What You Need to Know About Health Care Reform
Financial Help to Buy Insurance
You may qualify for financial help to help reduce the cost of your insurance.
You may be able to get a tax credit to lower the cost of your insurance. Whether you qualify for a tax credit, which is also called a subsidy, will depend on your income and how many people are in your family.
In general, you'll be eligible if you're single and make $46,680 or less a year in 2015, or if you have a family of four and make $95,400 or less a year.
You can find out if you qualify for a tax credit when you apply to buy health insurance through your state's Marketplace.
If you still cannot afford insurance, there is a way to avoid paying a fine. The law says if you don’t have health insurance you may be required to pay a tax penalty. But if you cannot find insurance that costs less than 8% of your income, or if you face a variety of other situations that make it hard for you to get insurance, you can apply for an exemption. If you qualify, you will not have to pay the tax even if you don’t have coverage.
Expansion of Medicaid
You might be able to use Medicaid for the first time. In some states, Medicaid is changing because of health reform. More people will qualify for it.
Under the new rules, you may be able to get Medicaid in 2015 if your yearly taxable income is no more than about $16,243 for one person and $33,465 for a family of four.
Extra Benefits Under the Law
The Affordable Care Act provides several protections and benefits, including:
You can keep your children on your health insurance longer. Your children can stay on your policy until they are 26 years old.
You can get some types of care without paying extra costs. Certain tests and checkups, called preventive services, are now completely paid for by your insurance (unless you carry a health insurance plan that was grandfathered in before March 23, 2010). These include a well-child visit each year, blood pressure and cancer screenings, and flu shots. This means:
- You do not have to make a copay. That’s the amount you usually have to pay each time you see a doctor.
- You do not have to pay anything toward your insurance deductible if your health plan has one. The deductible is an amount you must pay before your insurance pays for any of your care.