TAMPA - All week, we're taking action for your health and answering some of your most common questions. In this edition, we're helping you figure out if your family qualifies for help - and how much a policy on the marketplace might cost you.
"This one's great preparing for parenthood," said Cindy McNulty, a 58-year-old working mom without insurance.
"It's very scary. I feel like I'm living on the edge constantly."
Ironically, she helps people with health issues at Healthy Start but hasn't been able to help herself.
Currently, she says she'd have to pay $900 a month for health insurance and she can't afford it based on her salary.
“I haven't had insurance in about 10 years for myself. My 17-year-old son has been on Florida Kid Care for the last five years. He was not insured for several years before that.”
She's waiting for The Affordable Health Care marketplace to open so she can shop for something cheaper.
She already has a good idea of what insurance under Obamacare will cost her, because she took advantage of an online calculator.
Jennifer Tolbert is with the Kaiser Family Foundation.
"The Kaiser Family Foundation developed a tool for consumers called the subsidy calculator.
This tool is designed to give consumers an idea of what they might pay, whether they will be eligible for premium tax credits and what the cost of premiums will be.”
The calculator is pretty simple to use. You can enter your family's income level, ages and number of family members to get an estimate.
We asked Cindy to show us how the calculator works. She hopes through The Affordable Care Act marketplace she can get that monthly premium fee down to $400.
“No tobacco. Number of children-- one. I have a 17-year-old at home,” Cindy said as she filled out the information.
After the online calculations, she says insurance under a basic plan would cost her $338 a month. And she says it wasn't going to cost her anymore to have her son covered.
Individuals can still buy health insurance from insurance agents outside of the marketplace, but the subsidies, which brought Cindy’s cost down significantly, are only available on the federally run exchange.
New information out from The Health and Human Services claims premiums will also fluctuate depending on where people live.
Urban areas are likely to have access to more plans rural counties may only have a few options.
Tampa reportedly will offer some of the state’s lowest rates when the online marketplace begins.
Open enrollment begins October 1 and lasts through March 31 of next year.
To use the calculator, click the link below:
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