4 tips for buying insurance without subsidy help
Independent insurance brokers can help you sort through these details and understand a policy’s limitations. For instance, an insurer may cover autism treatments, and the broker could help you figure out whether that includes care you might need such as applied behavior analysis, said Susan Rider, an insurance broker with Indianapolis-based Gregory & Appel Insurance.
4. Don’t ignore the law » The overhaul created an annual open enrollment period when people can sign up for coverage. If you miss this year’s period, which runs until the end of March, you may wind up uninsured for 2014 and could face a fine.
The law requires almost everyone to have health insurance. Fines start as low as $95 the first year but go up after that.
Outside the open enrollment window, your only option to find coverage may be if you have a major life change such as getting married, having a child or losing a job, said Carrie McLean, director of customer care at eHealthInsurance, a private health insurance exchange owned by eHealth Inc.
Customers have until Dec. 15 to sign up if they want coverage to start Jan. 1. They then have until the end of March to sign up and avoid paying a penalty for going without coverage in 2014.
You may wind up qualifying for subsidy help if your income drops or you become unemployed during the year.
The nonprofit Kaiser Family Foundation, which studies health care issues, offers a calculator on its website that helps consumers figure out what sort of subsidy they might receive. You can find it at http://bit.ly/13YLrxq .