Myths of the affordable care act AKA obamacare

1)  “I have to purchase coverage through the exchange (aka marketplace)”

I have heard it everywhere that people think they have to purchase coverage through the exchange aka the marketplace. No one has to purchase insurance on this website. If you already have coverage, you do not have to do anything at this point, just wait for your renewal in 2014 from your current health plan. The only reason an individual or family should purchase coverage through the marketplace is if they qualify for a subsidy. In order to qualify, your household income must fall between 100-400% of the federal poverty level and the premium must exceed a certain percentage of your income. If you have coverage or are eligible for coverage through your employer, you or your family will not qualify for a subsidy. In addition, the plans and prices offered on the exchange, will be identical to those offered outside the exchange.  Also, outside the exchange there will be more options available to you. To help address the best options for you, contact your health insurance agent or broker for assistance.

A tool developed by the Kaiser Family Foundation may help determine if you qualify for a subsidy:

2)  “My coverage is being cancelled” or “My carrier says I have to purchase a new plan in 2014”

Be sure to read all the material you receive from your health insurance carrier, carefully. Some letters are simply stating that you are being moved to a plan that will comply with the Affordable Care Act. Your health insurance carrier will attempt to match you up with a plan that is closest to what you had, however your plan will not be the same. The only exception to this is for those who have a grandfathered plan that was put in place prior to March 2010, and has not been modified since then. Other letters you may receive will address the new taxes and fees that are being implemented in 2014, as a result of the Affordable Care Act.

3)  “Everyone will have Universal Healthcare in 2014”

This is by far the biggest myth of them all. Universal healthcare is what is provided in countries such as Canada and the UK, where coverage is provided to its citizens and funded through tax dollars. The Affordable Care Act is NOT universal healthcare. The new law is simply providing residents with the ability to purchase insurance without the fear of being declined for coverage or having increased premiums due to medical conditions. Everyone must take it upon themselves to ensure they have insurance and a health plan that complies with the new law. Coverage is not provided automatically, you must seek it out.

4)  “I don’t have to cover my children”

Yes, all residents must be covered by health insurance, including children. Children must now be covered for medical insurance and pediatric dental coverage. The pediatric dental will typically be available through the medical plan, check your plan to ensure that it does.

5)  Obamacare and the Affordable Care Act are 2 different things.  They are not.  They are the same thing.

6)  The biggest myth of them all:  The Affordable Care Act is affordable.

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