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Freelancers take action: Simple steps for navigating the Affordable Care Act

1.20.14

We’ve got news for you… the Affordable Care Act is real and it’s here. Now. Healthcare marketplaces are up and running. So, if you’re a freelancer you’ve got a federal mandate, but you also have options. Here’s what you need to know.

First, the mandate.

If the law remains in its current form (and so far this has been a pretty big “if”), every individual is required to obtain an ACA-compliant health insurance policy. This is known as the personal mandate. Failure to comply this year will result in a $95 fine. If you decide to make this a habit you should know in 2016 the fine will balloon to $700. Ouch.

Now, what are your options?

  • If you have Medicaid coverage, you’re all set. Enjoy the rest of your day.
  • If you have coverage through your spouse’s plan, see ya’ later.
  • If you’re getting healthcare insurance through an existing employer, you can either do nothing or go to healthcare.gov and see if your income qualifies you for a healthcare subsidy. This could lower your cost for coverage. There’s also a useful tool to assist you in estimating possible subsidies at kff.org/interactive/subsidy-calculator/.
  • If none of the above applies to you, it’s time to go shopping. Head to healthcare.gov and follow the instructions. Plans come in four different levels: Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. Some freelancers report being pleasantly surprised by the prices they’ve found in the marketplace, while other folks have used some pretty colorful language to describe the experience. Rates vary by where you live and how much you make.

Whichever option you take, do it by March 31, 2014. That’s this year’s enrollment deadline.

If you’re an active PayReel employee, you’re in good hands. We’re working with some of the smartest people in the insurance business to determine which plans make the most sense for our employees and clients.

We’ve got some fundamental questions to answer before the employer mandate takes effect on 1/1/15. Such as:

  • Which of our employees will be considered full-time and eligible for coverage?
  • Who will we choose as our plan provider?
  • How much will it cost you?

We’ll begin aggressively communicating the specifics as soon as we have all of the answers we need. In the meantime, know that we’re working on it day and night, and that we’ll keep you informed.

Relax.  We got it.

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