August has ended and we have four months until Obamacare goes into effect. So what is Obamacare?
The overall goal is to provide affordable health insurance for all U.S. citizens and reduce the growth of health care spending. Obamacare does not replace private insurance, Medicare , Medicaid or employer sponsored plans. Instead look to see small changes in the insurance landscape via these 10 facts:
1. Starting January 1st 2014, insurance will be sold on health insurance exchanges, although you can still purchase an individual plan through health insurance companies (through a broker)
2. With the new exchange each state will now be responsible for its own health insurance marketplace
3. Summary of benefits and coverage- will make it easier to compare cost for common items such as having a surgery, having a baby, etc.
4. Already in effect but, kids under 26 are able to be on their parents health plan (whether they are married, living with them or not, full time student)
5. No-cost preventive care coverage- get screenings, physicals, vaccinations at no cost (this may not be available on grandfathered policies)
6. Already starting in August is the women’s preventive care services, which gives care to women for birth control, STI screenings and breast feeding. Also insurers can’t discriminate based on gender.
7. No pre-existing condition limits in 2014. You cannot be turned down from individual plans for having a pre-existing condition. Note this doesn’t apply to group plans as group plans cancel out any pre-existing conditions you have.
8. Medicare is working to close the gap on Medicare part D coverage. The program is meant to help you pay less for brand name prescriptions in the coming years.
9. In 2014 you must have health insurance or you will be penalized, $95 per adult, $47.50 per child, up to $285 per family or 1% of your taxable income. (whichever is greater)
10. Can’t afford insurance, there will be credits or subsidies for buying health insurance based on your income, based on these provisions: You’re an individual making $14,856 to $44,680 or a family of four making $30,656 to $92,200, and You don’t get coverage at work or have access to affordable coverage (meaning your plan costs more than 9.5% of your income).
Feel free to look at the Anthem Insurance website for more information, or contact me at email@example.com with any additional questions, comments or concerns.