More Affordable Health Insurance Options Now!
The Federal Health Insurance Marketplace has re-opened through May 15th, 2021 and subsidies have been increased.
So why is Unorthodoc, a Direct Primary Care practice that does not file insurance, writing about health insurance? We are not anti-insurance. We strongly encourage our patients to maintain health insurance for the same reason they have home or car insurance – to prevent financial disaster if the unthinkable happens. That is what insurance companies are good at. But now imagine how complicated an oil change would become if your car insurance company were required to pay for it! Insurance costs and complexities do not lower costs or increase quality for the simple, cost-effective maintenance and prevention you need most, and often harms it by adding middlemen to feed. Because direct primary care costs are stable, affordable, and transparent, they are easy to budget for. Therefore, our members are comfortable buying affordable high deductible health insurance plans.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused massive unemployment and an even more pressing need for healthcare. In response, President Biden reopened the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) federal health insurance marketplace for a special enrollment from February 15th – May 15th of 2021. This is an historic opportunity for Americans to buy health insurance outside the typical November – December enrollment period. Over 200,000 people have already signed up.
The news gets even better! The newest COVID-19 relief bill, signed March 11, 2021, authorizes increased subsidies for these plans. For some, the increased subsidies will be considerable. The New York Times gives the following example: “The Congressional Budget Office estimated that a 64-year-old earning $58,000 would see monthly payments decline from $1,075 under current law to $412 because the federal government would take up much of the cost”. And many people making up to 250% of the federal poverty level will be able to find at least one health insurance plan option with a zero-dollar premium. These increased subsidies are also retroactive to January 2021. If you are currently signed up through the Marketplace, you may see an automatic decrease in your monthly payment. And if you tried to shop for a plan before but found it too expensive, check out www.healthcare.gov again. You may be pleasantly surprised. *
In summary, if you or anyone you know is currently uninsured, please look at www.healthcare.gov to see what plans you qualify for. If you need help completing the application or have questions about the health insurance marketplace, find free, local, federally qualified navigators at www.ncnavigator.net. It doesn’t hurt to see what your options are, especially with the new subsidies.
*If you are reading this the week of March 14th, 2021 you may want to wait a few days before pricing plans at www.healthcare.gov as the federal government is working on updating the website to reflect the new pricing.