By January 1, 2014, every American who is not covered under a government plan, will have three options for health insurance.
- Get coverage through an employer, if available. (More employers will have to offer coverage or may be fined. – It depends on their number of employees.)
- Buy a health plan through an “Exchange” (you may qualify for a subsidy) or buy directly from an insurance company “off exchange.”
- Go uninsured – but you will incur a tax penalty unless you qualify for an individual exemption. In 2014 that penalty will be the 1% the taxable household income. So, if your family makes $25,000 per year, your penalty will be $250.00. If your family makes less than $9500 per year it will still be $95.00.
The good news is: no one will be denied coverage even though they have pre-existing medical conditions. The bad news is: Even with financial assistance for those making less than 400% of the Federal Poverty level (as of 2012, $44,680 for an individual and $ 92,200 for a family of four) it will still be a significant premium bill that most will not have the budget for. In addition, even with a plan, there will be fairly large copayments and deductibles. It will not be free as many people now falsely think it will be!