A key component of the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare goes into effect today with the opening of the online Health Insurance Marketplace.
The online Marketplace (also known as an exchange) is a new way for the uninsured to find affordable health insurance coverage. It is designed to be a one-stop shop to help you compare health insurance options and purchase a plan that fits you and your family’s health care needs and budget.
Quick Tip: 80% of Americans already have health insurance through their employer, Medicaid, Medicare, or individual insurance and are already in compliance with the new law. If you fall into this bucket, you don’t need to do anything. You’re all set.
Here are more important things you should know about the Health Insurance Marketplace:
- While most insurance plans are offered by private companies, the Marketplace is run by either your state or the federal government. Find out if your state has an established Health Insurance Marketplace and how to get covered.
- If you don’t currently have health insurance, there’s a window for enrollment – the government has given families and individuals from October 1, 2013 to March 31, 2014 to purchase health care plans through their state or federal exchange.
- If you can’t afford to buy health insurance, you may be eligible for financial assistance from the government in the form a health care reform tax credit or subsidy.
- Most people will be required to enroll in a health insurance plan by March 31, 2014. If you don’t enroll by that date, you could receive a tax penalty on your 2014 tax return (filed in 2015).
- To find out how health care reform impacts you based on your current health insurance situation, be sure to check out our health care calculator. It shows you whether you’re eligible for subsidy also known as a tax credit, your estimated subsidy amount, estimated out-of-pocket expenses and possible penalty costs for those who choose not to purchase health insurance.
Still have questions? Get answers to your health care questions on the TurboTax AnswerXchange . And be sure to check out our video below that breaks down health care reform and what it means for you.