ObamaCare Plans 101

March 9, 2015

Commonly referred to as ObamaCare, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is one of the most controversial and important laws of our generation. Yet despite its far-reaching impact, the ACA remains generally misunderstood. To get a better idea of what ObamaCare does and whether you can benefit, consider the following:
Q: What Does it Do?
A: In effect, the ACA expands quality, affordability and availability of public and private health insurance coverage through regulations, consumer protections, taxes, subsidies and insurance exchanges. In addition to providing quality health coverage to more citizens, the ACA also aims to reduce the growth of health care spending in the U.S.
Q: How Does it Impact the Industry?
Contrary to common belief, ObamaCare doesn't really regulate a person's health care, since it doesn’t replace Medicare, Medicaid or private insurance. What it does do is regulate health insurance by doing away with some of the industry's worst practices.
Q: What rights, benefits and protections come with the ACA? A: Among the most important changes made by the ACA include:

  • Allowing young adults to remain on parents' plans until 26
  • Preventing insurance companies from denying coverage or charging more based on an individual's health status
  • Preventing insurance companies from dropping policyholders due to illness or an error on an application
  • Stopping gender and age discrimination
  • Preventing unjustified rate hikes
  • Ending annual dollar and life-time limits
  • Providing rapid appeals of insurance provider decisions
  • Providing tens of millions of Americans with coverage via state-run Marketplaces and the Health Insurance Marketplace (HealthCare.Gov)
  • Expanding Medicaid to millions in states that accept the program
  • Delivering tax breaks to smaller business owners
  • Requiring larger companies to provide employees with coverage
  • Requiring providers to cover applicants with pre-existing conditions
  • Allowing kids to get CHIPS much easier
  • Improving Medicare for seniors
  • Requiring all plans to provide minimum benefits

Taking Advantage of Your Options
Unfortunately, many people have yet to investigate whether they can benefit from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. To learn more about the program or to sign up, visit www.healthcare.gov.

Son kissing mother
I wanted to take a moment to thank you for the attention you gave me last week. My son was started on antibiotics and ear drops. Within 24 hours he began to feel better. The poor kid had been going to school in tears because he was afraid of missing any more days, but feeling (and looking) just awful! He's not been able to even think about lacrosse practice, but thanks to starting him on antibiotics, he was thrilled to return to practice today.
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