Being able to afford a health insurance plan is important for all Americans. This can be especially true for adults whose monthly premium increases as they get older and can be a financial burden. Luckily in recent years with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Law it has brought on more affordable health insurance options for adults in many cases. In this blog we will uncover various options that have helped lower the gap for adults who can now afford a comprehensive health insurance plan.
- Medicaid Expansion was part of the ACA Law enacted in 2010 that increased the qualifying income level for Medicaid to 138% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL). This included adults as well as children. Each state is different, but most of the states have adapted Medicaid expansion for adults making it easier to obtain coverage. Medicaid is comprehensive health insurance coverage typically with a smaller network of doctors and hospitals than a traditional health insurance plan.
- Health Insurance Marketplace (on-exchange) was also formed by the ACA Law and enacted in 2010. However, Americans were not able to enroll in a plan on-exchange until 2013. The health insurance marketplace is an online health insurance enrollment platform where individuals and families can shop and enroll in coverage. A key part of the law allows qualifying households to obtain a government subsidy to help offset some or all the monthly premium cost. The subsidy is a tax credit that is mainly based on household income and size. The health insurance plan options are from private health insurers such as United Healthcare, Cigna, BlueCross BlueShield and more.
- Catastrophic Health Insurance plans are specifically designed for young adults under 30 years of age. Part of the ACA Law has a hard exemption clause that allowed for this age group to qualify for a catastrophic plan. The logic behind these plans is that younger adults are statistically healthier than older adults so some of them may prefer a high deductible plan with lower monthly premiums. Despite the higher deductibles the plans still follow the same law requirements of maintaining essential health benefits. Therefore, these younger adults will not face financial devastation from health issues because the catastrophic plan will also protect them with out-of-pocket limits just like traditional health insurance.
- Health Savings Account (HSA) is a health insurance plan that also has built in the ability to have a tax write off for your medical expenses. These plans are typically high deductible plans that still maintain essential coverage. You would enroll in an HSA compatible plan on or off-exchange with a private health insurer. If you qualify for a subsidy, it can also be used to help offset the monthly premium cost. You would then want to set up the HSA part of your coverage through a bank that offers HSA plans. The federal government allows each individual or family to contribute a set dollar amount to there HSA account each year. You can easily access the annual contribution limits by going to irs.gov. You can continue to contribute to the HSA each year as long as you maintain a HSA compatible health insurance plan.
All the plans we have written about are available to adults and in some case children as well. These affordable options for adults have been implemented for several reasons including limiting financial burden for American adults. Health Insurance in America is continuing to evolve and in recent years adults now have more options.
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