How to get “Your” Health Insurance

There has been a constant drumbeat predictions of catastrophes and impending doom all related to the ACA (Affordable Care Act). As one who’s gone without health insurance coverage for over 3 years the ACA is a welcome change from waiting, getting really sick having resort to Prompt Care.  So, I assembled some information garnered from my experience going through the process of getting coverage.

How to get your Health Care Coverage? What to do first

1.     If you have a Doctor find out what insurance plans and carriers they accept.

2.     Find your 2012 Federal Income Tax information, with that should be your W-2 form(s)

3.     If you are self-employed gather details of your income and expenditures – you may be  asked to submit a 3 month statement or a full year. Gather your 1099’s to verify data submitted to IRS.

4.     If you then meet the income guidelines you can qualify for a subsidized plan or Medicaid if you are determined to be low income.

Go the New York State website dedicated to being our “portal” to the Affordable Care Act.   Register and enter your personal financial information. If that information matches your last Federal Tax Return you will sail quickly through the process.  If not, you will be asked to provide documentation verifying your income. Once verified you will get the “go-ahead” to select a health insurance plan if you qualify you will be immediately approved for Medicaid. There are several options even within the Medicaid selection category. Therefore it is recommended that you explore your options. If you aren’t low income and don’t qualify for Medicaid you are participating in the Marketplace where you will have dozens of selections of coverage, companies and prices for health insurance.

If you happen to get stuck, call the New York State of health Marketplace at 1-855-355-5777 there may be a 30 minute wait but all of your NYS health care questions will be addressed. There are also Navigators employed to will walk you through the application process. After March 31, 2014 there will be a tax penalty for those who’ve not signed up for Insurance Coverage.