Health Reform Is Here To Stay – What That Means for You
It’s no understatement to say that America, taken as a whole, has mixed feelings about health reform. But whatever your personal take on the law may be, the Supreme Court has upheld it and President Obama just won a second term – and that means health reform is here to stay.
With that in mind, if you’re confused about the law (and many American are), now is the time to go a little deeper and learn how your health care and insurance options may change in the years ahead.
Health Reform Today and in 2014
The way the Affordable Care Act was written, the law takes effect in stages between 2010 and 2014. Provisions of the law that are already in place include the following:
- Parents can keep adult children enrolled in their coverage until age 26
- Children under age 19 cannot be declined coverage due to pre-existing medical conditions
- Health plans now offer more preventive and women’s health care coverage with no out of pocket costs
- There are no longer any lifetime coverage caps for most covered medical services
- Special tax breaks are now available for small businesses offering health insurance
Some of the law’s biggest and most controversial provisions take effect only in 2014. These include:
- The mandate, requiring most people without employer-based coverage to buy it for themselves
- Subsidies to help people afford coverage if they earn less than 400% of the federal poverty level
- Guaranteed coverage for pre-existing medical conditions – in 2014, no one can be declined based on his or her medical history
- Employers with fifty or more full-time workers will be required to provide coverage or face penalties
Procrastination May Cost You
As someone who’s gone out there and bought health insurance for yourself, you understand how important it to be covered. People without coverage today need not wait around until 2014 to find the protection they need.
If your uninsured friends or family need a little encouragement, remind them that going without coverage today really can hurt them. When you’re uninsured, a single serious illness or injury can send you into bankruptcy.
Plus, thanks to the some of the provisions mentioned above, individually-purchased health insurance really is better than it used to be. It’s as easy as ever to get free quotes and compare plans online at eHealthInsurance.com to find the best match for your needs and budget.
Image by Flickr user dannymac15_1999