One of readers asks: "I have insurance in New York state. Now I moved Virginia. Can I transfer my coverage to Virginia?"
You will not be able to purchase a New York state insurance policy in Virginia. Insurance plans are regulated by state and those regulations can vary from state to state. Moreover, each plan contracts with local hospitals and physicians. Each states’s insurance plans are local even when offered by national companies.
I don’t know the specifics of your plan, but the plan is required to tell you whether or not it is considered grandfathered. So, just check with your plan administrator to find out the status.
Charles, assuming your Aetna plan is one you buy on your own (rather than one you get at work) you can absolutely shop for another plan, and you should to make sure you're getting the best deal. There will be new options available to you, particularly since insurers can no longer deny anyone or charge them more for a pre-existing health conditions. And, depending on your income you may qualify for a subsidy to lower your costs.
Al, many people are unfortunately in the same boat as you. It’s incredibly frustrating, but the government is having difficulty with the exchanges and it’s keeping many people from completing their application process.
The good news is that you have until December 15th to buy coverage that starts at the first of the year (no plans can start before 1/1/14 anyhow). I would suggest you sit tight for a week or so to give the government time to work out the kinks and then try again.
To be considered affordable, employer sponsored insurance must cost less than 9.5% of your income AND cover at least 60% of your medical expenses. If your employer insurance does not meet both these tests, you may qualify for a federal subsidy.
You can estimate your 2014 income when you apply for coverage in the marketplace in your state. When you pay your 2014 Federal taxes you will payback any subsidy you received that is greater than warranted by your actual income.
Linda, start shopping for a new plan on your state's health insurance marketplace. You'll be able to compare plans side-by-side to see which best meets both your medical and financial needs.
If you qualify for Medicaid you do want to enroll because you will not qualify for a federal subsidy to purchase insurance through your state marketplace. I can’t speak to your specific plan choices under Illinois Medicaid, but you can contact your state’s Medicaid office for assistance.
Anybody can purchase coverage on the exchange. You may qualify for a tax credit if your family income is below 400% of poverty ($45,960 for an individual). You can apply and see what if any subsidy you are qualify for on Healthcare.gov
Both Valarie and Heidi asked a question about low incomes and affording coverage.
The law makes financial assistance available to low and middle income Americans, and most people eligible to buy health insurance through the exchanges will qualify for either Medicaid or a tax credit to lower costs. If, however, you don't qualify for Medicaid and the lowest price insurance plan available costs more than 8% of your income you will not be penalized or held accountable for buying an insurance policy.
One of our readers asks: "If you have Medicare because of disability can you still get a policy?"
While technically you are not prevented from buying a policy on a marketplace, it is more likely that it will duplicate, rather than cover the gaps in your Medicare policy.The marketplace is designed for people without insurance or people trying to replace their existing policy. There are no Medicare supplemental policies on the marketplaces, which sounds more like what you might want. About half of states require Medicare supplemental insurers to offer Medigap policies to those who are on Medicare due to a disability. You can visit a State Health assistance Insurance Program in your state which provides assistance for people with Medicare. Because of the federal government shutdown, the best way to find a SHIP in your state is www.shiptalk.org.
At $15,000 for a family of 1 you may qualify for Medicaid, depending on whether your state has expanded its Medicaid program. Medicaid will cover your cancer treatment.
Brett, I would suggest two things. First, start shopping your state's marketplace for a comprehensive medical policy that will start 1/1/14. Make sure that's set up. In the meantime, take a look at eHealthinsurance.com to see if you can find a short-term insurance policy that can help you cover some of your medical costs between now and the end of the year. Talk with one of their licensed agents to get some help with your situation: 877-731-9560.