If you take politics out of the equation, and analyze the new healthcare reforms introduced by President Obama, you can see that the idea is positive. Making health insurance affordable via Obamacare is a great first step.
Obamacare, as the healthcare reforms have been come to be known, was at the center of much debate and controversy. Here’s a simple explanation of the situation from Forbes.com. With the Open Enrollment date approaching for the officially titled Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) drawing near, here’s a look at some key factors of this landmark legislation.
- The law. The Affordable Care Act is a wide ranging program that covers a variety of aspects of the health sector in general. The crucial pieces of the law affecting all Americans is the mandate that everyone must have minimum “essential” coverage, and the introduction of subsidies in private insurance and government run Medicaid to help fulfill this requirement.
- The optional additional subsidy. The Medicaid expansion subsidy helps individuals and families earning less than 133% of the federal poverty level , receive reduced or free health care. Currently, 26 states are offering this Medicaid Expansion. Families could be eligible for subsidies based on family size, income, age of the enrollees and the residence state.
- The deadline. For the 2015 calendar year, there is an Open enrollment period from November 15th, 2014 to February 15th 2015 for those who aren’t covered by Medicaid, Medicare or health insurance through the workplace. Under certain conditions called a “Qualifying Life Event” you may still qualify for a special enrollment outside of the Open Enrollment period for Obamacare. Although, you can apply for Medicaid and Children’s Medicaid at any time.
- The penalty. Tax penalties went into effect in 2014. So, if you were still uninsured after March 2014; you are liable to pay the tax penalty, payable when you file your 2014 income tax returns. The penalty in 2014 will be either 1.0% of taxable income or $95 per adult and $47.50 per child (up to $285 per family), whichever is higher. In 2015, the figure will rise to 2.0% or $325 per adult and $162.50 per child (up to $975 per family), and 2.5% or $695 per adult and $347.50 per child (up to $$2,085 per family) in 2016. After this point, the rate will go up based on cost-of-living figures pertaining to the period.
So, if you aren’t already insured, use the upcoming Open Enrollment period to acquire your health insurance policy.