Virginia health insurance is available to all state residents, including those who are self-employed, low-income or do not have access to medical insurance plans through a job or a spouse’s employer. As such, patients can find affordable health insurance options to meet Affordable Care Act (ACA) requirements using the federal health insurance marketplace. These health insurance plans focus on preventative care services to help patients avoid costly medical bills later on. Finding affordable medical insurance also entails looking for plans with manageable monthly premiums without sacrificing enhanced health and well-being. To get started, residents can compare health insurance quotes here. To learn more about health insurance enrollment in Virginia and to learn about the ways in which patients can submit a health insurance application, review the sections below.
Virginia Health Insurance Requirements
Under the ACA, health insurance enrollment is a requirement for all residents, unless they qualify for a hardship exemption. However, not all medical insurance plans meet coverage requirements under the ACA. Instead, Virginia health insurance plans must meet the ACA’s minimum essential coverage (MEC) qualifications. Accepted medical insurance plans include job-based plans, coverage under the health insurance marketplace, Medicare, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) or Medicaid.
If residents apply for medical insurance in VA through any qualifying plans, then they meet minimum ACA qualifications and will avoid paying the penalty fee during tax time. Such policies include: Grandfathered health insurance plans from earlier than March 23, 2010, Medicare Part A or Part C, most student health plans, coverage for Peace Corps volunteers, most TRICARE plans and certain types of veteran care plans. However, the following health coverage options do not meet MEC requirements:
- Standalone coverage for only dental or vision care
- Coverage for specific conditions or diseases
- Worker’s compensation
- Plans that provide patients with discounts on medical treatments or services
- Standalone Medicare Part B coverage
- Limited coverage Medicaid plans
Virginia health coverage is a requirement under the ACA, but that does not mean that health insurance quotes need to be more than patients can afford. Instead, customers can get an affordable health insurance quote here.
Benefits of Virginia Health Insurance Enrollment
After enrolling in a health insurance plan, patients receive benefits such as affordable medical care in Virginia, preventative health services, timely treatments and improvements in overall health and wellness. Whether customers obtain medical coverage through the VA health insurance marketplace, through their employer or through a private insurance provider, they receive benefits such as the following:
- Inpatient and outpatient care
- Doctors’ visits
- Prescription drug coverage
- Mental health services
- Pregnancy and childbirth care
- Laboratory services
- Emergency care and ambulatory services
- Birth control coverage
- Rehabilitative services
- Hospitalization coverage
Note: Certain medical insurance plans in VA include medical management programs and vision and dental coverage, but not all do. If these benefits are important to you, then make sure you find a plan that covers dental and vision services. You can compare health insurance quotes here before enrolling in a plan.
Penalties for Not Having Health Insurance in Virginia
Under the ACA, all customers must enroll in VA health insurance to avoid tax penalties, unless they are exempt from doing so. Currently, health insurance exemptions include hardship or affordability exclusions, which are available to homeless residents, customers facing eviction or foreclosure, victims of domestic violence or residents in situations similar to these. However, health care plans for catastrophe cases are available under the health insurance marketplace to customers who meet hardship exemption eligibility or to certain applicants younger than 30 years of age. Under catastrophe medical insurance plans, patients receive low monthly premiums, high deductibles and essential health benefits, such as inpatient and outpatient hospital care, doctors’ visits, prescription drug coverage and more.
Customers who do not apply for VA health insurance enrollment (or go longer than three months without coverage) may need to pay a fee when they file their federal income taxes, especially if they can afford to pay for health insurance coverage through the marketplace but fail to enroll. In most cases, medical insurance penalty fees are based on a percentage of a customer’s annual household income.
Furthermore, finding an affordable health insurance plan is a smarter alternative to not enrolling in Virginia medical coverage, as penalty fees continue to increase. In 2015, the penalty fee was two percent of a resident’s annual income, whereas the fee increased to 2.5 percent in 2016. However, customers can avoid penalties such as these by getting an affordable health insurance quote here.
How to Enroll in Virginia Medical Insurance Plans
Several health insurance enrollment options are available to state residents. For instance, residents can submit a VA health insurance application through their place of employment, through their spouse’s employer, through the federal medical insurance marketplace, through government programs such as Medicaid or CHIP or through private insurance providers. Before customers apply for medical insurance, it is important to take the following factors into consideration:
- The cost of health insurance, including monthly premiums, deductibles and co-payment amounts
- The plan type, such as health maintenance organizations (HMO) or preferred provider organizations (PPO)
- The plan’s metal level (if applying for coverage through the federal marketplace)
After you find an affordable health insurance plan that fits your lifestyle and budget, you can apply for health care. To apply for coverage through the VA health insurance marketplace, you may submit a health insurance application online, by telephone, in person or by mail. Before applying for medical coverage in VA, find health insurance quotes available near you.