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Frequently-asked questions about health insurance

Our insurance experts answer the questions our readers ask most.

How is a federal-state partnership different from a federal or state exchange?

August 15, 2017 – The partnership exchange is essentially a federally-run exchange with varying degrees of input, regulation and oversight from the state's… Read more

A girl with a puzzled look on her face wondering how much the IRS will charge her for health insurance

Is the IRS changing how much I’ll have to pay for my health insurance next year?

August 15, 2017 – Q. I saw that the percentage of income I have to pay for my health insurance is going down for 2018, after climbing for 2015, 2016, and… Read more

Man running with laptop through a background of clocks

If I don’t enroll in a plan by the open enrollment deadline, what are my options?

August 14, 2017 – Q. If I don't enroll in a health insurance plan by the end of open enrollment (December 15), what options will I have? A. In most cases,… Read more

Woman asleep at desk with alarm clock showing

If I don’t make changes to my plan and just let it auto-renew for January, am I stuck with it for the rest of the year?

July 10, 2017 – Q. If I don't make changes to my plan and just let it auto-renew for January, am I stuck with it for the rest of the year? A. Starting in… Read more

Do the ACA health insurance exchanges offer long-term care insurance?

June 18, 2017 – Q: Will the state health insurance exchanges offer long-term care insurance? A: Long-term care insurance helps with the cost of nursing… Read more

Two student shadows on brick questioning health policies about birth control

Do student health policies have to cover birth control without co-pays?

June 8, 2017 – Q. Do student health policies have to cover birth control without co-pays? A. Yes. Policies that began on or after August 1, 2012, are… Read more

Man carry a large boulder and a map of the southern us states showing Medicaid expansion

What is the Medicaid ‘coverage gap’ and who does it affect?

May 16, 2017 – Q. I keep hearing about the "coverage gap" in states that are not expanding Medicaid. Can you explain what that means and who it affects?… Read more

Man holding a bomb with an Obama logo wondering if the government can enforce Obamacare penalties

Is it true that government can’t really enforce the penalty for not having health insurance?

April 3, 2017 – Q. I've heard that the government won't really be able to enforce the penalty for not having health insurance. Is this true? A: Although… Read more

Frequently-asked questions on health insurance

If the IRS doesn’t owe me a refund, how does it enforce the individual mandate penalty?

April 3, 2017 – Q. If the IRS doesn't owe me a refund, how will it enforce the penalty? Will IRS agents be coming to our homes to collect it? I have read… Read more

Six confused people who are leery of short-term insurance

Should I be leery of short-term health insurance?

March 31, 2017 – Outside of the Obamacare annual open enrollment window, people without a qualifying event have very few options for purchasing new health… Read more

Woman at computer with boss pointing trying to figure out if she can buy own insurance instead of employer plan

My employer offers insurance, but I think it’s too expensive. Can I apply for a subsidy to help me buy my own insurance?

March 29, 2017 – Q: My employer offers insurance, but I think it's too expensive. Can I apply for a subsidy to help me buy my own insurance? A: Probably… Read more

Man with beard explaining employer-sponsored health insurance to a woman

How do the health insurance exchanges affect me if I already have insurance from my employer?

March 29, 2017 – Q: How will the health insurance exchanges affect me if I already have insurance from my employer? A: The marketplace in each state… Read more