UNITED STATES (21Alive) ---- The window opens to health care coverage for millions of Americans.
October first, uninsured folks in Indiana and the rest of the nation can begin signing up for coverage through "The Affordable Care Act".
A lot of people, including Republican and some Democratic lawmakers, aren't happy with the new policy, but the signup signals it is on the front doorstep.
Keep this in mind, however, nobody said it would be simple or straightforward.
Obamacare, as its known, requires all Americans to purchase health insurance by 2014.
If you don't have coverage, you'll have to get it, or pay penalties.
The amounts are $95.00 a year for adults, half that total for each child.
You can shop at the Health Insurance Marketplace for a menu of options that makes the most sense for you and your family.
The Platinum plan costs the most in premiums, but figures to pay out the most when you incur claims.
There's also Gold, Silver and Bronze.
Bronze costs the least, but generally provides the lowest level of coverage.
If you have insurance through work, you can shop, but it's unlikely you'll get a better deal.
" If you're getting coverage through your employer, then you're probably getting pretty good coverage and getting some subsidization through your employer, if you will,” says Jim Brunnemer, the Chief Financial Officer with Physicians Health Plan, a Fort Wayne health insurance provider.
“ Technically, if you've got affordable coverage through your employer, you're not supposed to be able to get tax credits through the exchange. Now, how well that will be monitored, checked, well again, we’ll just have to see," Brunnemer said.
If you have to pay $300.00 a month for coverage through Obamacare, for instance, depending upon your income, you might qualify for a tax credit to be re-imbursed some of that expense.
However, if you've got insurance offered through work, you're not supposed to qualify for any re-imbursements.
The Affordable Care Act is designed to extend coverage to the uninsured; its primary purpose is not about giving the insured more options.
The open enrollment period runs from October 1st through March 31st.
If you sign up by December 15th, your coverage will kick in January first.
For those who sign up in January, let’s say, you can expect to get coverage in February.
It generally kicks in the next month after sign up.
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