Need to Talk?

Teenline
1.800.443.8336
available 24/7
Let's Talk
I AM in Control.org Iowa Adolescents Making Choices to Control Their Future Teen:Health, Relationship, Body and Sexuality
Oct 17

Health Insurance Changes

Posted By iamincontrol | October 17, 2013

Have you heard of Obamacare?

Chances are you have, and you’ve probably also heard a lot of strong opinions about this – so strong that is has resulted in the federal government shutting down.  There’s a lot of controversy surrounding healthcare right now, and you probably have enough on your plate without trying to sort through facts and myths floating around out there.  Here are some quick facts about Obamacare (also known as the Affordable Care Act) that are important to know:

  • Starting January 1st, 2014, all Americans are required to have health insurance.  What does this mean for you?  If you don’t have health insurance, talk to your parents about it.  There are many great programs that offer affordable health insurance for kids under the age of 19 such as hawk-i and Medicaid.  Families that don’t qualify for these programs might qualify to get money back from the government for purchasing specific health insurance plans.  Anyone who does not have health insurance by March 31st, 2014, will have to pay a fine with their tax return.
  • Children can stay on their parents’ health insurance until the age of 26.  This law went into effect in 2010 and has helped thousands of young adults stay healthy and avoid expensive medical bills.  What does this mean for you?  You can stay on your parent’s health insurance plan until you are 26, instead of having to pay for a more expensive individual plan on your own or through an employer.
  • Previously, insurance companies could refuse to cover individuals with preexisting conditions, such as asthma or diabetes, who need health care the most.  Under the new laws, insurance companies are required to offer affordable coverage to these individuals as well.  What does this mean for you?  If you or a friend or family member could not previously get health insurance due to an illness or medical condition, you can now get coverage.  Healthcare costs even for healthy individuals can be very expensive, and health insurance is a way to make those costs more affordable.
  • Americans can now go to www.HealthCare.gov to apply for and purchase affordable health insurance, as well as to apply for hawk-i and Medicaid.  This Marketplace allows consumers, like you and I, to compare health insurance plans and choose what is best for their needs.  What does this mean for you?  If you or your family members do not have health insurance, this new Marketplace will offer affordable coverage starting January 1st, 2014.  You can actually go to www.HealthCare.gov now and apply for coverage!

You might be wondering what all the fuss is about if this new law is so great.  Just like any major change, there are some drawbacks.  Here are a few of the main concerns with Obamacare:

  • It’s expensive. While the long-term goal of the law is to reduce healthcare costs, all of these new programs and tax credits might increase government spending and federal debt.
  • Insurance costs may go up as a result of more sick individuals gaining healthcare coverage.
  • There is concern that Obamacare will negatively impact the economy.
  • Some argue the government is out of line in requiring citizens to purchase health insurance.

What do you think about Obamacare?