Health Insurance FAQ – Frequently asked questions
What is the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare)?
• The Affordable Care Act is a law that was passed on March 23, 2010 to reform the health care industry. It was upheld by the Supreme Court on June 28, 2012.
• Its goal is to give more Americans access to affordable, quality health insurance
• The ACA expands the affordability, quality, and availability of private and public health insurance
When can I apply for coverage?
The Open Enrollment Period for 2016 coverage starts November 1, 2015, and ends January 31, 2016.
Outside the Open Enrollment Period, you can enroll in an insurance plan only if you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period. You can see if you qualify for one.
Will I save money on health insurance?
In 2015, the average savings for consumers with marketplace plans was $272 per month
The subsidy you qualify for is based off of your adjusted gross income, number of household members, and dependents (if any) you claim on your income tax.
Go to Find health insurance plans to enter in your zip code and personal information to see if you qualify for savings.
Do I have to pay a penalty if I don't have health coverage?
If you don’t have coverage for all or part of the year, you may have to pay a fee.
- For 2016 the fee is $695 per person ($347.50 per child) or 2.5% of your household income, whichever is higher.
- Some people qualify for a health coverage exemption, which means they don’t have to pay the penalty.
- Income related exemptions
- You were uninsured for no more than 2 consecutive months
- Find out more on Healthcare.gov
Do I qualify for the special enrollment period?
You can qualify for the special enrollment period if any of the following apply to you or anyone in your household in the last 60 days.
- Got married
- Had a baby
- Adopted a child or child placed with you under foster care
- Got divorced or legally separated and lost health insurance
- Changes in residence or income
- Gained citizenship
- Released from incarceration
Will I be denied coverage due to 'pre-existing conditions'?
Due to the passage of the Affordabe Care Act, starting on January 1, 2014, insurance companies are not allowed to charge higher rates to people because they have a certain health condition. Additionally, insurance companies cannot charge more based on race, age, ethnicity, or gender. Your application for health coverage cannot be declined due to any pre-existing condition or any other health related reason.