Buying Insurance Via Obamacare? Beware the Narrow Network

What's Hot

Do This or Your iPhone Bill May SkyrocketSave

23 Upgrades Under $50 to Make Your House Look AwesomeAround The House

Trump Worth $10 Billion Less Than If He’d Simply Invested in Index FundsBusiness

11 Places in the World Where You Can Afford to Retire in StyleMore

What You Need to Know for 2017 Obamacare EnrollmentFamily

8 Things Rich People Buy That Make Them Look DumbAround The House

32 of the Highest-Paid American SpeakersMake

Amazon Prime No Longer Pledges Free 2-Day Shipping on All ItemsMore

More Caffeine Means Less Dementia for WomenFamily

9 Tips to Ensure You’ll Have Enough to RetireFamily

5 DIY Ways to Make Your Car Smell GreatCars

30 Awesome Things to Do in RetirementCollege

5 Spots Where Retirees Can Live for Less Than $40,000Real Estate

10 Ways to Pull Together the Down Payment for a HomeCredit & Debt

10 Ways to Reduce Your Homeowner’s Insurance RatesFamily

50 Ways to Make a Fast $50 (or Lots More)Grow

Do your homework and take note of the limited number of health care providers and networks offered through the exchanges.

Still don’t have health insurance? Time is running out. The deadline to sign up for health insurance is just days away.

If you’re still searching for coverage, take heed of the following:

Limited network

Many health insurance plans sold on the Obamacare exchanges swap lower premiums for a narrow provider network. Be aware of this when you’re signing up for coverage, because going out-of-network could come at a cost, Kaiser Health News says.

These may include: separate out-of-pocket maximum costs for out-of-network services, potential charges for preventive care services that are free under your network plan, and higher co-payments.

Deadline and penalties

You have until March 31 to enroll and pay for a plan or face a potential penalty of $95 or 1 percent of your income, whichever is higher. The penalty will be assessed on next year’s tax return. The penalty for uninsured children, under age 18, is $47.50, with a maximum penalty of $285 per family.

The only way you can sign up for individual health insurance after March 31 is if you have a qualifying life event, like moving out of state, changing jobs or having a baby.

Off-exchange plans

Only those who use the online government marketplaces to buy insurance are eligible for a subsidy, in the form of a tax credit, to help them afford the premiums. But if you make too much money to qualify for a subsidy, you might want to consider purchasing a health insurance plan from a certified insurance website or use a certified insurance broker to help find a custom plan for you.

This leaves you with greater flexibility in choosing your health insurance and the possibility of a broader provider network. But you still need to enroll by March 31.

Changes are slated for Obamacare in 2015. The Obama administration is ordering the insurance marketplaces to “include a more robust offering of care providers in 2015,” The Washington Post said. Health plans offered on the government marketplaces next year will be required to include 30 percent of area “essential community providers,” like health centers and hospitals that serve mainly low-income patients. The 2014 requirement was 20 percent.

Are you covered by Obamacare? We’d love to hear from you.  Please share your experiences below or on our Facebook page.

Stacy Johnson

It's not the usual blah, blah, blah

I know... every site you visit wants you to subscribe to their newsletter. But our news and advice is actually worth reading! For 25 years, I've been making people richer without making their eyes glaze over. You'll be glad you did. I guarantee it!


Read Next: Taco Bell Is Handing Out Free Food for World Series Stolen Bases

Check Out Our Hottest Deals!

We're always adding new deals and coupons that'll save you big bucks. See the deals to the right and hundreds more in our Deals section.

Click here to explore 1,693 more deals!