Affordable Care Act Basics

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The document describes some of the basic features of the affordable care or as it more popularly known as Obama Care and the issues currently involved with this program.



Affordable Care Act BasicsHow does the Affordable Care Act work, and what
does it do? Although its full name is the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, you’ve probably heard it just called the Affordable Care Act, or bamacare, or the ACA! "t’s called bamacare because President #arack bama signed it into law on $arch %&, %'('! #ut what does it actually do? )et’s look at the basics! Health care in the *nited +tates has some serious long term issues! ,irst, there are millions of uninsured people! +econd, people who do have insurance tend to pay more for it than they would in other comparable countries! -he ACA aims to fi. these issues by making affordable healthcare available to more Americans! " mean, that’s a good idea, right? -o do this, the act makes some pretty big changes! #ut although the act make some big changes to insurance, these changes phase in over time instead of happening all at once! A lot of things will also stay the same! ,or e.ample, if you already have health insurance that you’ rehappy with, you can keep it under this law! And children under the age of %/ can stay on their parents plan! "f you already have $edicaid coverage, then you’re going to stay on that too! r you can if you wish! "n fact, many states are e.panding $edicaid to cover more people! +o now, let’s talk about what’s changing! -here are several things! ,irst there’s this thing called the individual mandate! $ost Americans will be re0uired to have some form of health insurance! -his is a sweeping change for a country with an estimated &' million uninsured residents! #ut how do you enforce something like that? #y %'(1, everyone without health insurance will need to pay a small fee! 2uring that year, for instance, the fee is going to be 345 per adult, 316! 5' per child! -he ma.imum a family will pay in %'(1 is 3%75! 8ow, those numbers are over the whole year, not month by month! -o make sure that people can find affordable insurance, the ACA creates what are called Health "nsurance $arketplaces! -hese are virtual spaces run by the federal government, or by your state, where customer scan see different plans and prices offered by insurance providers! +o ultimately, this might allow you to 0ualify for lower premiums, depending on your income and your family si9e! And regardless of what kind of insurance you have, insurers will no longer be able to deny or revoke coverage for pree.isting conditions! And women won’t have to pay more than men for insurance either! ,inally, right? "nsurance will also cover preventative care! +o this would be stuff like mammograms, and checkups, and screenings, and so on! -hen there’s the 7'/%' rule! "nsurers will generally be re0uired to spend at least 7': of the money they get from premiums on ; wait for it ; actual health care! "f your insurer spends too much on overhead, then you’re going to receive a rebate! ,inally, the laws also re0uire companies to publicly justify rate increases of over (':! And they are banned from imposing lifetime dollar limits on benefits! -his act also affects your employer, whether you work for a large company or a smaller company! A smaller business, one with less than 5' employees, can visit the small business health options program, or ; get this ; +H P! <ight? A government loves an acronym ; to compare and purchase affordable health plans! Additionally, some of these businesses might be eligible for ta. credits if they get coverage through +H P! -he rules are a little bit different for bigger businesses! "n %'(5, they have to make what’s called an employer shared responsibility payment if they don’t provide insurance meeting a minimum value standard, or if one of their employees gets a better deal in the individual marketplace!

+ince states are implementing the act in different ways, it’s very important for you to check on the specific plans of your home state! +o that’s it!

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