In modern times, health care has gotten complicated, and controversial. However, the bottom line is that health insurance is still the best way to reduce health care costs to an amount you can manage by sharing the risk with others. Here are the basic facts you have to know about Obamacare and how to get the best health insurance coverage for you.
Everyone talks about Obamacare, but few actually know what it’s really about. Here are the important changes that Obamacare has made:
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Choosing a health care plan can be complicated, but here are some basic tips everyone should start with. Begin at your state health insurance exchange to see what plans you can get. If your income is very low, you will probably qualify for Medicaid (Medi-Cal in California). This is medical insurance paid for by the government that covers individuals and families who have incomes of up to 138% of the federal poverty level.
If your income is above Medi-Cal level but still beneath a certain threshold (up to 400% of the federal poverty level for Covered California), you may be eligible for premium assistance by the government. This means you will still have to purchase a private health care plan, but the government will help pay for it. All other individuals and families will have to pay for private plans on their own or receive insurance through their employer.
Unless you are on Medi-Cal, your private insurance options will be the same no matter what your income is. Marketplace insurance (those policies purchased through an exchange) will guarantee that you get the minimum essential coverage, and it is segregated into five categories based on the amount the insurance will pay vs. the total amount you will pay (including premiums, deductibles, coinsurance, copayments and out-of-pocket maximums). The categories are:
A final consideration is whether your preferred health care provider takes your coverage. If you have a favorite doctor, call them to ask which insurance providers they would accept before making your decision.
Health care has always been an ever-changing industry. We’ve gone over some basic changes, but things can still get complicated, and laws are changing all the time. We would recommend to always consult with a knowledgeable insurance broker before you make a change in your health insurance benefits.