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Getting Obamacare Oklahoma Coverage – Since the Affordable Care Act passed, it means that everyone needs to have health insurance unless they are specially exempt. For example, Native Americans and those who have religious reasons for not having coverage, are exempt. Most of the residents of Oklahoma will need to have Obamacare or other health coverage though. If they do not choose to get coverage, they will have to pay a penalty to the IRS. The current penalties are $695 for adults who do not have coverage, or 2.5% of their income (whichever is higher), and $347.50 for kids who do not have coverage.
Do You Need Obamacare? – Does this mean that you need to have a plan on the exchange for Obamacare in Oklahoma? Even though you need to have coverage, it doesn’t have to be through the exchange. For example, if you have coverage through your employer or through a company that is off the exchange but offers Obamacare compliant plans, you are fine. However, many people will be going through the exchange to get their coverage.
Enrollment Periods for Obamacare Oklahoma – One of the things you need to remember about Obamacare is that it has an open enrollment period. This is from November to the end of January each year. If you do not sign up for a plan during this time, then you will have to wait until the following open enrollment period in most cases. However, there are some exceptions to the rule. Native Americans who want to enroll are allowed to do so at any time of the year. If you qualify for Medicaid, then you can sign up at any time of the year as well.
Otherwise, you will have to qualify for special enrollment. This means you need a life qualifying event. Some examples of these events would be getting married, having a child, or moving to Oklahoma from another state. If you qualify, then you will have 60 days from the start of that qualifying event to choose a plan and a provider.
Choosing a Obamacare Oklahoma Plan and Provider – When you are signing up, you don’t want to sign up for the first plan that you find. You need to take your time to look at the various options among the carriers. The carriers in Oklahoma are limited for Obamacare. In 2016, there are only two companies offering plans on the exchange. Once you choose your plan and you are sure it is the right option for you and your family, you will then pay for the plan just as you would other insurance. You can pay the insurance company, and be sure to make those payments each month so it isn’t cancelled. Tax subsidies can help to lower your costs.
The plans that are part of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Oklahoma are going to renew at the end of the year, but you don’t have to stick with the plan. During the open enrollment, you are still able to look for new plans that might suit you better. Keep in mind that this is United Healthcare’s last year, so these plans will not renew. Take the time to find the perfect plan for your health needs.
Plans and Networks – Whether you are going to be waiting for the next open enrollment or you qualify for special enrollment, you are probably very confused about the carriers, plans, and all of the research you need to do before you can get the coverage you need and choose a good company. Let’s look some of the most important things to know about the plans and networks for Obamacare in Oklahoma. To Get a free health insurance quote Click here.
What Carriers Are Available in Oklahoma? – One of the interesting things about Oklahoma is that the residents do not have much choice when it comes to carriers. Currently, there are two companies offering plans on the exchange – Blue Cross Blue Shield of Oklahoma and United Healthcare. At the end of 2016, United Healthcare will no longer be offering plans on the exchange, as they did not get much of a market share. Blue Cross Blue Shield accounts for about 95% of the customers on Obamacare in the state.
However, in 2017, a new player will be entering the field, as Aetna will start to offer plans on the exchange. In addition to these companies that are offering plans on the exchange, Humana is offering off-exchange plans that meet the requirements of Obamacare.
Even though there are only a couple of carriers in the state, you will find that they have quite a few different types of plans to meet the needs of people in many different situations. It should be possible to find a plan that will work well for you and your family’s needs.
What Are the Plans and Tiers? – Once you start to look at all of the plans, you will notice that they are separated into different tiers based on precious metals. These tiers are like those found in other states. The bronze plans are going to have the lowest monthly premiums, but they will have the highest out of pocket costs. This could make the plan a good option for those who are in relatively good health and who do not need to visit the doctor often through the year. The silver plans are a little costlier when it comes to the monthly premiums, and they pay for more of the out of pocket costs. The gold and platinum plans follow suit. The plans that are in the platinum tier are going to have the highest monthly premiums, and the lowest out of pocket costs. In fact, they will pay for 90% of the out of pocket costs.
