NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Monday, November 2, 2015, 12:01 AM
There’s a lot to absorb when it comes to shopping for a health insurance plan in the Marketplace. Here are the basic things you should know, courtesy of healthcare.gov, the federal government’s official health insurance website.
1. The Health Insurance Marketplace is for people who don’t have health coverage.
Those who don’t have insurance through their job, Medicare, Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) or another source that provides qualifying coverage, can turn to the Marketplace.
2. You can start applying now for coverage starting Jan. 1, 2016.
The application period began Nov. 1 to enroll, renew, or change plans. After Jan. 31, you can’t buy a health insurance plan for the rest of 2016 unless you have a life change — such as having a baby, getting married or losing other health coverage — that qualifies you for a Special Enrollment Period.
3. You can apply for health insurance in several ways.
Applicants can choose the method that’s easiest for them: online, by phone, with in-person help or with a paper application.
4. Your insurance payments depend on your income for 2016, not last year’s income.
Based on next year’s income estimate on your application, you may qualify for a health insurance plan with savings, Medicaid or CHIP, the Children’s Health Insurance Program.
5. You may have to pay a fee if you don’t have health insurance.
Most people must have qualifying health coverage or pay a fee with their 2016 federal taxes, though some may qualify for an exemption.
The penalty is either 2.5% of your income, or $ 695 per adult ($ 347.50 per child) — whichever is higher.