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Now that Joe Biden is the new President of the United States, many people have been wondering what they need to know for his upcoming changes to health insurance plans.

Read on in this article to find answers to some frequently asked questions and figure out what you need to know about what will happen to healthcare under Joe Biden's administration.

Is a Government Site?

No, is a privately-owned site, and is not affiliated with or endorsed by the government. connects you to the leading carriers and brokers who offer off-exchange Obamacare plans.

How Can I Purchase an Affordable Care Act Plan?

Depending on your preference, you can purchase an Affordable Care Act plan either through the government or from an insurance company or brokerage.

Whether you're covered through your employer, buying your insurance on your own, or going without coverage altogether, Biden will give you the choice to purchase a public health insurance option like Medicare.

As in Medicare, the Biden public option will reduce costs for patients by negotiating lower prices from hospitals and other health care providers.

It also will better coordinate among all of a patient's doctors to improve the efficacy and quality of their care, cover primary care without any co-payments, and bring relief to small businesses struggling to afford coverage for their employees.

Is There Government Assistance to Help Me Pay for My Health Care?

Yes, there are options available. Known as "subsidies", there are two forms of government assistance available for those who meet certain income requirements.

The first is the Premium Tax Credit. The government will help pay for, or subsidize, your monthly insurance rate if your income is at or below 4x the Federal Poverty Line. Learn more about the Premium Tax Credit and how to qualify here.

The second is the Cost Sharing Reduction, or when the government helps pay for your out-of-pocket costs. To qualify, you must choose a Silver plan, and your income must be at or below 2.5x the Federal Poverty Line. Learn more about the Cost Sharing Reductions and how to qualify here.

Can I Still Get Government Assistance If I Purchase a Plan Off-Exchange?

Yes. As long as you meet the income and eligibility requirements, off-exchange Affordable Care Act plans qualify for subsidies just like on-exchange plans.

For those eligible, displays plans with an estimate of your subsidized rate already factored into your pricing. You can also confirm your subsidy eligibility with the federal marketplace or your state's exchange site.

What Is the Affordable Care Act?

Joe Biden has a plan to build on the Affordable Care Act by giving Americans more choice, which will reduce health care costs and make our health care system less complex to navigate.

Today, the Affordable Care Act is still a big deal. Over 100 million people no longer have to worry that an insurance company will deny coverage or charge higher premiums just because they have a pre-existing condition – whether cancer or diabetes or heart disease or a mental health challenge.

Insurance companies can no longer set annual or lifetime limits on coverage and roughly 20 million additional Americans obtained the peace of mind that comes with health insurance. Young people who are in transition from school to a job have the option to stay covered by their parents' plan until age 26.

The Affordable Care Act is a set of healthcare reform legislation. It comprises the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Health Care and Reconciliation Act, both of which were signed into law in March of 2010.

The purpose of the Affordable Care Act was to provide all Americans, including those with lower incomes, with affordable, accessible, and quality health coverage.

It accomplishes these by lowering health care costs and premiums, expanding access to Medicaid, applying stricter regulations to insurers, and ensuring that all reformed plans meet a certain high-standard of quality health care.

Prior to reform, millions of Americans were unable to purchase health insurance because it was either too expensive or unavailable. The costs of premiums were steadily increasing since insurers would either increase rates for those with preexisting conditions or deny them coverage completely.

Insurers would also set maximum lifetime benefits, resulting in many Americans losing their coverage once they became too expensive to insure.

Now, with health care reform, the government not only helps pay for the monthly premiums of those with lower incomes, but also makes certain that for everyone, insurers can no longer deny coverage for preexisting conditions, or drop your coverage when you become too costly to insure.

What Is Minimum Essential Coverage?

Minimum essential coverage is when a health plan meets the coverage requirements set forth by the Affordable Care Act.

By law, a qualifying health plan must at minimum meet all of these following ten essential health benefits:

  1. Ambulatory care
  2. Emergency services
  3. Hospital coverage
  4. Pregnancy/maternity and newborn care
  5. Pediatric services (including dental and vision)
  6. Mental health and addiction treatment
  7. Prescription drug benefits
  8. Rehabilitative coverage
  9. Laboratory services
  10. Preventative services and chronic disease management

All four types of plans provide the same quality care. The difference among plans is how much you pay per month versus how much you pay when using the insurance.

Bronze plans have lower monthly premiums, but higher out-of-pocket costs when needing medical care. Platinum plans are the exact opposite, where you pay more per month, but have a lower out-of-pocket rate.

There is also a fifth type, known as a Catastrophic plan, but you must be under the age of 30 or be facing certain hardships to qualify. Catastrophic plans have the lowest monthly premium but have high out-of-pocket costs.

Learn more about the different types of plans, and which plan may be right for you here.

Do I Have to Buy An Affordable Care Act Plan?

Even if you have coverage through your employer, you are still free to shop around and purchase an Affordable Care Act plan. However, you will not be eligible for a subsidy, unless your employer's plan costs more than 9.5% of your annual income.

When Can I Enroll in an Affordable Care Act Plan?

To purchase an Affordable Care Act plan, or renew or update an existing one, you must sign up during the Open Enrollment Period. The current Open Enrollment Period is November 1, 2020 to December 15, 2020.

The only way to obtain an Affordable Care Act plan outside of the Open Enrollment period is during the Special Enrollment. Those who have certain life changes, known as Qualifying Life Events, are eligible for Special Enrollment.

The Special Enrollment Period lasts for 60 days following a Qualifying Life Event. You can learn more about the different enrollment periods here.

What if I Have Low Income?

Biden's plan will ensure low-income individuals are able to obtain coverage by offering premium-free access to the public option for those 4.9 million individuals who would be eligible for Medicaid despite their state's inaction. Bidencare makes sure the public option covers the full scope of Medicaid benefits.

States that have already expanded Medicaid will have the choice of moving the expansion population to the premium-free public option as long as the states continue to pay their current share of the cost of covering those individuals.

Additionally, Biden will ensure people making below 138% of the federal poverty level get covered. He'll do this by automatically enrolling these individuals when they interact with certain institutions (such as public schools) or other programs for low-income populations (such as SNAP).

Will There Be Surprise Billing?

No. Consumers trying to lower their health care spending often try to choose an in-network provider. But sometimes patients are unaware they are receiving care from an out-of-network provider and can receive a big, surprise bill.

For example, if you go to an in-network hospital but don't realize a specialist at that hospital is not part of your health plan, Biden will bar health care providers from charging patients out-of-network rates when the patient doesn't have control over which provider the patient sees (for example, during a hospitalization or an emergency).

Why Did I Not See Any Plans?

We only show plans if we think you are eligible for an Affordable Care Act plan based on the information you entered. If you did not see any plans, please confirm your eligibility with the federal marketplace or your state's exchange site.

To start comparing Affordable Care Act plans, please submit your zip code or call to speak with an agent.

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