There are also catastrophic health plans. These have very low premiums, but the out of pocket costs are very expensive. The plans are for those who are under 30 years old and in good health.
No matter which of the plans you choose though, all will come with the essential benefits, as they are required by Obamacare. These include ambulatory care, emergency services, treatment in the hospital, maternity and newborn care, addiction treatment and mental health services, prescription drugs, rehabilitative services and devices, pediatric care, preventative services and lab services.
Financial Assistance for Obamacare Oklahoma
One of the biggest concerns for residents of Oklahoma who were suddenly faced with the idea of Obamacare was the cost. While having health coverage is a good idea, the reason that so many people in the state didn’t have any coverage was because they weren’t able to afford it. Now though, it is the law, and they need to have health insurance or they will have to pay a penalty, which many people can’t afford either. The current penalties for not having coverage are $695 for an adult (or 2.5% of their income, whichever is higher), and $347.50 for children without coverage.
No one likes the idea of paying these fines, but many people are already struggling and living month to month. The idea of adding another large bill to the month is not a pleasant one. However, there are some things that residents of Oklahoma in need of Obamacare and health insurance can do to make things easier.
Medicaid – One of the first things you will want to do is to determine whether you qualify for Medicaid. You will find out when you fill out your application for Obamacare. If you do qualify, then you will not have to go through the exchange to choose a plan. You can simply use Medicaid. However, it is important to keep in mind that Oklahoma was one of the states that decided they would not expand their Medicaid system. This means that more of the residents will fall into the “gap” where they make too much for Medicaid and not enough to pay for their monthly premiums. That’s unfortunate, but there are still a number of people who could qualify, and it is one financial assistance option.
CHIP – For those who have children, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, or CHIP, could be a huge benefit. The state can provide coverage for children, as long as the family income is below the cutoff threshold. Children can be on this plan up until they are 19 years old. Those who have children who need coverage, and who have a low income (and who don’t qualify for Medicaid) can check into this program.
The Tax Subsidies – Another financial assistance option comes from the government in the form of tax subsidies. Many people in Oklahoma on Obamacare will qualify for tax subsidies. They base the amount you can get on the number of people in your family and the income. When you sign up for Obamacare, you will find out how much you are eligible to receive in subsidies, and then you can choose how you want to use them.
Some in Oklahoma choose to apply these credits at the end of the year. This way, they can reduce the amount they owe in taxes, or even increase their refund if they are getting money back. However, most people who are living month to month will want to apply the credits right away. This reduces the amount of the monthly premium, which is what helps many in Oklahoma afford Obamacare.
Common Mistakes on the Obamacare Oklahoma Application Process
Oklahoma residents who are getting ready to fill out their Obamacare application for the first time likely have some questions about the process. Unfortunately, too many people don’t take the time to find the answers to their questions, and they rush through the application. This has caused many to fill out the application incorrectly, whether they are signing up during open enrollment or during special enrollment, and that means there are delays and rejections. The government has found quite a few errors, and it takes a long time to answer all of the appeals on applications that have been handled incorrectly.
You don’t want to make these types of mistakes on your application, so let’s look at some of the most common problems on the Obamacare applications seen in Oklahoma and other states.
Missing Sections and Incorrect Information –Some people have trouble with their application going through because they do not fill out all of the sections. They miss one or two things, and they end up having issues with the process that are on their end rather than the government’s fault. This can cause some delays that could push people out of the open enrollment period. Always take the time to check the application to make sure that you aren’t missing information in any of the sections.
In addition, you need to make sure that you have the proper information in each of the sections. In some instances, people have put their spouse in the dependent section where they should only be putting their children. Something else to keep in mind is that you can actually keep your kids on your plan up until they are 26 years old thanks to the new system.
Double check to make sure that you’ve spelled all of the names correctly, that you have the correct birthdates and social security numbers, and that all of the information is factual.
