We made it to ObamaCare open enrollment despite a government shutdown. If you are looking for what your coverage options will be in 2014 then check out www.healthcare.gov or continue reading because we were fortunate to have a national expert who was kind enough to contribute a column on this subject. Katherine Woodfield is America’s first health insurance consumer advocate with impressive knowledge on how insurance works and how to lower costs.
It’s Open Enrollment –
What Do You Need to Shop the Health Insurance Exchanges?
K. R. Woodfield, MBA www.healthcare-insurance-education.com
Author: “Don’t Buy THAT Health Insurance: Become an Educated Health Care Consumer”
“Do you want to see if you are eligible for a health insurance premium subsidy from the federal government? It is time to see if you can save money on your health insurance premiums. So, when you contact a navigator, Application assister, or Certified application counselors (the people who are being put in place to help guide you or help you navigate the health care exchange system), what do you need to bring to the table?
You need to be prepared because the application process, while simple and straight forward, has “must complete” boxes. In other words, the person who is working with you will not be able to move to the next page of the application without putting data in a box. So, it is the consumers responsibility to bring the following key information with him to the meeting, call or virtual conference.
- Last year’s taxes and your most recent pay stub. There is no benefit to underestimating or over estimating you income for next year. If you tell the government you are going to earn less than you really think you will earn, you will owe money at the end of the year on your taxes. If you understate your income, you will spend all year paying premiums that could have been lower. The actual cost of your premium will be reconciled when you file your 2014 taxes, but you want to try to get your income correct up front.
- Social Security numbers. You should have your social security number, your spouses and any dependents you plan to insure. You need birthdays, too. (It is never a good idea to call your wife and ask her what date her birthday is – so be prepared before you shop.)
- Evidence of current insurance. This will be important when it comes to continuity of coverage. Pre-existing conditions are a lot less of a burden in the new health insurance exchange world because there is no medical underwriting anymore. But, if you can’t provide evidence of prior coverage, you will open the door to a set of problems related to “look back clauses” that you would rather not know about.
That’s it! That’s all you need. To help you out, the government has created a document located on healthcare.gov/subscribe.
What can we expect in the next three months depends on the outcome of this latest political exercise but it safe to say it will be a volatile couple of months for those not in the know. Fortunately for you, E.D. Bellis was created to keep you informed with reliable information about your government and healthcare reform. Interact with us anytime on this website and check out our weekly radio program America’s Healthcare Challenge.