ObamaCare Info for Boise, Idaho 83702


Obamacare Info for Boise, Idaho 83702

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014


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What Idaho Residents Need to Know About Obamacare

Welcome to the fastest way to find out about Obamacare in Idaho.

Here, you'll find clear and accurate information about Obamacare, including:

  • whether or not you must get health insurance
  • what the available plans cover
  • how much coverage will cost, and
  • how to sign up for a plan.

To begin, keep in mind these three key points about Obamacare in Idaho:

1. You must have health insurance, unless you qualify for an exemption.

Beginning March 31, 2014, to avoid paying a tax penalty, you must be enrolled in a health insurance plan or qualify for an exemption from the law. (The March 31 deadline has been extended for some people who have made a good faith effort to sign up by that date. For more information, see our Obamacare Blog.) You will report whether you have coverage -- or whether you are exempt -- when you file your taxes in 2015.

To learn whether your current health plan satisfies the requirements of Obamacare or to find out whether you qualify for an exemption, see Do I Need to Get Obamacare in Idaho?

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Do I Have to Get Obamacare in Idaho?

Despite what you may have heard, you can’t be arrested or thrown in jail if you don’t have health insurance in Idaho. You may, however, be forced to pay a tax penalty if you aren't enrolled in a health insurance plan by March 31, 2014.

To avoid the penalty, you must either obtain qualified health coverage or prove your eligibility for an exception.

What Qualifies as Coverage?

If you have any of the following types of health coverage, you won’t have to pay a penalty:

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How Much Does Obamacare Cost in Idaho?

This article explains the costs of health care plans offered under Obamacare (the Affordable Care Act of 2014) for individuals or families who are currently uninsured or not covered by a job-based health plan.

What you'll pay for an Obamacare plan depends on five things:

  1. The level of coverage you choose
  2. Whether you qualify for a subsidy
  3. Where you live in Idaho
  4. Your age
  5. Whether you smoke

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How Do I Sign Up for Obamacare in Idaho?

The easiest way to sign up for a health plan under the Affordable Care Act is to go to the online health insurance marketplace for Idaho. If you're not ready to enroll right now, you can get more information online, over the phone, or in person.

Where's the Idaho Health Care Exchange?

You can find the Idaho health insurance exchange at Your Health Idaho. There, you will find official information about health coverage options in Idaho. When you are ready to apply for insurance, you will be taken to the federal marketplace at HealthCare.gov. This is where you will learn about the specific health insurance plans available to you under Obamacare. If you see a plan you like, you'll be guided through the enrollment process online. If you prefer to apply with a paper application, you can download an application form or contact an assister using the information just below.

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Can I Use a Paper Application to Get Obamacare?

Since the launch of Obamacare on October 1, the federal and state health insurance marketplaces (also called “exchanges”) have been plagued by technical troubles. Many, perhaps most, people who have tried to sign up for new health insurance plans online have been unable to complete their applications.

Because of these difficulties, some individuals and application assistants are turning to the old-fashioned way of getting health insurance -- paper applications.

Applying on Paper May Not Be Better or Faster

When facing a slow or broken online health insurance exchange, using a paper application may seem tempting -- at least it would provide the feeling of getting something done. However, paper forms may not speed up the process at all. On the contrary, they could slow down your application even more.

The worker who reviews your paper application must manually enter the information from your forms into the same system you would use online at your state’s exchange. It won’t work any faster for them than it does for you. Plus, using a paper application opens up more opportunity for error by putting more people between you and your goal of getting insurance.

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Medicaid Expansion: Can I Use Medicaid to Satisfy the Health Insurance Requirement in Idaho?

One way to satisfy Obamacare’s health insurance requirement is to obtain coverage under Medicaid. If you qualify for Medicaid and enroll in Idaho's Medicaid program, you do not have to sign up for another insurance plan.

Idaho Has Not Expanded Medicaid

The Affordable Care Act expanded Medicaid eligibility to cover more people who can’t afford health insurance. The U.S. Supreme Court later decided that it was up to individual states to decide whether or not to expand Medicaid. Because Idaho has not yet to chosen to expand Medicaid eligibility, you may have fewer options for health coverage than people in states where Medicaid is growing.

Do You Qualify for Medicaid?

Each state has its own rules for Medicaid eligibility. Whether you qualify depends on your income level and other factors. To find out whether you are eligible for Medicaid under Idaho's existing rules, contact the Idaho Medicaid office. You can also find out whether you qualify when you apply for health insurance at Your Health Idaho. more...  

What to Do If Your Health Insurance Policy Is Cancelled Under Obamacare

Updated: March 5, 2014

If you received a notice from your health insurance company saying your insurance plan has been cancelled, you’re not alone. Millions of Americans have learned they may not be able keep their existing health coverage under Obamacare. Cancellation is primarily affecting those who purchase individual insurance plans, such as the self-employed, but some people employed by small businesses are losing their existing coverage, too.

The Obama administration, Congress, and insurance providers have engaged in a strenuous debate over whether the cancellations will stand or whether some individuals will be allowed to continue coverage under their cancelled plans for another year or more. On March 5, 2014 the Obama administration announced that you can keep your cancelled policy through 2016. The catch is that state insurance officials must agree to this extension. So far, about half states have decided to allow renewals, while the rest have decided against them.

