03 Apr What is ObamaCare?
On March 23, 2010, President Barack Obama signed into law, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or more commonly known as ObamaCare.
However, it wasn’t until January 1, 2014 that the provisions of the law became a reality, which mostly meant having health insurance is now mandatory. If individuals and businesses do not comply, they will face fines.
However, Americans don’t know what it means and honestly, why would they? We’re all too busy with our own lives to keep up with this big, giant law, right?
So, to sum it up as simply as possible, here are the top five tips that you need to know in regards to ObamaCare.
- Pre-existing conditions are no longer excluded. If you had a rider or an exclusion on a pre-ACA policy, it will be covered on any plan offered through the Marketplace. This includes maternity benefits, which was previously not covered on an individual plan. If you are thinking about having a baby in the next year, you should explore your options during the open enrollment season.
- Depending on your income level, you may be eligible to receive a subsidy from the government. This means the government will pay a portion of your health insurance premiums, which is paid directly to your carrier. Your income level is based on your projected adjusted gross household income for 2016. If you are married, you must file your taxes jointly in order to receive the subsidy. Also, if either spouse is offered group coverage through their employer, you will not be allowed to receive a subsidy.
- You will need to purchase your policy before the 15th of the prior month of your intended effective date. For example, if you are aiming to have your new plan begin Jan 1, 2016, you will need to have your application in by Dec 15, 2015.
- Doctor and hospital networks are more limited on ACA individual plans. Check and make sure your providers are in your insurance plan’s network!!
- If you do not purchase health insurance by January 31, 2016, you will face fines. In 2016, the penalty will be the greater of 2.5% of your income or $695/adult and $347.50/child. How will this be tracked? When you file your taxes the following spring, the penalties will be subtracted from any rebate you may receive. If you do not receive a rebate, you will be billed this amount from the government.
If you have questions regarding your plan or would like for Workplace Benefits to look at your options in the Fall, please contact us. We look forward to connecting with you soon!