For many people, the implementation of the PPACA won’t affect their health care coverage. Most individuals covered by Medicaid (Medi-Cal), Medicare or employer group plans will not see any change to their plans. This means that roughly 80 percent of Americans will see no changes in their coverage.
For those without coverage, the Affordable Care Act means they must seek out private insurance, buy insurance from their employer or risk paying the individual mandate penalty. Subsidies are widely available for individuals and families with incomes up to four times the poverty level, which includes income up to $45,960 for an individual or $94,000 for a family of four in 2014.
There are no annual limits that can be placed on essential health benefits, which cover the following areas of care:
These core services must be covered under any individual or small group plan, though this does not apply to grandfathered plans.
If the following cases, the individual mandate doesn’t apply and you do not have to purchase private insurance through an exchange or pay a penalty:
The Affordable Care Act will create health insurance marketplaces in each state in 2014. If you choose not to get insurance through an employer, you can choose from several different options directly from the insurance companies which offer plans through the state exchanges.
In California, the marketplace is called Covered California and includes the following providers:
This is how the yearly penalties will be assessed over the next several years for those who opt to go without insurance and pay the penalty:
Though there are some exceptions, the 2014 changes to the Affordable Care Act also mean that all parties applying for insurance must be accepted, regardless of preexisting medical conditions.
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