Healthcare Exchange

There is a new market in your town. It’s called the Affordable Care Act Healthcare Marketplace; otherwise known as a Healthcare Exchange. The Health Insurance Marketplace is a new way to find coverage that fits your budget and meets your healthcare needs. With the Health Insurance Marketplace, you will be able to shop for insurance online, by phone, or through your health insurance broker. Calling by phone will put you in touch with a navigator who will help you navigate through the website, however, they cannot make recommendations. With this in mind, I personally believe agents and brokers will have an even more important role to help everyone with their choices. The first enrollment period will start on October 1, 2013 and end on March 31, 2014. Coverage will begin on January 1, 2013, for those individuals who enroll on or before December 15, 2013.

Healthcare laws will take effect on January 1, 2013, that require most Americans to have a qualified Health Insurance plan. Undocumented Immigrants and incarcerated individuals are not required to have their own Health plan. Even if you have been previously denied because of pre-existing conditions, you will now be able to purchase health insurance.

Many people will also qualify for assistance through cost sharing subsidies and/or premium tax credits to help you afford coverage. As a broker, I will have a subsidy calculator for plans in the State of New Hampshire to help you calculate if you are eligible for a subsidy and what your premiums would be for each plan available.

To help you find your options, the first thing you should have available is your 2013 annual income before taxes. Most people will not have an exact amount at this time of the year, however, you should have an approximate amount to help you calculate. You will also take into account your family size which is the total number of people in your household. Here are a few examples of families and what they may qualify for:

Young family of four – Total Household Income is $40,000 annually. According to the Federal Government, this family falls below 250 percent of The Federal Poverty Level and would qualify for cost sharing subsidies and/or premium tax credits.

Family of two – Total Household Income is $60,000 annually. This family falls below 400 percent of The federal Poverty Level and may qualify for premium tax credits.

Family of five – Total Household Income of $125,000 annually. This family falls above The Federal Poverty Level by 400 percent and can either shop for insurance on the exchange without qualifying for a subsidy or tax credit or shop privately with insurance carriers off the exchange.

Family of four covered by employer’s health plan – Most people that have access to employer provided health insurance will not be eligible for financial help on the exchange. With that said, however, an employee’s premium cost cannot be more than 9.5 percent. This is only the employee’s portion of the premium; not the entire family.

At Balanced Care, we have always recommended free consultations for our clients. We believe this gives you the best opportunity to go over your options giving you ample time to ask questions and be completely comfortable with your decision. As soon as it is available, I will be updating my “Get A Quote” application so you can see for yourself what you may qualify for, the plans available, and enroll should you desire. In the meantime, I am always available for consultations and highly encourage you to take advantage of them.

512803HC_CropTerri Trepanier is the owner of Balanced Care Health and Supplemental Insurance and a licensed insurance consultant and broker with Associated Brokers.    Licensed in both Maine and NH,  her specialty is working with small businesses, individuals, and families with their health and life insurance needs.  She is certified to offer health plans both on and off the exchange and is contracted with every health insurance company that offers plans in both New Hampshire and Maine.  Her other passion is assisting Medicare beneficiaries with their Medicare Supplemental, Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans, and Medicare Advantage plans. Terri has seen firsthand the importance of insurance products and how they help families.  Her goal with Balanced Care is to “Insure Security and Peace of Mind One Family at a Time”.

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