Have you recently become ineligible for healthcare through your parent’s insurance?
Are you self-employed or have lost coverage through your employer?
Did you have coverage through the marketplace in the past, but aren’t sure if you qualify now?
The health insurance marketplace can be an overwhelming experience for some people.
The laws change regularly, and it can be confusing to know whether a penalty applies to your situation or not.
Continue reading for more information on how to easily buy marketplace insurance as an individual.
Buying Marketplace Insurance as An Individual
An individual buying marketplace insurance is anyone who is buying insurance just for themselves. This doesn’t include people who are buying insurance for their spouse or qualified dependents.
For the 2020 open enrollment period, which is from November 1, 2019, through December 15, 2019, any individual who does not have access to health insurance can apply. If you need health insurance for the remainder of 2019, you may qualify for a Special Enrollment Period.
If you need to make changes to your income or family situation during the plan year, you should contact Healthcare.gov by phone, in person, or online. A change in a family situation can be marriage or the birth, fostering, or adoption of a child. Changes in your family situation may impact your coverage options and savings.
4 Marketplace Secrets You Need to Know About Buying Insurance as An Individual
Buying individual marketplace insurance is a breeze with these four simple secrets.
1. Not All Individual Plans are Built the Same
There are four plan levels for individual health plans, as well as potentially a fifth option for catastrophic coverage. Those plan levels are bronze, silver, gold, and platinum. The least expensive premiums and highest deductibles will be your bronze plans, and the more expensive premiums and lower deductibles will be your platinum plans.
How much you spend out of pocket will depend on your healthcare needs, so compare your coverage options carefully. The least expensive plan may not save you the most money in the long run.
2. You Can Still Qualify for Tax Credits with An Individual Plan
If your individual income lies within a certain range, you may qualify for tax credits to make your marketplace health insurance more affordable. You can either apply the tax credit to the least expensive plan to get the most savings or apply it to a higher coverage plan to maximize your healthcare options.
The individual 2019 income range was $12,140 to $48,560 – that means, in general, you may be eligible for tax credits to offset some of your health insurance premiums if your income lies within that range.
3. The Entire Process Can Be Done Online
The Healthcare.gov website allows you to complete your application online. If you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period, you can apply online or use a broker or agent to find coverage. And if you need to submit documents, you can submit them online as well. The first payment can also be processed through the Healthcare.gov portal, or through the insurance company’s website.
If you are looking for coverage for the 2020 open enrollment period, you can fill out that application starting November 1, 2019.
4. If You Haven’t Applied Before, You Can Still Qualify
As an individual who recently aged out of your parents’ insurance plans, you may be concerned that you’re not eligible for a plan. The good news is that you can still qualify for health coverage if you’ve recently lost coverage through another plan.
You may qualify for a Special Enrollment Period that allows you to pick up coverage in the current plan year, outside of the standard open enrollment period.
How to Buy Marketplace Insurance as An Individual
Healthcare.gov has made the process as easy as possible for buying insurance through the marketplace.
Here are the quick and easy steps for buying marketplace insurance as an individual:
- Fill out an application online: The Healthcare.gov website has an application you can fill out online. You’ll provide some personal information, including your family size and income information, and answer a few basic questions. If they need more information, they’ll let you know after you submit the application.
- Upload or mail in any documents: If you need to submit documents, such as income or citizenship verification, you can either upload them in your Healthcare.gov portal or send them by mail. It’s critical to do this quickly as it can prevent you from getting coverage.
- Select a plan that suits your needs: You’ll want to compare deductibles, copayments and coinsurance, premiums, and out-of-pocket maximums carefully. Each of these contributes to your total healthcare costs and will vary depending on your expected healthcare needs.
- Make your first month’s premium payment, if applicable: Depending on your income levels and the tax credits you qualify for, you may not have a payment due. In this case, you’ll receive instructions on how to activate your coverage. Otherwise, you’ll receive instructions on how to make your first payment to begin coverage.
Buying marketplace insurance as an individual is simple with these tips. A broker or agent can answer any questions you may have, as well.
What You Need to Know About Buying as An Individual
One of the important changes in the 2019 plan year was the elimination of the “Shared Responsibility Payment.” You may be familiar with this as a penalty for not having health insurance, but this no longer applies and will not apply for the 2020 coverage period either.
Some employers are required to offer “minimum essential coverage” that is both affordable and provides minimum value to their employees. If they choose to opt-out of coverage, they are assessed a fee. Other companies are eligible for exemptions from this penalty.
How to buy marketplace insurance as an individual should be a relatively painless experience, but the options can be overwhelming to even the most healthcare-savvy person. An agency can help you fill out the application, narrow down the best choices for your healthcare situation, and get you set up with your coverage.
Looking for the best individual coverage options for your healthcare needs? Fiorella Insurance Agency can help you with your choices and get you the coverage you need.