Why Do You Need Health Insurance?
Your health affects your quality of life. If you become sick or injured, a short hospital stay could be costly. If you don’t have insurance, you could be responsible for the entire bill, and if you have a major medical incident, a health plan can help protect your finances. Serious diseases or accidents often need surgeries, treatments, and medications that can run into hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Having a health plan makes good sense
When you have a health plan, you’ll also be more likely to get routine checkups and preventive care which helps you stay healthy – and saves money on medical costs in the long run. A health plan can fit your budget because you’re able to choose the coverage you want.
Health insurance is the law
By law, starting on January 1, 2014, under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or Obamacare, everyone is required to have health insurance coverage.
What Are My Rights and Protection?*
The Affordable Care Act offers several new protections and puts consumers back in charge of their health care. Under the law, a new “Patient’s Bill of Rights” gives people the stability and flexibility they need to make informed choices about their health. These new protections include:
- Ban on Discriminating Against Kids with Pre-Existing Conditions
- Ban on Insurance Companies Dropping Coverage
- Ban on Insurance Companies Limiting Coverage
- Ban on Insurance Companies Limiting Choice of Doctors
- Ban on Insurance Companies Restricting Emergency Room Care
- Guaranteeing You a Right to Appeal
- Covering Young Adults on Parent’s Plan
- Covering Preventive Care With No Cost
How Do You Get Health Insurance?
Under the Affordable Care Act, California has set up a new online Marketplace, called Covered California, where people can buy insurance. You can also buy a plan outside the Marketplace and still be considered covered. However, if you buy outside the Marketplace, you won’t be eligible for premium tax credits or lower out-of-pocket costs based on your income.**
If you’re eligible for job-based insurance, you can consider switching to a Marketplace plan. But you won’t qualify for lower costs based on your income unless the job-based insurance isn’t considered affordable or doesn’t meet minimum requirements.
If you have Medicare, you’re considered covered and don’t have to make any changes. If you have Medicare, you can’t use the Marketplace to buy a supplemental plan or dental plan.
Common Health Insurance Plans
The most common types of health insurance plans include HMO, PPO, and Medicare.
If you don’t have coverage, the penalty for no health insurance that qualifies as minimum essential coverage may result in a yearly fee!
Medicare isn’t part of the Health Insurance Marketplace, so you cannot apply for Medicare through the Marketplace. If you’re interested in finding out about free health insurance, you can learn more through the Marketplace.