Young Adults, Under 30
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) - also called Obamacare - is a new law helping more Americans get health insurance. This guide will help you understand how it's affecting young adults.
And if you're overwhelmed, don't worry! Just call or email us. We're trained and authorized to help.
Young adults are priced differently now.
Before ACA, insurance companies may have charged an older person six times more than you for the same policy. But ACA limits that to three times more starting in 2014. So many young adults might see big premium increases when their policy is priced under the new rating system.
See if you qualify for discounted insurance.
Even though retail costs for your health insurance are probably going up in most areas, you might qualify for lower rates by using a tax subsidy. A tax subsidy is the amount of money that the government will pay to your private, brand-name insurance company to lower your health insurance costs so the monthly premium is affordable. The amount of money, if any, that the goverment pays on your behalf is based on your family size and household income.
Medicaid is expanding to include more people.
Before ACA, the income cut-off for Medicaid was 100% Federal Poverty Level (FPL), but now it's 138% FPL. Medicaid varies by state, and not all states chose to expand the program. If your state did not expand Medicaid and you would have qualified, you can enroll in a subsidized private plan for as little as $1 per month instead.
If you're under 30 years old, you'll have a "catastrophic" plan option.
In addition to the four plan choices (Platinum, Gold, Silver, Bronze), you'll have a fifth choice - a "catastrophic" plan - which has a much lower monthly premium but much higher out-of-pocket costs when you use your plan.
You can be covered on your parent's insurance up to age 26.
Until your 26th birthday, you can be covered under your parent on his or her health insurance. You do not have to be a full-time student, you can married, and your parents do not have to claim you as a dependent. Until you're 26, you're covered, no questions asked.
You're required to have health insurance, or pay a penalty.
Unless you qualify for an exception, you're required to have health insurance or pay a penalty starting in 2014. Qualified insurance could be job-based coverage (your's, your spouse's, or your parent's), private health insurance, Medicaid or another government-sponsored insurance plan. You might decide it's better to go with the low-cost catastrophic plan to avoid the penalty and the potential for bankruptcy if you get bad sick.
You can't be turned down for pre-existing conditions anymore.
No insurance company can turn you away because of a pre-existing condition. And no insurance company can drop you just because you get sick.
You can't be charged extra premium for pre-existing conditions.
If you have a pre-existing condition or have had to use your insurance often in the past, you will not be penalized on new plans.
All plans cover Essential Health Benefits with no yearly or lifetime limits.
All plans must include coverage for certain benefits with no limits, so you can't run out of insurance. Essential Health Benefits include doctor office visits, hospitalization, prescriptions, preventive care, and more.
Is your family growing?
All new plans must include coverage for maternity. If you're pregnant now, you cannot be turned down by any insurance company.
Dental and vision care for children under age 19 is included now.
Is your child overdue for a dental cleaning? Is she squinting to see the board at school? Good news! Dental and vision care for children is included in all new health plans.
You'll get free checkups.
Health insurance isn't just for when you get sick - it's also for keeping you well so you don't get sick. All new plans include 100% coverage for preventive care for things like physicals, labs, screenings, pap smears, mammograms, PSA tests, colonoscopies, and more. Preventive care for children is included, too.
YOU HAVE THE POWER OF CHOICE
Choose your insurance company.
Even if you accept a tax subsidy - where the government helps pay your health insurance costs so your plan stays affordable - you still have the power of choice. Obamacare plans not insured by the government. They are insured by private, brand-name insurance companies like BlueCross BlueShield, United Healthcare, Humana, Kaiser Permanente, and more. You can choose your favorite insurance company from the ones available in your area.
Choose your benefits.
Whether you qualify for a tax subsidy or not, you'll be choosing from four categories of plans: Platinum, Gold, Silver, or Bronze. If you are less than 30 years old (or none of the other plans are affordable), you'll have a fifth plan choice - a "catastrophic plan" - where you'll pay more when you use your plan but pay less each month for the premium. The law says that the benefits have to be exactly the same for on or off-exchange, so if even if you accept government money to lower your health insurance costs, you will not give up any benefits.
Use our Plan Guide to help you decide.
Consider doctor choices when selecting your plan.
There's always a catch, isn't there? The benefits have to be the same whether you accept a tax subsidy or not, but the provider network might be smaller if you use government money to lower your healthcare costs. This is not the case every time, so it's a good idea to check the provider network before enrolling in a plan.
Choose how you enroll in new health plans.
You can enroll in a new plan, on and off-exchange, several ways: 1) You can enroll through the public exchange (government website) 2) You can enroll directly with the insurance company 3) You can enroll with a local agent 4) You can enroll through a private exchange (that's us!). Choose the method that you feel most comfortable with, and you can enroll in the same plans for the same price.