Park City, Utah (PRWEB) August 28, 2013
Today, Zane Benefits, the number one online small business health benefits solution, published new information on applying for health insurance in 2014.
According to Zane Benefits’ website, recently common questions about what actions to take with the new health insurance exchanges have become very common, such as, how will people apply for individual health insurance post-2014? And, how will the process work?
Employees that are familiar with applying for individual health insurance now need to be aware that the application process will change in 2014 because of health care reform. Employees that aren’t familiar with applying for individual health insurance, need to learn what actions are going to be required.
The biggest tip for any employer or employee is: work with a health insurance agent to help employees navigate insurance plan options, the new marketplaces, and the federal premium tax subsidies. Agents are an invaluable resource and will end up saving the company money on health insurance.
Here's an overview for employees on how individual health insurance works, what to expect when applying for individual health insurance, and how to apply for individual health insurance post-2014.
Any individual or employee can purchase an individual health insurance plan. There are many choices when it comes to selecting a plan. Agents and brokers are available to help advise, and purchase a plan through (recommended), an individual can purchase a plan alone via the public new health insurance marketplaces, or directly from the insurance company.
To receive tax credits, insurance must be purchased through a public health exchange, with an agent or individually. The public health insurance marketplaces will open for shopping and enrollment October 1, 2013, with plan coverage starting January 1, 2014.
The individual will select the insurance company, the plan, and the options that best fit them and their family (such as what is covered, network of doctors, deductibles, co-insurance, etc).
Once purchased, the plan is still customizable. Unlike most employer plans, plan options, coverage items, and even the health insurance company can be changed at any time. In addition, the plan is portable. The plan will stay with the insured, even if he/she leave his/her employer.
There are four significant changes happening to individual health insurance in 2014 because of health care reform ("ObamaCare").
(1) Guaranteed-Issue: Medical underwriting goes away and all plans will be "guaranteed-issue". This means that all individuals will be accepted regardless of health status, and will not pay more because of health status. The only uprating (charging more) allowed will be for tobacco use, age, and location. Even so, there are limits on the amount an insurance company can up-rate for these factors.
(2) Federal Premium Tax Subsidies: Premium tax subsidies will be available to eligible individuals, for plans purchased through the individual health insurance marketplaces. Households with income between 100% and 400% of FPL who purchase coverage through a state (individual) health insurance exchange are eligible for a premium tax subsidy to reduce the cost of coverage. To be eligible, employees cannot be offered affordable, qualified health insurance through their employer.
(3) Essential Health Benefits: Starting in 2014, all plans will be required to include essential health benefits, a core package of items and services.
(4) Open Enrollment Periods: There will be set open enrollment periods when employees can enroll in guaranteed-issue health insurance. The first open enrollment period is October 1, 2013 to March 31, 2014.
Click here to read the full article.
About Zane Benefits
Zane Benefits was founded in 2006 to provide a revolutionized SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) administration platform ("ZaneHRA") for Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs) and defined contribution health care. The flagship software provides a 100% paperless administration experience to small businesses and insurance professionals that want to offer better health benefits without a traditional group health insurance plan at lower costs. For more information about ZaneHRA, visit http://www.zanebenefits.com.