Income Errors – There have also been application issues with income. You need to put your income on the application, as it is how they will determine whether you qualify for programs such as Medicaid, and how much you are able to receive in tax credits. It is very important that you do not over or underestimate your income. If you overestimate how much you make, it means you will not get as much in tax credits. If you underestimate, you will get more money, but the IRS will find that you are underreporting your income, and you could have your subsidies taken away from you.
Turn in the Application on Time – In addition, you need to make sure that you turn in the application on time. If you are enrolling during the open enrollment, you usually only have from November to January each year. Pay attention to the open enrollment dates so you don’t make any mistakes. In addition, if you qualify for special enrollment, you will only have 60 days from the date of the qualifying event to apply and choose your plan.
By understanding the common mistakes on the application, you can make sure you don’t make those errors.
Enrollment and Tax Credit for Small Business
People who own small businesses in Oklahoma were very concerned about the implementation of the Affordable Care Act and Obamacare, as they worried how it might affect their business. The companies felt that if they suddenly had to provide health coverage for their employees, it could end up putting them out of business, and this was a very real fear for many small companies throughout the state. Fortunately, the fears for small companies were unfounded.
Do You Need to Enroll? – If a business has fewer than 50 employees, the law does not require them to pay for the employees’ health coverage. Companies that have more than this number of full time equivalent employees, or FTEs, are considered to be large businesses, and would need to offer coverage.
It is important to know what a full time equivalent employee is when trying to calculate whether you need to provide coverage or not. If someone works 30 hours per week or more on average, then they are considered a full time employee. However, if you have two people who are working 15 hours per week on average, then they would count as one full time equivalent employee.
What Are the Benefits of Enrolling? – Even though you might not be required to pay for your employees’ health coverage according to the law, that doesn’t mean it’s a bad idea. In fact, there are some fantastic benefits for your Oklahoma company if you do decide to offer coverage. First, if you have coverage, it can be very enticing for employees, and you will worry less about them leaving and looking for other jobs. This can help you to reduce your turnover rate, which is always nice.
Secondly, the employees will feel a greater loyalty toward the company, and they will be healthier overall. This can lead to more productivity, as well as fewer sick days. Another one of the benefits is the fact that you might be able to receive small business tax credits. These tax credits can help you to lower the amount of money that your company owes in taxes each year.
Qualifying for SHOP and Credits – In order to buy the insurance plans through Small Business Health Options Program, of SHOP, you need to have 25 or fewer full time equivalent employees, and their average wages need to be below $50,000 annually. You also need to pay at least half of their premiums (35% if you are a nonprofit). You can then start to look at the plans available through SHOP for your employees. When you are choosing a plan, don’t just go for the cheapest option you can find. You want to make sure you find a plan that will really work to meet the needs of your employees, whatever they might be.
Take some time to think about the benefits that coverage can offer for your employees. Oklahoma businesses may find that offering coverage is actually a very good idea.
Obamacare Oklahoma Tax Impact
A large number of people who are living in Oklahoma were concerned when they learned about the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Naturally, they wondered what it would all mean for their healthcare coverage, as well as their taxes. They worried that the new healthcare system would increase their taxes, but they were also concerned over what it meant when they would file their taxes. It’s true that there are some changes you will have to be aware of when you file, but for most people, it should still be relatively easy.
Tax Forms to Expect – Before the taxes are due, you will receive a form in the mail that has information you require for your records and for your taxes. Depending on the type of healthcare coverage you have, the form that you get will be different. If you have opted for Obamacare in Oklahoma, then you will receive a 1095-A form in the mail. This is also called the Healthcare Marketplace Statement. If you have coverage through a private insurance company, then you will receive the 1095-B form, which will be sent to you by that company. Those who have insurance through their employer will receive the 1095-C.
If you will be receiving the 1095-B or the 1095-C, you will not have to wait to file your taxes. You will be able to file them right away. The IRS will have the information needed regarding your healthcare coverage. However, if you have coverage through Obamacare, then you will need to take the information that it includes and put it on Form 8962, which you will add to your taxes. Once Oklahoma residents turn in their taxes, they can then keep the 1095-A for their records.
