• "Key dates: Enrollment starts on October 1, with coverage to start January 1, 2014. First year enrollment will stay open until the end of March 2014.
• "Availability: The new insurance marketplaces, or "exchanges," will be available in every state.
• "Assistance for premium costs: For those with incomes under specified thresholds, federal tax credits will be available to help cover the costs of premiums.
• "Choices will vary by states: These will be state-based exchanges, so choices will vary depending on where you live. The federal Health and Human Services agency has posted an interactive map that provides some useful information. It also provides a link to state exchanges and websites."
Here are some links provided by the Guild:
---HHS basic information on the coming health insurance marketplaces.
---HHS interactive state-by-state map.
---New York State of Health: The Official Health Place
---Covered California, the new marketplace for affordable private health insurance
• The YouToons Get Ready for Obamacare (Kaiser Foundation, YouTube, 7-17-13)
• The Affordable Care Act (ACA) (often called Obamacare, particularly by its opponents). Links to many more resources.
Some more helpful resources on insurance
I am not qualified to recommend any particular insurance provider, but I list here sites others have recommended. Some freelancers look for very high-deductibles, mostly basic coverage for catastrophic (highly expensive) care (mostly in-hospital, though outpatient chemo can also be extremely expensive). Others look for an integrated healthcare system (such as Kaiser Permanente), believing in preventive health maintenance. Unfortunately, you really have to do research to find out what's best for you (that is available to you!).
• Health Insurance (PEN's list of organizations offering health-care access to writers and artists)
• Affordable Health Insurance Options for Members of the National Press Club (Affinity, etc. -- some journalists accept steady gigs on small papers to qualify for NPC membership and health insurance)
• Freelancers Union insurance. (Freelancers Insurance Agency (FIA), a wholly owned subsidiary of FU, is a licensed health insurance producer in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, District of Columbia, and Virginia, and is the agent of record for dental sales in these states only. FIA contracts with HealthPlanServices, Inc. (HPS), a nationally licensed insurance producer. Other than in New York, HPS is acting as the health insurance agent of record for health (medical) insurance.)
• FracturedAtlas (liberate the artist)(various kinds of insurance for artists)
• HealthCare.gov (learn how new federal rules about health insurance may affect you)
• eHealthInsurance (compare different insurers' plans side by side; ask for advice from an agent)
• HealthInsuranceInfo.net(consumer guides, by state, for getting and keeping health insurance, Georgetown University Health Policy Institute, which says that for lack of funding it can no longer guarantee the accuracy of the info on its site)
• Health Insurance Consumer Information (News You Can Use from Healthinsuranceinfo.net)
• Health Insurance Consumer Information
• "Your most important asset is your ability to earn": Private disability insurance for freelancers (Meg Cox interviews financial advisor Amy Keller, on Freelance Feast, 7-20-12). Why freelancers need private disability insurance, and when to get it.