How the Affordable Care Act affects you
Here’s what you need to know about America’s new healthcare law.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is finally official. It’s a long law, weighing in at some 2,000 pages, but the most important takeaway is that each and every American is required to have health insurance by January 2014.
If your employer provides health insurance already, you don’t need to do anything. If you don’t have health insurance—or if you’re unhappy with the insurance you currently have—it’s a good idea to start looking into getting insured today.
How to get insured
Once the ACA goes into effect, you’ll be required by law to have health insurance. But because of this new universal health insurance requirement, insurance providers are no longer allowed to reject anyone because of a pre-existing condition. That’s a big relief, especially if you or your children have ever had a serious illness or ongoing medical condition.
The ACA also allows you to shop in what’s called a health insurance exchange. The law makes sure that insurance providers can no longer offer coverage with sneaky fine print or sell “junk plans” that didn’t cover the things they were supposed to. This means savings for average Americans as well as health insurance that, finally, really works.
Getting health insurance now just makes sense. You’ll be in good standing with the law come January and you’ll be covered now just in case you end up needing it.
If you're under 65, that means you're not yet eligible for Medicare. This gives you different options for health insurance. If your income is low or moderate, you may qualify for cost breaks or tax credits.
Seniors have additional options for health insurance as they're also able to qualify Medicare. There's a different way to go about getting the best insurance for your money if you're over 65.