How Do You Sign Up for Obamacare?
A Guide to the ACA Exchanges & Buying Your Own Health Insurance
The Affordable Care Act (ACA), aka Obamacare, was signed into law on March 23rd, 2010. The majority of provisions of the ACA are going into effect starting January 1st, 2014.
When does Obamacare start in Illinois?
Some parts of the ACA law are already being implemented, but one of the biggest is the "Individual Mandate", which begins January 1st, 2014. The Individual Mandate is the requirement for everyone to have health insurance. Under Obamacare, there is a penalty for not having insurance. We encourage you to move as quickly as possible to avoid the monthly penalties. Plus, it's always a good idea to have health insurance!
The Penalty for Not Having Insurance
A monthly fine will be assessed for any month that you don't have health insurance coverage. And the penalties will increase each year! Fortunately, having coverage for one day of the month counts as having coverage for the entire month.
Health Insurance Options in Chicago and Illinois
Did you know that 19.8% of the Illinois population between ages 18-64 are currently uninsured? And most of these people don't fully understand that they will be penalized starting in 2014!
There is going to be a big rush to acquire health insurance once everyone realizes they will be penalized. If you are one of these uninsured people, don't delay! Avoid the headaches by buying your own health insurance today.
- Buy Your Own Private Health Insurance
- There are many affordable options that can be purchased through Blue Cross Blue Shield or Humana.
- The Obamacare Application through Illinois ACA Exchanges
Beginning October 1st 2013, you can buy your own health insurance in Illinois through the Public Marketplace, also known as the ACA Exchange. In Illinois, this marketplace is called Healthcare.gov.
It's important to note that Healthcare.gov is a website set up by the state and federal governments where private insurance companies will sell their plans. There is no government Obamacare plan being offered. All plans will be offered by private insurance companies.
In order to have your coverage in place by January 1st, the deadline for applying is December 15th, 2013.
What if I can't afford to buy my own health insurance?
Over 645,000 households in Illinois are eligible for a tax credit. When you shop on the ACA exchange, you may be able to get a new kind of tax credit that lowers your monthly premium. Depending on your situation, you may even be eligible for a $0 premium plan. You'll be able to see what your premium, deductibles and out-of-pocket costs will be before you make a decision to enroll.
In order to receive these tax subsidies, you have to purchase health insurance through the public marketplace at Healthcare.gov.
In addition, you may qualify for a government plan. When you apply for health coverage on the Health Insurance Marketplace, you may find out that you qualify for a low-cost or free government program, such as Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP).