The Fundamentals of Health Care Reform: FAQ

We people are aware about the health care reforms, but the information about it circulating out there is hard to interpret. It is very important to get familiar with the basics of this law to know the impacts of this on yourself.All the rules under this law are under modification constantly, so the information given below may change with time.Q: What will change in 2014?
A: the Affordable Care Act will be in action with the starting of 2014. Among all the provisions the biggest change will be the individual mandate, according to which all individuals, who have the capability to purchase an individual health insurance will have to purchase one meeting the qualification criteria.You will be subject to a tax penalty if you will go uninsured, with no employer-based health insurance,or an individual health cover or you are covered under a plan that does not meet the requirements of the health reform.The most interesting part of the individual mandate is the government subsidy. This change is the most appealing feature of this reform. This is to make the purchase of health insurance more affordable.The other thing is the new open enrollment period, which is going to start on October 1st, 2013 and will run throughout the time till March 31st 2014.The open enrollment period will happen yearly and outside that you will have a choice to only go for the individual health insurance plan, that too when a qualifying event takes place. These qualifying events include a child birth, marriage, loss of employer-based health insurance etc.Q: Is that true that I could no more be declined for coverage based on my medical history?
A: you can’t be declined for coverage due to your medical history. The company cannot drop you off the coverage of impose a lifetime limit on your coverage if you fall sick.Q: Will I have to pay more for my coverage based on my health status in 2014?
A: it is not the case but the possibilities of paying a higher premiums are there based on your age, habits and your location.Q: What a subsidy is and how will I know if I qualify?
A: With the help of subsidies the government makes the health insurance plans affordable for you. You will be given subsidies as tax credits as per the Affordable Care Act, if you fall under a certain income level. Such tax credits acts as upfront payments for your monthly premiums.If your household income in 2014 will be 133% and 400% of the federal poverty level, then you will be eligible for this subsidy. The FPL guidelines will decide the amount of tax credits for you. You will need to visit the Families USA site to check the income requirements for the subsidy.Subsidy will only be given for the plans which comply with the requirements of the health reform law. The plan has to be purchased via qualified online dealer or qualified government health insurance exchange, partner with government exchange.Q: What really is Healthcare Exchange and how would it work?
A: The healthcare exchanges as per the ACA are the websites which are sponsored by the government for the benefit of persons, families & micro businesses. They can purchase the health insurance through these exchanges online. These are all set to be launched in the month of October 2013 and will begin taking applications by the start of January 2014.Apart from the exchanges it will also be possible to shop for health insurance plan from local agents or online markets. You will get the subsidies through the exchanges only. The coverage of the new plans will be quite comprehensive, with all facilities ranging from doctors, medication and hospital visits. You will have an option of comparing your options online for the benefits and quality.

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