VIRGINIA BEACH, Va (WAVY) - Like it or not, the Affordable Care Act is coming. Starting Tuesday, October 1 you will be able to go online and enroll.
There is a lot to consider, so experts say you really need to do your homework.
WAVY.com asked TSA Benefits President Richard Herzberg what you need to know.
"Everyone is different, it depends who you're married to, it depends on the number of children you have, it depends on if you are ex-military," Herzberg said.
All of those things factor into whether you're eligible for a subsidy, which is money from the government to help pay for your insurance.
If your employer offers what the government considers affordable insurance, you're not eligible for a subsidy. If you are on Medicare, Medicaid or Tricare, you're not eligible for a subsidy. Herzberg told WAVY.com you may also be surprised that even the poorest of the poor may not qualify in Virginia. An estimated 400,000 people could fall through the cracks because it's not based just on income, it's also based on your individual circumstances.
"The young and healthy that are currently getting coverage today, unless they can do something to get a subsidy, are going to be very unhappy cause it's going to push their premiums up 100 to 200 percent," Herzberg explained.
On the flip side, a family of four making $40,000 a year may save thousands. Small businesses can also benefit big according to Herzberg.
"Most of this law will run in converse to what you actually thought it would be," he said.
Converse too, to your internet shopping instinct. The lowest sticker price he warns won't always be the best deal for you.
So how do you find the perfect deal for you? Probably the best thing is to meet with a broker or a healthcare Navigator. It won't cost you a dime. The government has factored it into the price of the insurance. You could also attend one of many seminars in our area or do the research yourself online.
Virginia Health and Human Services announced in August the two Navigator entities selected for Virginia:
The Virginia Poverty Law Center will have about 20 Navigators working statewide to identify and assist uninsured Virginians who may qualify for new health insurance options through their “ENROLL Virginia!” project.
- Advanced Patient Advocacy LLC will work out of specific hospitals to assist patients and others interested in applying for health insurance.
Again the marketplace opens Tuesday, but our experts say the chances it will be up and running at full capacity are slim. Their advice is to take this time to do your homework, and wait to buy until at least November.
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