Tuesday, October 08, 2013 11:51:47 AM

How to cut the cost of health insurance

What happens if I can't afford to pay for an Obamacare health insurance policy?

Question Asked By: Christine from Edisto Island, S.C.

If you don't have affordable health insurance through an employer, then you're eligible to shop for a private policy through your state's health insurance exchange. No matter if your state's exchange is run by the state or federal government, it will open for business on October 1, 2013 and offer coverage that begins as early as January 1, 2014, if you sign up by mid-December.

Depending on your income and familiy size, you may be eligible for an upfront tax subsidy that could dramatically reduce the cost of a health insurance plan purchased on an exchange. This financial assistance is available for those who earn between 100 percent and 400 percent of the poverty level. For 2013, that's an individual earning $11,490 to $45,960 or a couple earning $15,510 to $62,040.

If you earn less than the poverty level, you may be eligible for free or low-cost health coverage through Medicaid, which is a state-run, public insurance program. Click here to find out your eligibility for all subsidized health insurance benefits, including Obamacare, Medicaid, Medicare, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

Our Obamacare Eligibility Calculator is a one-stop shopping tool for health plans that are approved by the Affordable Care Act, no matter the state where you live. 

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Laura Adams is a personal finance expert and award-winning author who is Senior Insurance Analyst for InsuranceQuotes.com. She represents Bankrate Insurance’s web properties in the media and works as an advocate to make sure consumers protect their financial futures by having the right kinds of insurance.

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