Healthcare

We try signing up for coverage

CREATED Dec. 4, 2013

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We're telling you a lot about what the healthcare law means to you.  Today, we're actually signing up. 

I'm getting help from Mike Derdzinski, who does this for a living with Johnson Insurance.

We logged on the healthcare.gov website.  It was fairly easy to browse available plans.  We simply plugged in a little basic information such as the state and county where I live and the ages of people in my immediate family.

That brought up the plans available in my area.

"There's 89 plans available in Washington County, so you have good selection,"  Derdzinski said.

The plans come in five categories: catastrophic, bronze, silver, gold and platinum.

Catastrophic costs the least.  It also covers the least.  Catastrophic plans are also only available for people under 30.

The plans then get progressively more expensive and offer more coverage up to platinum.

For Washington County, I could get my kids a catastrophic plan for as little as $308 a month.  The cheapest bronze plan would be $855 a month.  If we went for the most expensive platinum plan, we would pay $2,138 dollars a month for the premium.

Before you say ouch, remember, "The cost that you're going to see does not necessarily reflect what you'll end up paying because you may be eligible for a subsidy," Derdzinski said.

Click Here to use a subsidy calculator.

Typically a family of four that makes $94,000 per year or less gets help.

I took my family of five and plugged in our income at $93,000 a year.

Based on that, we would be eligible a $2,810 yearly subsidy.

Based on the cheapest Bronze plan, that means we'd be on the hook for more than $10,000 of our yearly premium.  We would then also have to pay out of pocket costs that come along with the plan.

I also tried setting our yearly income to $50,000.  That upper our subsidy to $8,924 per year.  That would leave us to cover about $1,100 per year for the premiums on the cheapest plan.