The Affordable Health Care Act, known as Obamacare, will affect people in different ways, Coverage is guaranteed either through the Healthcare depending upon their situation. Marketplace or expanded Medicaid programs.
The Department of Health and Human Services estimates the average cost of a Marketplace plan will be $328 per month for mid-level coverage.
Four plans are offered in the Marketplace – bronze, silver, gold and platinum – each with different levels of out-of-pocket expenses.
The lowest average catastrophic plan premium is estimated at $129 per month.
Essential Medical Coverage
Everyone covered with an insurance plan, whether it’s a purchased policy, Medicare or Medicaid, are entitled to a core group of services ranging from hospitalization and prescriptions to lab tests.
Many preventative tests, wellness screenings and counseling services can be obtained at no cost to the patient.
Employees with coverage through their employer don’t have to apply through the Marketplace. If the cost of an employer policy is more than 9.5 percent of the worker’s wages, then they can apply for insurance through the Marketplace.
Pre-existing Conditions And Breaks For Children
Patients with any type of pre-existing medical condition can’t be turned down for coverage or charged more than other policyholder.
Children can now remain on parental insurance policies until the age of 26.
Spouses May Not Qualify As Dependents
Spouses may not be eligible for family coverage under Marketplace policies. Obamacare provides the means for the primary policyholder to cover dependents (children) but spouses are not necessarily considered dependents any longer.
In plans that don’t count spouses as dependents, individuals will be responsible for obtaining coverage through their own employer or buying a plan through the Marketplace.
Medicare And Seniors
There will be no change in how Medicare recipients choose their physicians and Obamacare will completely close the gap in what they pay for prescriptions by 2020, once a deductible of $4,750 is met. After that, seniors pay 5 percent of the cost for the remainder of the year.
Seniors with high medical needs will be able to receive basic care in their home to reduce and prevent hospital stays.
Couples with yearly earnings of $200,000 or more will see a tax rate increase of .9 percent for Medicare Part A coverage and a new income-related premium will be established for Medicare Part D.
Many consumers will qualify for federal subsidies to help them purchase coverage on the Marketplace. Financial assistance is dependent upon household income.
The cost of the policy will depend on the coverage selected, the person’s income and the geographic area in which the policyholder lives.
The Individual Mandate Tax (IMT)
Anyone who chooses not to obtain insurance will be assessed a penalty on their income tax returns. Fines begin at $95 for adults and $47.50 for children in 2014, escalating to $695 for adults and $347.50 for children in 2016.
Exemptions from the IMT are available for certain religious groups, members of Native American tribes, and those who are incarcerated.
Also exempt are people with incomes of $9,500 or less who aren’t required to file a tax return, along with those whose premiums would exceed 8 percent of their income after employer contributions and federal subsidies.