Health Care Reform: Questions and Answers
WebMD's Health Insurance Navigator Answers Your Questions
What happens to my under-26-year-old child who is currently on my health insurance plan?
The provision of the Affordable Care Act that allows adult children to stay on their parents' health plan until their 26th birthday does not change as a result of the Supreme Court's ruling. Your child can continue to gain coverage through you.
Will small business employers be required to provide health insurance, or can they force employees to go buy their own?
Starting by 2014, businesses that employ 100 or fewer workers will be able to buy insurance through an insurance marketplace, or exchange. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the insurance small businesses buy through an exchange "would have lower administrative costs, on average, than the policies those firms would buy under current law, particularly for very small firms."
Also keep in mind that if you run a small business that employs fewer than 25 workers earning less than $50,000 a year, and you pay for at least half of your employees' health insurance costs, you may qualify for a tax credit of up to 35%. Starting in 2014, those credits increase to 50%.
What about illegal immigrants?
Insurance coverage will not be extended to people who are in this country illegally. And there will be mechanisms by which states will be able to verify the lawful status of someone applying for insurance coverage through one of the exchanges. "There will be a pretty vigorous process to go through to make sure coverage is only being offered to people here legally," Kofman says.
How does the ACA affect those who are treated through the VA?
The health reform law does not make any significant changes to TRICARE or Veterans Affairs coverage. So, if you're an active or retired member of the military, your current coverage will not be impacted. Also, you will not be required to purchase any additional insurance coverage. (That goes for people with a combination of Medicare and TRICARE coverage as well.)
Will Catholic hospitals/colleges be forced to pay for contraception or abortions?
Women with new health plans can obtain contraceptives without paying any out-of-pocket costs. Religious employers, such as churches, are exempt from this requirement. The insurance companies providing health plans to employers with religious affiliations will be required to cover the cost of contraceptives, not the employer. The Obama administration extended the time until August of 2013 for religious institutions to comply with the law.
Brenda Goodman contributed to this article.