Health care reform had been a hot topic for years before the Affordable Care Act was signed into law in 2010. The act expands coverage for young adults to remain on their parent’s health plans until they are 26 years old. Drug costs for seniors who are on Medicare were lowered, and there is more available access to free preventive care for people in all age groups.
In 2014, most Americans who do not have insurance will have access to these affordable plans that will cover a lot of essential care. On the first of January in 2014, a set of rules took effect that made health insurance shopping a different experience for people who are uninsured or who have always had to buy their own insurance.
According to Consumer Reports, one important aspect of health care reform is the issue of guaranteed coverage. Under this rule, health care plans must be sold to everyone who wants them, regardless of any pre-existing conditions. In addition, insurance carriers cannot charge more for your insurance based on gender or general health.
The web sites for health insurance exchanges, which started on October 1, 2013, did not exactly perform in the way they should have. But now, people have access to health care marketplaces, where small business owners and individuals can select from qualified health plans in their area.
As of 2014, everyone is expected to have health insurance. Otherwise, they are responsible for paying a penalty. The penalty for not carrying insurance for yourself starts at $95. If you have children, the penalties start at 1% of your income or $285 for your family, whichever is higher.
Health care reform has led to an expansion in Medicaid. It should cover as many as 16 million more people than were previously covered. The amount of help they receive is dependent on their income. Some states are going ahead with this expansion, while others are still deciding whether they will use this plan or not.
Do you have questions about the health care reform in the United States, and how it affects you and your family? Contact Shattuck & Grummett, serving Juneau, Alaska, for more information.