2014 is going to be a revolutionary year for the health care and health insurance systems in the United States of America. That’s the year that the Affordable Healthcare Act…more commonly referred to as Obamacare…starts to come in to effect. So, the question on the minds of many in this country is, “How will Obamacare affect me?” Well, it may not really touch you at all. Here’s a simple summary of how Obamacare works.
Let’s start by discussing unemployment rates. Over the past so many years, the unemployment rate has hovered around 7 to 8 percent. Those are hundreds of thousands of unemployed folks without a source of income and without the benefits of a health insurance plan. Obamacare will tackle this problem in a couple of ways. For those who are underemployed or unemployed but have the financial wherewithal, Obamacare will require them to choose from a variety of health care providers—forcing them to have healthcare or risk paying additional taxes for going without.
For the underemployed or the unemployed who fall in to the category of financially unviable—meaning those who’s annual income either doesn’t require them to file taxes or those where the cost of health insurance would be more than 8 percent of their income—those people will be able to fall upon an expanded version of our country’s current Medicaid program, allowing them to receive quality health insurance and healthcare without the financial burden.
There is another class of individuals that this Obamacare summary covers…those who are in jail, of American Indian Descent or undocumented immigrants. The rules and regulations surrounding Obamacare will not apply to them, allowing them to go without health insurance.
The next part of this Obamacare summary addresses small business. This might be one of the best served by the new policies surrounding health insurance and healthcare. With Obamacare, small businesses (those with 25 employees or less) are required to provide affordable health insurance for their employees—something that’s in short supply in our country this day and age. The reason for this? Big companies get substantially reduced rates when it comes to health insurance premiums. Small businesses however, don’t get this same benefit. For those companies, too often, employees end up taking the brunt of a higher tax premium, thus insurance is more of an obstacle. With Obamacare, small businesses would receive tax credits on the policy they provide for employees. It has yet to be seen, and probably won’t be known for several years, whether Obamcare makes a dramatic impact on small businesses, both owners and employees.
The other segment of business that this Obamacare summary was designed to address is that of large corporations (those over 50 employees). With large companies, employers will be required to supplement a portion of their employees health insurance premiums, something most large employers currently do anyway. The biggest knock on this part of the plan is that large employers will defray costs by hiring less, thus keeping costs down.
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