Health Care Reform is underway and every American is affected!
What is important to know is this: Everyone’s story and situation is unique. Everyone will be affected differently both financially and in your healthcare choices. That is why having an experienced agent on your side is important. Allow us to ask the right questions and explain what you need to know, so you can sort through the process with ease, confidence and clarity.
Here are some specifics about healthcare reform to get you started:
2014 is an important year. The Health Insurance Marketplace will offer a new way for people to research and purchase insurance coverage. In addition, individuals will be able to determine if they qualify for premium subsidy, Medicaid, or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The following is a brief listing of other changes the Affordable Care Act brings to the health insurance market:
- Individual Requirement — Beginning in 2014, the Affordable Care Act requires individuals to have “minimum essential” health insurance for themselves and their dependents. If health insurance is not purchased, individuals will be subject to a tax penalty. The penalty is phased in, and is set to increase annually. Depending on an individual’s situation, exceptions are available.
- Insurance Market Reforms — Health Care Reform requires insurance carriers to offer coverage on a guarantee issue basis to all individuals, and prohibits pre-existing condition restrictions. Insurance carriers are also limited on the factors they may use to determine health insurance premiums. They are allowed to determine insurance premiums based only on age, geographic location, family composition, and tobacco usage. Dependent children are able to remain on their parents coverage up to age 26, and annual and lifetime dollar limits on coverage will cease to exist.
- Wellness Programs — In 2014, employers can offer incentives or rewards to employees who participate in a wellness program or for meeting health status targets. The rewards or premium reductions can be up to 30 percent of the cost of coverage.
It is a confusing time for employers, employees and those seeking (and maintaining) individual insurance. At Weis & Associates, Inc., we are committed to staying up-to-speed on the rapid changes and information regarding how health care reform affects both companies and individuals.