Health insurance can be purchased in many different ways, not just through the exchange.
The majority of working people have benefits offered by their employer. The employer is mandated to pay 50% of the individual employee’s premium. Any additional spouses or children are the responsibility of the employee. Your employer may be more generous than just the State Mandate. Many times at the end of a week, we look at our paycheck and we think, “I wish my take home pay was more than it shows”.
The Affordable Care Act requires employers to report the cost of the coverage under the employer sponsored group plan on the W-2 form. So, for instance, if I had a premium of $500 per month and I see that my employer is deducting over the course of the month, $250 from my check, I know that my total cost for coverage was not just the $250 that came out of my check. So, the value that my employer provides me is not just my take home pay. If my employer is providing benefits in addition to my take home pay, I must realize that this is their money and my money that provides necessary health insurance for myself and my family.
If you notice that your premium shows as $500 per month and your employer is paying greater than half, please note – you must have a very good employer! They value you and your skills and consider you an asset to their operation. Providing you a benefit nets you more money in the end than if they gave you an increase in your pay less taxes on both sides as a comparison. This link comes from the IRS and it explains in detail how this reporting from employer sponsored health coverage really works. For the most part, we have excellent employers with very good intentions.