Help with the Health Insurance Marketplace

posted 12/3/2015 in Insurance

Help with the Health Insurance Marketplace

If you’ve determined that you will be using the Health Insurance Marketplace to purchase your coverage this open enrollment period, you may be left asking now what? Now that we’ve gone through the basics of open enrollment and when you may need to use the Health Insurance Marketplace, we’ll take a deeper look at how to use the Marketplace.

What do I need to know before shopping?

To be best prepared when shopping, you’ll need to have personal information about yourself and anyone else for which you are completing the process. This includes employer and income information. You can use this checklist? to help you get started.

How do I determine my income?

You will need to use your adjusted gross income (AGI). The AGI is your total gross income minus any deductions you’re eligible to take. These deductions vary from person to person and by year but often include such things as alimony payments, contributions made to an IRA, or a deduction for tuition and fees (more information on AGI). After you’ve determined your AGI (which can also be found on your tax return), you’ll need to adjust the amount for any changes you anticipate in 2016. If you are expecting a pay increase or are no longer able to claim a dependent, it is important you adjust for this.

What if I estimate wrong?

It is important that you estimate your 2016 income as accurately as possible because at the end of the year, your actual income from your tax return will be compared to your estimated income. If your final income was actually higher than your estimate, you probably received more premium tax credits than you qualified for and you’ll have to pay back the difference. That being said, you can update your profile on the Marketplace with any changes (like a pay raise) as needed. This is obviously very important if you want to avoid having to pay in at the end of the year. ( More information on how to estimate your income.)

What’s a premium tax credit?

Depending on your income, you may qualify for a premium tax credit when you apply for coverage using the Health Insurance Marketplace. This tax credit is how you can reduce the amount of money you’ll need to pay each month for your insurance, or your premium. The credit will be sent directly to your insurance company, meaning you’ll only need to worry about your portion each month. (More information on premium tax credits.)

What should I expect while shopping for insurance?

Because Iowa is a state-partnership marketplace, as a certified local agent, Gary Winterhof is able to help walk you through the process. Visit our site to answer a few questions about yourself to determine whether you qualify to shop through the Health Insurance Marketplace. We’ll assist you by estimating your subsidiary eligibility before you begin the application process. If you are eligible, you can even shop plans and get an idea of pricing before applying.

If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact Gary.

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