What You Need to Know *Now* About Obamacare

It’s open enrollment time!

It may be hard to believe, but before the ACA it was really hard for freelancers, entrepreneurs, and people who don’t have access to an employer or government sponsored plan to buy insurance. Now hundreds of companies sell their insurance on the Health Insurance Marketplace. You have between now and Dec. 15th to get on it!

After you watch these adorable animals sing a song about why you should enroll in health care (produced by my very talented husband), read about the different types of coverage, all named after metal for some strange reason.

There are four different types of coverage to fit your needs and (hopefully) budget:

Platinum: You’ll pay a high premium month, but 90% of all other medical expenses will be covered. This is for you if you have a chronic medical condition that requires expensive medications and/or you know you’ll be in the doctor’s office (not just therapist) at least once a month.

Gold: These plans have slightly lower monthly premiums than the Platinum ones, and still cover 80% of medications and doctor visits. It’s a good plan if you can work a big insurance bill into your monthly budget and know you’ll need a lot of care.

Silver:  You’ll pay low-ish monthly premiums and the insurer will cover 70% of your costs. It’s a solid plan for people who will see a psychiatrist and take meds on a regular basis. Also, if you have a low enough income that your state will help pay some of your med bills, you have to get this plan.  

Bronze: These are the cheapest plans, both because the premiums are low and because the insurer only covers 60% of your costs. It’s better than nothing, but not ideal for people managing a mental health issue.  

Get thee to Healthcare.gov!

FYI, once open enrollment is over you can only change your insurance if you have a ‘life qualifying event,” like getting an official domestic partner or spouse, getting divorced, losing your job, having a baby, or moving to a different zip code.