Confused about Obamacare? We figured. The healthcare reform law is painfully long, terribly complicated, and sometimes completely baffling. So we know you have questions.
Keep reading to discover all the answers to your most-asked questions about Obamacare.
1) Is Obamacare the same as the Affordable Care Act?
Yep. It's the exact same thing. Obamacare is just more fun to say.
2) What's the point of Obamacare?
To make sure all of America gets health insurance. So far this year, almost 10 million people have gotten an Obamacare plan. But there are 29 million people who need health insurance, and you might be one of them.
3) Do I have to sell my firstborn child to afford insurance?
No! If you make a certain income, you can qualify to get help paying for your plan.
In fact, 87% of people who bought Obamacare coverage got help paying for it. And their plan cost an average of $82 a month. That's probably less than what you spend on gas each month.
4) Who can enroll in Obamacare?
You! And any other American who needs health insurance.
If you don't have insurance, this is your chance to get affordable coverage. If you already have insurance, it's time to find a better plan!
5) But I don't want insurance. Can I go without it?
We can't knock down your door and force you to buy a plan. But if you don't buy one, you'll have to pay a hefty penalty. The tax penalty for not having health insurance in 2015 is $325 or 2% of your household income—whichever amount is higher. The penalty will go up in 2017, and it will increase each year until everyone just buys insurance!
Plus, keep this in mind: If you're uninsured and have to seek medical care this year, you'll have to pay the penalty and the full cost of your care. That could seriously add up! And it could cost much more than the price of basic coverage.
6) How do I search for a plan?
Use our tool to match with a provider. Just type in your name, zip code, and some basic information. Within minutes, a licensed agent will give you a call. They'll answer all your questions, and work with you one-on-one to pick the right plan.
7) Is there a deadline?
Yes, talk to a licenced agent to learn when the 2018 deadline will be for Open Enrollment.
8) What if I miss the deadline?
You have two possible options:
If you don't sign up for coverage during Open Enrollment, you can only get an Obamacare plan if you have a qualifying life event. Say you get married or divorced, have a child, change jobs, or move. You would qualify for what's called Special Enrollment -- a period of 60 days when you can get Obamacare coverage, even after Open Enrollment has ended.
If you don't qualify for Special Enrollment, you can get alternate coverage (ask an insurance agent what that means). But this type of coverage doesn't count as Obamacare! So you'll still have to pay the penalty.
9) I have health problems. Can I get insurance?
Yes! When you complete your application, you don't have to fill out an extensive list of your health history. That's because Obamacare prohibits insurers from using your health problems as a reason not to cover you.
Got asthma? Diabetes? High blood pressure? Even cancer? Under Obamacare, you're still guaranteed to get insurance. And here's the best part: You won't be charged more for it!
10) I enrolled last year with Obamacare. Can I just keep the plan I have?
Yes. If you like your plan, don't do anything. Your plan will automatically re-enroll.
But shop around before the deadline! You might find a plan that's cheaper or offers better benefits.
11) I hate the plan I have. Can I change it?
Yes again! But choose wisely. Say you pick a new plan, and you still don't like it. You'll have to wait until the next Open Enrollment Period to switch it. To make sure you pick the right plan, get one-on-one support from an expert agent.
12) I'm turning 65 and looking for Medicare. Do I buy it on the exchange?
No. You must buy Medicare coverage during Medicare Open Enrollment.
So there you have it. All you really need to know about Obamacare in 12 questions, and in less time than it takes to check your Facebook news feed. Now it's time to take the next step, and search for a plan.