What You Need to Know
In 2010, President Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, into law. We’ve often heard about Obamacare since, but do you really understand what it is and how it affects you?
The Basics of the Law
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires all Americans be covered by health insurance. To help Americans get coverage, the law demands insurance companies accept those with pre-existing conditions, and to charge the same rates for people of the same age. The goal is to make healthcare affordable to those who previously were unable to fit health insurance into their budgets. Any American who does not receive healthcare from their employer, the military, Medicaid or Medicare, must choose a public or private insurance policy.
For those who choose not to have health coverage, there is a penalty that must be paid when taxes are filed. Each year that a person goes without healthcare, the tax penalty increases. The IRS does have guidelines to exempt those facing financial hardship or for those whose religious beliefs prevent them from accepting health care.
Some employers pay for healthcare as a benefit for their employees. If this is the case, you are already covered. Other employers offer healthcare that you can elect to be covered under. It may make financial sense to be a part of this group. The ACA encouraged states to create a platform that allows its residents to see the various healthcare plans available to them and compare benefits and rates. If your state provides such an exchange, this is a great starting point to seeing what’s out there.
Even with the ACA, the price tag of health insurance may seem too high for you to afford. In this case, there are assistance programs for low-income people and families. You should fill out an application and see if you qualify. Medicaid is the federal program available to lower income families, but many states offer assistance programs as well.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has changed the healthcare industry. To help you understand these changes and how they affect you, contact Landmark Risk Management and Insurance. We can work with you to find the best options for health coverage to fit your needs and your budget, and can provide the answers to you questions. Call Landmark today and let us know how we can help you!