Obamacare Basics: What You Must Know.
Understanding your rights as a health care consumer empowers you to select a health insurance plan that is right for you. At Wilson Law, P.A., we are committed to helping you understand what is expected of you and your insurance company under Obamacare. The purpose of the law is to increase access to care, make care more affordable, strengthen Medicare and give health care consumers more rights and protections.
Increase access to care
Obamacare increases access to care by requiring that all citizens purchase health insurance, eliminating practices used by insurance companies to deny coverage, and keeping young adults covered.
● The new law requires that everyone purchase insurance, so if you do not have insurance through your workplace, you must purchase a plan on the federal or state healthcare exchange.
● If you choose to remain uninsured, you will face a fine. In 2014, the penalty is $95 or 1% of your income. This penalty will increase over the next few years. There are some exceptions such as religious sects or federally recognized tribes are exempt from Obamacare.
● Insurance companies can no longer deny coverage for pre-existing conditions.
● Children may remain on a parent’s insurance plan until the age of 26.
Make care more affordable
Obamacare makes health coverage more affordable by regularly reviewing insurance premiums, offering credits to small businesses and offering subsidies to individuals.
● Insurance companies must publicly justify rate increases of 10% or more and be subject to review.
● Small businesses with fewer than 25 employees that pay 50% or more for their full-time employee’s coverage may qualify for tax credits.
● The federal government will offer health care subsidies to individuals whose income is between 100-400% of the national poverty level.
The Medicaid Trust Fund has been extended to at least 2024. The new healthcare law strengthens Medicare by adding new benefits, fighting fraud and improving care.
● New benefits include lower cost prescriptions and free preventative services for seniors such as flu shots and diabetes screenings.
● The federal government will fight fraud within the system with the use of new technology and tougher screening procedures.
● Obamacare establishes The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, which aims to improve care for those who use these services.
More rights and protections to consumers
The Affordable Care Act regulates the insurance industry to protect consumers and give you more value for your money.
● Insurance companies must spend 80% of premium dollars on medical care.
● Insurance companies cannot deny you coverage based on a pre-existing condition, nor can it take race or gender into consideration when calculating your premium.
● Insurance companies can no longer institute a lifetime or annual monetary limit on what could be spent on your care.
If you have any questions regarding The ACA, go to www.healthcare.gov for answers. At Wilson Law, P.A., “Were Standing Up to Them. Standing Up for You.”