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Will Obamacare make employer health insurance more affordable? Consumer Q&A

By on December 7th, 2012
Filed: Advice, Consumers, Health Insurance, Health Reform, You

You wanna bet we’re going to see a lot of interesting questions about the health reform law before final implementation happens in January 2014? We’re already seeing more and more of these question. There’s a lot of confusion out there.

Last week of Yahoo Answers we answered a question that I’m sure a lot of people are asking. The asker is currently covered under her husband’s employer health insurance plan. Her husband’s employer pays almost all of his monthly premiums, but they take $400 each month from his wages to in order to cover her as a dependent spouse.

$400 per month is a pretty hefty contribution. So, you can hardly blame her for wondering: Is health reform going to help lower costs for people like me with employer coverage?

The eHealthInsurance reply was voted Best Answer:

The health reform law does make some changes to employer-sponsored plans, and it requires all companies with fifty or more full-time workers (or the equivalent in part-time workers) to provide coverage to employees. However, it does not make employer-sponsored health insurance more affordable for people enrolled in that coverage.

Government subsidies will be made available for some people beginning in 2014, but only for people buying coverage on their own, not for people with employer-based coverage.

$400 per month is a lot of money, however. Have you checked into buying coverage on your own? If you’re young and relatively healthy, you could potentially find something more affordable, though your benefits may not be the same.

Work with a licensed agent online or in the area to get quotes and see what it might cost to buy coverage on your own. Remember, however, that until 2014, you can still be turned down due to a pre-existing condition. You’ll want to note, too, that you may not be able to disenroll from your husband’s employer plan until the annual open enrollment period comes around. In either case, never cancel an existing health insurance plan until you’ve been approved for a new one.

If you’d like some tips on shopping for health insurance, check out our free health insurance buyer’s guide.

Best wishes.

Image by Flickr user DorkyMum


About Douglas Dalrymple

Doug Dalrymple is a member of the communications team at eHealth, Inc. and has worked in the health insurance and technology industries for fifteen years. He works on communications strategy, content creation and management, project management, and corporate messaging.

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