Tax Penalty for Uninsured
Taking effect in 2014 is a tax penalty for those who do not have health insurance. Starting at $95 a person or $285 per family, or 1 percent of your income, whichever is highest.
Everyone will be required to have health insurance or pay the penalty. Options that would constitute as health insurance coverage would be private health insurance obtained on your own or provided by your employer, Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP, Tricare, Veterans Affairs, or the Indian Health Service.
All health plans must now sell coverage to everyone, regardless of pre-existing conditions. Also, carriers will not be able to charge more based on health or gender.
There are plenty of affordable health plans to choose from, but you may qualify for a subsidy if your household income is between 100 percent and 400 percent of the federal poverty level. The subsidy will be in the form of a tax credit that you can use right away to lower your premium if you buy through your state's marketplace.
Health Insurance Marketplaces
When nearing 2014, every state will have an insurance exchange by October 1, 2013. These exchanges will be an organized marketplace where individuals and small-business owners can choose from all the qualified private health plans available in their area.