Rich or poor, we all want to save money. When planning for health care it makes sense to look for cheap health insurance. Healthcare in the U.S. is expensive, and the Federal government doesn’t offer a single standardized, affordable health insurance program.
Insurance prices were rising quickly in the early 2000’s. To curtail the rising prices and to make it easier to find affordable health insurance, the federal government implemented the Affordable Care Act.
Before the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act became Federal law in 2010, insurers often refused to cover people if they had existing health conditions. These conditions were different for each insurance carrier and state, and the list of preexisting conditions was long. Existing conditions could include heart attacks, obesity, diabetes, and more.
Before the ACA, even employer-based health plans could deny coverage for people with preexisting conditions.
Preexisting conditions burdened people with high out-of-pocket expenses and medical care was the #1 reason for financial disaster.
Open Enrollment Starts Nov 1st. Sign-up to Be contacted with The BEST Rates.
Affordable Health Insurance for Everyone: The ACA
The Affordable Care Act, ACA, (Obamacare) fixed many loopholes and guaranteed medical care for millions. Especially those with preexisting conditions. It was the beginning of cheap health insurance for everyone.
The ACA also guaranteed that qualifying plans include the following medical services:
ACA Mandated Health Coverage:
- Emergency services
- Prescription drugs
- Ambulatory patient services (Hospital services that don’t require an overnight stay)
- Laboratory services
- Maternity and newborn care
- Pediatric services (children), including dental and vision
- Mental health and substance abuse services
- Preventive and wellness services, including chronic disease management
- Rehabilitative/habilitative services and devices
The ACA provides healthcare savings to low-income earners
Not only did the Affordable Care Act guarantee better basic health care for everyone, it also made it possible for low income earners to receive insurance subsidies and premium tax credits. These additional benefits created truly cheap health insurance.
Benefits are determined by multiple factors: Your annual income, the number people included in your plan (you, your parents, siblings, etc.,) and the frequency of visits to doctors and other healthcare providers.
Your total household income determines if you qualify for an insurance Subsidy or Premium Tax Credit. The Federal Poverty Level (FPL) is the measurement of your annual income. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) updates the qualifying annual income level every year.
How Federal Poverty Levels determine eligibility for reduced-cost health coverage:
- If your Income is between 100% and 400% FPL, you qualify for premium tax credits.
- If your income is below 138% FPL, and your state has expanded Medicaid coverage, you qualify for Medicaid.
- Should your income fall below 100% FPL, you probably won’t qualify for savings on a Marketplace health insurance plan.
2020 Federal Poverty-Level Income Rates:
- $12,760 for an individual
- $17,240 for a family of 2
- $21,720 for a family of 3
- $26,200 for a family of 4
- $30,680 for a family of 5
- $35,160 for a family of 6
- $39,640 for a family of 7
- $44,120 for a family of 8
The Affordable Care Act created health insurance exchanges for anyone under the 400% FPL limit.
Those who do not qualify for subsidies can get insurance through private carriers and most often, their employer. The health insurance marketplace helps those who need cheap health insurance.
Use a Health Insurance Marketplace if:
- You earn between 138% and 400% of the FPL
- You want to qualify for Medicaid
- The Health Insurance Marketplace is the place for you to find the BEST affordable Health insurance. (If you are under the 400% FPL limit)
The Open Enrollment period for 2020 (Insurance for 2021), starts November 1st and ends on December 15th. PRE-REGISTER NOW to avoid last-minute headaches.
How the “Metal” Insurance Plans Work:
There are many affordable health insurance options on each healthcare exchange. But the ONLY plans that qualify for subsidies are the ‘Metal’ plans. These policies are named Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. The monthly premium (amount you pay) and out-of-pocket expenses vary. Bronze is the lowest and Platinum the highest.
Example: Bronze plans have a 60% monthly deductible, meaning that with any medical service, 60% you pay of the bill out-of-pocket. Only after you have paid your portion does your insurance company chip in.
More information on “Metal” plans:
- Bronze: 60% monthly premium with a 40% deductible
- Silver: 70% monthly premium with a 30% deductible
- Gold: 80% premium with a 20% out-of-pocket deductible
- Platinum: 90%, with a 10% out-of-pocket deductible
Consider purchasing cheap health insurance like the Bronze plan if you rarely visit the Doctor or need health care. For those needing a lot of medical attention, the Silver, Gold,and Platinum policies are better choices.