Beginning Oct. 1, individuals and small businesses owners can buy affordable
benefit plans by enrolling in the new Individual and Small Business Health Insurance Options Program
What You Need To Know:
Individuals and small businesses will have the ability to buy insurance coverage during the initial open enrollment period, which is scheduled for Oct. 1 through March 31, 2014.
The state just reviewed and approved 13 health insurance providers. However, the cost of the health insurance plans remains unknown, but those figures should be available in a few weeks, according to a story in the Journal Sentinel.
According to the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OIC) here are the changes that will take place after Jan. 1, 2014:
- Federal tax credits will be made available to eligible individuals, families and small businesses to offset the cost of their premiums.
- Under the law, "essential health benefits" are covered.
- Insurers must sell a health insurance policy to any person who applies for coverage, except in cases where the applicant provides fraudulent information. This is called guaranteed issue.
- If you don't buy health insurance by Jan. 1, 2014, there's a penalty that increases every year. But there are also exemptions.
- If you already have non-group coverage, better brace for a price increase. The Society of Actuaries estimates that the change in the average monthly costs for non-group coverage after federal health care reform is implemented is 80 percent.