Health Care reform is changing the way health insurance works. Here are major changes coming to the health care system that you should know about:
In 2014, you must have health insurance coverage or pay a tax penalty.
Starting in 2014, every* American or legal resident will have to get health insurance coverage. If you don't, you will pay a tax penalty at the end of the year. How much? In 2014, you could pay $95 per uninsured person in your family up to $285 for the family. But by 2016, you might end up paying around $700 per uninsured person.
* Except for those with religious reasons, exemptions or those who can't find affordable health insurance.
You will be able to get insurance, even if you've been turned down before.
You are guaranteed insurance coverage, even if you have a serious or long-term condition, illness or injury. It doesn't matter if you've applied before or have been turned down for coverage.
You may qualify for a break on your insurance premiums.
Those who make less than four times the Federal Poverty Level may qualify for a break on their insurance premiums. Depending on your income and household size, you could pay as little as $0 each month.
Many health insurance plans will include broader benefits.
Check-ups, blood tests and many common treatments will be covered by your insurance at $0 when you go to an in-network provider. In other words, when you go to the doctor, you won't pay for these services out-of-pocket if you go to a doctor in your network.
Other changes coming to the health care system:
2014 – No more annual limits or lifetime limits on essential benefits
Insurance plans cannot put annual limits or lifetime limits on the amount of claims they pay for essential benefits.
2014 - Health Insurance Reforms
The new rating factors in the individual and small group market are only based on age, where you live and smoking status.
2014 - Acceptable Coverage Required
If you do not have health insurance coverage, you will be charged a penalty of at least $95 in 2014, $325 in 2015 and $695 in 2016.
2014 - Premium Tax Credits
If you make less than 400% of the federal poverty level, you may get a tax credit off the monthly amount you pay for health insurance.
Do I Qualify For Premium Assistance? »Use this tool to see if you'll qualify for a break on your health insurance premiums. This tool will give you a good idea about whether you can expect a subsidy, but is not official. Only the government can tell you if you officially qualify through the Health Insurance Marketplace beginning October 1, 2013.