The magic date: March 31, 2014.
This is the deadline to apply for healthcare coverage through the government sponsored exchange marketplaces and to avoid the penalty.
Since health care coverage costs can definitely affect your success in a financial plan, it is a crucial element in budgeting expenses and retirement planning. By helping you prepare for the unexpected, planning around health care costs and events can reduce feelings of vulnerability and allow you to move toward the future with confidence.
When making this choice, here are three issues to understand around the new programs:
1. What is the Individual Mandate?
The individual mandate requires the following:
- An individual must have minimum essential health insurance beginning in 2014
- Or qualify for an exemption
- Or pay a penalty fee
2. Are you covered?
- Yes, if you’re covered by your employer, a government plan, or insurance purchases through an exchange marketplace
- Yes, if your insurance includes coverage of minimum essential health benefits
3. What is the penalty fee in 2014?
- Greater of 1% of annual household income or $95 per adult/year
- $47.50 per child under age 18
- No more than $285 per family per year
- This penalty will increase in subsequent years
You may also notice there are various exemptions for the penalty fee.
For more information about choosing the plan that is right for you, check out this video:
What are your plans for health care coverage? Have you had any successes or set-backs with the exchange marketplaces?