We’ve been hearing about Obamacare for over two years now, but many people are still very confused about what it’s about, and what it really means for them.
So, how does all of this really affect you?
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as “Obamacare” or “the Health Care Law” was signed into law on March 23, 2010. The law includes more than 90 changes to existing healthcare policy, and while a few of those changes took affect immediately, most of the larger changes will not happen until 2014.
Many medical organizations, including the National Medical Association, is applauding the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the law.
“The ACA is working,” says Dr. Cecil Bright, NMA President. “More seniors can now afford their meds. Young people can stay on their parents’ health plans until age 26. Insurers no longer deny coverage because of pre-existing conditions, or drop people because they get sick. We are doing a better job of coordinating care, and we now have better prospects for preventing chronic disease. This is our best opportunity in a generation to overhaul our health care system. We look forward to working with the States and the Administration to ensure that the reforms are fully implemented.”
What the Law Means for: The Uninsured
The decision leaves in place the so-called individual mandate — the requirement on Americans to have or buy health insurance beginning in 2014 or face a penalty — although many are exempt from that provision.
In 2014, the penalty will be $285 per family or 1% of income, whichever is greater. By 2016, it goes up to $2,085 per family or 2.5% of income.
What the Law Means for: The Insured
Because the requirement remains for people to have or buy insurance, the revenue stream designed to help pay for the law remains in place. So insured Americans may be avoiding a spike in premiums that could have resulted if the high court had tossed out the individual mandate but left other requirements on insurers in place.
BET Health News - We go beyond the music and entertainment world to bring you important medical information and health-related tips of special relevance to Blacks in the U.S. and around the world. Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.
(Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)