I’ve been receiving about an email a week from the health insurance marketplace promoting the fact that a 27 year old in Florida could purchase health insurance for as little as $96 per month.
Really?! That sounds like an incredible deal. My wife, who’s 27 years old, is currently paying $305 per month for her new Affordable Care Act (ACA) compliant coverage. How’d we miss out on the sweet $96 per month deal? Did she do something wrong during the application process?
Of course she didn’t do anything wrong. My wife is always right … or so she tells me during our occasional disagreements (just kidding honey!!).
She just didn’t qualify for a subsidy to help her pay for coverage.
It’s All About The Subsidy
Coverage under the ACA hasn’t necessarily become cheaper or more affordable than it used to be in years past. The government is just offering to help pay for all or part of your health insurance if you meet some specific criteria. They do this with a premium tax credit (or subsidy) that is used to help you pay for your health insurance upfront.
Whether you receive a subsidy or not will depend on your household size and income. The following chart is helpful to figure out if you will or won’t qualify for a subsidy:
Not a big fan of using charts? Healthcare.gov has a section on their website where you can go to find out what type of subsidy you may or may not qualify for.
You’ll need to enter a few key pieces of information about yourself to receive a premium estimate. That information includes:
- the state and county you live in;
- the ages of the people you are looking to cover;
- whether or not employer coverage is available to anyone in your household (because if you or your family is offered coverage by your job, you won’t receive a subsidy);
- and your expected household income for 2014.
Don’t worry. You’re not applying for coverage using the tool above. It won’t even ask for your name or email address. It’s just strictly there to help you find out if you might receive some help paying for your health insurance.
Now that you know why your new health insurance policy could end up being cheaper, let’s get back to the 27 year old / $96 a month coverage I’ve been getting emails about.
It’s Definitely Possible To Get Covered For $96 Per Month
With these new ACA plans, it’s definitely possible to get a dirt-cheap health insurance policy. We’ve seen a few people walk out of our office with a health insurance policy that is totally paid for by government subsidy.
For a 27 year old to get covered for $96 per month, they’d have to have:
- a household size of one; and
- an income of $23,250.
The plan without the premium tax credit would cost $202 per month, but because of this person’s financial situation, they are given a $106 per month tax credit to purchase a health plan.
The $96 per month plan that’s available in St. Johns County (remember – the type of policies you’ll see will vary by county) is the BlueSelect Essential (HSA) 1452. It’s a bronze level plan that carries a $6,250 deductible and out-of-pocket maximum.
Definitely not the most robust plan, but it’s better than having no coverage at all.
So, there you have it. It’s definitely possible for a 27 year old to get a health plan for $96 per month. Heck, even a free policy is plausible. It just all depends on your current financial situation.
Do yourself a favor and see if you’ll be eligible for some help paying for your insurance. These Obamacare plans are a really great deal for those that are eligible for a subsidy. Just make sure you do it soon. The health insurance open enrollment period ends March 31.
Mark Bailey, Jr. is the Senior Marketing Manager of NFP's Atlantic region. Before joining the company, Mark was a production assistant on the tv show Glee and an on-air talent on 95.1 WAPE. He has over 10 years of experience in the insurance and corporate benefits space. Mark is an avid Jacksonville Jaguars fan and loves to spend his free time building custom mechanical keyboards.