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  • Obamacare Basics

    Obamacare FAQs

    Do you have questions about Obamacare? We have the answers.

    What is Obamacare?

    Obamacare is health care reform legislation signed into law by President Barack Obama in 2010. While commonly referred to as Obamacare or the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the official name of the legislation is the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

    How does Obamacare work?

    Obamacare was enacted to make sure that all Americans have access to affordable health insurance. If you don’t get insurance through your employer, you can now get access to government-sponsored health care plans, and you may even qualify for a government subsidy to help you pay for it.

    Obamacare also changed some of the rules that insurance companies have to follow so that more people could be covered. For example, insurance companies can no longer exclude someone from coverage just for having a pre-existing medical condition.

    How much is Obamacare? How much does Obamacare cost?

    The cost will depend on the kind of health care plan you choose (Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum), how much health care you use each year, and whether or not you qualify for an Obamacare subsidy.

    In general, you can expect to pay a monthly premium, or fee that an insurance company charges in exchange for insurance coverage. Some plans also require copayments, or specified charges for a specified service, such as a $30 fee for an office visit that you pay when you see a doctor. All insurance plans have an “out-of-pocket maximum” amount that limits the total amount you spend on health care in a given year, regardless of how much health care you need. We can help you find a health care plan to fit your needs and budget.

    Is Obamacare free?

    No, but there are many affordable health care plan options and you may even qualify for an Obamacare subsidy to help you pay for the cost. Try our calculator to find out if you are eligible for an Obamacare subsidy.

    How do Obamacare subsidies work?

    Under Obamacare, many individuals and families are eligible to receive a subsidy to help them pay for health insurance coverage if they are not eligible for Medicare or Medicaid and are not offered affordable coverage through their employer. Your eligibility depends on factors such as your annual household income and how many people are in your household. Try our calculator to find out if you are eligible for an Obamacare subsidy.

    How do I sign up for Obamacare? How do I get Obamacare?

    You’ve come to the right place. KeenanDirect can help you find and sign up for the right health care plan – all at no additional cost to you. As your licensed health insurance agent, we can help you choose among the many affordable health insurance plan options available in California for individuals, families and small businesses. We will also be there for you after you get coverage, to answer any questions you may have.

    What is the deadline to sign up for Obamacare?

    Most people sign up for Obamacare during Open Enrollment, the designated time period in which you can sign up for health care coverage for the upcoming calendar year. Open enrollment happens once a year, usually beginning in late Fall. However, if you experience a “qualifying life event” outside of the open enrollment period, you may be eligible for special enrollment to get the coverage you need. A qualifying life event could include: getting married, having a baby, having a substantial change in income, losing your current health insurance, or moving to a new state. There are many other circumstances that may be considered a “qualifying life event” that would enable you to get health insurance at any time of the year. Contact us to learn more.

    What is the Obamacare tax penalty?

    Under Obamacare, if you can afford to buy health insurance but choose not to get coverage, you must pay a penalty or fee when you file your federal tax return. This penalty is calculated as a percentage of your household income, or as a per person fee, whichever is higher. Contact us to learn more.

    What is a 1095 form and how do I get one?

    Your insurance company will send you a 1095 form that will serve as proof that you had insurance coverage during the year. Check with your tax professional; you may need to file the 1095 form with your tax returns.