About Health Care Reform

Meekins Insurance Services

Health care reform means lots of change. Just consider:

  • Beginning in 2014, the federal government requires that individuals purchase health insurance or pay a tax penalty. (In 2014, the penalty is 1% of your income or $95, whichever is greater.*)
  • If you meet certain qualifications, the federal government offers subsidies – also known as advanced premium tax credits – that help you pay for health coverage. Getting your subsidy starts with a free rate quote, just contact your authorized BCBSNC agent. In your rate quote, you’ll see your estimated subsidy and how it affects your premium. To get the actual amount of your subsidy, you’ll need to go to the online Health Insurance Marketplace, which is also known as the Exchange – your agent can help you do this as well. For more information, click here or go to healthcare.gov.
  • Health insurance plans must meet or exceed certain coverage requirements regarding preventive care, deductible levels, out-of-pocket cost limits and more – to ensure that you receive the protection you need and want.* All BCBSNC plans meet these coverage requirements and include comprehensive preventive care services.
  • To make it easier to compare plans, plans must be labeled bronze, silver, gold or platinum – with each of these levels covering a specific percentage of medical costs. (See the chart here)
  • There’s an online Health Insurance Marketplace, also known as the Exchange, that will allow you to compare and purchase health insurance plans at the different metallic levels from different health insurance providers, including BCBSNC.
  • You must enroll in a health insurance plan between October 1, 2013 and March 31, 2014, the annual enrollment period for 2014. You can enroll outside this period, if you have gone through a qualifying event such as marriage, divorce, or moving into North Carolina from out of state. Visit bcbsnc.com for a complete listing of qualifying events

* For more information on coverage requirements, exemptions from coverage and tax penalties, visit healthcare.gov.

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