With health insurance still being a major concern, good news is on the horizon. In the latest enrollment period for 2022, over 14 million people signed up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. One of the main reasons is because insurance premiums are lower and there was more assistance and awareness for individuals to sign up.
An $80 million marketing campaign spearheaded the push to get more Americans insured. In mid-December 2021, over 4.6M Americans had already purchased health insurance through the healthcare marketplace, healthcare.gov. This is advantageous for individuals who would not have been able to afford health insurance without the subsidy.
Incentives and Lower Premiums
With the passing of the American Rescue Plan, the subsidy eligibility in 2021 and 2022 was eliminated, increasing the amounts of the subsidies to make sure no family spends more than 8.5% of income on benchmark plans.
What does this mean? It means more people can have health coverage at rates they can afford. Additionally, almost half of the enrollees should be able to have a Silver-level plan for $10 or less per month.
There are several reasons why these subsidies make sense:
- Financial assistance
Many health insurance premiums have been out of reach for individuals and families who would have to choose between health insurance and paying their bills to survive. This creates opportunity and healthcare prevention for those who would have otherwise suffered and avoided seeking medical attention.
- Preventive care
Being proactive is key to maintaining good health. Health insurance plans under Obamacare all provide 10 essential health benefits to individuals and families in the plan.
- Everyone is eligible
Even if you have a preexisting condition, you cannot be turned down for a health insurance plan. This is contrary to how things were prior to the ACA, where if you had an illness, healthcare insurers would immediately refuse coverage.
- Dependents can remain on a parent’s plan
With so many people struggling to make ends meet, children who are under their parent’s plan can remain until age 26. This is ideal for students in college, staying at home, or who have a condition where they need frequent medical attention and can’t afford to have their own insurance plan.
- No limits
There used to be limitations on lifetime benefits, but this no longer exists except in grandfathered plans.
Looking Down the Road
While being able to obtain health insurance is a good thing, enrollees must sign up for Obamacare and get into a plan. Fortunately, the Build Back Better Act was passed, which extends those subsidies through 2025. Agents are ready to assist in finding the right plan for individuals and families who can use those subsidies to offset their healthcare insurance costs. (getzonedup.com)
This means the Medicaid coverage gap is closed, giving full subsidies and reductions to people falling in that gap currently in 11 states that won’t recognize the ACA and refuse to expand Medicaid under this program.
As COVID numbers went down, there was some sigh of relief, but the numbers are slowly starting to creep back up. That means having health insurance should be a priority. What most people don’t know is that the Obamacare mandate is still in effect, but you won’t incur any penalties for not having health insurance.
Enrolling into a Plan
It’s time to get guidance and understand the different plans available that provide coverage within the marketplace that are covered by subsidies. What does this entail? Individuals interested in enrolling can get free health insurance quotes and save on policies online or over the phone via an agent. The ACA partners with top carriers and brokers like United Healthcare, Aetna, Cigna, Humana, Assurant, and many BlueCross and BlueShield companies to make sure the policy you choose will be beneficial.
These plans are offset by subsidies that lower required contributions at every level of income. Anyone earning 100-150% of the federal poverty level is eligible for full coverage under the subsidies. With the subsidy cliff being removed, more people can obtain the health insurance they need and stop avoiding seeking medical attention when needed.
Each state has its own guidelines to follow as it relates to the American Rescue Plan and the healthcare subsidies, but the income range caps at 400+, with income up to 8.5%.
Gathering the information needed to make an informed decision is key when preparing to look at the different plans and take advantage of the subsidies available to you. Enrollment periods are ongoing, especially when there are life changes. Individuals who have underestimated their income or have issues with verifying their income should work with an agent to enroll.
With Obamacare still in effect and the subsides from the Buy Better Act in place, individuals can enroll in health insurance plans with no problems and enjoy the benefits of having comprehensive health insurance they can afford. For families who need this health insurance and can benefit from the incentives from Obamacare enrollment, contacting an agent to enroll during the enrollment periods can make a huge difference. How long will this be an option? Under the current law, at least until 2025.