There’s been a lot of confusion this year about Obamacare. It was repealed and then it wasn’t. And then it was – or wasn’t it? The way things keep changing, it’s kind of hard to keep up sometimes.
Adding to the ‘fun,’ the Trump administration issued a statement back in October that it would immediately stop supporting the cost-sharing subsidies that normally reimburse insurers for reducing the deductibles and co-pays of lower-income Obamacare enrollees. This led many to wonder if they would be able to purchase insurance through the Marketplace and if they could – could they even afford it?
The truth for now, at least, is that Obamacare a/k/a the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is still available and the 2018 enrollment period is currently underway. This year, there is a shorter enrollment period, however, and it runs from November 1 to December 15. That is basically half the time that was available in previous years.
Affordable Healthcare Options for Kennesaw and Other Georgia Residents
Premium costs have gone up though and in addition, there are also fewer plans through the Marketplace to choose from.
In the state of Georgia, you will find you only have two choices now: AmBetter and Kaiser Permanente.
While these two plans may work for many Georgians, they may not be the right choice for everyone.
As an example, what do you do if you really just can’t afford the health insurance options that the Marketplace has available?
When this is the case, you have two options.
Option One: File for an Exemption
Although you may think you can’t afford health insurance because you simply don’t have the money and it doesn’t fit into your household budget, this does not necessarily exempt you from having to pay for healthcare insurance.
The government actually has some guidelines you have to meet to qualify for an exemption. They are:
- Coverage is considered unaffordable if the lowest cost Bronze-level plan available to you through the Marketplace in 2018 is more than 8.05% of your household income.
- The total cost to you must be more than 8.05%, accounting for any premium tax credit you would qualify for if you enrolled in that plan.
- If you qualify for this exemption, it may apply to everybody on your tax return.
You also need to fill out an exemption application, gather required documentation, and mail it to the Marketplace.
How to Fill Out the Affordability Exemption Application:
- Complete, sign, and mail the application to the address shown on the form.
- Be sure to include copies of required income documentation such as tax returns, paystubs, or 1099s. This documentation is needed to verify the 2018 income you project on your application. The application includes a complete list of acceptable income documents.
- You should get a written response from the Marketplace generally within 4 weeks. If your exemption is approved, you’ll get an Exemption Certificate Number (ECN) for each household member who qualifies.
- In early 2019, when it’s time to file your 2018 federal taxes, write each person’s ECN on IRS Form 8965, Part 1, column “c”.
- Be sure to include Form 8965 when you file your 2018 federal tax return.
Option Two: Talk to an Insurance Healthcare Specialist
While you can certainly jump through all those hoops to file for an exemption, this can put you at risk for a lot of medical bills if you end up in the hospital with a serious medical condition.
What if I told you there was another option that could cost you less than the insurance plans available through the Marketplace? A way that you could still have medical coverage, but at a lower cost.
Would you be surprised to know that there is an option that would pay right away if you broke your leg, got pneumonia, or even had a catastrophic life-changing event, such as having a heart attack or discovering that you have cancer?
I’m sure you’re wondering – “what’s the catch?”
Well, there are some things you do need to know and I’d love to sit down with you and discuss them. Contact me today to set up an appointment. I’m here to help!