ORANGE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--If you’re on a tight budget and looking for health insurance, you may think all coverage is pretty much the same, so choosing the coverage with the lowest monthly premium is the right route to take. But there are many things to consider beyond the coverage premium.
Other key considerations are deductibles, out-of-pocket cost, provider network, and – new in 2014 – the Affordable Care Act’s “individual mandate,” which requires virtually all U.S. citizens to have health insurance in 2014 and beyond.
Only undocumented aliens, individuals with a hardship, residents who cannot afford coverage (defined as those with a premium exceeding 8% of household income), anyone with an income below the tax-filing threshold, incarcerated individuals, those with a religious exemption, and Indian tribe members are exempt from the mandate.
Anyone without “minimum essential health insurance” faces a potential first-year penalty of the greater of $95 or 1% of family income, with penalties increasing in subsequent years and reaching up to 2.5% of family income in 2016 and thereafter. Millions could face a penalty, so you might be asking “What can I do to comply with the law and avoid a penalty?”
If you need help shopping for an individual or family health plan that’s ACA compliant, HealthCompare.com makes it easy. By providing basic information – like your ZIP Code, age, tobacco use, and student status – you can compare dozens of plans in your area. (A recent comparison for a suburban Denver family resulted in information for 302 plans.) And HealthCompare lets you sort results by deductible, premium, or carrier, making it easy to find a plan suited to your needs and budget.
HealthCompare is among the first organizations awarded a Web Broker Entity Agreement by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), which plays a major role in ACA compliance. So, in addition to giving you information on commercial plans available in your area, you can use HealthCompare to view information on plans offered through federally facility exchanges operating across the country as part of the Affordable Care Act.
Don’t wait. With the individual mandate slated to begin in 2014, now’s a good time to start your search for affordable health coverage. HealthCompare.com offers you unbiased information to find the plan that’s right for you.
About HealthCompare® and The Word & Brown Companies
HealthCompare® helps individuals, families, and those eligible for Medicare easily research, compare, buy, and enroll in the right health insurance plan at the right price. Through the HealthCompare.com and Joppel.com websites, consumers have easy access to side-by-side plan comparisons for hundreds of individual and family plans and Medicare Advantage (Part C), Medicare Supplement (Medigap), and Prescription Drug Program (Part D) plans from insurers nationwide. HealthCompare is part of The Word & Brown Companies, which provide insurance services through more than 50,000 brokers to hundreds of thousands of consumers and approximately 60,000 employers with nearly 6.5 million eligible employees.
For more information, visit www.wordandbrowncompanies.com.