The individual will select the insurance company, the plan, and the options that best fit them and their family (such as what is covered, network of doctors, deductibles, co-insurance, etc).
Once purchased, the plan is still customizable. Unlike most employer plans, plan options, coverage items, and even the health insurance company can be changed at any time. In addition, the plan is portable. The plan will stay with the insured, even if he/she leave his/her employer.
There are four significant changes happening to individual health insurance in 2014 because of health care reform ("ObamaCare").
(1) Guaranteed-Issue: Medical underwriting goes away and all plans will be "guaranteed-issue". This means that all individuals will be accepted regardless of health status, and will not pay more because of health status. The only uprating (charging more) allowed will be for tobacco use, age, and location. Even so, there are limits on the amount an insurance company can up-rate for these factors.
(2) Federal Premium Tax Subsidies: Premium tax subsidies will be available to eligible individuals, for plans purchased through the individual health insurance marketplaces. Households with income between 100% and 400% of FPL who purchase coverage through a state (individual) health insurance exchange are eligible for a premium tax subsidy to reduce the cost of coverage. To be eligible, employees cannot be offered affordable, qualified health insurance through their employer.
(3) Essential Health Benefits: Starting in 2014, all plans will be required to include essential health benefits, a core package of items and services.
(4) Open Enrollment Periods: Th
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