With the February 15th deadline quickly approaching, time is running out to sign up for health insurance!
Here are just five reasons – there are many more – why you should look into your options with Nevada Health Link.
- It’s the law.
First and foremost, it is the law. The Affordable Care Act was signed into law on March 23rd, 2010 by President Barack Obama and it requires all Americans lawfully present in the country to obtain health insurance by certain deadlines. Very few exceptions are allowed.
The law led to the creation of online insurance exchanges like HealthCare.Gov and Nevada Health Link. The process to sign up is easy and there are trained professionals available to help you sign up. You can find these trained assisters by going to the Nevada Health Link In-Person Assistance Search Tool. Their services are free and they can help you complete the process from start to finish, in addition to answering all of your questions.
Those individuals who are required without health insurance and who fail to enroll in a health plan by the deadline will be penalized when filing next year’s taxes. In 2015, the fee will be 2% of the annual household income or $325 per person, whichever is higher.
- Most people qualify for lower costs on health insurance.
The enrollment application consists of five categories: Get started, Family & Household, Income, Additional Information and Review and Sign. The system will take this information and calculate the cost of health insurance plans – which depend applicant’s age, geographical area and tobacco use – and whether the household qualifies for federal subsides to help with paying for health insurance. The website is designed to give immediate results.
When applying through the Nevada Health Link, a family of four with a household income below $32,913 may qualify for Medicaid (under the recent expansion). A family of four with an annual income between $23,850 and $59,625 may qualify for lower premiums and lower out-of-pocket costs. The Marketplace provides a health care savings chartto estimate the type of help each household is eligible for before applying.
- There are several tiers to choose from.
There are four Health Plan Categories, or Tiers, to choose from: Bronze covers 60% of costs, Silver covers 70%, Gold covers 80% and Platinum covers 90%.
The percentage of the coverage largely correlates to the premium cost. There are plans designed for all incomes, from affordable monthly premiums to plans that cover up to 90% of medical costs but charge a higher premium upfront.
- It saves money in the long run.
As an Exchange Enrollment Assister, I have seen individuals purchase plans that cost $40 a month. The costs and availabilities all depend on an individual’s circumstances. Even the lowest monthly premium may cover any unexpected emergency – an option for those who want to pay the least amount possible.
But if you are one of many Americans with pre-existing conditions, you may see more significant savings. As part of the ACA, insurance companies cannot deny or charge more to individuals with pre-existing conditions – offering coverage to millions who otherwise would have been denied.
And now you also get free preventive care!
- The 10 Essential Health Benefits: There’s at least one for you.
These 10 benefits are required to be covered by every health plan under the ACA. Most of us can related to needing at least one of thefollowing:
- Ambulatory patient services
- Emergency services
- Pregnancy, maternity, and newborn care
- Mental health and substance use disorder services
- Prescription drugs
- Rehabilitative and habilitative services and Laboratory services
- Preventive and wellness servicesand chronic disease management
- Pediatric services