The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or simply Obamacare are all names which describe the same Act. This raises the question, “what is Obamacare anyway?” Obamacare, signed into law on March 23rd 2010, is a regulatory overhaul of the US healthcare system. Under Obamacare, hospitals and physicians would be required to make changes to their practices on a financial, technological and clinical level, with the aim being to drive better health outcomes, lower health care costs and improve the methods of distribution and access of healthcare.
This is done through increasing the quality and affordability of health insurance, lowering the rate of uninsured by increasing private and public insurance coverage and reducing the costs of health care to government and private individuals. Under the Act, insurance companies are mandated to ensure all applicants under new minimum standards and offer equal rates, regardless of issues such as pre-existing conditions. The Act met with stiff resistance from several quarters before eventually being passed into law, matters even reaching the U.S. Supreme Court. The majority of the provisions of the Act took effect on January 1st 2014, with the rest scheduled to take effect by latest 2020. Studies have generally shown the Act to be a positive influence on health care in America, though many areas are still inconclusive.
Obamacare enables access to all to health care services and insurance through several provisions. The provisions are:
- Guaranteed Issue- This ensures that no individual can be discriminated against or denied coverage based on race, gender or pre-existing conditions. Insurers must also offer equal premiums across the board to all individuals of the same age or geographic location.
- Minimum Standards – the Act allows for ten essential services that must be included with any health care plan. These are; outpatient care; lab services; pediatric dental and vision; prescription drugs; mental health services and addiction treatment; maternity and newborn care; emergency care; hospitalization; emergency care and free preventative services.
- Health Care Exchanges- individuals and companies can now peruse health care options, compare policies and select the best option to suit their needs.
- Low-Income Subsidy- Low-income families whose income falls between one hundred per cent and four hundred per cent of the federal poverty level will have access to subsidies for health care once they acquire health care via an exchange.
- Medicaid Expansion- Medicaid access is expanded to include families or individuals with income values up to one hundred and thirty-three per cent of the federal poverty level. An additional five per cent layer is also added making the effective limit one hundred and thirty-eight per cent.
- Dependant Expansion- Dependants may now be covered on their parent’s insurance up till the age of twenty-six. The regulation also allows for dependants who no longer live with their parents, no longer students, no longer on the parent’s tax return or are married.
- Limits to Insurers- Insurers are limited from imposing limits on essential benefits. Insurers are also prevented from dropping policyholders in the advent the policyholder becomes ill.
The Act goes on to list several more benefits to Americans in access to health care and health care insurance.
Obamacare was conceptualized and enacted to assist Americans in gaining access to health care services and health care insurance they needed, without some of the preventative costs previously associated with health care. With access to preventative health care in particular, Americans can ensure that they keep themselves healthier for longer. Treatment and care from specialists is more readily available to those of the lower incomes, who may not have had access in the past.
How to Apply for Obamacare
There are currently three ways to sign up for an Obamacare compliant insurance policy. One can use the website, healthcare.gov, use their state health exchange where available, or purchase private health insurance that meets the criteria for minimum Obamacare standards. The process is similar using the .gov website and the state exchanges so we will describe the website process here. Remember that one may also telephone contact the relevant body to speak to a representative or walk into the nearest government exchange and receive face to face assistance. The process is as follows:
- Sign up for an account with Healthcare.gov
- Provide general contact information
- Verify your identity
- Provide more detailed contact information
- Disclose whether you are getting assistance with the application
- State whether you need help with paying for insurance
- State your familial coverage needs
- Provide Family household information
- Provide Income details
- Review and answer some final questions
- See whether you qualify for a subsidy
- Choose an Insurance plan
Marc Sporn Health
Marc Sporn Health is here to help you maximize your usage and benefit of The Obamacare Act. We are a group of health-minded individuals who have created an environment where consumers can gain the best advice on any health and health insurance-related matters. We will advise on new policy selection, we advise on the details of existing policies, we consult and advise businesses on the administration of their Obamacare packages. Marc Sporn has a plan to improve the already improving sector of health care and is giving every individual the opportunity to avail themselves of his expertise in the field.
How Marc Sporn Can Help You!
Marc Sporn Health can assist in various ways, to improve your health care situation. We do the following:
- Assist those who have been denied- under previous health care insurance law, insurers had the right to exclude anyone from coverage. Often those with the greatest need were also the ones being barred from coverage. With the passage of the Act, now virtually everyone has access to health care and health care insurance and Marc Sporn can help you navigate what can be a tricky world with staggering amounts of options.
- Policy Assessment- Marc Sporn is an expert in health insurance and can assess the details of your health care insurance policy down to the finest detail. This could easily save or earn the average consumer thousands of dollars a year, which they could be missing out on through a lack of expert knowledge on their policy.
- Obamacare for Business Owners- Any business with more than fifty full-time employees must provide health insurance for those workers. Fees will be levied if companies are not compliant with this and Marc Sporn can manage your Obamacare obligations ensuring that your company never runs afoul of federal regulations as well as ensuring your employees and their dependents get the best health care available.