Familiarize yourself with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to better understand how Obamacare works.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA or “Obamacare”) was signed into law by President Barack Obama in 2010. A major overhaul of the U.S. health-care system, Obamacare tries to reduce the amount of uncompensated care the average U.S. family pays for by requiring everyone to have health insurance or pay a tax penalty. But how does Obamacare work?
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Obamacare tax penalties
The ACA’s new tax penalties for people without insurance are designed, in part, to offset the cost of paying for the health care of people without health insurance. If you earn a lower income, you may be able to qualify for Obamacare subsidies, which are designed to make insurance more affordable. If you understand how Obamacare subsidies and tax penalties work you’ll be in a better position to purchase the health insurance product that suits you best.
Obamacare Open Enrollment Period
This year, the Obamacare Open Enrollment Period (OPE), which is the time frame during which you can start to shop for newly reformed health insurance plans, begins on November 15, 2014 and runs until February 15, 2015.
Qualifying life events under Obamacare
If you don’t buy health insurance during the Open Enrollment Period, it may be difficult to buy ACA-compliant health insurance unless you experience a qualifying life event, which is a major life-changing event. Qualifying life events include things like the loss of a job, a move to a new coverage area, the birth of a child, or the loss of existing coverage, which is usually because of marriage, divorce, or turning 25 and no longer being able to stay on a parent’s plan. Be aware that without Obamacare-compliant health insurance, you could face tax penalties and unfunded medical bills if you get sick or injured. To help find the right health plan for you, enter your zip code where requested on this page to see a quote.