Learn More about Health Insurance Exchanges and Options for Health Coverage In 2014

There is much anticipation following the introduction of new healthcare insurance exchanges, which will kick off in January 2014. Millions of consumers will be able to compare and buy health coverage through an online marketplace, as long as the website does not continue to crash and cause shopping confusion. These exchanges may be attractive to people who qualify for subsidized coverage. People within low to moderate income levels could be eligible for tax credit that is used straightforward like a gift, something that could reduce their monthly premiums.

Although it applies in most of the plans not within the exchange programs, people with pre-existing conditions will not be denied coverage and they will not be charged more. Consumers have up to March 31, 2014 to purchase health coverage through the exchange program. More information is available at Healthcare.gov website where consumers can get links to exchanges offered in different states.

If you will not have purchased your health insurance from the exchange program or your employer, you risks being fined 1 percent of your annual income or you could alternatively pay $95 per person, depending on which fine is higher. Worse still, the fee will increase every year and in 2016, those who will not have purchased their insurance will be charged 2.5 percent of their annual income or $695 per person.

This shows that the fees could turn to be burden for many who fail to fulfill this obligation. If you are covered by your employer, this job-based plan qualifies as a minimum essential coverage and you will not be fined for not having health insurance with the exchange programs. For the job-based plans, they may be cheaper than individual plans offered under the health coverage exchange programs because the employer pays a proportion of your premium, although this may not always be the case.

In addition, depending on the job-based insurance coverage, you might not qualify for particular savings that are offered through the exchange programs. All the plans in the exchange programs are required to feature essential services or essential health benefits for emergency, maternity, outpatient and rehabilitation, neonatal and pediatric, counseling and therapy, wellness and preventive services as well as prescription drugs.

Nonetheless, other plans may have additional coverages depending on the cost you want to meet towards the premiums. A catastrophic plan offers essential health benefits though at a much higher deductible and it may be helpful when you have unexpected illness or accident. You will pay less upfront but during that time you need it, you will have to pay more.

Children are covered by the health insurance plan for their parents until they turn 26. Therefore, if a dependent turns 26 in 2014, a new enrollment can be done for the health insurance plan even after the closing date of March 31. The March 31 deadline has some exemptions where due to life events such as loss of a job, divorce, or birth, you qualify for enrollment after that period.

The same exempt applies to a 26-year-old dependent who loses his or her insurance coverage through a parent insurance plan. This means that dependents can apply for coverage throughout the year without being subjected to fines. For more information about the insurance exchange programs, you can check the HealthCare.gov website.

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