What does The Affordable Care Act mean for you?
Two weeks ago the Supreme Court upheld the ruling on The Affordable Care Act. But do you know what this means for you?
We asked Dr. Henry Lowenstein, a law professor at Coastal Carolina University, to help us sort out the new law.
All U.S. citizens must have medical insurance starting in 2014. If you do not have it, you can face a penalty tax of $95 or 1% of your income, whichever is higher.
If you are a young adult, you are able to be covered under your parent's insurance until your 26th birthday.
When 2014 rolls around, if you are not covered by your parents, job-based insurance, or the government's program, you'll have to buy it from an independent agency.
The penalty tax comes into play if choose not to buy it.
This penalty tax will not be enforced. Instead it will be taken out of your tax return, there will not be any criminal or civil sanctions from this.
LOW INCOME EARNERS
For low income earners starting in 2014, you can qualify for Medicaid if you earn 133% less than federal poverty level.
The current poverty level is set at $14,856.
If you earn more than that, but less than 400%, which is $44,680, and you don't have affordable job-based insurance, you are eligible for federal help to purchase insurance independently.
There are several policies changing for business owners, as well.
If you have 25 or fewer employees, you may be eligible for federal tax credits, if you want to provide health insurance for your employees.
If your company has 50 or more workers, you must offer insurance to them. This does not mean they have to use the offered policy.
If you employ 200 or more people, then it is mandatory for you to enroll all of your full-time hires in your company health care plan.
If an employee does not want your offered health plan, they must be the ones to file to opt out.
One of the most discussed issues within this law is coverage for pre-existing conditions.
Currently children cannot be denied health insurance coverage because of a pre-existing condition.
By 2014, that rule will apply to everyone.
The law says by 2014, there will be no claim caps in health insurance.
If you want to see exactly how your coverage will be affected you can enter your information at this website.