Changes in Federal Health Care Marketplace

Recently, the Obama administration implemented several changes to the health care reform individual marketplace that will affect when people purchase coverage and what type of coverage they can purchase.

The administration pushed back two deadlines for individuals who wish to purchase coverage on the federal exchange that will be effective Jan. 1, 2014. Individuals now have until Dec. 23, 2013 to purchase coverage through and until Dec. 31, 2013, to make their first payment to the insurance company.

The other adjustment affects the millions of Americans who will lose their health insurance beginning Jan. 1, 2014 because their plan does not meet the coverage requirements under health reform. Individuals with cancelled plans will need to purchase coverage on the individual marketplace.

Yesterday, the administration announced it will allow people with cancelled plans to purchase catastrophic plans if their marketplace options are too expensive. Prior to the new guidance, catastrophic plans were only available to people less than 30 years of age and those who qualify for a “hardship” exemption.

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