For the many of us who don’t have health care insurance covered by our employers or our parents, it’s that time of year again(ish).
I guess technically it’s that time “again” because Obamacare open enrollment happened for the first time last year, but it sure doesn’t feel like the kinks are all worked out yet, and in some cases, they aren’t. This also may be the first year that it’s really on your radar, if only because the tax penalty for not having it is going up from $95 in 2014 to $325 in 2015 (wait, what tax penalty??).
Open enrollment for Obamacare (also called the Affordable Care Act or ACA) starts this Saturday, 11/15 and you can apply here: https://nystateofhealth.ny.gov/ and click on Get Started. If you did this last year, you can just log in.
We are doing a whole show on Obamacare and breaking down the details for you this Sunday at 2 pm on Brunch & Budget on Bondfire Radio. We’ll talk about what’s covered, how to enroll, how to qualify for healthcare subsidies, and what happens if you don’t enroll.
For now, here’s the quick rundown on what to expect for 2015:
- COST: Premiums may have gone down for some plan, but they are still going to be quite high – I’m talking $200-$600 per month depending on how fancy a plan you get
- SUBSIDIES: 7.3 million of you enrolled in Obamacare last year and 85% of you qualified for subsidies. That is awesome. In 2015, you will qualify for a subsidy if you anticipate making less than $46,680 next year. It’s worth applying just to see if you can get a subsidy.
- TIMING: If you enroll for health insurance between 11/15 and 12/15, your insurance will be in effect on 1/1/15. If you apply between 12/16 and 1/15, you’ll have coverage come 2/1, and if you apply between 1/16 and 2/15, you’ll be covered starting on 3/1.
BIG NOTE if you made more money in 2014 than you thought: If you got Obamacare in 2014 and had it subsidized, but made significantly more money this year than you said you were going to when you applied for the subsidy, you will have to pay back some or all of the subsidized amount, depending on how much you made. No details yet on how the government is going to collect this, but just watch out for it.
Also feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or set up a Brunch if want some help figuring out how to fit health insurance into your 2015 budget.
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