More ObamaCare Information

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Many of the Affordable Care Act’s provisions will be beginning in January 2014. For the amount of reform that the healthcare industry is experiencing, it has been difficult for some to be able to keep up with the changes and rules that are being added. The following overview is a short summary of some of the new basics that should be kept in mind about the program.

Some healthcare providers like UnitedHealth and Humana will be letting companies “self-insure.” This means that they will be covering employee medical costs directly. Although there are benefits to the self-insurance option such as bypassing some of the costs for mental health care, sometimes it can leave a business stuck with large bills if there are any unexpected problems with the business in the long run.

The Labor, Treasury, and Health and Human Services departments have already issued a rule that will let employers incentivize wellness. Penalties are worth up to 50 percent of the premium and will push workers to drop weight, work more on exercise, quit smoking, and work towards many other important healthy behaviors. Employees who are participating in their company’s wellness program will be rewarded with a premium discount. This would benefit many people as it would encourage them to start embracing healthier behaviors, which would not only provide them with discounts to their premium, but may also help them to be less likely to need medical treatment or care based on some of their illnesses.

Businesses that have older, sicker employees might have smaller insurance bills based on a provision from the Affordable Care Act. The clause bars insurers from setting coverage rates for small businesses based on the current health of the employee. In situations with fewer than 50 to 100 workers depending on the state, a business would be able to find rates on government-run health care marketplaces instead. This would lead to smaller and more affordable bills, which is one of the main goals of the new law overall. Additionally, it acknowledges the fact that many older, sicker individuals have a difficulty with being able to pay for their insurance coverage or healthcare treatments. The sicker or older someone is, the more difficult it is for them to continue working enough hours to be able to cover the costs associated with current healthcare.

In situations where individuals have been working for companies that have not provided them with any insurance provisions, the Affordable Care Act will make certain that they are insured. Those who are already insured will have the option of deciding if they want to stay with their current insurance plan or if they would like to move on to an insurance plan provided by ObamaCare. If someone decides that they cannot find coverage from either option to be affordable or if they determine that they just don’t want to have insurance, then they will have to pay a penalty for the decision to be uninsured. The goal is to try to get everyone to be insured so that healthcare will be available and affordable for individuals throughout the country.