The federal government created one central marketplace where most Americans seeking Obamacare coverage can determine eligibility and apply. Some states also have independent or interlinked marketplaces. For example, Nevada provides the Nevada Health Link and California offers Covered California.
In the past, health insurance companies could decide not to cover someone because of existing chronic or life-threatening illnesses. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, this is no longer the case. As of January 1, 2014, insurance carriers cannot use pre-existing health conditions to disqualify applicants for health care.
When President Joe Biden assumed office in January 2021, one of his first initiatives was to re-open ACA enrollment by creating a special enrollment period. Typically, people can only access special enrollment when they have qualifying life events. These are some qualifying events:
The lower your income and the larger your family, the more tax credits you might become eligible for via the Affordable Care Act. These tax credits help cover or subsidize the cost of your monthly health insurance bill. In some cases, it might bring the bill down to zero. Some states also add incentives to expand coverage and reduce costs, such as Nevada and California.
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There are ways to reduce your modified adjusted gross income so that you qualify for more tax credits. However, only an experienced accountant can advise you on which method might best serve your needs and your financial situation. These are some of the most common options people consider.
It is never too early to start putting money aside for retirement. Some retirement accounts also have the added benefit of reducing your MAGI because those accounts are tax-deductible. Ask your accountant about the impact of IRAs.
Healthcare.gov provides a full list of the income types it counts toward your MAGI for Obamacare qualification purposes. The more familiar you are with this list, the better your chances of lowering the total figure. These are some of the most common income types counted that people might ask about:
Health Savings Accounts help people with high deductibles set tax-free money aside to pay for medical care. You must have a high deductible health insurance plan to qualify for these, so platinum and gold Affordable Care Act health insurance plans from the prior year are good bets.
If you lose your job or move into a lower-paying position, you might qualify for cheaper health insurance. To accomplish this, you must report those income changes. If you do not already have health insurance with Healthcare.gov when this happens, it might trigger a special enrollment period, so you can change that.
This Affordable Care Act plan has the highest monthly premium, but it also has the lowest deductibles and covers most medical procedures. If you are older and have pre-existing conditions that require constant and expensive care, this could be a good option. Naturally, whether you can afford it will depend on your income versus the monthly premiums and estimated health care costs.
Gold plans have high monthly premiums, but they are not as high as platinum plans. The good news is that the cost of receiving medical care is much lower. If you are older or have a chronic illness and need routine and expensive care, but cannot afford the higher platinum plan premiums, this is a good alternative to look into.
Silver Affordable Care Act plans tend to have moderately priced plans. You can usually also count on moderate costs when you visit a doctor. In most cases, you pay much less in deductibles and other out-of-pocket costs than Bronze plans. This is an excellent choice for a healthy, young person who can afford moderate premiums and would like routine and preventative care to be fully covered.
The best advantage of a bronze plan is that it has the lowest premiums of all plans. Unfortunately, it also has the highest out-of-pocket costs when you do need to seek out medical care. The deductibles tend to be extremely high and most common procedures might not be covered. This is a good option for a young, healthy person who is mostly concerned about having insurance for emergencies.
When Former President Barack Obama introduced the ACA, it had three main goals. The first was to get as many people covered as possible. The aim was to cover another 30 million Americans. So far, 20 million more Americans have signed up for Obamacare. Second, the ACA should — as the name suggests — make health care more affordable. Finally, it required states to assist with expanding Medicaid.
Since then, the Affordable Care Act has undergone a few changes, but the goals remain the same. So, how many federal tax credits and state subsidies are you eligible for?
The only way to find out is to determine eligibility and get a quote for your household or even just yourself !