Want to know how affordable your health insurance might be under the Affordable Care Act, without actually having to sign up for a policy? You can do that. First, go to healthcare.gov to window shop for plans available in your area–a step that does not require creating an account. I did it, and had zero problems finding the plans in my area. Then, you can easily see what kind of tax credit you might qualify for by consulting a handy dandy online calculator at a site sponsored by the well-respected Kaiser Family Foundation. You can even do some of the basic legwork for someone you know, because at this site, you don’t have to create an account or include any personal info—just annual income, state, county, and family size. It looks at your information and calculates how much of a tax credit you might quality for–based on a typical “silver” plan with good benefits.
Using just those two, easy steps, you can window shop without making a commitment. You can shop for yourself, or for your kids, or for your aunts and uncles. No hassle. No commitment. No waiting time. And very helpful. It doesn’t give you your costs down to the penny–but at this stage, most people are just trying to get a feel for what their monthly or yearly costs might be.
So, if you’re not ready to sign on the dotted line, and you just want to get an idea of how the new Affordable Care Act will work for you, check out this site. Then, as the start-up kinks at healthcare.gov get unraveled—and they will, indeed, get unraveled, despite what Obamacare-haters want you to believe—you can read the fine print and officially sign up for the policy of your choice.
I did it, and I was pleasantly surprised at what I found.