Welcome to the Indiefits Blog. We’ll be posting monthly about the issues that affect you, the independent worker. We plan to cover a range of topics in the world of benefits. Life, health, savings. All the things you gave up to strike out on your own. Of course, nobody is ever thrilled to discuss insurance, etc…, but we promise to keep our content relevant, honest, and brief.
The topic of our first post is a time sensitive one. The window for ACA enrollment (the Affordable Care Act aka Obamacare) closes at the end of January. Congratulations! You’ve procrastinated yourself into the most cost effective use of the ACA possible. If you sign up by the end of the month, your plan will begin in March. That means you’ve avoided paying for two months of coverage and dodged the penalty for not having coverage.
There are some caveats to that. Depending on how much money you make, how healthy you are, and how tolerant you are of risk, it may be in your best interest to not carry a health insurance plan at all. (This is where we tell you to contact us so we can give you a free consultation on what fits your needs.) You’re a busy person, but be sure to explore your options before the end of the month.
How does this all fit in with the current political climate and possible changes to the ACA? Our cat knocked the crystal ball off the table last week, so we’re unable to state with any certainty what will happen in terms of repeal or replacement or whatever. The mandate is hugely unpopular, so maybe it goes. Keeping your kids on the plan and pre-existing conditions are popular, so maybe they stay. But the ACA as a whole is a giant complicated mechanism and it’s hard to tinker with one piece without affecting another.
What we can say with certainty is this: as far as this year goes, the plans are the plans. Everything is set, the insurers are signed on, the subsidies are in place. Our best advice: check out the plans. If they’re reasonably priced for you, sign up. And once you’ve signed up, get everything you can out of it. Those free checkups you’re entitled to? Help with buying glasses or getting your teeth cleaned? Prescriptions you need filled? Use every last bit of it, because it might not be there next year. If you’ve got major health problems hanging over your head, this is doubly important. Get what you can fixed.
On that cheery note, we bid you farewell until next month. Feel free to contact us with ideas or questions you may have.