Yes. When you file your taxes, you will have to fill out a form about your insurance. If you do not have coverage, you will be penalized about 1% of your taxable income. You pay that penalty to the IRS.
Starting in October 2013, there’s one more way to get health coverage. It’s called the health insurance marketplace (also known as exchanges). It gives you another way to compare and buy health insurance.
All plans in the marketplace are run by health insurance companies and offer a core set of benefits called “essential health benefits.” These benefits include ER care, hospital stays, maternity and newborn care, prescription drugs and preventive care. You can choose from four levels of coverage: catastrophic, bronze, silver, gold and platinum.
Each level may have a few plans to choose from, with bronze having the lowest monthly premium but you pay more for your care. Platinum plans have the highest monthly premium, but you pay less when you get care.
How it affects you
You have new choices for buying a health plan
You might get a break on health plan costs through a tax credit or subsidy
If you own a small business (with less than 49 workers), you may be able to use the marketplace to get health care for your business
(“New Health Marketplace Opens,” Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, accessed September 2013, www.healthcarereformforyou.com/reform-laws/health-insurance-plans/insurance-exchanges-open)
Subsidy is a word for financial assistance. Health care subsidies will be given in the form of monthly premium payments by the government to your health insurance company. These government payments reduce your monthly insurance bill. Beginning in 2014, if you purchase an approved health plan, you might be eligible for a subsidy.
U.S. citizens and legal U.S. aliens who make less than a certain amount of money per year will qualify. Here are the guidelines and some estimated figures:
People who are 100 to 400% of the federal poverty level. That means you make between $11,490 and $45,960 a year
A family of four that is 100 to 400% of the federal poverty level, meaning you make between $23,550 and $94,200 a year
People who are up to 250% of the federal poverty level. This group might get an extra subsidy with a silver level plan