Make Sure You File – It is very important that you file your taxes each year. If you don’t file your taxes, or if you file and you do not have healthcare coverage, the IRS will know. Without coverage, they will levy fines against you. The current fines for not having coverage are $695 for adults without coverage (or 2.5% of their income, whichever is higher), and $347.50 for children without coverage.
If you don’t file your taxes, you will not be able to get any subsidies in the future either, so you will not be able to save on your insurance costs. These subsidies are a necessity for many people to help them pay for their premiums.
The changes to the way that you will be doing your taxes are actually very minimal, and it is not difficult to figure out. Those who have simple taxes each year will be able to add the new form, if needed, without trouble. Those who have more complicated taxes to handle each year might want to have some help from a professional. Working with a tax pro can help get the taxes done faster, and it will ensure that you don’t make any mistakes that could cost you in the long run.
Obamacare Oklahoma Fact Sheet
Residents of Oklahoma who have been watching the Affordable Care Act passage from afar might not have much of an idea about what the new healthcare system really means for them or how it can affect them. They know it is the law now to have health coverage, but beyond that, many people don’t know much about the facts. Let’s looks at some of the essential facts you should know about Obamacare in Oklahoma so you have a better idea of what it means for you.
The State Has Limited Carriers – In Oklahoma, there are only two carriers – United Healthcare and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Oklahoma. At the end of the year, United Healthcare will no longer be offering plans, but it will be replaced with Aetna. Even though there are only a couple of carriers on the exchange, they have a number of different plans that might work well for you and your family. In addition, you could look for coverage from a carrier that is not on the exchange, such as Humana.
The government knows that suddenly expecting people to be able to pay for another large monthly bill is a lot to ask. Many people would not be able to afford it. Thankfully, there are tax subsidies that many residents in the state will qualify for. These subsidies are based on your income and the number of people in the family. You can apply them immediately to help lower the cost of the monthly premiums, or you can have them applied at the end of the year to your taxes to reduce what you owe.
Enrollment During the Open Period – If you are a Native American, or if you will qualify for Medicaid, then you can enroll in coverage at any time during the year. However, most people will only be able to enroll during open enrollment. This is generally from November to January each year. The only way to get coverage in the interim is to have a life event that qualifies you for special enrollment. If you qualify, you will have 60 days during which time you can look for a provider and a plan that fits your needs. Some of the qualifying events include getting married or divorced, or having a child.
The Fines Are High – During the first years of the Affordable Care Act there were no fines or low fines for people without insurance coverage. That’s changing. This year, the cost of the penalties for not having coverage are $695 for an adult, or 2.5% of their income. The government will choose whichever one is higher. Children without coverage have a penalty of $347.50 applied to them that goes onto their parent’s taxes. These costs could be going up.
Now that you know more about the facts of Obamacare in Oklahoma, you will have a better idea of what it means for you. Take the time to find a plan that is right for your needs and your budget.
What’s New for Obamacare Oklahoma in 2016
Oklahoma residents who are just going to be getting Obamacare this year, either during the open enrollment or with special enrollment, as well as those who are continuing with coverage, should be aware of what changes have come to the system. Understanding the changes and being aware of the different carriers and plans will make it easier when you are looking for a plan.
While there are many in the state that don’t like the idea of Obamacare, the system has been doing fairly well. In 2016, there was an enrollee increase of around 15%. This shows that the system is working to get people enrolled.
Changes With the Carriers – There will be a couple of changes to the carriers who are operating in Oklahoma and offering Obamacare plans in the state. At the end of 2016, United Healthcare will no longer be offering plans for new or current customers. They are leaving the exchange. This means anyone who has a plan on United Healthcare right now will need to look for another option when the next open enrollment period begins in November. A number of other carriers had stopped offering plans before the 2016 enrollment started including Community Care, Global Health, and Time/Assurant.
