Figuring out how the law affects your ongoing health and healthcare plan can be overwhelming at times, but understanding the basic facts about Obamacare (The Affordable Care Act) is enough to make sure that you are covered and avoiding unnecessary fees. We’ve put together some of the top facts about the Affordable Care Act to ensure that you’re fully clued up on where your health fits in.
The Affordable Care Act, also commonly referred to as ObamaCare, requires you to get and keep major medical insurance, also known as minimum essential insurance, throughout the year. For each month that you go without coverage, you will be required to pay a fee, although there may be the option for certain patients to get an exception. This requirement to purchase health insurance is often referred to as the ‘individual mandate’ within health care law, and the required fee is known as the ‘individual shared responsibility payment’. When it comes to being exempt from paying the fee, there are over twenty listed exemption reasons, including a short coverage gap lasting three months which everyone qualifies for, and exemptions based on income and ability to pay the fee.
Minimum Essential Coverage
So, when you sign up to Obamacare, what does minimum essential coverage entail? Minimum essential coverage will cover all marketplace coverage along with most major medical coverage which is sold outside of the marketplace, covering the majority of patients for all of their healthcare needs. The Affordable Care Act also covers Medicare and Medicaid along with employer based coverage, however, the coverage does not also include short-term health insurance. In layman’s terms, this means that when buying a health insurance policy, you should ask your provider whether or not your policy will count as minimum essential coverage.
Unless you meet the criteria to qualify for Medicare, you can use Healthcare.gov in order to sign up and enroll in a healthcare plan during the enrollment period for your particular state. Your state’s marketplace provides you with the tools and resources to compare the various plans on offer, apply for assistance with costs if necessary, and determine whether or not you fit the criteria to qualify for Medicaid. Your state’s marketplace and the government healthcare website not only offers health law and policy advice when it comes to the Affordable Care Act, but you will also be able to get support and assistance if required 24/7 via telephone, web-chat, or even in-person.
When You Can Purchase Medical Insurance
Under the Affordable Care Act, you are only able to purchase a qualifying insurance policy during your state’s open enrollment period. The only exception to this is if you have recently experienced a major life change, for example if you have moved to a new state, got married, or been made redundant. A major life change such as these could qualify you for a special enrollment period in the Health Insurance marketplace.
The Affordable Care Acts aims to provide everyone with medical insurance that they can afford and rely on. You can learn more about it here.