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March 23, 2014 proved to be an important day in the history of healthcare when President Barack Obama signed The Affordable Care Act into law. Ever since, common citizens and politicians alike have come up with questions and, sometimes, faulty answers, about the topic that is now commonly known as “ObamaCare.” The millions of unanswered questions and rumors constantly swirling around have left millions of Americans confused and at a loss of exactly what to do in regards to the new law.
The last thing Bell & Associates Consulting Firm wants to do is keep you in the dark! As a result, we have compiled some information below to help you better understand the law, how it impacts you and your family, and what you can do to benefit from it.
What is The Affordable Care Act?
The first question that the majority of Americans have right off the bat is this one: what exactly is The Affordable Care Act? The Affordable Care Act is, simply, a law passed under President Obama which helps aid Americans in the process of finding and obtaining proper health care coverage.
The act gives people options for health care coverage, provides them with the necessary tools and resources to gain a completely educated comprehension of the health care coverage, and protects consumers so they can receive the best care possible. Keep in mind that The Affordable Care Act, or ObamaCare, does NOT create government-based health care insurance. It regulates health care insurance that is already on the market, helping to make it more available, affordable, and of better quality.
For more information and to read The Affordable Care Act for yourself, click here.
Are You Required to Purchase Insurance Under The Affordable Care Act?
No, no one is going to force you to purchase health insurance!
The Affordable Care Act was created purely for the sake of those who were uninsured or do not like the plan they are currently under. If you are satisfied with The Affordable Care Act-mandated insurance you currently have, then by all means keep it – the government will not punish you for it! And if you have public health insurance such as Medicaid, CHIP, or Medicare, that is okay too. The Affordable Care Act has improved and expanded those health care services as well.
Perhaps your insurance is provided under your place of employment? Businesses may also qualify to apply for ObamaCare. Businesses under 25 FTE can even obtain a tax break if they decide to take advantage of the new health care system.
Please be aware that if your insurance is not approved by The Affordable Care Act, you may have to search for a new plan that goes along with the guidelines put down by the act. This is where Bell & Associates Consulting Firm comes in! We will help you weigh your options and make the transition as smooth as possible!
Who Really Benefits from The Affordable Care Act?
Every American wants to know the truth: who really wins in this whole health care reform deal? Everyone, that’s who! The Affordable Care Act acts as your big brother, keeping insurance companies from raising those pesky premiums and bullying you into paying more for services because of your current health or age. ObamaCare makes sure that insurance companies adjust their plans so that more preventive services and health benefits are offered without any extra costs on your end.
Also, individuals and families that bring in less than 400% of the Federal Poverty Level are eligible for cost assistance. That way, you will not be forced to chose between health insurance and a mortgage or car payment.
Is The Affordable Care Act a Good Investment for Senior Citizens?
As a matter of fact, it is!
As stated previously, The Affordable Care Act brings new and improved reforms to Medicare, which means that senior citizens now have access to things like screenings, drug discounts, and better quality care. ObamaCare also works to ward off Medicare fraud, yearly wellness visits, and certain preventive services for free.
For more information on how The Affordable Care Act aids seniors and/or the Medicare system, follow this link.
Under The Affordable Care Act, Will Insurance Companies be Able to Cancel my Coverage for Any Reason?
That’s one of the great things about The Affordable Care Act – it works hard to keep insurance companies from terminating your coverage because of a mistake in the paperwork or addition information that does not have a major impact on your state of health! Before The Affordable Care Act, insurance companies were able to take your coverage away or charge you fees because of these small mistakes. But now with the passing of The Affordable Care Act, it is now illegal for those same companies to do this. If, for any reason, they do find it necessary to cancel your insurance coverage, they are required to give you a 30-day notice beforehand. This will give you a chance prepare to find new insurance or make an appeal.
Please remember, if you put inaccurate information on your application or do not pay your insurance premiums on time, your insurance provider is still legally able to cancel your plan and eliminate your coverage.
For more information about insurance cancellations, go here.
When and Where do I Sign Up?
Glad you asked!
Unfortunately, open enrollment for ObamaCare 2015 is already over. Unless you are eligible for a Special Enrollment Period, CHIP, or Medicaid, you will not be able to obtain coverage for the rest of the calendar year.
But lucky for you, open enrollment for 2016 is almost here! Open enrollment for 2016 health care coverage is November 1, 2014. The last day to enroll for coverage is December 15, 2015.
There are four options available to you when you apply: by phone, mail, online, or in person. To learn more about your application options and how to access them, follow this link. It will provide you with the necessary links, phone numbers, and forms to get you started. Follow this link to see a timeline of the opening and closing of open enrollment.
But if you feel confused or overwhelmed by all of this information about The Affordable Care Act or are more comfortable with having someone go over it with you, Bell & Associates Consulting Firm is at your service! We have members of our team who will be more than happy to go over The Affordable Care Act and the paperwork for application with you!