In a series of nationwide focus groups conducted by Intuit TurboTax®, a majority of consumers who participated lacked awareness of their new health insurance options under the Affordable Care Act, sometimes referred to as "Obamacare". In addition, a most of them did not know if they would qualify for financial assistance to help cover the cost of health insurance.
“The majority of families need to understand this will likely impact their monthly budget in some way”
In October 2013, federal and state Health Insurance Marketplaces are scheduled to open and an estimated 30 million uninsured Americans will need to make healthcare decisions that will impact both their personal and financial well being.
TurboTax now provides a simple, free online health care calculator, available on the TurboTax Blog, that helps people understand whether they may be eligible to purchase insurance through the new Marketplaces and if they qualify for financial assistance.
"Consumers who take a more active role in their healthcare decisions get the best outcome for both their health and their wallet," explains Jane Sarasohn-Kahn, Health Economist (www.healthpopuli.com) and Advisor to the American Tax & Financial Center at TurboTax. "We encourage Americans to be engaged in their healthcare decisions starting now. Research shows that Americans spend much more time researching the purchase of an automobile compared with seeking information on picking their personal physician. Isn't it worth investing a few hours over the next few months to get the best health care for you and your family?"
Balancing care and out of pocket expenses
The need to engage now in healthcare is especially critical for individuals and families who will fund health insurance through a combination of government subsidy (delivered as a tax credit starting in 2015) and monthly out of pocket expenses.