Health Care Reform: How it Affects You - pantagraph.com

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Health Care Reform: How it Affects You

You’ve seen all the headlines about health care reform in the United States. You may even have heard about new health insurance options coming this fall. What does this all mean for you? If you’re scratching your head, you’re not alone. With just a few months to go before the Affordable Care Act is fully implemented, now is the time to understand your options.

  • The health reform law regarding covering kids up to age 26 on a parents' plan actually started in 2010 and will remain in effect even after most of the other provisions of the law become effective next year. So, children can remain on your plan. For now, if they have an offer of coverage through an employer, they have to take that coverage instead-- until 2014. After 2014, your kids can stay on your plan up to age 26 even if they have another option through their job.
  • I have a question about coverage for a family. I currently have health insurance through my employer but to add my husband and child it would be over $1000 a month since my employer only covers my portion of insurance. From what I've heard, we would fall into the "family penalty" group and would not qualify for a subsidy since it would be considered affordable due to my insurance cost, and not the family insurance cost. We also are over the FPL for a family of 3. Are there any options for us and would we still be able to shop in the marketplace even with the "family penalty"?
  • Hi Patty, this is an issue of concern for many families. The law states that employer-sponsored health insurance is "affordable" if individual coverage doesn't exceed 9.5% of your annual income. It doesn't include the cost of family coverage, which is obviously much higher. Under the law if you have an offer of affordable employer coverage you're not eligible for subsidies through the marketplaces, meaning your family will have to pay the full cost of coverage with no financial assistance from the government. You can shop outside of the marketplace if you wish and if you're not eligible for a tax credit you may find broader options available to you. You can work with an agent.
  • Thank you to everyone for sending so many great questions. We'll also have more live events throughout the summer and fall, so check back on our Live Events page at live.webmd.com. In the meantime, you can also post your questions on WebMD Answers, where Lisa is available to answer questions for us.
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