There are several exemptions from the fee that may apply to people who have no income or very low incomes. See the full list of exemptions for 2018. If you have an exemption, you don’t need to pay the fee for being uncovered when you file 2018 taxes in the spring. Note: Starting with the 2019 plan year (for which you’ll file taxes in April 2020), the fee no longer applies. You won't need an exemption for 2019 and beyond.
Stay in your network. Most health plans like HMOs and PPOs, require you to use certain doctors, hospitals and other health care professionals. Stay in your network when possible to help avoid paying more. Register or log in to Blue Access for MembersSM, our secure member website, for a personalized search experience based on your health plan and network.
AB339 – Signed into law in October 2015, this bill applies to all non-grandfathered individual and small group plans in California. It limits the copayment for a 30-day supply of any medication to no more than $250. It took effect January 1, 2017, and will last until January 1, 2020. For high-deductible health plans, the copay limit will apply after the deductible has been met (Covered California already implemented a similar restriction, starting in 2016).
If you’re shopping through your state marketplace, know that catastrophic plans aren’t eligible for subsidies that apply to other marketplace plans. If you’re eligible for subsidies, the savings can make up most of the cost difference between catastrophic plans and high-deductible bronze plans, sometimes making bronze or even silver more affordable because of better coverage. (In case it helps in your decision making, most people don’t choose catastrophic coverage; less than 1% of people enrolled in the health insurance exchange select it.)
We compared monthly premiums from all Illinois health insurance plans to determine the cheapest policy available in each metal tier and help you get started finding the best policy for your preferred level of coverage. The actual set of insurance companies and health plans offered will change depending on the county you live in, so those listed below may not be available where you live. But we recommend using these as a starting point to assess the benefits and cost sharing you expect for a given level of coverage as compared to a policy's rates.
The marketplace has some of the cheapest medical insurance plans available, especially if you qualify for a federal subsidy. Subsidies are available to anyone who decides to enroll in marketplace plans during the Open Enrollment Period, or Special Enrollment Period. The catch is that your income has to fall between 100% and 400% of the federal poverty level.
Also, watch out for benefit limits, including annual and lifetime maximum payouts. So-called “mini-med” policies that cap their payouts can be dangerous, since you might end up paying bills for thousands of dollars if you have a major illness or surgery. Certain plans pay only a set fee per day of a hospital stay, which could leave you on the hook for thousands of dollars. Drug benefits don’t always include every medication. Some policies exclude maternity coverage, or don’t include care for pre-existing conditions.
If you’re new to health insurance in the United States, you’ll find it’s expensive. But cost isn’t the only problem for beginners trying to get health insurance. It’s also a complex system with multiple entry points. Since you can potentially get health insurance from many different sources, for example, the government, from your job or university, or from a private insurance company, it’s not always clear where you should start looking when shopping for low-cost health insurance.
The insurers and health plans offered on the Illinois health insurance marketplace will vary depending on the county where you reside. To help you find the best cheap health insurance policy for your family, we analyzed all plans in the state and identified the most affordable option in every county. Below, you can check out sample monthly rates for each of the health plans.
Stay in network. Provider networks are groups of doctors, hospitals and other health care professionals that have agreed to work with your health plan. When you go to a provider who is not in your plan network, you'll have to pay a larger portion of the bill – or the entire bill. To find a provider in your network, register or log in to Blue Access for MembersSM, our secure member website, for a personalized search experience based on your health plan and network.
And, sure, you might think to yourself, “Well, I’ll just put aside money every month in my savings account in case I have to go to a doctor.” That may work out fine for awhile, but what if you break your leg, for instance? The average cost to fix a broken leg, according to HealthCare.gov, is $7,500. And hopefully you won’t wind up in the hospital for three days. That will typically run you $30,000.
As we mentioned, if you’re considering getting coverage under the ACA, act fast: You must enroll by Dec. 15 if you want to get covered starting Jan. 1. If you miss that deadline, you won’t be able to enroll for the rest of the year unless you meet special criteria — such as having a baby, getting married, or losing other qualifying health insurance.
Though the actual cost will vary according to the plan you choose, as you can see below, the average cost of adding a 40-year-old spouse to a Silver plan is $504. Adding a child to a Silver health insurance plan costs, on average, $302. So, a family of five in Pennsylvania, with an adult couple and three children, would pay an average health insurance cost of $1,914, or $603 more than a family of three would pay for a Silver plan.
Native Americans can enroll in plans through the exchange year-round, although the coverage doesn’t take effect until the first of the next month or the first of the month after that, depending on the enrollment date (as is the case with special enrollment periods, Native Americans must enroll by the 15th to have coverage effective the first of the next month).
Illinois residents can find cheap health insurance plans on the state exchange from a variety of coverage levels. To help you get started in your search for the best health coverage, we compared all Silver policies and found that the Blue Choice Preferred Silver PPO 203 is the cheapest health insurance plan in half of Illinois counties. But the set of health insurance plans available will vary depending on the county you live in. For instance, Cigna's Connect 4000 was typically most affordable in the seven counties where it was offered. The best health insurance plan in your county may be a different policy, particularly if you choose another tier of coverage.
Health insurance premiums are filed with and regulated by your state's Department of Insurance. Whether you buy from eHealthInsurance, your local agent, or directly from the health insurance company, you'll pay the same monthly premium for the same plan. This means that you can enjoy the advantages and convenience of shopping and purchasing your health insurance plan through eHealthInsurance and rest assured that you're getting the best available price.