On March 23, 2010, Obamacare was approved. Its goal was to make healthcare insurance accessible to all Americans. All Americans must have insurance or pay a fine under the regulations of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
According to the ACA, everyone must have health insurance of some kind. However, you are exempt from the requirement if you already have coverage through your employer, a government program like Medicare or Medicaid, or if you lack insurance but do not qualify for financial assistance.
If you don’t get insurance from your employer (or another source), you’ll be able to buy it through an insurance marketplace created by the government. These are known as health exchanges. If you earn less than $21,000 per year ($45,000 for a family of four), you may qualify for Medicaid coverage instead of buying private insurance through an exchange.
Affordable Care Act Provisions
The ACA has several provisions that take effect over time, but here are some key features:
- Employers must provide health insurance to 50 or more full-time workers or risk fines.
- Subsidies – They are available to help low-income Americans purchase insurance coverage through state exchanges (marketplaces).
- Medicaid Expansion – Provides Medicaid coverage for more people with lower incomes than previously covered by Medicaid.
- Minimum essential coverage. All Americans must have health insurance or pay a fine. This requirement applies to most people who can get coverage through an employer or those who qualify for Medicaid or Medicare.
- The ACA has provisions to expand access to health insurance coverage, increase quality, improve affordability, and reduce the costs of healthcare services. It also includes various taxes and fees on health insurers, pharmaceutical companies, and medical device manufacturers to help fund its provisions.
Pros and Cons of ACA
The ACA has many benefits for individuals and families, including:
- No annual or lifetime limits on coverage. It means your insurance company can’t refuse to pay for your care because you’ve reached a specific dollar amount or number of treatments.
- Services for preventive care without charging members. Preventive care includes services such as cancer screenings and immunizations. You receive these services without copays or coinsurance.
- A requirement that insurers cover essential benefits without cost sharing. These include prescription drugs, maternity care, and mental health treatment.
- The ACA provides tax credits to offset monthly insurance premiums. The credit can be applied toward your monthly compensation based on your income and family size. The lower your income, the more you get in tax credits. You can use those extra resources to pay for deductibles.
Here are some of the most common complaints about the ACA:
- Premiums for those who already have insurance increased.
- To support the ACA, taxes were established, such as those on the sales of pharmaceuticals and medical equipment.
- Many companies reduced employee hours to forgo offering medical insurance.
The Affordable Care Act is an essential piece of legislation that has helped millions of Americans access health insurance. However, it hasn’t been without its challenges.
The ACA makes healthcare more affordable and accessible, but many people have found it difficult to understand. More than half of Americans don’t know what it is or how it works. We hope this article helps you to understand the ACA service fully.