The media has been overflowing with updates about the Affordable Care Act, or ObamaCare. However, sorting out the facts from the fiction has become difficult—especially with so many debates and disagreements raging on.
Here’s a look at some of the facts about ObamaCare, its impact on the nation's healthcare, and what the objectives behind the policy are.
The purpose of the Affordable Care Act is to get more Americans enrolled in healthcare plans. The President was discouraged bythe amount of uninsured citizens. ObamaCare makes it mandatory for people to purchase some form of insurance, unless they have a specified reason to be exempt.
Statistics show that 85 percent of Americans are already insured to some extent. These insured Americans should be able to continue their policy as is—without making any changes. They are already enrolled in Medicare, some form of private insurance, or Medicaid.
However, 15 percent of Americans don’t have any form of insurance whatsoever. These people will have to get a plan in 2014, or face a penalty for each month that they’re uninsured. These individuals are not expected to pay huge amounts for their plans. There are cost assistance subsidies that will lower the price of basic plans and make them as affordable as possible.
By 2015, the Affordable Care Act is aiming to have all major employers offer employee healthcare, whether those employees are full time or part time. As a result, the number of Americans who get insurance through their employers is expected to rise tremendously (currently 48 percent of Americans).
There are three ways to sign up for health insurance in accordance with the Affordable Care Act. The first is throughthe government site, the second is through an insurance broker, and the third is directly from the provider.
Statistics complied by Social Science Research Solutions and Esurance.com show that there will be an average increase in premiums across the board when ObamaCare is fully up and running. The only groups that are expected to have slightly lower average premiums are people aged 22 to 40, and citizens who are in the highest 25 percent of the income bracket.
While many people are up in arms about the raised premiums, it’s important to remember that there’s a huge increase in coverage attached to this price hike. The purpose of ObamaCare was not to reduce the price of insurance, but to provide all Americans with better and more comprehensive coverage.
There are plenty of fair criticism of ObamaCare. Here’s a look at two major concerns that people have with the health insurance policy.
1. Employers may stop offering healthcare to their employees. If they feel as though the government is going to pick up the cost of providing healthcare, there’s no incentive for them to do so. While ObamaCare states that they want all employers to provide healthcare by 2015, no formal agreement has been reached on this matter.2. The government could end up being unfair competition to health insurance companies. If they offer a low-cost plan that has terrific coverage, everyone will sign up for this policy. As a result, private companies would lose a huge amount of business, and it would add too much strain to the government plan, which is only meant for a select group of people. Regulation may be needed to limit the criteria for people who can apply to this plan.While ObamaCare has faced its fair share of criticism, the bottom line is this: more Americans will have health insurance. If the kinks in ObamaCare are smoothed out over the next few years, it will prove to be a successful parting gift from this President.
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