There is a lot of information out there about the Affordable Care Act or (ACA) but what does it mean... in plain English without the crazy legal wording! If you haven’t heard about the Affordable Health Care Act, then you probably are living in a cave. The Affordable Care Act has been going on since 2010 and was upheld by the Supreme Court in March of 2010 and again in 2012. The act has been making news headlines for the past couple years, keeping Americans in question of what to expect next in healthcare? Well, the ACA is here to stay people – no question! The new provisions will change the way health insurance is provided to Americans. The new legislation serves up all kinds of new rules about how health insurance affects health care providers, insurers, and individuals... now and in the future!
NOTE: The information below is intended for informational purposes only, this is not legal advice.
1. Effective 2014, almost everyone in the U.S. is required to have health insurance.
Due to the individual mandate that is in the ACA, this requires almost everyone living in the United States to have health insurance OR they will be obligated to pay a penalty tax, also known as an assessment. Most Americans are covered by health insurance, either through their employers or private insurance companies. From a survey done by the US Census Bureau before 2014, only 16% of Americans did not have insurance. The good news is that most Americans were covered and only had to make sure that their plans meet the ACA requirements. As for the 16% of Americans who were not insured, they had to worry or they will be obligated to pay the tax!
2. If you are insured through your employer’s plan, it could change.
If your employer’s plan or benefit offerings are not in compliance with the ACA provisions, there could be some changes coming your way in the near future. Your employer should have already made you aware of this, but when in doubt - ask your employer. Moving forward, insurance companies are required to publicly validate any unreasonable premium rate increases so that companies or individuals are not blindsided by high monthly premium costs.
3. If your company has 50 or more people, you will eventually have to provide coverage to your employees, or pay a fee.
Kicking off in 2015, if you are an employer with 50 or more employees – expect to provide coverage or face a penalty!
4. Preventative Care is NO cost to you.
Under the new health care law, many insurers or insurance companies are required to cover certain preventative services at no cost to the individual. Preventative services include check ups, certain screenings, vaccines, etc.
There are still provisions in the Affordable Care Act that are still in question and many, are still being explained to the public better. These are only four important facts to know about the ACA. The best thing Americans can do, is make sure to stay informed and be prepared!
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