Serving Maryland, the District of Columbia and portions of Virginia, CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield is the shared business name of CareFirst of Maryland, Inc. and Group Hospitalization and Medical Services, Inc. In the District of Columbia and Maryland, CareFirst MedPlus is the business name of First Care, Inc. In Virginia, CareFirst MedPlus is the business name of First Care, Inc. of Maryland (Used in VA By: First Care, Inc.). First Care, Inc., CareFirst of Maryland, Inc., Group Hospitalization and Medical Services, Inc., CareFirst BlueChoice, Inc. and The Dental Network are independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Names and Symbols are registered trademarks of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.
The set of available insurers changes by county, so the best cheap health insurance plan available to you in Illinois will depend on where you live and your chosen level of coverage. Higher metal tier health plans, such as Gold policies, have more expensive monthly premiums but significantly lower out-of-pocket expenses, such as deductibles, copays and coinsurance. So, if you have costly prescriptions or are concerned about unpredictable costs during the year if you become ill, a higher metal plan will likely be your best health insurance choice. On the other hand, if you have a large emergency savings to cover cost-sharing, but have no expected medical costs and want to keep your monthly rates down, a lower metal tier plan may be the cheapest.
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Under the Affordable Care Act, 34 states and Washington, D.C., expanded Medicaid eligibility to many low-income adults, including adults without dependent children. Three other states (Idaho, Nebraska, and Utah) will vote by ballot initiative on the Medicaid expansion this November, while 14 other states have chosen not to expand Medicaid under the law. In states that expanded Medicaid, you may qualify for Medicaid if you earn $16,753 a year as a single individual or $28,676 for a family of three, while other family sizes can qualify at higher incomes. In states that did not expand, non-disabled adults who are parents with very low income will qualify (the eligibility levels vary by state). Regardless of your state’s decision on expanding Medicaid, children are eligible for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) if their family income is about $40,000 (for a family of three), or more in some states. If you live in a state that did not expand Medicaid and you cannot find affordable coverage, you could be exempt from paying a penalty for not having coverage.
If your spouse has job-based health insurance, you may be eligible for the same coverage. Many employers extend the offer of job-based health insurance to their employees’ spouses, children, and step-children. You must sign up for this coverage during the initial enrollment period when your spouse first gets his or her job. If you miss this opportunity, you’ll have another opportunity during each annual open enrollment period.
On February 20, 2018, the Trump administration proposed a plan that would loosen regulations on short-term health insurance. The Obama administration had capped short-term health insurance policies at 90 days, but the new plan would allow short-term policies of up to a year. That hasn’t happened yet, but you can essentially get the same thing by purchasing a three-month policy that will renew for the next nine months.
With the Affordable Care Act, most people are required to have health insurance. If you currently have health insurance through your employer or already have Medicaid or Medicare, you do not need to worry about signing up for coverage. If you are uninsured, Washington Healthplanfinder is available to help you enroll in health insurance during open enrollment periods. And WithinReach is here to simplify the process for you.
If you’re looking for a metal plan outside of the annual open enrollment period, your wait for effective coverage will depend on whether you have a qualifying life event, unless you’re Native American (Native Americans can enroll year-round). If you do have a qualifying event, you’ll be eligible for a special enrollment period and will be able to buy a plan that puts coverage in force before January 1.
Products and services offered are underwritten by All Savers Insurance Company, Golden Rule Insurance Company, Sirius International Insurance Corporation, United States Fire Insurance Company, Health Plan of Nevada, Inc., Oxford Health Plans (NJ), Inc., UnitedHealthcare Benefits Plan of California, UnitedHealthcare Community Plan, Inc., UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company, UnitedHealthcare Life Insurance Company, UnitedHealthcare of Colorado, Inc., UnitedHealthcare of Alabama, Inc., UnitedHealthcare of Arkansas, Inc., UnitedHealthcare of Florida, Inc., UnitedHealthcare of Georgia, Inc., UnitedHealthcare of Kentucky, LTD., UnitedHealthcare of Louisiana, Inc., UnitedHealthcare of the Mid-Atlantic, Inc., UnitedHealthcare of the Midlands, Inc., UnitedHealthcare of the Midwest, UnitedHealthcare of Mississippi, Inc., UnitedHealthcare of New England, Inc., UnitedHealthcare of New York, Inc., UnitedHealthcare of North Carolina, Inc., UnitedHealthcare of Ohio, Inc., UnitedHealthcare of Oklahoma, Inc., UnitedHealthcare of Pennsylvania, Inc., UnitedHealthcare of Washington, Inc.