Another reason to start that business you’ve been dreaming about!
(Yes David this blog is for you!)
Sole proprietors are the largest group of individuals expected to buy health insurance through the new Federal marketplace created by the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). Under the law, self-employed people with no employees are considered individuals even if they hire independent contractors, and will be required to purchase insurance for themselves or face a penalty when they file their taxes at the end of 2014.
Health reform advocates believe the law will free workers of "job lock" caused by the need to hold on to employer-sponsored group health coverage. A report this year co-authored by the Urban Institute and the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute's Center on Health Insurance Reforms estimated that 1.5 million more Americans will be self-employed in 2014 because of reforms under the ACA.
Depending on family size and income, solo entrepreneurs and other individuals may qualify for federal subsidies if they purchase plans through the marketplace.
Through the marketplace, you can compare plan premiums, deductibles and out-of-pocket costs. All marketplace plans offer an array of "essential health benefits," including emergency services, hospitalization, maternity and newborn care, lab services, chronic disease management, pediatric care, rehabilitative care, mental health and substance abuse services, and prescription drug coverage. If you need a more in depth comparison I can certainly help you with that.
Basically the plans that are available to Maine residents fit into one of three coverage levels, based on the percentages of costs, such as deductibles, co-payments and coinsurance, shared by consumers. Bronze plans must cover 60 percent of an average person's expected costs, silver plans 70 percent, gold plans 80 percent.
The Kaiser Family Foundation has a tool to help people estimate their costs and potential savings here.
If you have a question or would like assistance comparing the plans available on the exchange you can call me at (207) 370-0143. I am happy to talk to you about the plans on the phone or meet with you in person, whichever is most convenient for you. You can also email me using the Contact button on my menu or by clicking here.