What You Need to Know About the Obamacare Exchanges

Update 2014: I just left Obamacare for Medi-Share. Read my review about this Christian medical sharing program.

Obamacare Exchange

If you are self-employed like me and/or you need to purchase your own health insurance (either because you aren’t employed or because your employer doesn’t offer it), then you’ll want to pay attention to the opening of the Obamacare state health insurance exchanges or marketplaces.

These exchanges open up on October 1, 2013. Head to healthcare.gov/marketplace (starting Oct. 1) to find a link to your state’s exchange, where you can shop for health insurance that will go into effect on January 1, 2014.

Obamacare has already affected many folks’ finances, both positively and negatively. The next major hurdle for the law’s effectiveness will come during this “open enrollment” period, where folks like you and me will face down new health insurance rates. To put it bluntly, “this sh*t is about to get real.”

Honestly, I can’t wait for the clarity that these insurance premiums will provide. It will be nice to finally understand my policy and premiums. I’m sure many of you feel the same way.

I’ve already called my current insurer, Humana, and I was told my current health insurance plan, a high-deductible HSA-eligible plan, is not a “grandfathered” plan, nor does it qualify under the Obamacare rules. It will need to change. Specifically, it will need to provide a more robust list of services (like maternity care).

So I will need to get on a new, Obamacare-eligible plan. Two things I know (that you should probably investigate for yourself):

The only thing left to settle is *how* much this new insurance is going to cost me. It won’t be cheap. If the numbers I’m seeing pan out, my new premium will be between $700 and $1,000 per month. Right now I pay $381.30 for my family of four. I will reserve my frustration until I see the actual numbers. But it isn’t looking good.

The irony of my situation is that Mrs. PT and I are expecting our next child in April 2014. Under our old health insurance plan, we would be paying most, if not all of the costs to deliver the baby. That’s because Texas individual plans don’t cover maternity. This is something we’ve long been aware of and have been saving to prepare for.

Under Obamacare all Texas health insurance plans will be required to cover maternity. So our new plan could save us a considerable amount of money (depending on the actual coverage) in the short term. But the long-term (which is where most of my Obamacare concerns lie) will be considerably more expensive than I’m used to.

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Last Edited: July 18, 2014 @ 1:10 am
About Philip Taylor

Philip Taylor, aka "PT", is a husband and father of two. He created PT Money back in 2007 to share his thoughts on money and to meet others passionate about managing their finances. All the content on this blog is original, and created or edited by PT. Read more about Philip Taylor, and be sure to connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, or view the Philip Taylor+ Google profile.

Comments

  1. EmilyGuyBirken1 says:

    Congratulations on the newest member of the PT family! I hope that everything goes smoothly for your transition to a new insurer while Mrs. PT is pregnant.

  2. A new tiny person?  Congrats, PT!  =)  We’re curious to see what the plans in our state (FL) look like since it’s been really controversial here.  For now, we still have employer provided coverage, but I don’t see us working for employers until traditional retirement age, so we’ll eventually need to use the private market.

  3. ApplyMate says:

    Interesting info – thanks for the personal example. Helps put things in perspective. Hopefully things pan out for you cost-wise. Hopefully…

  4. Hopefully the new plan will cover more of the maternity costs to help offset the differences in pricing. But like you said, reserve judgement until you see the actual numbers. Hopefully it won’t be that much of a difference.

  5. The problem that the geniuses in DC did not contemplate is that uninsured poor people are not going to sign up.  They have nothing to loose now, under ObamaCare they will loose their premiums.  This has no chance of working.  You have assets and an earned income, you have something to protect. So you will sign up and comply with this new law.  This is not the case with the people that supposedly this law was meant to provide for.