Health Care Law FAQs
The health care law affects all of us, and brings a lot of changes to health insurance. We have the answers to your questions about the law – and what it means for you.
- Can I keep the coverage I have now? Because your employer decides on the plans it offers you, check with your boss or HR department to see if your coverage will stay the same – or change. If your coverage will continue after January 1, 2014, and you keep it, you’re covered.
If your health insurance is through a plan you buy yourself, you can keep your current plan into 2014.
- I have coverage through CoverTN, AccessTN or CoverKids, can I keep it? Do I need to get new coverage? The Cover Tennessee programs – CoverKids, CoverTN, AccessTN and CoverRX – were designed to fill gaps in coverage for Tennesseans who had difficulties accessing health insurance. Because the health care law makes health insurance more available and affordable, some of the Cover Tennessee programs will no longer be needed to continue to fill gaps in coverage and/or will not meet the new requirements of coverage.
Whether you can keep coverage through CoverTN, AccessTN or CoverKids depends on which program your coverage is through. Different changes are coming to each of these programs.
Find out more about how these programs are changing and if you may need to get other coverage.
- What happens if I don't have health insurance on March 31, 2014? The health care law requires almost all Americans to have health insurance coverage. The last day to enroll in coverage that starts on January 1, 2014, is December 23, 2013. And for coverage to start on January 1, 2014, you will need to pay your premium by December 31, 2013. You have can enroll in coverage up to March 31, 2014. As long as you enroll in coverage by March 31, 2014, you won't have to pay a tax penalty. If you don't enroll in a plan by March 31, 2014, you may face a tax penalty for every month you go without coverage. And you should know this penalty goes up each year. Talk with a tax professional if you want to know more about how this penalty could impact you.
- How does the health care law help me?The law adds some benefits that help everyone. If you haven't been able to afford insurance in the past, tax credits and other government assistance are available to help make coverage more affordable.
The health care law also makes coverage available to everyone – even people who are already sick or have a health problem. It also removes the limits some health insurance plans had on the amount they would pay for care and services in a year and over a lifetime. Learn More
- I heard that Tennessee doesn't have a marketplace. Does that mean I don’t have to buy health coverage?Tennessee does have a Health Insurance Marketplace, and you will have to buy coverage as required by the health care law – or face a possible tax penalty. The Marketplace in Tennessee is run by the federal government – not the state of Tennessee. The law allows each state to decide if it wants to run its own Marketplace or if it wants the federal government to run the Marketplace. Tennessee decided to have its Marketplace run by the federal government. You can access it at Healthcare.gov, or shop and enroll in a plan on bcbst.com, or through an agent or broker.
- What if I can’t afford health coverage?You can expect to see more choices in health plans in 2014 that may allow you to find coverage that meets your needs and stays within your budget. You also may be able to get a new kind of tax credit that lowers your monthly premium.
Depending on your situation, you may also be eligible for additional help that will help reduce your copays, deductibles and out-of-pocket costs.