In our previous two articles in the ObamaCare series we provided an overview of the plan and also discussed some of the future changes. This article will focus on some of the most commonly asked questions and concerns and provide greater information about these topics affect you.
Will ObamaCare Require Me to Get A New Policy?
Many people who already have health insurance may have read about all of the new changes and realized that current plans weren’t in compliance with these changes. That may have led them to worry that they would need to cancel their old policies and seek a new policy in order to avoid the tax penalties. The good news is that this is not the case.
ObamaCare is more focused on ensuring better coverage for policies holders and the main burden of change will be with the insurance companies rather than consumers. That said, some aspects of your old policy which aren’t compliant with the new changes may be grandfathered in, either temporarily or more long-term. That means that it may be advantageous for you to discuss these changes with your insurance agent so that you can determine if it is in your best interest to keep your old plan or to get a new plan. Remember not to act rashly or to do anything until you have all of the information about your specific situation.
How Does ObamaCare Affect My Health Coverage?
In most cases ObamaCare will result in an expansion of coverage. ObamaCare places an emphasis on preventive care, and as such many preventative tests and doctor visits may now be free of charge. Additionally, you may find that your policy has no more lifetime limits or annual limits. Be sure to check your mail and email for any possible notifications or informative literature from your insurance company regarding ObamaCare changes. As always feel free to consult your insurance agent. This is especially important if you have particular concerns about certain aspects of your coverage.
How Does ObamaCare Affect My Healthcare Costs?
According to research released by ObamaCare, many consumers will see a drop in their annual insurance premiums. However, there are many more factors at play which you will need to be aware of. For example, insurance rates might also be grandfathered in for certain policies and thus you may not see a change at all. On the other hand, for some premium, high level policies, especially for earners in top tax brackets, you may see a rise in your cost due to new excise taxes. Additionally, some rise in healthcare costs may still be present that is completely or mostly unrelated to ObamaCare.
The bottom line is that there is every reason to be optimistic about not seeing a rise on your healthcare costs, or even in seeing a decrease in costs. However, much will depend on your individual circumstances. For example your tax bracket will play a large role, as will the size of your family, and the particular type of health insurance plan that you have.
What Will Happen If I Don’t Have Health Insurance?
One of the most controversial aspects Americans have of ObamaCare is of health insurance coverage becoming mandatory. The good news is that not having health insurance won’t be illegal in the sense that you could be arrested or thrown into jail. Instead, people who don’t have health insurance will be required to pay an extra tax. Naturally evading this tax or otherwise failing to pay in full could have the usual legal repercussions that accompany tax evasion, but the key thing is that it will simply be treated like a regular tax and thus you won’t have to worry about being arrested or called into court simply for not having health insurance.
Will ObamaCare Affect my job or job security?
There is a section of ObamaCare called The Employer Mandate which requires companies with more than 50 full-time employees to provide health insurance to these employees, and to cover at least 50% of the premiums, in order to avoid tax penalties. Once again, this causes some people to be concerned that this could mean that their hours will be cut in order for their employers to avoid this measure. That certainly could theoretically happen, but it is important to look at the specific circumstances.
First of all, this is only going to be relevant to companies with more than 50 full-time employees. If your company is smaller than that, then it will not be affected. Additionally, this will only impact companies with 50 or more full-time employees who don’t already provide health care coverage at the required amount. There’s a good chance that even if you do work for a large company with more than 50 full-time employees that you are already receiving health care coverage through your employer and thus do not need to worry. In fact estimates place the number of companies that will be affected by this as low as .2% of the population. Additionally of course there is a good chance that even if your company is affected, that they may simply go along with it without cutting employee hours. This will be especially true if it isn’t realistic for the company to get down under 50 full-time employees to begin with.
If you have additional questions or concerns about how you might be affected by ObamaCare then we encourage you to do your own research or to consult someone who can provide answers related to your individual set of circumstances. Here at Beaty Insurance or insurance agents are always happy to assist you in any way that we can. If you have questions concerning your policy please contact us.