What Students Need To Know About Obamacare 2.0

It’s true. December’s one crazy month. You’ve got a whack of things to do before Christmas break and the furthest thing from your brain is health insurance. Unfortunately, President Obama and his merry band of lawmakers have made this time of year Open Enrollment season–the period in which you need to make sure that you’ve got the right type of coverage at the right price.

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So stop dreaming about Christmas and kick those visions of sugar plums–what are sugar plums, anyway?–out of your head. For the next few minutes, you need to focus on the not-so-festive topic of Obamacare 2.0.

Here are a few things you should know.

First of all, if you’re under twenty-six and still covered under your parents’ health insurance plan, you can do the happy dance, pour yourself a glass of eggnog, and go back to your Christmas list.

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No one said your “happy dance” was a pretty sight.

Now, for those of you who are age twenty-six or over, or those who are not covered under their folks’ plan, sorry for the interruption. Let’s get back to the business at hand with a few things you should know.

Penalties Have Gone Up

If you are contemplating forgoing health insurance coverage completely, you may want to reconsider. Not only are you putting yourself at serious financial risk if you are injured or become ill, but you will be facing a fairly hefty penalty. In 2014, the penalties levied against the uninsured equaled $95 or one percent of your income–whichever was greater. 2015’s penalties, however, have leapt to the higher of $325 per person or two percent of your income. That could buy one heck of a load of Christmas presents.

Networks May Grow, But Only Slightly

If finding a physician who accepts your health insurance plan is akin to hunting down a needle in a proverbial buy levitra canada haystack, things may improve–but only a hair. As CNN’s “Obamacare 2.0 Kicks Off with Few Hitches,” states, the choice may become a little wider, but you will still have to hunt as insurers try to keep the networks on the narrow side in order to maintain low premiums.

Important Dates

While the enrollment period opened on November 15th and you had to enroll by December 15th to have your plan kick in by January 1sth, there are some important dates still to come. CNBC’s “Obamacare 2.0” warns that in order to have your new health insurance coverage being by March 1st, you will have to enroll by February 15–which is also the last day of open enrollment. And, everyone who files taxes must indicate coverage on their tax return by April 15th or face a penalty.

Update Your Health Insurance Details

With a significantly larger number of insurers participating in open enrollment for 2015, you will be happy to find a wider selection of plans and price points–perhaps, some even better than your current plan. It is a wise idea to do some serious comparison shopping.

Plus, as “What You Need to Know About Obamacare 2.0” states, everyone should log onto the site and ensure that all of their information is correct, especially if your income has changed.

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Now you are armed with the pertinent information required to shop for the best plan you can find. So, go ahead. Throw your arms up in the air and jump for joy. With your health insurance taken care of, you are now free to enjoy the festivities of the season. Merry Christmas and party responsibly.

If you would like to learn more about saving money on your health insurance, check out “How Students Can Find Cheap Health Insurance.”

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I am a freelance writer, avid blogger, illustrator, and aspiring novelist who thinks the world is a terribly funny place filled with bizarre things to observe--and, of course, comment on. You can follow her somewhat neurotic and OCD ramblings at The Embiggens Project and at Searching for Barry Weiss.

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