The airwaves and social media are filled with opinions about Obamacare, otherwise known as the Affordable Healthcare Act. However, sorting fact from fiction can be difficult – and with changes that affect nearly everyone in the United States, insured or not, it’s hard to know exactly what to expect. Rather than attempting to answer all the questions about the changes Obamacare will make (and those that have already gone into effect), here’s a brief rundown of some of the most important facts you should be aware of.
By January 2014, You Will Be Required to Have Insurance
Under Obamacare, families are required to have health insurance of some sort. Those who do not get health insurance will have to pay a penalty of 1% of your income in 2014.
You Can’t Be Denied Coverage for Pre-Existing Conditions
By 2014, the healthcare law does not allow you to be denied coverage if you have heart disease, diabetes, or any other pre-existing condition. Furthermore, if you are sick when you apply for coverage, or if you make a mistake on your application, you can’t be denied for or dropped from coverage.
All Health Insurance Plans Must Provide 10 Essential Benefits
Benefits that insurers must pay include mental and behavioral health services, preventive care and treatment, inpatient services, emergency room services, and more (although there may be co-pays for any of these services). These benefits must extend to all insurance plans created after September 23, 2010. Insurance plans that went into effect before may not be held to this standard, however.
Dental and Vision Care are ‘Essential Benefits’ for Kids
Dental and vision services are included in 10 subcategories of “essential benefits,” and are now available on the marketplace for children. Consumers can shop for coverage that fits the needs of their family, in either a standalone plan or as part of a comprehensive healthcare package.
Those Under the Age of 26 Can Remain on Parents’ Plans
Individuals who are 26 years of age or younger may remain on their parents’ plans, in a provision that has already gone into effect. This means that parents can actually add their adult children back onto their existing healthcare plans, and their children won’t require their own insurance until age 27 (a huge help for students just out of college).
What Does This All Mean?
This is by no means a comprehensive checklist – it’s just a few of the most important facts that you should be aware of going into 2014. Parents especially may benefit from Obamacare if they’re having difficulty providing healthcare coverage for their children. The reform isn’t meant to cause an undue burden – it’s meant to keep American families who would otherwise remain uninsured healthy.
For a simplified guide to Obamacare that seeks to educate both parents and children, check out the below infographic from RankPop. Although it goes into more detail than these five points, it’s written in a way that allows parents to easily understand the Affordable Care Act, and share the information with their youngsters!
- License: Image author owned
Brandon William Peach is a writer across many topics, including religion, pop culture, literature, marketing, politics, human rights, and animal welfare. His work has been featured at RankPop, RELEVANT Magazine, Lure of Mac, I Think I Believe, Existimatum, and much more. Follow him on Twitter @BrandonPeach.