On 3-23-2010, the Affordable Care Act became law. Since then a number of provisions of healthcare reform have already become effective, which I will discuss in a moment. However, the most significant element of this law will directly affect millions of Americans and their healthcare coverage on 1-1-2014. The law’s main intention is to make affordable healthcare available and accessible for every American. Each citizen will have the responsibility of choosing a major medical health plan. Financial assistance will be available for those whose incomes are within a certain percentage of the Federal Poverty Level.
Beginning in 2014, if you are already insured through individual health insurance, or an employer’s group plan, you can keep that coverage if you so desire. However, you will also be allowed to choose from dozens of options through either a State or Federal Insurance Exchange, if you prefer that alternative. As of this writing, it appears that Texans will probably use the Federal Exchange. Certain guidelines will apply, based on a person’s situation. If you do not choose a health insurance plan, you will be assessed a penalty, although there are a few exceptions.
In 2014, the penalty will be 1% of one’s income, or $95. In 2015 the amount increases to 2%, or $325, followed by 3% of one’s income or $695, in 2016. In each case the greater amount will be assessed, whether a percentage or fixed fee, with annual increases following thereafter. The penalty will be collected by the IRS, just like taxes.
Here is a list of some of the improvements to healthcare coverage that are effective now:
- A “free” annual preventive exam; visit this link to review what is included http://www.healthcare.gov/news/factsheets/2010/07/preventive-services-list.html
- Another current provision of the ACA prevents an insurer from declining coverage to anyone under age 19, because of pre-existing health conditions.
- Expanded coverage now allows a parent to continue to insure their young-adult children until age 26.
- Adults who have been uninsured for at least 6 months and have been denied coverage because of certain pre-existing conditions, may now get coverage through the “PCIP”, or Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan.
- Lifetime limits on what insurance will cover have been outlawed.
- The Act has also lowered the cost of many prescription drugs for seniors on Medicare.
- Additionally, some small businesses with fewer than 25 employees can now get help paying for the cost of providing health insurance benefits. Small business tax credits will cover up to 35% of the employer’s cost to provide health insurance for their employees. Investigate this opportunity with your business advisor or tax consultant for details on how to participate and save money.
You can begin to compare a variety of health insurance plans for yourself or small business right now. Don’t wait until 2014 to find a top-quality health plan that will best suit your needs. Many major medical plans have recently experienced reductions in their premiums. One company will actually reduce your annual deductible if you don’t meet it, which is a reward for healthy applicants! This would be an ideal time to get several free quotes for more affordable health insurance.
Licensed independent insurance agents can help you choose the ideal plan for your goals…they are not restricted to offering you insurance plans from just one insurer. This flexibility, along with their experience and knowledge, can increase your range of choices, benefits and prices. They are not obligated to promote a certain insurance company’s products, and can therefore offer their clients a more objective assessment of each plan’s advantages and drawbacks!
Contact AustinHealthPlans.com to receive personalized customer service from a licensed independent health and life insurance representative. Your unique insurance objectives will be the focus of any health insurance plans that we recommend for your consideration. Based on one’s particular goals and budget, we will find the best possible health plan for our client.
We can also provide coverage for these other types of health insurance supplements: Dental, Vision, Life, Critical Care, Accident, Disability, Cancer, and Long Term Care. If you would like to save for your retirement, we can assist you with tax-deferred annuities, as well. Please call us at: (512) 535-3556 or send an e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org for your fast, free quote. We serve the whole state of Texas, and want to be YOUR local agent!