January 1, 2014 is quickly approaching. When the New Year arrives, you must have health insurance to avoid paying penalties on your tax return the following year. While you do have a grace period, due to open enrollment being extended until March 31, 2014, you could still end up paying some fees for not having your insurance start at the beginning of the year. Luckily, you still have time to review your available options through the California Health Benefits Exchange and choose the plan the best suits your needs.
Selecting the right type of insurance plan involves calculating your estimated medical expenses for the coming year. All new plans include all 10 essential health benefits as outlined under the Affordable Care Act. The difference is in the percentage the plan covers. For example, Bronze level plans are the most basic coverage option and only cover 60 percent or related expenses. However, if you only visit your doctor a few times a year, are healthy, and do not require long term care prescriptions, this plan may be ideal. On the other hand, if you visit your doctor more often, have regular prescriptions, and other needs, a higher level plan, such as Silver or Gold, might be more cost-effective.
Since you do not have to access the Federal government’s site to sign up for insurance, you do not have to worry about the accessibility issues other people have been facing. In California, the Health Benefits Exchange is your one-stop shop that includes detailed information about your options, the ability to compare plans from some of the state’s leading providers, and the place to sign up for coverage.