Everything You Need to Know About Affordable Care Act
ACA or Obamacare has been a subject of talk and controversy every since it was launched. It’s still a topic of debate, with some set firmly against it and others recommending it to the hilt. But what, exactly, is ACA or Obamacare? How does it impact your life, and what are its benefits? Here are a few facts about the well known Affordable Care Act explained in brief.
What is it?
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was passed by the Obama administration in March of 2010. It consists of a series of reforms in the health industry and the health insurance industry. The Affordable Care Act was implemented in steps so that people and the healthcare system weren’t overwhelmed. Despite this, people still find the laws and reforms to be very confusing. The primary reason for this that the ACA is very comprehensive.
When the Affordable Care Act was implemented, there were three primary aims. All of these reforms are put in place to achieve these goals. They’re listed below:
- The setting up of insurances exchanges where citizens can shop for insurance and seek financial aid from the government. An example of such a portal is healthcare.gov.
- Expanding the Medicaid for the benefit of lower income families and increasing the number of people with basic coverage.
- Setting up the individual mandate. According to the mandate, all US citizens need to carry essential health insurance coverage or pay a penalty.
What Is its Impact?
As mentioned above, the Affordable Care Act was implemented to curb the rising healthcare costs and make medical aid accessible to everyone. Ever since it was passed about 17 million Americans have gained insurance cover. That number is constantly rising. The act is implemented in steps and the open enrollment is only allowed for a few months in the year.
Nevertheless, whenever there is open enrollment, there are scores of people purchasing the insurance. However, ever since the act was implemented, it has caused several people to lose insurance cover as well. Now, the number of people who lost insurance cover is minimal in comparison to people who have gained it, but they do exist.
What’s the Employer’s Responsibility?
If you employ more than 50 full time workers, you need provide them with health insurance coverage. According to the Affordable Care Act, you need to provide employees and their dependents with minimum essential coverage with no maximum benefit cap and minimum value. This is explained below:
- Full time employees are people who work for 30 hours a week or 120 days annually or more. Full time equivalent employees also count.
- Essential coverage includes 10 essential benefits that all insurance plans need to cover. These benefits include hospital, prescription drugs, maternity and new born care, rehabilitation, etc.
- Maximum benefit was a restriction that insurance companies placed on the maximum amount remitted during a person’s lifetime for medical expenses. That no longer applies.
- Insurance companies are required to pay at least 60% of the covered benefits.
The employers also need to provide the 1095 forms to their employees as a part of the Affordable Care Act.
Content by Webvisable