Sep 30, 2013

Obamacare, which is President Obama's biggest piece of legislation since his presidency, is rolling out the health insurance exchanges which are designed to make it easier for people without insurance, or who buy insurance on their own, to get coverage. But if you are one of the roughly 240 million Americans that already have insurance through an employer, or are enrolled in a government program like Medicare, you can stay on that plan.

For the millions of Americans that will begin shopping for health insurance on online marketplaces next week, your course of action will depend on which state you live in. So will the cost of coverage.

For a basic overview of how much you can expect to pay for your individual plan, check out this nifty Obamacare premium calculator, which gives you a basic overview of the rate and subsidies available to you, based on your income, state of residence and family size.

In order to qualify for coverage beginning next year, people must sign up before Dec. 14. So if you know anybody who is uninsured, share this calculator with them so they know what their options are. The more people who sign up, the lower the rates will be.

This calculator illustrates health insurance premiums and subsidies for people purchasing insurance on their own in new health insurance exchanges (or “Marketplaces”) created by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Beginning in October 2013, middle-income people under age 65, who are not eligible for coverage through their employer, Medicaid, or Medicare, can apply for tax credit subsidies available through state-based exchanges.

Additionally, states have the option to expand their Medicaid programs to cover all people making up to 138% of the federal poverty level (which is about $33,000 for a family of four). In states that opt out of expanding Medicaid, some people making below this amount will still be eligible for Medicaid, some will be eligible for subsidized coverage through Marketplaces, and others will not be eligible for subsidies.


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