ORANGE, Calif. -- (BUSINESS WIRE) -- A key component of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) – and one generating a lot of conversation – is the requirement to have minimum, essential health insurance coverage in 2014 or risk a penalty.
The so-called “individual mandate” applies to most U.S. citizens except 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.
Even allowing for exceptions, there are likely to be millions of Americans who could face a penalty. So the question becomes, “How do you find health coverage that complies with the ACA?” First off, if you have health coverage through Medicare, Medicaid, a Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), TRICARE (for service members, retirees, and their families), a veterans’ health program, or your employer, your coverage requirement is met and there’s no penalty risk.
But if you need to shop for an individual or family plan that’s ACA compliant, you can get help sorting through all of your plan options – and identifying plans at or above the required “Bronze” level of coverage – by using a quote comparison site like HealthCompare.com.
By providing some basic information like ZIP Code, ages of those to be insured, tobacco use, and student status, you can compare dozens of plans in your area. (A recent comparison for a Kansas City, Missouri, family resulted in information for 158 plans.) And HealthCompare lets you sort your results by deductible, premium, or carrier, so it’s easy to find the plan best suited to your needs and budget.
HealthCompare was among the first organizations awarded a Web Broker Entity Agreement with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), which plays a major role in ACA implementation. So in addition to presenting you with information on commercial plans available, you can use HealthCompare to view plans offered through federally facilitated exchanges. The individual mandate is effective January 1, 2014, so now’s a good time to begin your search for health coverage that satisfies the ACA requirement and is a good match for your health needs and your wallet.
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.