18 May 2013
Did President Obama really give permission for Americans to opt-out of Obamacare? Way back in 2009, before Obamacare (Affordable Care Act) passed, the President spoke to the American Medical Association and uttered these famous words, "If you like your health care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health care plan, period." Is that true 4 years later, as Obamacare's biggest regulations start up just in a few months time (watch out for Covered California, Los Angeles).
Essentially Obamacare mandates that every American must have health insurance coverage through 2014 or pay an annual tax. There is a lot of confusion over that mandate, especially since on October 1st, 2013 one of Obamacare's requirements is each state open its own "Exchange", allowing anyone to purchase affordable, quality healthcare through the service, which of course in this day and age, will primarily be online. What the president meant 4 years ago is that if you already have a health insurance plan, you don't need to drop it and jump on board his Obamacare/Exchange/health insurance plans/whatever you want to call them.
But there's more to it. Obamacare promotes Essential Health Benefits (EHBs), which means the health insurance plans offered by the Exchange must meet quality standards. Similarly, they must fit into one of 4 metal tiers (Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze) that breaks down each plan into different Actuarial Values (AVs). AVs are the percentages of cost that each plan must cover, which leaves the remaining percentage for the consumer to pay. For Platinum plans, the insurer covers 90 percent of costs and the consumer pays for the remaining 10 percent. Gold plans are 80/20, Silver are 70/30. Bronze plans are 60/40, also the minimum value that any plan may be.
What does it all mean? Obamacare's Exchanges will offer new health insurance plans October 1st, 2013. See them and don't like them? You can keep the plan you have. The President wants to incentivize Americans into enrolling in the Exchange, because most don't know this, but if one qualifies for subsidies (tax credits) and buys health insurance through the Exchange, those tax credits will automatically slash premiums, making health insurance even more affordable.
While the calendar pages cascade from our walls, what many don't realize is that Obamacare regulations have been in effect for the past 3 years. The cover photo of today's article shows the date President Obama(care) signed the bill into law. As required by law, all healthcare plans now cover recommended preventive services at no additional cost, including copays or deductibles. That's a huge victory for kids who need vaccines, for example. Speaking of kids, parents can keep their children on their healthcare plans up to age 26 now, thanks to Obamacare. And no one under age 19 can be declined health insurance for having preexisting conditions, until 2014, when no one of any age can be declined health insurance for preexisting conditions. Period.
Want more information on health insurance? Live in Los Angeles or California and have questions about our Exchange, Covered California? Feel free to call 855 BUY HEALTH or 818.784.7047! Just want a free quote - then click below.