With a month left to go before the new health care exchanges roll out, many consumers still feel confused about what to expect.
Nearly 70% of consumers told InsuranceQuotes.com that they don’t feel that they have enough information to figure out how the new marketplaces will affect their own personal finances.
No surprise there. Until the marketplaces open up and get a chance to work, it’s difficult to estimate how much consumers can expect to pay for coverage. In the meantime, a lot of misinformation has been spread about what exactly the new health care exchange will mean for consumers.
Here are two of the biggest misconceptions about the new exchanges:
Myth 1: “I have to shop for health insurance using the new marketplace even if I have a job with benefits.”
This is a common misconception regarding the ACA. The vast majority of Americans already have affordable health insurance through their employer, meaning they won’t have to hit up the ACA marketplace at all. If that includes you, all you have to go do is opt into your employer’s coverage if you haven’t already. If you are enrolled, keep doing what you’re doing.
Myth 2: “If I have to sign up for insurance in the marketplace, I’ll pay full price.”
There are some 48 million uninsured Americans in the U.S. who will be required either to pick up an insurance plan under the ACA or enroll in Medicaid. The good news is that the odds that you’ll pay sticker price for a policy are quite slim.
Nearly 40% of uninsured consumers will qualify for federal subsidies, which will significantly reduce the price of premiums. And thanks to the Medicaid expansion, the rest of the uninsured may qualify for those benefits (see if your state is implementing the Medicaid expansion). The Medicaid expansion makes all individuals earning less than $US15,900 and families of four earning less than $US32,500 eligible. And it gets better.
For new Medicaid enrollees, the government is picking up the entire cost of enrollment for the first three years.
The KFF has put together an excellent subsidy calculator online, which you can use to estimate how much you can expect to pay after federal subsidies are factored in. You’ll be able to apply for these subsidies directly through the health care marketplaces after they open in October.
Try it out below:
Still have burning questions about the Affordable Care Act? Drop me a line at [email protected] or sound off in the comments below.
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