healthcare reform, obamacare, does three majorthings for you if you're uninsured or buy your own health insurance because you don'tget it from an employer. first, it changes what types of health insuranceproducts you can by. second, it changes how you buy those products. and third, it changeswhen you can buy those products. how does obamacare change what you buy? ifthe plan you have today or buy in 2013 does not meet new government standards, you mayhave to purchase new insurance to avoid tax penalties. with obamacare any new plan youbuy in 2014 will cover a minimum of 10 standard essential benefits. things like maternitycare and prescription drug coverage are standard. and obamacare creates a minimum benefit levelfor every plan. so in 2014 a new metallic
rating system will make it easier to tellwhat level of coverage you're buying. all metallic plans must cover at least 60% oftotal average estimated costs for the plan's benefit package.bronze plans cover 60%, while platinum plans cover 90%. catastrophic plans for people underthe age of 30 may have lower benefit levels. how does obamacare change how you buy healthinsurance? with obamacare your medical history can't be used to decline your applicationor charge you more for your health insurance. no more complicated questions about your medicalhistory while you wait, sometimes weeks, to see if your application was approved.you may be able to get help from the government to pay for your plan in the form of premiumtax credits or subsidies. and new state exchanges
or market places like e-health insurance willopen up to provide additional places for people to shop for coverage.how does obamacare change when you can buy health insurance? in most states there willbe one open enrollment period per year when people who want health insurance are guaranteedto have their application approved. it may hard to get approved for coverage outsideof the open enrollment period if you don't have a qualifying event such as the loss ofa job, the birth of a child, a marriage or move to a new coverage area.if you miss open enrollment and go uninsured for more than three months in a row, obamacarecan impose a tax penalty on you starting in 2014.