Welcome to Delray Credit Counseling’s Health Insurance Center. If you don’t have health insurance, or you think your paying to much for the coverage you have, this section of our website can provide you with the information and the resources your need. To find out if you qualify for free or discounted health insurance click here for a free consultation and a qualified insurance agent will contact you and review all your options.
Healthcare cost are up 6.3% over last year. Increased prescription drug costs are the main factor driving up the already ridiculously high cost of health care in America. On average a family of four will pay $1,456 in 2015, this according to a study done by the Millman consulting group http://us.milliman.com/
First things first: If you don’t have Health Insurance, you need to get coverage. It’s the law, just like car insurance, you’re required to have it. The Affordable Care Act (Referred to as “Obama Care”), a name that politicians and the media have repeated over and over again till lot’s of people think that’s the actual name.
The New Health Insurance Law
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPAC) was signed into law on March 23rd 2010. The new law was challenged in court and was upheld by the Supreme Court June 28th 2012. To review the final version of the law click www.hhs.gov/healthcare/rights/law it’s 974 pages long. Have some aspirin handy if you plan to dive into this “gem” of a document.
The Affordable Care Act requires that every American must have Health Insurance. Here are some of the Basics:
- Based on your information you may qualify for credits to help pay for your coverage
- Guaranteed Issue – Cannot be denied for per-exsisting conditions
- Insurance companies can’t drop you when you are sick or for making a mistake on your application
- Young Adults can stay on their parent’s plan until 26
- New preventative services at no-out-of pocket costs.
- Essential health benefits like emergency care, hospitalization, prescription drugs, and maternity and newborn care must be included on all non-grandfathered plans at no out-of-pocket limit.
Penalties for Not Having Required Coverage
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act requires everyone to have health insurance coverage. There are penalties for not having coverage. This year you could get hit with a whopping $695 in penalties!!! If you think the 2015 penalties are bad, 2016 is going to worse. Americans will be subject to up to $2,085 in penalties per household.
If your not covered you need to speak with a qualified representative that will help you get the best possible coverage at the lowest possible cost. Fill out the form on this page and qualified agent will contact you and give you all the information you need.
Where To Start
You might be saying to yourself, “How am I going to pay for health insurance?? I’m having trouble paying my rent??” If you’ve read any of my posts in the past, you know I don’t throw out these curve balls of what you need to do, without some direction on how to actually get it done. This is no exception.
First there are provisions in the law to help those with low incomes. You could qualify for health insurance at little or no cost. Second, remember knowledge is power. Don’t bury your head in the sand and hope this goes away. If you don’t get coverage, your very likely going to fined, and the penalty is going up each year. You don’t want to end up being one of the people that gets hit with $695 penalty for not having health insurance, and then find out you could have had it all along at little or no cost.
If your in a financial hardship, or don’t think can afford health insurance the first thing you need to do is a budget. It is critical that know exactly how much you’re making, and exactly how much you’re spending. (And where you’re spending) Download the free budget worksheet at delraycc.com/financial-tools .
The budget is a step that a lot people miss when they are having money problems. You can’t solve the problem until you know where your money is going. A note about income, calculate your net monthly (after tax income) correctly. If you make $500 per week: your monthly income is $2166, NOT $2,000.
Calculate your monthly net by multiplying your weekly net x 52, then divide by 12. If your paid twice a month, multiple your net check by 26, then divide by 12. Be sure you put all your expenses on the budget worksheet.
Once you’ve completed the budget worksheet, it’s time to speak an insurance agent; they will help you thru the maze of the new health care system. Fill out the request form on this page, an agent will contact you and give all the details and information you need. There is never a charge or fee to speak with them.
You will be advised you if you qualify for free or reduced cost health insurance. They will help you pick the best plan based on your needs. Whether you’re eligible for free coverage or you have to pay some amount for health insurance, at least you know what you’re dealing with. Any time you have an additional monthly expense, you want to make sure you have the funds to cover the costs.
Go back to your budget work sheet, add up all the expenses, if there is any amount to add for health insurance; add that in. Where are your numbers? Are you in the black or in the red? If you’re in the RED, there is only one of two options. Reduce expenses or increase income. (Or a combination of the two) Simple yes, easy, probably not. Nevertheless, this is your solution, so do what ever needs to be done to make it happen.
Maybe you can cut back? I know this will come as shock to most Americans, but IPhones & Androids are not an “essential” part of life. Review your expenses and see what can be reduced.
If you’ve done that, and your still in the RED, then you need more income. If your gross income is less than $1900 per month you may qualify for one or more assistance programs go to benefits.gov/benefits/browse-by-state check out what is available. There is energy assistance; weatherproofing for homeowners, food assistance, the programs vary state to state and if you have dependents the income you can make and still qualify is higher.
If you’re still in the RED, then you need to get a second job, or earn more at your current job. Remember if your $200-300 in the RED per month, two weekends a month at a $10.00 an hour job takes care of that. There are jobs you can do from home, many big companies hire customer service staff to work from their home. Anyone ever heard of APPLE? There is a good chance if you’re talking to an Apple Customer Service Rep, they are sitting at their desk at home. Do what ever you have to do to balance the budget.
The Biggest Stupidest Dumbest Most Asinine Waste Of Money Ever
If your getting NSF charges on routine basis with your checking account because your over-drawing your account with your debit card, or writing checks when your not certain they will clear; STOP THE MADNESS. This is the stupidest, dumbest, most ridiculously asinine waste of money in the history of the world. If your one of those people and your reading this and asking yourself, did he just call me stupid & dumb? If you’re paying continual over-draft fees on your checking account, yes, it’s stupid, dumb, and asinine. Stop it. Anyone can mismanage money and get an over-draft once in great while, if that happens, call your bank. They will usually forgive an over-draft once in great great while. But if your paying fees every month or every few months, you’re shooting yourself in the foot. Tell yourself, “paying my bank over-draft fees is the stupidest, dumbest, most asinine thing, and I’m not going to do it any more”
One way to stop that cycle is to live on cash. Put your debit card away. Don’t carry it with you. Figure how much money you need to get thru each week, and go to the bank and withdraw what you need once a week. There have been many studies that prove people are much less willing to separate from cash than swipe a debit card. If your squandering money in bank fees, change how your doing things.
If you don’t have health insurance, get it in place. Don’t get caught up in the government penalty non-sense. Open enrollment is November 1st 2015 thru January 31st 2016. Fill out the request form on this page, and get it done.