It’s been all over the media for years, ObamaCare! You’ve heard it being discussed left and right, and you don’t really understand much about it? You want to know more about ObamaCare, but you don’t know where to look or who to ask? That’s where we come in! We’re here to help you understand what ObamaCare is and how it affects you, an American citizen. We’ve got a short presentation on ObamaCare (or the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) as it is formally known as) so read on and if you’ve got any questions, feel free to ask us in the comment section below.
What is ObamaCare?
ObamaCare, or the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), often called the Affordable Care Act (ACA) acts as a reform to the health insurance industry. The PPACA is over a thousand pages long and in those pages, there are rights and protection written for every American.
As mentioned earlier, the PPACA was signed into law on March 23rd, 2010 and it was upheld on June 28, 2012 by a Supreme Court. This complex law basically requires all Americans to have health insurance by the end of this year, 2014 or pay a monthly fee for each month without coverage.
The thing is that ObamaCare doesn’t change how insurance is obtained, but it does add a new method of purchase: through state Health Insurance Marketplaces. There, you can receive cost assistance and compare plans.
Insurances have different enrollment periods, so you can only buy a specific type of health insurance during certain times of the year. For example, for this year, the enrollment closed on March 31st and the enrollment for 2015 will be open until February 15, 2015.
The main reason the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was signed into law was to address the already infamous national health care crisis and to make health insurance much more affordable and available for all those Americans who are still uninsured (the numbers reach about 44 million).
Again, ObamaCare requires all American citizens to do one of the three things: either purchase a Private Health Care plan, or get an exemption or pay a tax penalty. All Americans who can’t afford health insurance will qualify or Medicaid, Medicare, CHIP or get some sort of assistance through the Health Insurance Exchanges. If with the help of that assistance, a person still cannot afford health insurance, then they can be exempted from the Individual Mandate.
10 Important Health Benefits of ObamaCare
All Qualified Health Insurance Plans simply must include the following benefits:
- Outpatient services (these include visits to the doctor and tests that are done outside of hospitals)
- Emergency services
- Pregnancy and baby care
- Hospital stays
- Mental health services (including behavioral health treatment)
- Substance abuse services
- Prescription drugs
- Rehab to those who recover from an accident or injury
- Lab tests
- Wellness and preventive services (including chiropractic care)
- Dental and vision services for children only
Other Benefits Include:
- All Americans will have easy to understand explanations of their insurance coverage
- The premiums will not vary with health or gender, which it had until now.
- Free preventive care
- No limits on lifetime or total annual benefits (if you need expensive treatment, you will not have to worry about running out of insurance cover anymore)
- Acceptance is guaranteed with no exclusions for pre-existing conditions
One of the most popular ObamaCare myths is that it creates health insurance. Well, ObamaCare does not create health insurance, it simply regulates the health insurance industry and works towards increasing the affordability, availability and quality of private insurance. It also improves and expands public health insurance, such as Medicaid, Medicare and CHIP and it does this by creating new rules for insurance companies and expanding eligibility to tens of millions of US citizens, improving Medicare ad implementing a Marketplace where Americans can purchase regulated and subsidized health insurance.
Another ObamaCare myth is that you absolutely have to use the health insurance Marketplace! This is completely wrong and it is merely a myth. If you like your current insurance, you can very well keep it! If you have a Government-based insurance (such as CHIP, Medicare or Medicaid), you can also keep that. You should know that the Marketplace is for US citizens who do not like their current insurance plan!
Is the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act clearer now? What are your thoughts on ObamaCare? Share them with us!