With Affordable Care Act, better known as “Obamacare”, coming to the forefront and now in play, there are some things that you should know about the subject. A health blogger at Cosmopolitan offers up answers to five of the most commonly asked questions.
1. Do I need to have health insurance? – It is not illegal to go without it with the Affordable Care Act, but you will pay a fine on your taxes if you opt out. The fine is $95 this year and could be up to $695 per year by 2016. It is still up to you which option you want to choose. In the long run, it is cheaper to have the insurance, especially if you get hurt or sick.
2. What is this going to cost me? – Take a peek at HealthCare.gov to see state by state what your options are. There are different levels of plans with different premiums. For example, a non-smoking 25-year-old female with no children who earns around $35,000 per year can expect to pay around $250 a month for the silver plan, or $210 for the bronze. If you can’t afford the premiums you may qualify for a cheaper plan that would only cover you in worst-case scenarios.
3. You might ask: I have had health issues in the past, does this affect anything? – No. One of the best things about the ACA is that preexisting conditions are not a factor in your rates or qualifications. The rates are based on your age, family size, where you live, and whether you smoke or not.
4. I get my insurance through my job. Do I need to do anything else? – Stay with your insurance plan. The new federal laws will not affect your rates and will actually give you more for your money. You can now get many services such as STD screenings, annual exams, and even mental health visits covered completely by the insurance.
5. What are the main things to look for in a plan? – You will want to look for the following:
a. Deductible – How much you kick in before your insurance pays. The less you pay for your insurance, the higher your deductible.
b. Provider Network – Are the doctors that are included in the network close to you or are they all spread out far away from your home?
c. Birth Control – While the plans must cover birth control, they get to choose to exclude a certain brand if they want. If you are dead set on the birth control you have currently, make sure you find a plan that covers it all.