On Christmas after opening presents, we quickly got all our christmas decorations put away, and started to focus on the new year. This included shopping for Health Insurance. Our current Provider Cigna had already informed us that our rates would be jumping for 2015. Even though I tend to be conservative on most issues, I also don't fall into that high tax bracket that puts me on Par with other OLD gumpy republicans. I am a younger guy (35) so I am not affraid of using self checkout at Grociery stores and I am very comfortable with online shopping. For these reasons I decided to give the Healthcare.gov website a try. For those of you who buy your insurance directly from the market place, I highly suggest you give the site a try.
The Signup process was very simple. I was able to setup a group that includes My Wife, Me, and my Son. I was ble to get some preliminary quotes before giving any personal data which was nice. Then I added our personal data, names, Date of Birth, Social Security Numbers, and was able to get more exact quotes, which were no different than the preliminary quotes. The prices were better than we had with Cigna, and that was before taking into account the tax credits.
When you buy a policy off the Healthcare.gov website, they will ask you what your estimated household income will be in 2015. Using my 2014 income as a basis for what my 2015 income will be, the website told me that I qualify for tax credits. I can either get these credits at the end of the year when I fill my taxes, or I can have them taken off my monthly premiums. To me money saved today is better than money saved all year, especially when the total amounts don't differ. So by using my tax credits, I was able to drop my premiums another $150+ / month. If you are wondering if you apply for tax credits. The credits go by the size of your household, and total household income. For our household of 3, there were tax credits for under $83K ( it was a number close to that ) Which we do qualify for.
In the end we went from paying an estimated $800 / month for 2015 if we stuck with Cigna ( our previous provider ) to paying under $400 / month after taking into account the $150+ tax credit.
If you are self employed ( like me ), or a small business, I highly recommend you use the Healthcare.gov website to find a new Healthcare Policy.
To all those who want to get ride of the Affordable Care Act. I understand. I think they need to keep the website, but tweak the policies into what coverage must be provided. For example My wife and I are not having any more children. I got the snip to ensure no more were on the way. It would be great if we could get a discount since we will not be bringing these types of costs to our health insurance. No reason I should have to pay a higher rate, because someone else wants to have 10 kids. The GOP tends to lack ideas when it comes to technology and Healthcare. My fear is once they get into power they will scratch the whole thing, rather than just refine it.
Health Insurance is not like Care Insurance, the only time you can switch policies is during the window of November 15th - January 15th.
If you renew by December 15th, your policy can start as early as Jan 1st. Else your policy will start on Feb 1st. Its important to make the switch soon.