You may miss out on options to offset coverage costs
For the first time in history, people with moderate and low incomes will be eligible for tax credits and subsidies to offset the cost of premiums and out-of-pocket expenses for plans sold in the state-based health insurance marketplaces (also known as "exchanges") created by the Affordable Care Act. These marketplaces will begin selling health insurance polices in October with coverage beginning Jan. 1, 2014. Visit www.healthcare.gov or call 1-800-318-2596 for information about the marketplace in your state.
You may need to wait to get coverage
Typically, consumers can only purchase health insurance during certain open enrollment seasons or within 30 days of life-altering events, such as marriage, divorce, the birth of a child or a change in job status. For example, policies in the new health insurance marketplaces will be sold from Oct. 1, 2013 to March 31, 2014.
"There's a fantasy out there that if you're in the emergency room waiting to see a doctor, you'll be able to hop on your iPad and sign up for health insurance," said Cooke. "It's not going to work that way."