If you’ve looked online for information about the Affordable Care Act, you’re probably familiar with the avalanche of information available on the subject. With so much information out there, it can be confusing trying to separate the facts about Obamacare from the fiction. This basic guide will help you determine fact from fiction when it comes to Obamacare.
Basics of the Affordable Care Act
Here is what’s in store in 2014 from the Affordable Care Act
- More generic drugs can be approved by the FDA
- Increases rebates on drugs for Medicare plans, closes the donut hole and offers donut hole rebates for Medicare Part D
- A non-profit, non-affiliated group, the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, will decide what treatments work best and most cost-effectively
- Chain restaurants have to disclose caloric content
- Forbids disability-based discrimination by insurance companies
- Elimination of yearly coverage maximums or lifetime limits
- Children can be covered as dependents until age 26 under a parents plan
- Tax rebates and subsidies for individuals and families between 100% and 400% of the poverty line
- Insurers have less ability to alter the price of a plan and must report all proposed rate increases
- An appeals process for denied claims
- Better consumer protections and fraud prevention
- Flex spending accounts will have a limit of $2500
- Preventative care provided without cost with any new plan
- Coverage cannot be denied on the basis of gender or pre-existing conditions
- Individual mandate means most people will have to buy insurance or face a penalty.
Popular Misconceptions About Obamacare
There is a lot of misinformation surrounding the implementation of Obamacare since it has became such a politically charged issue. Some of the more popular complaints are that the Affordable Care Act represents a single-payer system, socialized medicine, Kevorkian-like death panels for seniors, a pro-abortion stance and gives coverage to undocumented workers.
In fact, none of these things are true. Let’s address some of the myths surrounding Obamacare by looking at how the bill will actually work.
- The Affordable Care Act will give coverage to illegal and undocumented workers. This is expressly forbidden in the terms of the bill.
- You will have to give up current coverage and enroll in a new plan. For the vast majority of Americans, nothing will change. If you were enrolled in a plan as of March 23, 2010, then you are grandfathered in and will remain so unless you alter your coverage.
- Obamacare is an attempt at socialized medicine or government run health care. False. Private citizens will still be buying private insurance from private companies.
- All businesses will have to extend coverage to their employees. Business are encouraged to offer health coverage, but certainly don’t have to.
- It will reduce existing Medicare benefits. No cuts are allowed to guaranteed Medicare benefits, which is included in the wording of the bill.
- Obamacare will implement end of life counseling, famously referred to as “death panels.” This portion of the bill was struck down, though similar provisions were approved for Medicare in 2003.
- Federal funds will be used for abortions. The states, not the federal government, will be determining what type of plans they offer and they must offer at least one that does not include abortion coverage.