Thursday, March 25, 2010

How the Healthcare Overhaul Affects You

Health insurance costs increase at a rate higher than inflation every year without a justifiable reason for the increase in costs. Subscribers do not get more coverage, better service, advise or quicker appointments. The Health care law that was signed on March 23, 2010 by President Obama will provide health insurance coverage to approximately 32 million Americans and guarantees that 95 percent of Americans will be covered.

In 2014, those Americans who don't get health insurance will have to pay $95 or 1 percent of their income, whichever is greater provided the amount does not exceed the cost of the health plan.

In 2016, those Americans who don't get health insurance will have to pay $695 per uninsured adult and can increase up to $2,085 per household or 2.5 percent of their income, whichever is greater. An adult would be penalized if they went more than three months of the year without health insurance. If your income is below a certain amount, or if the cheapest health insurance would cost 8 percent of the person's income, they would not be charged a penalty for lack of coverage.

Health insurance will be more affordable for the middle class and small business owners. The health care law would provide the largest cuts for the middle class which will reduce health care premiums and out-of-pocket costs. The law will also improve Medicare benefits by providing lower prescription drug costs.

Americans will also have the option to shop for the same type of private health insurance that members of Congress have which will reduce costs.

Health insurance companies will now be accountable by being required to keep premiums down and prevent healthcare coverage denials including pre-existing conditions. Health insurance companies will be required to offer coverage regardless of your health condition and cannot increases rates or cancel your coverage when you get sick.

There will be limits on how much is paid to receive health care coverage. Based on your income millions of Americans will get a tax credit to help pay for coverage.

If you like your current coverage you can keep it. If you have existing individual coverage on your own, your premiums would decrease by 14 to 20 percent and you may qualify for tax credits and will be provided better coverage.

If you get your health insurance coverage through your employer you will also see a decrease in premiums due to a reduction in administration costs and competition between insurance companies by up to 3 percent.

Insurance forms and health plan guidelines will now be written in plain english and forms will be standardized. Insurance companies that raise rates with no valid cause will not be able to sell their insurance poicies in the new insurance market.

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