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With the new healthcare exchange, called the Health Insurance Marketplace, officially open for business, many people are still unsure of what the changing landscape of healthcare means for them specifically. You can rest assured knowing that the marketplace is not a government takeover; rather, it’s a one-stop shop where you can compare insurance plans and premiums from private insurance carriers all in one place.

The purpose of the healthcare overhaul is to make health insurance (provided by trusted private carriers) available and more affordable, while providing better, more stable coverage for everyone in the country—no more stressful choices between a trip to the doctor and paying an important bill. To assist individuals who earn lower incomes, you may be eligible for subsidized (lower cost) premiums if you meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Annual income between $11,490 and $45,960 for individuals
  • Annual income between $23,550 and $94,200 for a family of 4
  • Medicaid and CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program) recipients

Once you enter the marketplace, you will be prompted to answer a few short questions about yourself. You can then review policy options and access information about a variety of healthcare topics. The marketplace’s enrollment has experienced technical glitches due to a huge wave of web traffic, but you are still able to access helpful information pertaining to healthcare and how the marketplace can assist your quest for coverage.

There are four tiers of healthcare plans—bronze, silver, gold and platinum—that offer various premiums, deductibles and co-pays. However, they all must offer comprehensive benefits including preventative care, physician visits, hospital stays and prescription drugs. Each of these plans is offered by many trusted insurance carriers for you to choose from. However, certain information is not included in the marketplace and you may want to contact the carriers of your interest for more information about the following:

  • The maximum out-of-pocket expenses that you are liable for per year
  • If your doctors are in-network
  • The number of covered doctor visits per year
  • The amount of prescription drug coverage

To motivate individuals to obtain insurance through the marketplace (for those who don’t receive coverage through their employer), a penalty will be charged starting in 2014 to those individuals with no health insurance. This penalty will be either a percentage of your income (growing from one percent in 2014 to 2.5 percent in 2016) or a specific dollar amount (starting at $95 in 2014 and growing in excess of $695 by 2016).

Still have questions about purchasing healthcare with the recent changes? Call Pro Player Insurance Group at (954) 316-4662 for more information on Fort Lauderdale health insurance.

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