Friday, November 8, 2013

Compare Your Health Insurance Options, and Subsidies Paying for It

The health care coverage rollout has been something of a FUBAR in many places.  Some of the states took the program and ran with it, and it's going well.  Kentucky's Kynect is one such place. Maryland's state exchange is another success story.  But say you are in a state like Ohio, or over 30 others that have no exchange.  Where can you find out about your health care options--AND your possible government subsidy--even in the middle of the night, when the site is down for repairs?

Some guys from California have been noodling around, and have come up with a site called The Health Sherpa.  You can't sign up from this site, but you can put in your zip code, situation (like age, who you are trying to insure, etc.), and which plans you would like to look at (catastrophic, bronze, silver, gold, or platinum.  This refers to what percentage of expenses are covered by the plan).  It will tell you what the cost is AND figure out your expenses after the government subsidy contributes.  WARNING-- don't put commas in your income--for instance, if you type in that you make 20,000 dollars, you will be told you are not eligible for subsidies, but if you type in 20000, you will told you are eligible.  Don't confuse the computer. 

It also tells you how you can apply by phone or online, without  This is not an official site, but it marries the health options available in states without their own exchanges, and the subsidy information.  By the way, you can also get the subsidy information separately at the Kaiser Family Foundation calculator. So figure in the subsidies available to you (you are eligible if you are within four times the poverty level). 

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