Uninsured? Obama’s Health Care Reform Act Is Aimed At You!

If you’re uninsured under the new health care reform act, called the Affordable Care Act, now is the time to change that. In fact, by 2014, if you’re not insured, you will face penalties from the IRS. Yes, that’s right. The IRS will begin keeping track of whether or not people are insured through tax codes filed by your employer, your insurance company, or anyone else responsible for keeping track of your insurance status.

So, I know this sounds bad. But in reality, it’s not. Americans pay millions in taxes every year to fund the health care costs for people who are uninsured. Under the new health care reform act, we won’t be paying for other people’s medical bills.

The health care reform act also has many provisions in place to help people afford better coverage – which is part of the reason it is called the Affordable Care Act. The government will offer tax credits and subsidies to both individuals and small businesses so they can better afford health insurance. Plans will also begin providing more coverage, which means better bang for you buck.

Other benefits for getting insured as soon as possible:

-Children will be able to stay on their parent’s plans until they are 26 years old

-Children can no longer be turned down for preexisting conditions

-Coverage can’t be cancelled for people who become sick

-Temporary risk pools are set up for people with preexisting conditions

-Insurance companies can’t raise premiums without giving the government a really good reason why they are doing so

-The government will also offer financial help for early retirees

Here are some tips to finding insurance under the new health care reform act:

-Make sure the plans you are looking into reflect the new changes. If they don’t, look elsewhere.

-If you work for a small company, urge them to offer group health insurance for employees now while they can take advantage of tax credits.

-If you have a child with a preexisting condition, go for the family health insurance you want; they can’t turn you down anymore.

-If you have retiree health benefits, urge your former employer to look into “reinsurance” programs so they can get help paying your largest expenses.

Before the Affordable Health Care Act, They Were Locked Out

(Many provisions of the Affordable Health Care Act have already kicked in before full implementation of the law which takes effect in 2014.)

Locked out of medical care, that is. Who? Individuals with pre-existing conditions. Now, 50,000 of them have healthcare coverage via the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP) in their state. This is a temporary high-risk health insurance program that makes healthcare not only available but much more affordable.

For example, a patient named Deborah fell victim to a back injury. It left her unemployed and unable to afford health insurance premiums. However, when she discovered the Michigan PCIP plan, she was able to enroll in it, receive the back surgery she needed and get on the road to recovery.

PCIP makes a difference. It has allowed many Americans to get connected to health insurance and receive the medical care they sorely need. That’s because PCIP enrollees can receive that care immediately.

The way it works is that states have the option of operating this new program in their state. However, if a state has chosen not to do so, the Department of Health and Human Services has established a plan in that state. This insurance serves as a bridge to 2014. That’s when all discrimination against pre-existing conditions will be prohibited.

You can see how your state administers PCIP with either their own program or one established by the Department of Health and Human Services by clicking on the link below.

https://www.pcip.gov/StatePlans.html

Insurance up to Age 26

Another plus of the Affordable Health Care Act that has been in effect since 2010 is where young adults are allowed to remain on their parent’s health plan until they turn 26 (unless the young adult is offered insurance at work).

Health Care Premium Expenses

Effective on January 1st, 2011, the law requires that at least 85% of the premium collected by insurance companies administering large employer plans be spent on health care services and quality improvement for health care.

For individual and small employer plans, 80% of the premiums must be spent on improving health care services.

It this provision is not met, rebates must be given to consumers.

Discount Prescription Drugs for Seniors

Also In 2011, seniors who reach the coverage gap will receive a 50 percent discount when they buy Medicare Part D covered brand-name prescription drugs.

Over the next ten years and until the coverage gap is closed in 2020, seniors will receive additional savings on generic and brand-name drugs.