What The Affordable Care Act is supposed to Provide for You?
Healthcare policies are not particular easy to develop but someone has to do it and that someone is the United States government. President Obama signed a new Act into law in March of 2010. It was called The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, although it is more commonly known as Obamacare.
The ideas behind this new policy weren’t dreamed up in a day, they are the result of years of ideas and planning. But, just because the policy was developed so meticulously, does that automatically mean it will benefit everyone?
Let’s take a closer look at exactly what Obamacare is:
- The Affordable Care Act is made up of more than one thousand pages of insurance and health care industry reforms. The idea behind it was to help fight the tide of the rising cost of healthcare and to provide health insurance that was affordable to all
- Before Obamacare was passed it was possible for treatment to be refused or for insurance coverage to be denied just because you had suffered an illness in the past.
- You would be charged more for being female, be thrown out of a treatment plan half way through because you didn’t dot an i or cross a t. Under Obamacare you get access to all kinds of benefits and protections.
- By the end of 2013 around 16% of the US population did not have healthcare insurance mostly because they could not afford the annual premiums. Through Obamacare, health insurance is made available to all via Health Insurance Marketplaces.
- Obamacare is a reform to Medicare, giving everyone the opportunity to get the same rights, benefits and protections
- There are subsidies available for those who earn less than a certain percentage of the Federal poverty level – currently 400% – and to small businesses with under 25 full time members of staff who earn below $25000 per year.
- By 2015 large businesses will be required by law to provide some form of health cover to all of their employees.
- By 2014 nearly all Americans will be required to have healthcare cover – if they don’t, for every month they are not covered, they will have to pay a fee with their end of year federal taxes.
This is just the basic coverage that the Affordable Care Act is supposed to provide. The Health Insurance Marketplace is a website where Americans can compare the price of health insurance and get assistance for smaller premiums and maybe even qualify for Medicaid.
Citizens of the USA must register with Obamacare by the end of March this year without incurring any fees for not being covered. However, those fees will start on April 1st without fail.
According to President Obama, the vast majority of US citizens will see no change in their health care benefits provided they already have insurance. And, this is what the President says Obamacare is for:
- To improve quality in the care that is currently available
- To eliminate instance of disqualification because of gender or pre-existing conditions
- To give access to affordable health care for all citizens, no matter what their class to income level is
- To ensure that all large business employers provide a high standard of cover to their employees or pay penalties for not doing so
- Be exempt from most of the healthcare taxes unless you earn more than $200,000 per year.
- Makes Medicaid available to more than 15 million Americans who are on low incomes and not insured
- To control where the spending is, where cuts are to be made and where the money is really needed.
That is Obamacare in a nutshell. Obviously it is far more involved than that but I’ll be talking more in the next few articles.