Humana is available, but they do not offer plans on the exchange. The plans are compliant with Obamacare, but they aren’t exchange plans. The only companies offering plans for the exchange right now is Blue Cross Blue Shield of Oklahoma, and United Healthcare (until the end of the year). Aetna will be offering plans starting next year, but they will only be offering plans in the areas around Oklahoma City and Tulsa.
Currently, around 95% of the people in the state with Obamacare go through Blue Cross Blue Shield of Oklahoma, and it looks as though that trend is likely to continue since there are really no other companies on the exchange for many of the people in the state.
The Rates Are Increasing – There are only five states that leave the rate review process of plans on the exchange to HHS. The state only reviews plans for off exchange companies. The 2016 rates were an increase of between 22% and 35% depending on the plan that the customer had.
Even though the rates are increasing, Oklahoma residents will still be able to use subsidies to help them pay for their coverage. The Supreme Court ruled that subsidies were legal in all states in the country. This is very welcome news to many people in the state who worried that their subsidies might go away. The amount of subsidies you can receive will depend on the number of people in the household who are on the plan, as well as the income level.
You can have the subsidies applied to your taxes at the end of the year, which can reduce the amount you owe, or increase your return. Alternatively, you could have the subsidies applied to your monthly premiums to reduce the cost of healthcare right away.
Cons and Pros of Obamacare Oklahoma
If there is one thing that everyone can agree on when it comes to Obamacare in Oklahoma it is the fact that no one can agree on anything. Some people love the idea of the new health system and they feel it is a good move, while others are adamantly against it. Before taking sides, it is important to have a good overall understanding of exactly what the good and the bad of the system are. Let’s look at the pros and cons of Obamacare in Oklahoma to see what it offers and what issues it has caused.
The Cons of Obamacare Oklahoma – Let’s look at the cons first. One of the reasons that people do not like the idea of Obamacare is the fact that having health coverage is now mandatory. It’s not just a smart idea anymore, it is required. Those who do not like the government interfering in their business are opposed to this, as are those who feel they are going to have trouble affording the coverage they need.
People do not like the fines that have been implemented either, as they are quite high. The current penalties for not having coverage are $695 for adults (or 2.5% of their income, whichever is higher), and $347.50 for children.
Another one of the cons of the system is that there is an open enrollment period, and even companies that aren’t part of the exchange can only provide plans during the open enrollment. Many feel that they should be able to sign-up for coverage whenever they want.
The Pros of Obamacare Oklahoma – Even though there are quite a few cons with Obamacare according to many residents in OK, there are quite a few pros as well. There are a large number of people in the state who now have health insurance who did not have it before. This makes them safer and it can help to make the state healthier overall. Those who have preexisting conditions are still able to get coverage, as the insurance carriers are no longer allowed to deny them coverage. They can’t cancel the coverage of people who come down with illnesses either.
This means that many people who were in desperate need for coverage now have it, and that’s just the beginning of the benefits. Parents are able to keep their kids on the plan until they are 26 years old. There are no annual or lifetime limits on healthcare. You cannot be charged more based on your medical status or gender, and there are preventative services with no out of pocket costs.
All of the health insurance plans now have the essential benefits, which are required by the new healthcare system. These benefits include outpatient care, emergency services, treatment in the hospital, maternity and newborn care, addiction treatment and mental health services, prescription drugs, rehabilitative services and devices, pediatric care, preventative services and lab services.
As you can see, there are more pros than there are cons, and many people are getting accustomed to the changes that have taken place.
Most Common Questions on Obamacare Oklahoma
How much do you know about Obamacare? Many Oklahoma residents haven’t looked into Obamacare, and they only know the very basics. This can cause misinformation about the system to spread. Let’s look at some of the most commonly asked questions about Obamacare so you understand more about how it will affect you and your loved ones.
Will I Go to Jail Without Healthcare?
One of the big fears that some people had when they learned that Obamacare would be required by law was what might happen if they weren’t able to comply with the law. Some feared that it meant they could be arrested if they didn’t have health coverage. That would be an overreaction by the government, and that’s certainly not what happens. When you don’t have coverage, and you aren’t exempt from coverage, then you will pay a penalty.
