Health insurance can provide for you in the event that you become sick or get injured. It can also help you avoid major health issues by providing for preventive care. A number of changes are taking place in health care as a result of the Affordable Care Act. Some of the legislation’s provisions have already been implemented while others are scheduled to be phased in over the next few years. You can read more in our guide to Understanding the Affordable Care Act.
What if I don’t have health insurance coverage?
The Affordable Care Act requires individuals to obtain minimum essential health insurance coverage during the open enrollment period.
March 31, 2014: 2014 Open Enrollment ended
November 15, 2014: 2015 Open Enrollment starts
December 31, 2014: Coverage ends for Marketplace plans bought in 2014
February 15, 2015: 2015 Open Enrollment ends
If you don't have health coverage in 2014, you may have to pay a fee. For more information, please visit the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services website www.healthcare.gov.
Employers with greater than 50 employees are mandated to offer health insurance to employees or pay a penalty after January 1, 2015.
What is the Health Insurance Marketplace?
One of the components of the law is the Marketplace, or exchange. This online Marketplace serves as a way for individuals to purchase health insurance and obtain subsidies if their income is 100 percent to 400 percent of the Federal Poverty Level. Upon application to the Marketplace, consumers may also be declared eligible for other programs like Medicaid and the Louisiana Children’s Health Insurance Program (LaCHIP) based on their household income. If you qualify for Medicaid you will purchase health insurance through the Bayou Health Plan. You can also continue to purchase insurance through an agent certified to sell insurance on the Marketplace or through an insurance company.
If you have questions about how to enroll in a health insurance plan, you can call our Office of Health or contact a licensed producer.