ObamaCare in Oklahoma
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About Obamacare in Oklahoma
Oklahoma residents who previously did not have health insurance can now apply for a plan under the Affordable Care Act. Also known as Obamacare, this new law requires most individuals to have a health insurance plan in place, thus ensuring you can now obtain medical assistance – no questions asked – whenever necessary. Individuals who do not apply for health coverage will be penalized on their 2015 income taxes. The penalty fine is either one percent of your income or $95 per adult, whichever is greater.
Even though 2014 open enrollment for Obamacare in OK ended in March, you will have another opportunity to apply, come November 15, 2014. That is when open enrollment for 2015 coverage in Oklahoma begins. You can start browsing your health coverage options now by visiting healthcare.gov. Once on the website, simply select “Oklahoma” as your state and then follow the instructions.
Individual & Family Coverage
For individuals with Medicare or Medicare, you are already covered. However, those who do not have this public assistance must purchase their own health insurance plan in order to not be penalized later. Thankfully, the Affordable Care Act has created a resourceful website, known as the Health Insurance Marketplace, which allows you to easily view available plans.
Even if you do not currently have 2014 coverage, you can still qualify if you recently experienced a life-changing event. These examples may include marriage, birth of a child, adoption, relocating to another state or loss of health coverage. If you do qualify, then you can obtain coverage through the Special Enrollment Period, which will allow you to purchase your private healthcare plan through the Marketplace.
Generally speaking, there are four Marketplace plans available for Oklahoma Obamacare coverage: Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum. Those who are 30 or younger may apply for what is known as a Catastrophic plan. However, this plan requires individuals to pay for their medical expenses, and it also comes with a high deductible.
If you are a small business owner in Oklahoma with less than 50 full-time employees, you are not required to purchase health insurance coverage for your employees. However, if you would like to provide coverage for your employees, you can do so through the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP). The best way to enroll in a SHOP plan is by contacting an agent, broker or insurance company for clear guidelines and specifics.
SHOP enrollment is available all throughout the year. However, in order for your coverage to be effective the following month, you must apply before the 15th. Keep in mind that small business owners can only provide health coverage for full-time employees, or in other words, those who work 30 hours or more.
If you are a small business owner with less than 25 full-time employees, you may be eligible to receive tax credits. Contact an agent or broker for more information.
You’ll be glad to know that under Oklahoma Obamacare, health insurance companies can no longer deny coverage to any individual with a pre-existing condition. Whether you have diabetes, cancer, asthma, a disability or a chronic illness, you can still qualify for health insurance coverage. Furthermore, you cannot be charged a higher premium due to your medical condition, nor can your plan suddenly be dropped.
However, grandfathered plans are an exception to this rule. If you do have a grandfathered plan that doesn’t cover a pre-existing medical condition of yours, then you can apply for a Marketplace health insurance plan in OK once open enrollment becomes available again. As a reminder, you can apply for 2015 coverage in the state of Oklahoma starting November 15, 2014.