The current penalties are $695 for adults, or a portion of their income, and $347.50 for children without coverage. This is added to your taxes at the end of the year. Some people are not required to have coverage. If someone has religious reasons for not having coverage, or they are Native American, they don’t’ have to get a health plan.
How Many Companies Offer Coverage in Oklahoma?
Oklahoma has only two companies offering plans this year – Blue Cross Blue Shield of Oklahoma and United Healthcare. The latter is actually going to stop providing coverage at the end of the year. It will be replaced by Aetna. Even though there are only a couple of companies offering plans on the exchange, they have a wide range of plans. You can also find off the exchange plans that meet the Obamacare requirements.
What If I Have Preexisting Conditions?
One of the best things about the new healthcare system is the way that it has helped to overhaul the healthcare system. Now, people who have preexisting conditions will be able to get coverage. The insurance companies can’t deny them the coverage they need, and they can’t charge them more for their plans. People can’t be charged more for their gender either.
What Are the Metal Tiers?
When you start to look at the plans that are available through the exchange, you will find that they are separated into different tiers named after precious metals – bronze, silver, gold, and platinum. This is a way to get an idea of what the plans will offer and cost. Those that are in the bronze tier, for example, will have the lowest premium costs, but they will have the highest out of pocket costs. At the other end of the tier are the platinum plans. These plans have the lowest of the out of pocket expenses for things such as copays and deductibles. However, they have high monthly premiums.
What Are the Essential Benefits?
The essential benefits are those benefits that Obamacare requires for each of the plans. They include ambulatory care, emergency services, treatment in the hospital, maternity and newborn care, addiction treatment and mental health services, prescription drugs, rehabilitative services and devices, pediatric care, preventative services and lab services.
Now that you know the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions, it should be easier for you to find the plan you need.
Unique Aspects of Obamacare Oklahoma
When you look at Obamacare Oklahoma, you will find that it matches up well with most of the other states in the country in terms of how it all works. However, there are some things that make it unique, and that you will want to make note of when you are getting coverage through the exchange, or with an off-exchange plan. Let’s look at some of the things that are different in Oklahoma.
No Medicaid Expansion – The majority of the states in the country decided that they would expand their Medicaid coverage when they learned about Obamacare, as they wanted to make sure their residents would be able to get the coverage they needed. They did not want people to fall into the “gap” where they couldn’t afford coverage, but they still made too much money for Medicaid. Oklahoma was not one of the states that chose to expand their coverage, which means that some people still fall into the gap where they can’t afford coverage and they can’t get Medicaid.
The Carriers Are Very Limited – Another one of the things to know about Obamacare in OK is the fact that the number of carriers on the exchange in the state are extremely limited. In 2016, there are only two. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Oklahoma, which accounts for 95% of the customers in the state, and United Healthcare, which is actually closing up shop at the end of the year. At that point another company, Aetna, will be stepping into the ring. Still, this leaves just two carriers on the exchange in the state.
There are off-exchange carriers as well. Humana offers plans that are compliant with Obamacare and that might work well for some people. However, you have to abide by the open enrollment for the plans that are not on the exchange as well. The only way you can get coverage in the middle of the year is if you are a Native American, if you qualify for Medicaid, or if you have a qualifying life event, such as having a child, that will allow you to qualify for special enrollment.
While you have a limited number of carriers, they still have quite a few different plans between them that cover the gamut from bronze to platinum plans. No matter which of the plans you choose, you will have the essential benefits as required by Obamacare. These include outpatient care, emergency services, treatment in the hospital, maternity and newborn care, addiction treatment and mental health services, prescription drugs, rehabilitative services and devices, pediatric care, preventative services and lab services.
As you can see, there are some differences and elements that make Obamacare in South Carolina unique. However, there are even more elements that tie it together with the system across the rest of the country. Whether you love or hate the idea of Obamacare and needing to have health coverage, it is now the law, so you need to abide by it so you don’t have to pay any penalties.
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