The Norman Transcript

Features

September 10, 2013

Health exchange shopping tips for uninsured boomers

NORMAN — Dear Savvy Senior, At age 62, I will be retiring at the end of the year and plan to enroll in the Affordable Care Act until my Medicare kicks in. Can you offer me any advice on choosing a plan?

— Almost Retired

Dear Almost,

The new health insurance exchanges that begin in 2014 will have a significant impact on millions of Americans who need health insurance, especially pre-Medicare retirees and uninsured baby boomers who often have a difficult time finding affordable coverage.

To help ensure you get the best health insurance coverage that fits your needs, here are some things you should know.

Health exchange overview: Starting Oct. 1, you will be able to shop for health insurance policies and enroll in one directly through your state’s Health Insurance Marketplace website, over the phone, via mail or in person at a designated center. The coverage will go into effect Jan. 1, 2014.

You also can be reassured to know that federal law prohibits Marketplace insurers from denying you coverage or charging you higher rates if you have a pre-existing health condition. But they are permitted to set premiums up to three times higher for applicants over the age of 50, and smokers may be charged up to 50 percent more than nonsmokers.

To help make coverage affordable, sliding-scale tax credits will be available if you earn less than 400 percent of the poverty level — that’s $45,960 for a single person and $62,040 for couples. These tax-credit subsidies will provide immediate savings off your monthly premiums.

See the Kaiser Family Foundation online calculator (kff.org/interactive/subsidy-calculator) for a premium estimate.

Every state will have a Marketplace, but each state can choose how it will operate. Seventeen states and the District of Columbia will run their own state-based Marketplace, seven states will partner with the federal government and 26 states will offer federal Marketplaces.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Features
  • Just say no to 12-year-old’s Mohawk

    A mom recently asked me what I would say to my son if he was 12 years old and wanted a Mohawk haircut for the summer. I told her I’d say no. “But is it really that big a deal?” she said....

    August 1, 2014

  • Peanut Butter and Jelly Jam set

    Norman residents will serve peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to the homeless from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday at Andrew’s Park, 201 W. Daws St. A pop-up store also will distribute donations of new and gently used books, clothing, shoes, ...

    August 1, 2014

  • CCFI announces play therapy course

    Center for Children and Families will present the course Fundamentals of Non-Directive Play Therapy from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 8 at Sarkeys Foundation, 520 E. Main St....

    August 1, 2014

  • Recent weather has been surprising

    Earlier this July, a dense cold front slipped into the central section of the Southwest — including Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas and bordering states — dropping daytime temperature highs into the upper 60s and 70s, which I believe is an ...

    August 1, 2014

  • Are you a puppet or a prince?

    Names have power. This cautionary statement is frequently found in fantasy novels populated by magical beings. The implication being that you should choose your friends and enemies wisely....

    August 1, 2014

  • Crafter’s emporium planned Saturday

    Members of the Opal District Crafter’s Emporium, plus other local artists, will have an art show from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at the Cleveland County Fairgrounds, 615 E. Robinson St. in Norman. It will be hosted concurrently with the ...

    July 31, 2014

  • Williams book signing event set

    Jared Williams, a resident of Moore, will sign copies of his book “Cerebral” from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday at Hastings, 2300 W. Main St. Norman....

    July 31, 2014

  • Home dedication set Sunday

    Cleveland County Habitat for Humanity will host a dedication of the Ruvalcaba family home from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday at 618 E. Apache St. Those attending are asked to bring a pantry item to help the family begin life in their new home. ...

    July 31, 2014

  • Two territorial littermate cats are asserting social dominance

    Dear Dr. Fox: When we decided to get a cat 10 years ago, I thought getting a couple of littermates would work well. They got along during the first couple of years, often sleeping together and grooming each other. As they matured, though, ...

    July 31, 2014

  • Board welcomes new member

    In its June meeting, the members of the Mary Abbott Children’s House board of directors elected Barbara Henderson to serve the remaining term of Anne Ederington, who resigned from the board in May due to moving from Norman. Henderson and ...

    July 30, 2014