With much confusion about the implementation of the Affordable Care Act in 2014, let us validate some facts and dispel some myths that really matter to most Americans.
These are just a few of the more common questions. Please do not fail to ask your question about your specific situation by calling or emailing our office.
1. Will I have to pay a fine if I don’t have health insurance in 2014?
YES. Starting in 2014, most U.S. citizens and legal residents will be required to carry health coverage* for the majority of the year or pay a penalty. There will be exceptions for those with religious objections and for those whose coverage would cost more than 8% of their annual income.
2. Isn’t my employer required to provide my health insurance next year?
NO. While the law does impose penalties on some businesses that do not provide affordable coverage, it does not require employers to provide health coverage in 2014. However, small employers may qualify for TAX CREDITS if they pay at least 50% of the cost of their employees’ coverage. For more specific information on 2014 TAX CREDITS for small employers click here.
3. Do I have to use a government website or the Federally Facilitated Marketplace (FFM) to obtain coverage?
NO. No one is forced to use Healthcare.gov, also known as the FFM (Federally Facilitated Marketplace). In fact, many will continue to obtain health insurance coverage the same way they do today. If you already have government-based insurance like Medicare, Medicaid, or CHIP or have satisfactory insurance through your job, no action is required. If you do not have access to health insurance through your job or these government programs in 2014 and make less than 400% of the Federal Poverty Level, it may be to your advantage to apply through the FFM. This is the only way to get help with monthly premium costs and reduced out-of-pocket costs. See our instructions.
4. Are premium rates going to be affected?
IT DEPENDS. All plans must meet the requirements of the ACA in 2014 so the game has changed. No one can be denied coverage for pre-existing conditions. Women will no longer pay more than men. How rates are affected will depend on individual factors, place of residence, the insurance company and whether you will receive a subsidy. Talk to a broker for advice on all your options (see #5 below).
5. Can I still use a broker for advice and coverage?
YES. In fact, the federal government is encouraging broker involvement to make the process easier for the consumer. Agents must be certified to assist those wishing to purchase insurance through the FFM. Our agents are certified to assist businesses and consumers find the best path to affordable health insurance whether that’s through the government’s FFM or directly from the top carriers in the industry. Plus, L&A Services, Inc doesn’t charge our clients for our services.
*Warning: Not all health coverage is qualified, so contact a broker to make sure your coverage meets the new ACA standards.