Millions of Americans have been laid off or furloughed in recent weeks because of the coronavirus. Even if COVID-19 testing is free, treatment can be costly, especially if you are uninsured. If you have lost your job and employer-based insurance, it is essential to find new insurance quickly to avoid a lapse in coverage.
The requirements for Obamacare are simple, and insurers are not able to reject you for pre-existing conditions. Therefore, the health insurance marketplace is one of the best places to start to review your options for a new insurance plan.
The Basic Requirements for Obamacare
1. U.S. Residency
The first requirement for Obamacare that you must meet involves your residency within the country. You are a resident of the United States for the health insurance marketplace if you are considered a resident for tax purposes.
U.S. territories have their own marketplace and expansions to Medicaid coverage. If you live in a U.S. territory, you will not be able to apply for coverage through the health insurance marketplace unless you also qualify as a resident.
2. Citizenship or Lawful Immigration Status
You must be a U.S. citizen or hold a qualifying immigration status to be eligible for coverage through the health insurance marketplace. For example, you have a qualifying immigration status if you are:
- Lawful permanent resident
- The holder of a non-immigration statuses, including worker visas or student visas
Who is Not Eligible for Obamacare?
It is easy to qualify for Obamacare, but you will not meet the requirements for Obamacare if you are:
- Currently incarcerated
- Not considered a U.S. resident
- Enrolled in Medicare
- Applying outside of open enrollment and do not qualify for a special enrollment period
How Do You Calculate Income for Obamacare?
Income is not one of the requirements for Obamacare, but it does impact the cost of your insurance and your options. The health insurance marketplace will inform you if you may be eligible for Medicaid, a government insurance program that provides insurance to low-income Americans that qualify. Your income will also determine the amount of premium tax credits you receive, which will reduce your monthly premium amount for your insurance.
To determine your income, you must first determine your household size. Your household includes yourself, your spouse if you are legally married, and all of your taxable dependents. You should include your spouse and dependents, even if they do not need insurance coverage. However, do not include your taxable dependents if you do not intend to claim them on your taxes.
Income used on your application includes what your expected household income is for the year. It does not include any of last year’s income. You can enter your total income into the application as a monthly or annual amount, but you should include income such as:
- Federal taxable wages
- Self-employment income
- Unemployment insurance compensation
- Social Security or Social Security Disability
- Retirement and pensions
Do not include income from sources such as:
- Child support
- Supplemental Security Income
- Worker’s Compensation
- Veterans’ disability payments
- Alimony payments that were finalized after January 1, 2019
Open Enrollment and Special Enrollment Requirements for Obamacare
Normally, you can only apply for new insurance or make a change to your existing Obamacare plan during an open enrollment period. However, open enrollment is already over for 2020. Due to the coronavirus, some states have chosen to extend their open enrollment periods and accept more applications.
Otherwise, you will need to qualify for a special enrollment period. A special enrollment period is a 60-day period that you may apply for or change your insurance coverage on the marketplace. This period begins after a qualifying life event, such as:
- You got married
- You lost your previous health insurance
- You had or adopted a baby or placed a foster child
- You moved to a new county or zip code
Reviewing Your Requirements for Obamacare with an Agent
Treatment for COVID-19 isn’t generally free. While no one expects to become sick, illness and emergencies do happen, even outside of a pandemic. If you have lost your health insurance or you are searching for new coverage, the requirements for Obamacare are easy to meet. Do you meet the requirements for Obamacare? Fiorella Insurance Agency is one of the largest licensed insurance agencies in Florida. We’ve helped 66,000 healthcare customers and rising. Contact us today to learn if you qualify for Obamacare and what your plan options are. If you’re in rush, just fill out the form below and we’ll get right back to you.