“Obamacare”: What Now?

WhatAlthough Mr. Obama has declared a continuation of his policy that would allow Americans to keep their pre-“Obamacare” health insurance, some insurance companies have decided not to follow his instructions.  They are sticking to the requirements of the Patients Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Now that the full impact of “Obamacare” is being felt, the insurance companies are not all willing to “go along” with the political changes in the law coming from the White House.  Some would prefer to stick with the law that was passed by congress.

Many people who have health insurance policies that were first effective between March 23, 2010 and December 31, 2013 will find that their health insurance plans are being discontinued.

If you have recently gotten a letter, telling you that you are required to select an Affordable Care Act compliant policy this year, it is probably no mistake.  The cancellation letters that people are getting are required by many state laws.

Companies that are discontinuing their plans are asking their customers to use a Special Election Period to change to a qualified plan.

One insurance company, in Texas, is using the SEP regulations to allow their customers to put off adjusting to a new plan until December 31 and still have coverage as of January 1.  This sounds like a wonderful option and it is, if you elect to use the same insurance company for 2015.

However, if you elect to change insurance companies, or it is your first time to enroll under “Obamacare,” you will need to complete the process by December 15 or risk being uninsured in January.

If you live in Texas, and wish to speak with an insurance professional, so that you can know all your options, click the banner below.

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Insurance Split

Insurance SplitAfter church, on Sunday evenings, my father used to take us to the Snowman for ice cream.  It was a treat that we could look forward to.

Unfortunately, as I have grown older I have become lactose intolerant.  Like Leonard, on The Big Bang Theory, if I eat ice-cream I get sick.  How sick I get, depends on how much ice-cream I eat.

Many people that have called me are “Obamacare” intolerant.  When they think about how much money they are required to pay for health insurance, they get sick.

“Obamacare” is like being made to eat ice-cream when you are lactose intolerant. Whether you want to, or not, you are required to buy government approved Qualified Health Insurance or pay a penalty.

The INSURANCE SPLIT strategy will not keep you from getting sick, when you buy your Qualified Health Plan.  However, it can be the difference between having just an upset tummy and all the symptoms that come with lactose intolerance (“Obamacare”).

This strategy only works if you, or your family, is covered as a dependent on someone’s group health insurance policy and the employer does not pay for dependent’s health insurance.

YOUR BALLOT

Over the next few weeks, millions of Americans are going to receive benefit ballots.  These ballots will allow employees to enroll in work-based benefits as they feel appropriate.

If you get one, try to stall until after November 15.  That is the date that the prices for Qualified Health Plans in Texas, in the individual/family market, will be available.  You will be able to compare prices, and see, if it will be less expensive for you to be covered as a dependent on someone else’s group health insurance plan or in the Individual/Family market.

If it is going to be less expensive, for dependents, on your group plan, that is probably best for you.  However, if it is going to cost less, to cover dependents, in the Individual/Family market, as long as you act during your group plan’s enrollment period, this strategy can help you save some money.

EMPLOYEE

If you are the employee, go ahead and enroll in the group health insurance plan that best meets your individual needs.  Your employer is required to pay some of the premium for you under the new “Obamacare” laws.  You might as well take advantage of that subsidy.

DEPENDENT

Nothing in the new “Obamacare” rules requires your employer to pay towards your family’s health insurance premiums.  Some employers will continue to pay for dependents, but some will not.

If your spouse’s employer does not help with the cost of health insurance, you may be able to find a plan, in the Individual/Family market that will meet your needs for less cost than if you were to be covered as a dependent on someone else’s group plan.

“Obamacare” rules say that even though the employer only has to subsidize the employee’s premium, the dependents are not eligible for “subsidies” from the I.R.S., regardless of the household’s income level.

Since there is no subsidy available for dependents, there is no reason why someone, who is eligible to be enrolled as a dependent on someone else’s group plan, should spend time shopping on the federal government’s Healthcare.gov.

Click on the banner below, after November 15, to see what the cost of health insurance will be in your part of Texas.

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