Affordable Care Act
Times, they are a-changing! Finding health insurance is a huge pain in the you-know-what for millions of Americans who don’t have steady employment. Even for those who do, it’s complicated and expensive! Before the end of the year, we will all have new options and purchasing power we have never before had through the Affordable Care Act (ACA), passed by Congress then signed into law by President Obama on March 23, 2010 & upheld by the United States Supreme Court on June 28, 2012.
Here are some FACTS about what you can expect:
ACA Title I
- Reduces what you have to spend on health care by
- Capping out-of-pocket expenses
- Requiring preventive care to be fully covered
- If you like the coverage you have, you can keep it
- Provides hundreds of billions of dollars in tax relief – the largest middle class tax cut for health care in history
- Members of Congress will also be required to purchase their insurance through the same Exchanges regular Americans will (See below for more info regarding Exchanges)
- Small business owners will receive a new tax credit to help offset the cost of covering their employees
- Pre-existing conditions will no longer be a basis of denial of coverage
- Better appeals process
ACA Title II
- Extends Medicaid while treating all States equally & preserves CHIP
- Provides States with opportunities to expand home care services to people with long-term care needs
- Reduces prescription drug costs and payments to subsidize care for uninsured Americans
There are a total of 10 Titles to the Affordable Care Act. If you want to read about them in depth, CLICK HERE
Affordable Insurance Exchanges
Historically, the individual and small group health insurance markets have suffered from adverse selection and high administrative costs, resulting in low value for consumers. Affordable Insurance Exchanges work similar to “Travelocity” where individuals and small businesses can look for the best deal in their state. Open enrollment is supposed to begin by Oct. 1; consumers will be able to use federal subsidies to purchase coverage by Jan 1, 2014.
How Exchanges Can Help YOU:
- Exchanges pool people together, reduce transaction costs, and increase transparency so they create more competitive markets for individuals & small employers
- Eligible individuals will be assisted in receiving premium tax credits or coverage through other Federal or State health care programs
- One-stop shopping means buying health insurance will be easier
Exchanges In Your State:
On January 3, 2013, the total number of states with approved health insurance exchanges has been bumped up to 17. DC has also been approved. States which have not set up exchanges can decide to partner with the federal government, overseeing certain parts of the new exchange, or leave the entire task to the government. They have until Feb. 15th to notify the feds which way they will go.
If you would like to see where your state falls, CLICK HERE
At this time (Jan. 11, 2013) the latest update was on Jan. 4th. Check back on Feb. 15th to see the final decision by your state!