How Will Health Care Reform Impact You

A Quick Overview of Obamacare

The Affordable Care Act also known as Obamacare, states that beginning in 2014, almost all Americans will require health care. Coverage must initiate January 1st, 2014 and open enrollment takes place October 1st, 2013 to March 31st, 2014. In a nutshell, both individuals and small business owners under Obamacare, will have better quality and more affordable health care coverage. The idea here is that consumers pay less out-of-pocket and are not denied benefits based on pre-existing conditions. If you’re not insured, you’ll pay a fine.

You Already Have Insurance

Things won’t really change too much for those of us who already have health insurance through our family members, employers, Medicare, or Medicaid. However, it might be a good idea to see what’s out there, make plan comparisons, reevaluate, and purchase the best plan for you.

Children and young adults under 26 years of age can continue coverage under their parent’s insurance plans. If you’re under 65, supporting a family of four, and your income is 15 to 32k, you’ll be able to apply for Medicaid.

You’re Uninsured

There is a said 30 million people currently living in the U.S who are uninsured. If you fall into this category, you should educate yourself and know your options. A great place to learn and understand exactly what’s happening in health care reform is the online Health Insurance Marketplace. This tool provides easy to comprehend comparisons of insurance options. Here you’ll be able to make an educated decision on the plan that best fits your needs and wallet.

For those of us who can’t afford health insurance, we may be eligible for a subsidy. Financial assistance depends on an individual’s family size and household income. When you purchase a plan via the online Health Insurance Marketplace, a health care tax credit aka subsidy will be applied to your insurance premium.

What if you decide you aren’t going to purchase health insurance? If you have a gap in your coverage that exceeds three months, you’ll be penalized on your 2014 tax return. The amount you’ll be charged will depend on the amount of time you’re uninsured, and this amount will increase annually.

Who’s exempt from purchasing health insurance and financial penalty? Anyone who earns an income under the IRS requirements for filing taxes, members of Native American tribes, and those who are exempt for their religious practices. Long story short, the Affordable Care Act aka Obamacare, impacts nearly all of us. Insured or uninsured, understanding your options and making an educated decision is imperative.

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