Individual health insurance under Obamacare
Highlights and Updates
Although most Americans get their medical insurance from an employer or government, individual health insurance is designed for people who are independent or who do not have access to a health plan sponsored by the employer or by the government. Historically, individual insurance in almost all states involved medical underwriting prior to 2014, which meant that securing a policy was often difficult for people with conditions pre-existing .
Most health insurance companies are for-profit entities, and even non-profit carriers can not operate at a loss. They must take more money in the premiums than they pay for medical claims. In the individual market, medical underwriting was traditionally the way they performed this. People with pre-existing health conditions may be denied coverage or benefit from a policy providing for an increase in the number of premiums or exclusions eliminating coverage for pre-existing conditions.
But all this changed in 2014
A ACA established an individual health insurance with guaranteed delivery in January 2014. This means that medical history is no longer a factor in determining if an applicant can get a policy, or how much will the policy cost. The individual health insurance is issued with a modified Community Classification which means that premiums are based on geographical area, age and smoking. But premium rates based on medical history are longer allowed, no more than pre-existing condition exclusion runners. And applicants can no longer be denied for coverage based on a pre-existing condition.
Until the end of 2013, healthy applicants could still apply for individual plans subscribed. Originally, these plans were to be replaced by ACA-compliant coverage early 2014, but the Obama administration and later Trump administration allowed these transition plans (large -Mother) continue to be renewed until October 1, 2018, as long as they will cease by December 31, 2018. All states do not accept the provision allowing grandmother plans to remain in Canada. force, and even in the states that allowed grandmother plans to renew, some carriers chose to terminate their grandmother plans with ACA-compliant plans instead.
Here is state-by-state information on grandmother plans . If you have a grandmother plan that is eligible for a renewal in 2018, retaining it could be a good option if you do not qualify for grants in the stock exchanges and prefer to keep a plan subscribed, at a low price for as long as possible. Be aware, however, that pre-2014 plans must not meet various provisions of the ACA, and that there may be gaps in coverage that would not exist in a new plan.
Medicare is a necessity, and it is now required by law
All but the richest of us need a health insurance to protect against bankruptcy in the event of serious illness or injury, and to have access to medical care vital if we need it. Although lawmakers saw that the removal of medical underwriting on the individual health insurance market was necessary to extend coverage to everyone, they also knew that this could create an adverse selection  on the market. There was simply too much potential for people to wait to apply for a policy until they needed medical care, knowing that coverage would be guaranteed.
So Obamacare includes two provisions to prevent this: With very few exceptions, everyone must now have Medicare or pay a penalty . And individual health insurance is only available for purchase during open registration windows. The open registration for the 2018 coverage started on November 1, 2017 and continues until December 15, 2017.
Outside the open registration window, individual policies are only available to people who have a qualifying event (including things like birth, adoption, marriage, permanent removal or loss of other blankets). Amerindians can register throughout the year in individual market plans through the exchange.
What can you expect?
ACA compliant individual plans are classified with the words " metal ", which helps consumers compare apples to apples. There is a lot of variation from one carrier to the other, both in terms of plan design and pricing, but policies are labeled according to their actuarial value or percentage of costs covered by an average population. Several state-run exchanges have put in place additional standardization of plans, and standardized plans have become an option in states that use Healthcare.gov from 2017 .
The bronze plans cover about 60% of the costs, Silver provides 70%, Gold provides 80% and Platinum 90%. For persons under 30 years of age or those with exemptions from hardship catastrophic plans are also available. Grants are however not available to offset the cost of catastrophic plans, so only a very small percentage of registrants selects them.
All plans are subject to a maximum of $ 7,350 for an individual or $ 14,700 for a family in 2018. Plans may have lower maximum limits, but no plans that comply with the ACL can be sold . with higher limits ( grandfathered and grandmothered plans that are still in effect may have higher limits, but these plans may no longer be purchased by new registrants).
Grants – but only through an exchange
When deciding where to buy protection, it is important to know if you are eligible for a subsidy for premiums or shared-cost based on your household income. If you do, you will probably want to get your health insurance through the exchange, because that's the only way the grants are available.
If you are taking any medications or consulting with a particular health care provider, you should also review the forms and the provider networks of the plans available, and it is possible that an off-exchange option works best for your situation. But if you are eligible for grants and you choose an over-the-counter plan, you will give up this financial assistance.
Cost-Sharing Grants are only available on the Silver Plans of the Exchange. Premium grants for eligible applicants can be applied to any of the "metallic" plans of the stock exchange.
Applicants whose household income is insured by cost-sharing between 100% and 250% of the federal poverty level (the lower threshold is 139% in States that have extended Medicaid below, Medicaid is available instead.)
Premium subsidies are available to claimants with household income between 100 percent and 400 percent of the federal poverty level (the lower threshold is 139 percent in the states that have extended Medicaid; this, Medicaid is available instead.)