The Affordable Health Care for America Act was signed into law on March 23, 2010. It has recently come back to the spot light after the Supreme Court ruled that the act, also called Obamacare, is constitutional. The changes that the act covers will go into effect over a four year period which began in 2010. The Affordable Health Care for America Act is a comprehensive health insurance reform. One of the major changes that will affect you is the extending coverage for young adults. Previously, after the age of 22, you were automatically dropped from your parent’s insurance coverage. I know because this happened to me. I was still in college and I did not have health insurance. Fortunately, I am a relatively healthy person so I was able to manage what was under my control. For example, if you eat right and exercise, you can avoid many health problems. But that’s another conversation for another time. Under the new law, young adults are allowed to stay on their parent’s plan until they turn 26 years old. This would have been awesome for me since I was on the 8 year graduation plan. Let’s look at some of the other provisions and changes that the act covers.
The Affordable Health Care for America Act
Small Business Health Insurance Credits
Small business could receive tax credits in order to help them provide health insurance for their employees. Up to four million small businesses are eligible. This phase of the act became effective January of 2010.
Pre-Existing Conditions Covered Under Obamacare
This national program was established in July of 2010. Previously, insurance providers could deny coverage for pre-existing conditions. Let’s say you’re a female, got married and your husband added you to his insurance plan as a spouse. On your honeymoon, you just so happened to get pregnant. Come to find out, there is a waiting period before a pregnancy is covered under his insurance policy. Once you are eligible for coverage, your pregnancy is deemed as a pre-existing condition because you conceived during this waiting period and now you have to pay out of pocket for ALL of your pregnancy expenses. Kind of puts a damper on the memories of your honeymoon doesn’t it? With the PCIP, Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan, by 2014, it will be prohibited to discriminate against pre-existing conditions.
Free Preventative Care!
All new plans must cover certain preventive services such as mammograms and colonoscopies without charging a deductible, co-pay or coinsurance. (start opinion) In my honest opinion, I think this will really benefit the United States as a country. If a doctor can catch a tumor or sickness early on, there is usually a higher chance that the problem can be fixed. So I honestly think this is a great idea. (end opinion)
There are many more changes and benefits that you can find at HealthCare.gov so let’s move on to how it affects your wallet and where you can find the best low-cost health insurance coverage.
Health Insurance Deadlines and Penalties
First let me start by saying that everyone will not be required to purchase health insurance. There are certain exclusions that apply. If you are part of a religion opposed to acceptance of benefits from a health insurance policy, an undocumented immigrant, incarcerated, a member of an Indian tribe, or meet certain income limits, then you will face no penalty for being without health insurance. (Source)
If you do not meet these exclusions then you will face a penalty by the year 2014. The penalty will increase in the first two years following 2014 after which time it will remain stable at a penalty of $695 per adult. Ouch.
What Are My Health Insurance Options?
Ok, so now that you know you need to get health insurance, here are your options.
I had a couple of friends who are considering this. You could renounce your American citizenship and purchase a home in another country. But honestly, that is going to cost you more than six hundred and ninety five dollars.
If you are not covered yet, you are going to be looking for health care to fit your budget. Fortunately, I have some low cost options below.
Affordable Health Insurance Coverage
You can get a quote and compare insurance options right away with eHealthInsurance.
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What are your thoughts on the health care reform? (Politics is a heated subject so please come with respect. No harassing other commenters.)