Don’t Delay: If You’re Self-Employed, Sign Up for Quality, Affordable Health Insurance Coverage Today For Coverage in 2014
by Marianne Markowitz, SBA Official
- Created: March 24, 2014, 3:51 pm
- Updated: March 24, 2014, 3:51 pm
The Affordable Care Act provides comprehensive health insurance reforms that ensure Americans have access to quality, affordable health care coverage. Over the past five months, we have seen over five million Americans take advantage of new coverage options provided by federal and state-based health insurance Marketplaces, along with more than three million young adults who because of the new law are able to stay on their parents plan until they turn 26, and the millions more who are able to gain coverage through CHIP and Medicaid. With the open enrollment period for 2014 entering its final days, now is the time for self-employed business owners to sign up for a plan.
Enrolling now ensures you won’t have to wait until next year to get covered and provides the security and peace of mind that comes with knowing that once you are signed up, no one can take away your coverage if you get sick. Between now and March 31, self-employed individuals can purchase private insurance coverage from a range of options, and depending on income, could potentially quality for additional subsidies like tax credits or cost-sharing benefits through the Marketplace. And for 6 out of 10 uninsured Americans, they can get covered for under $100 per month.
Here are the important dates self-employed business owners need to know:
- For self-employed small business owners, open enrollment for 2014 coverage ends March 31, 2014. The exception is if you have a qualifying life event that provides you with a special enrollment period such as marriage, divorce, birth or adoption of a child, or loss of a job.
- The next open enrollment period won’t be until November of 2014 for coverage beginning January 1, 2015.
- You can apply for Medicaid or CHIP at any time of the year.
In the past, small business owners have paid as much as 18% more for health care coverage than larger companies. The Affordable Care Act helps level the playing field, slows cost growth, and with consumer protections like insurance rate reviews and a ban on denying coverage for preexisting conditions in place, provides greater certainty that small business owners can access the coverage they need, when they need it.
Additionally, the Affordable Care Act makes it easier for aspiring entrepreneurs to go out on their own instead of staying stuck in a current job because of "job lock” or because of the lack of access to affordable insurance options outside of their current employment.
So don’t delay. Join the more than five million Americans who have already signed up for a plan.
You can sign up 24 hours a day, 7-days a week at HealthCare.gov or in Spanish at CuidadoDeSalud.gov. You can call 1-800-318-2596, any time, any hour, and in any of 150 languages. And you can even get in-person help in your own community – in English or Spanish -- (just visit localhelp.healthcare.gov and punch in your zip code).
For more information about other provisions affecting self-employed business owners under the Affordable Care Act, go to sba.gov/healthcare.
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This blog is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as legal or tax advice. Readers should consult their legal or tax professionals to discuss how these matters relate to their individual business circumstances.
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