The Patient Protection and Affordable Care ACT 2010, also known as The Affordable Care Act or ObamaCare, is America’s new health care reform law.
The Act was signed into law by President Barack Obama on March 23, 2010.
The new law ensures:
- Insurance companies can’t deny coverage or charge more for people with preexisting conditions.
- Insurance companies can no longer deny you for any reason other than fraud.
- Insurance companies can’t put lifetime or annual dollar limits on Essential Health Benefits such as screenings, preventions, and treatments for most life-threatening sickness.
- Plans cover free wellness and preventive services.
- Subsidies are available for those who make less than 400% of the Federal Poverty Level.
The official ObamaCare enrollment period ended on March 31, 2014. Important Notice: Its urgent, to avoid future fines and penalties, to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Health Care Act.
Washington Individuals & Families: Find out the most cost efficient healthcare insurance for you.
The Marketplace, also known as “Exchange,” is a state’s price comparison website for subsidized health insurance.
Each state has its own ObamaCare Exchange. In Washington, you can access yours via the WAHealthPlanner website.
The Health Insurance Marketplace makes it easy to compare plans, find out if you are eligible for lower costs, and enroll.
Health Insurance plans are divided in metallic tiers.
- Platinum plans have the highest premiums, but the lowest co-pays and deductibles.
- Gold and Silver plans have lower premiums, but higher co-pays and deductibles.
- Bronze plans have the lowest premiums, but the highest co-pays and deductibles.
There are also Catastrophic Plans available (plans for individuals under 30) that consist of the following:
- High deductibles
- Essential benefits
- More affordable prices
What if I can’t afford coverage?
The Affordable Care Act provides two programs to help individuals afford coverage through the Marketplace:
- Premium tax credits.
- Cost-sharing reductions.
Subsidies are aimed at people with incomes between 139% to 400% of the FPL (federal poverty level).
*Current 139% FPL is $23,050 for a family of four and the 400% is $92,200.
Families who make more than the current FPL will get considerably less cost assistance.
Subsidies are given as refundable tax credits.
The Tax Penalty
If someone can afford health insurance and decides not to have coverage in 2014, they may have to pay a fee also known as Tax Penalty. The penalty can be any of the options explained below (whichever is higher):
- 1% of your yearly household income.
- $95 per person for the year ($47.50 per child under 18).
*This fee increases every year.
*If you’re uninsured for less than 3 months, you don’t have a make a payment.
To avoid the fee you need insurance that qualifies as Minimum Essential Coverage.
You’re considered covered and don’t have to pay a penalty if you have any of the following:
- A Marketplace plan.
- An individual insurance plan.
- Any employer plan with or without “grandfathered” status.
- The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
- Veteran health care programs.
- Peace Corps Volunteer plans.
Some people are exempted from the fee.
• Individuals whose health coverage may cost more than 8% of their household income.
• Individuals with incomes too low for filing taxes.
• Individuals with religious exemptions.
• Undocumented immigrants.
• Individuals who are incarcerated.
• Members of Native American tribes.
Get a quote or estimate for ObamaCare in Washington online here.
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