, people at some point will need it, and there are penalties in place if people do not obtain health insurance each year.

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There are penalties for those who do not obtain and maintain health insurance, and the penalties are increasing each year. The penalty for not having health insurance for 2014 was $95 or one percent of a person’s income. The penalty for 2015 is $325 or two percent of a person’s income. The penalty for 2016 is two-and-a-half percent of a person’s income or $695. These penalties are charged at the time a person files their taxes. More info from www.balsigerinsurance.com website here.

People may only apply for health insurance plans during open enrollment. More info on open enrollment from www.healthcare.gov website here. However, there are special conditions that will allow a person to apply for health insurance at any time. For instance, a person who is recently pregnant or have experienced life-changing circumstances may apply for health insurance. For 2015, open enrollment is closed; however, open enrollment for 2016 begins November 1, 2015. Open enrollment for 2016 ends on January 31, 2016. In years past, the deadlines have been extended. It is doubtful that this trend will continue. During open enrollment, people may change their plans as well and at no other time.

Health insurance plans may be obtained through the Health Insurance Marketplace; however, there are other sites that can be used to obtain health insurance plans. Be aware that other sites are not required to provide plans under all of the metal tiers. The Affordable Care Act is separated into metal tiers. All health insurance plans provide the same minimal coverage for services and health care items for 10 essential benefit categories; however, the costs of health care plans are determined by the metal tier chosen.

The Four Metal Tiers:

The Bronze Plan—40 percent of covered medical expenses are paid by the consumer, and 60 percent are paid by the plan.

The Silver Plan—30 percent of covered medical expenses are paid by the consumer, and 70 percent are paid by the plan.

The Gold Plan—20 percent of covered medical expenses are paid by the consumer, and 80 percent are paid by the plan.

The Platinum Plan—10 percent of covered medical expenses are paid by the consumer, and 90 percent are paid by the plan.

Cost-sharing subsidies are available for those who fall below the poverty level. The subsidies are applied to out-of-pocket expenses.

Sicknesses and injuries can and will happen at some point. Since there are penalties in place, it’s extra incentive to be covered by health insurance.

Please note- this is not to be considered professional insurance advice. For professional health insurance information, please consult a qualified company.