The major provisions from the health care reform are less than a year away. The main one being that all Americans must have health insurance starting in 2014 or they will face a penalty. The penalty will actually be in form of a tax. If you do not have health insurance in 2014, then you will either pay $95 at the time of taxes or 1% of your income, which ever is higher. For the majority of working Americans, they will face expensive penalties if they do not get health insurance. In California, there are currently about 8 million uninsured. So it is safe to assume that a large pool of people will be entering the insurance market in California. However, it might not be as easy as it seems. Meaning, it will actually cost a pretty penny to get health insurance. Especially if you were one of those people that never needed it, are younger and did not want to pay monthly to have it. Health insurance carriers are forecasting that individual premiums will increase 30% to 100% in 2014. So, why will health reform make it more expensive to get health insurance? Well, many of us are asking the same question.
In addition to the price increase, the plans will be redesigned as well. There will be different levels of coverage options. The goal is to simplify the options for consumers and also to make the benefits more rich in nature. For people that are looking to get a subsidy from the government, that will also have its requirements. First, you will have to apply for health insurance through the state exchanges that are scheduled to be operational by 2014. Also, there is an income hurdle to qualify. To get a subsidy, you can not make more than 400% of the poverty income level. So that means that many of the 8 million Californians without coverage right now might not even qualify for a discount. As we get closer to 2014, we will release more information about the changes coming about.