You’ve probably heard that the health care law is changing health insurance and the way you buy coverage. But when? And if you need to buy health insurance, when should you start shopping?
October 1, 2013, was the first day people could start shopping and comparing qualified health plans on the Health Insurance Marketplace, on bcbst.com, through a local BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee agent or at one of the enrollment centers located throughout the state of Tennessee.
Through the Marketplace, a secure, online portal, administered and managed by the federal government, you can:
To be sure you have health insurance that starts on January 1, 2014, you need to buy coverage by December 23, 2013. If you purchase a health plan after December 23, 2013, the day your coverage starts will be delayed by several weeks.
If you want your coverage to start on January 1, 2014, be sure to pay the premium for your new health plan no later than December 31, 2013. Otherwise, your coverage will not start.
The health care law requires almost all Americans to have health insurance in 2014. If you don’t enroll in a plan by March 31, 2014 (the last day of open enrollment on the Health Insurance Marketplace), you may have to pay a tax penalty every month you go without. A tax professional can tell you exactly how this penalty might impact you.
If you meet certain requirements, you may be able to get an exemption, so you don’t have to pay this tax penalty. You can find out if you qualify for an exemption at www.HealthCare.gov.
This year, Open Enrollment on the Marketplace goes until March 31, 2014. If you want to buy health insurance on the Marketplace that meets the federal coverage requirement, you must make your purchase by the end of March 2014. Otherwise, you may have to wait until November 15, 2014, the start of the next Open Enrollment period, for another chance to buy coverage on the Marketplace.
You can only buy coverage on the Marketplace outside Open Enrollment if you experience a “qualifying event,” including:
You can learn more about Open Enrollment and what to expect in health care starting in 2014 at www.healthcare.gov.
This is an estimate for a 2014 plan and does not include any cost savings you may be eligible for from the federal government. Your actual rate will depend on information entered in your application for coverage.
Wondering why health insurance is important? You’re not alone. Learn how it protects you – and your wallet.Why Health Insurance Makes Sense
We've been there for Tennesseans since 1945 – and we'll be here for you, too.Why Choose Blue