Healthcare reform will bring changes to those of us living in North Carolina and across the entire country. Yet because Healthcare Reform has been hotly contested and highly politicized, many Americans and North Carolinians have trouble understanding exactly how the Affordable Care Act will affect them. Click here for a brief video explaining the Affordable Care Act, also sometimes called “Obamacare.”
To help you understand the changes and what they will mean to you, your family, and your business, we have put together the following Frequently Asked Questions. Thank you for taking the time to read these answers below before calling us with your questions at (704) 522-6000.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I Qualify for a Federal Subsidy?
We encourage everyone to use the calculator at the bottom of this page (scroll down) to determine if you qualify for a federal subsidy. Even those earning more than 300% of the poverty level may be eligible for some subsidies or tax credits. Disclaimer: this calculator tool provides an estimate only.
Should I buy insurance from the 'Marketplace' I've been hearing about?
If you do not quality for a Federal Subsidy, you do not need to shop for health insurance in the “Marketplace.” You can continue to purchase health insurance from your preferred provider as done previously.
Will my health insurance rates go up in 2014?
Of course the answer to this question varies depending on your situation. But since we know many of our clients need practical answers to navigate this uncharted territory, we will do our best to answer candidly.
Many who are eligible for Federal subsidies will see their monthly out-of-pocket expenses go down.
In general, we have tended to see an increase in monthly rates for those who do not qualify for Federal subsidies. We have seen these rate increases be insignificant for some people but almost double the monthly premium for others. If you do not quality for a Federal subsidy, we do not recommend that you take any action at this time to change your current insurance policy. Your rates will remain the same until your regularly scheduled renewal time. You can wait until it’s time for your annual renewal to see what new rates and plans might make the most sense for you under the new Affordable Care Act. Although the right type of plan for each person will vary according to income, budget and health history, and other factors, in general, we feel that many of these individuals may want to consider whether or not the combination of a High Deductible Health Plan in conjunction with a Health Savings Account (HSA) might be a good fit for them when it comes time to renew.
If I Qualify for a Federal Subsidy, How Do I Apply?
You have the right to choose a local agent or broker who specializes in understanding various health insurance plans and help guide you on which options will be best for your unique needs. This comes at no cost to you. To get started with the team at R.M. Beasley & Associates, click here to request a free consultation. We will contact you with more information when the application is complete. Or you can call our office with questions at (704) 522-6000.
How Will This Effect Small Business Owners?
Although small businesses may want to factor expected monthly health insurance premium rate increases into their business plans, small businesses may also want to consider whether or not they may be eligible for the Small Business Healthcare Tax Credit for Small Employers. Talk to your accountant with any tax questions or call us at (704) 522-6000 with any health insurance questions.
What Important Dates Should I Remember?
On October 1, 2013, enrollment begins for coverage under the Affordable Care Act which begins on January 1, 2014. December 15, 2013 is the last day you can apply to receive a coverage effective date of January 1, 2014. We strongly recommend that you apply early instead of waiting until December because of the heavy application volume anticipated during that time.