The Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, goes into effect this year. As of 2014, almost all Americans are required to have health insurance, and those who don’t get healthcare through their jobs will have to sign up for some type of insurance through their state exchange or pay the penalty for not having coverage.
What Are the Penalties for Not Having Coverage?
Anyone who hasn’t signed up for healthcare by March 31st will pay a penalty, and although the penalty may not feel so expensive the first year (2014,) people will definitely feel the impact over the next few years.
The penalty you’ll have to pay for a 2014 fine is the higher amount of either one percent of your annual household income, or $95 per adult and $47.50 for each child under 18, with a greatest possible fine of $285.
By 2015, the fine rises to whatever is higher – either 2 percent of the annual household income or $325 per person, and by 2016, you’ll pay whatever is higher – 2.5 percent of your household income or $695 per person.
Positive Changes to Look For With Obamacare
Stipulations of the Affordable Care Act mean that the minimum basic insurance must extend coverage to certain essentials, including hospitalization, emergency room treatment, basic wellness and preventive care, lab tests, surgery, outpatient care.
Minimum coverage extends to mental health care and treatment for addiction, medication coverage, prenatal, newborn and pediatric care, and necessary rehabilitation treatment and equipment for people who have chronic health conditions, disabilities, or any injury.
Additionally, insurance companies can’t put limits on how much they pay for basic essentials, but they are allowed to limit annual or lifetime coverage on other non-essential benefits.
As Bankrate’s Jay McDonald explained to MSN Money, the individual mandate will have the greatest financial impact on the uninsured middle class. There is no reason to despair, however, because those who need help in paying for health insurance may qualify for financial aid in one of two ways – either a tax credit or through cost-sharing subsidies.
Don’t put your family’s health at risk by not getting the right insurance for their healthcare needs. Contact the experts at the Gant Insurance Agency in McKinney for help in understanding how to get the kind of health insurance your family needs.