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A Short Intro to Healthcare Reform:

You must have health coverage or pay a tax penalty.

  • Most individuals will have to have health insurance coverage. If you don't, you will pay a tax penalty on your federal income tax return at the end of the year. How much? In 2016, you'll pay the higher of these two amounts:
    • 2.5 percent of the total yearly income of each member of your household
    • $695 per person.

    You will be able to get insurance, even if you've been turned down before.

    • You are guaranteed health 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. Use this online premium assistance tool to see if you may qualify for premium assistance.

    Many health insurance plans will include broader benefits.

    • Preventive and wellness services 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 important points about the healthcare system:

    • No more annual or lifetime dollar limits on essential benefits

      • Insurance plans cannot put annual dollar limits or lifetime dollar limits on the amount of claims they pay for essential benefits.

    • 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. Premium is not based on your health.
    • Acceptable Coverage Required

      • If you do not have health insurance coverage, you may be charged a penalty of at least $695 in 2016.

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