This Tuesday, October 1, 2013 is the day Open Enrollment begins under the new health care reform law.
How will this affect you?
If you already have health insurance through your employer or are enrolled in a government program such as Medicare, you probably won’t be affected. If you don’t have health insurance (and many independent contractors working in the beauty industry do not), you will be able to purchase it on your own, either through your state’s health insurance “Exchange” or “Marketplace,” or a private insurance broker. The new law dictates that every U.S. citizen must obtain health coverage or else suffer a tax penalty.
If you choose to remain uninsured, you will have to pay $95 or 1% of your annual income—whichever is higher. Each year, the penalty amount will increase until 2016 when it reaches $695 or 2.5%.
Earning less than 4 times the federal poverty level ($45,960 for a single person) will make you eligible for financial assistance—either in the form of tax credits or subsidies—to help offset the cost of your premium. If you want to know how much you can expect to pay for a plan and whether you’d be eligible for subsidies, use this calculator to find out right away.
In order to qualify for health coverage starting January 1, 2014, you must sign up before December 14, 2013.
“Knowing you can offer your family the security of health care, that’s priceless. Now you can do it for the cost of your cable bill, probably less than your cell phone bill. Think about that, good insurance for the price of your cell phone bill or less.”—Obama, during his speech in Largo, Md., on 9/26/13 (CTV NEWS)
Do you have any concerns over Obamacare? Tell us in the Comments Section how the new Affordable Care Act will affect your life. Are you looking forward to these changes?