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Obama CareAccording to President Barack Obama, the costs of health care were rising at a rate three to five times faster than wages, placing serious strain on the American people and economy. In fact, the average family’s health care costs have increased by 78 percent since 2008. Obama care, as the Affordable Care Act is often called, was created in an effort to control these costs and give Americans equal access to health care regardless of their current state of health, sex, or age.
One feature of Obama care is a new public health coverage option. This public option is intended to level the playing field and increase competition among private insurers. The public option will be subject to the same regulations and fees as other insurance providers and will be considered a non-profit entity.
Another more controversial feature of the plan is the individual mandate. Obama care requires that virtually all Americans obtain qualified insurance plans or face penalties. Low-income Americans will have access to tax credits that will help them afford quality coverage, while Medicaid coverage will be expanded. Insurance companies will no longer be able to deny or limit coverage to individuals or children with pre-existing health conditions.
Obama care is also designed to strengthen the employer-sponsored health insurance system. Large businesses that do not provide insurance coverage to their employees or that do not adequately subsidize their employees’ premiums may face tax penalties. Small businesses may qualify for tax credits of up to 50 percent of the cost of the premiums when they provide health insurance to their employees. Americans who are unable to obtain affordable health insurance through their employers will have the option to purchase through state or federal health insurance exchanges, which will include both public and private options.
Many changes have already been made thanks to the Obama healthcare plan, but many more are still due in coming years. While you will have the option to keep your current health care plan, new insurance plans may offer more benefits at a more affordable price, thanks to health care reform. Contact one of our insurance professionals today to learn more about your options or to schedule a consultation.