To learn whether you may have the option of keeping your existing plan, contact your insurance provider. 

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Obamacare for Self-Employed Idaho Residents

Many self-employed people will be quick to tell you that getting and paying for health insurance is one of the biggest hassles they face. But this may change for the better under Obamacare, which provides new coverage options for the self-employed.

Are You Self-Employed or an Employer? 

Before you start evaluating your new options for health coverage, you need understand whether you are in fact considered self-employed under Obamacare.

The law says you are self-employed if you are an independent contractor or a sole proprietor without employees. (If you hire other independent contractors to do some work for you, you probably still qualify as self-employed.) Self-employed people can use the new health care marketplace to purchase individual health insurance plans.

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How Obamacare Affects Unemployed Idaho Residents

Updated: February 19, 2014

The difficulties of unemployment are often compounded by the lack or loss of health insurance. But millions of Americans who are currently without both a job and health coverage may find relief under Obamacare. That's because new coverage options are now available through Your Health Idaho, the health insurance marketplace serving Idaho.

All plans available through the marketplace offer essential medical benefits, including preventative care, emergency services, and prescription drug coverage. You can't be turned away if you have a pre-existing medical condition and, as an unemployed person, you probably qualify for significant cost-saving subsidies.

If you sign up for a plan during the open enrollment period, your coverage can start within a few weeks. For 2014, if you don't enroll in a health insurance plan by March 31, you may be subject to a tax penalty when you file your taxes in 2015.

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Obamacare for Idaho Small Businesses

As a business owner, you’ve probably been hearing a lot of buzz about Obamacare’s “employer mandate.” Maybe you’re still wondering what it is and whether it applies to you. The short answer is that if you have fewer than 50 full-time-equivalent (FTE) employees, you don’t have to worry about the employer mandate. (For a definition of FTE, see the end of this article.) The mandate requires only larger companies to offer health coverage to employees.

That said, there are plenty of important things for owners of smaller businesses to know about Obamacare. Here’s a summary of key points for Idaho business owners who have between one and 49 employees:

You aren’t legally required to offer health insurance to your employees. If you have fewer than 50 FTEs, whether or not to provide coverage is entirely up to you.

You may be legally required to notify your employees about Obamacare. Whether or not you choose to provide insurance, if your business is covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act, you must notify all your employees about Obamacare’s basic provisions before October 1, 2013 -- and you must notify all new hires after that. The U.S. Department of Labor has published sample notices you can use. There’s no penalty under the law for failing to provide notice.

To learn whether the FLSA applies to your business, see this helpful article from Nolo.com.

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Do You Have More Than 50 Employees? Understanding Obamacare's Employer Mandate

Updated: February 17, 2014

Soon, businesses that employ 50 or more full-time-equivalent (FTE) workers will have to offer insurance coverage or face a tax penalty, called the "employer shared responsibility payment." This law, known as Obamacare's "employer mandate" will take effect in 2015 or 2016, depending on the size of the business.

Employers with 100 or more full-time employees will have to offer coverage to at least 70% of eligible workers in 2015. That number jumps to 95% in 2016. Employers who employ 50 to 99 full-time workers do not have to comply with the law until 2016.

The employer mandate will apply to your business if even one of your employees would qualify for cost-saving health insurance subsidies through Your Health Idaho, the health insurance marketplace for Idaho.

For example, say you employ 105 full-time workers and don't offer a qualifying health plan. If just one of those workers can buy an individual health insurance plan at Your Health Idaho and qualify for reduced premiums with Obamacare's tax credit, you'll have to pay a penalty -- and it could be a hefty one. 

On the other hand, if you offer coverage to your employees that is considered affordable and meets the legal requirements for coverage, your employees wouldn't be able to save money by purchasing an individual plan in the marketplace, so you won’t have to pay the penalty.  more...  

How an Insurance Agent or Broker Can Help You Sign Up for Obamacare

If you’re stymied by your health care choices under Obamacare -- or if you’re having a difficult time completing an application -- there are many ways to get help. For example, you can call the Idaho health insurance exchange for telephone support or obtain free, in-person guidance from trained assisters or “navigators.” You can also seek help from a licensed insurance agent or broker.

Given the flawed and confusing rollout of the new health care marketplaces, getting help from an agent or broker is turning out to be an attractive option for many people. Agents and brokers, while grappling with most of the same delays and technical troubles faced by individuals, can make the process easier in several important ways, including:

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What Domestic Partners Need to Know About Applying for Health Insurance Under Obamacare

When registered domestic partners or civil union partners apply for coverage in the new health insurance marketplace, there’s one question that almost always arises: Do we apply based on our separate incomes, or must we include all the income we make as a couple?

The answer depends on the state where you live.

States other than California, Nevada, or Washington. In almost all states, registered domestic partners or civil union partners who apply for insurance via the state’s health insurance exchange must do so separately. Each partner includes only his or her separate income, and this amount determines health plan costs and eligibility for cost-saving subsidies. It works this way because domestic partners are not considered married for federal tax purposes. (If you registered first and got legally married later, this article doesn't apply to you. You must apply as a married person and report your combined income.)

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About This Website

We built this website to get people the answers they need about the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). Our goal is to guide you to reliable, local information about your new health insurance options.

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