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Is Obamacare Still a Thing and Do I Need It?

Do you remember those late night comedians who would poll the general public asking them about Obamacare and if they thought it was any better that the Affordable Care Act? We would all laugh because usually people liked one and thought the other program was a waste of time and money. It was funny because Obamacare IS THE SAME THING as the Affordable Care Act (ACA) which is also now termed Healthcare.gov. Leave it to our government to give one thing three names and expect us to try and keep it all straight!

Since Donald Trump has come into office there has been a lot of hype surrounding the Repeal and Replacement of Obamacare. Keep reading for an easy to understand breakdown of where we are and what you need to know when thinking about health insurance options for your family for 2019.

1)  The Individual Mandate was repealed on November 2, 2017 as part of the enactment of the Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017. The individual mandate was the piece of the law that allowed Americans to be penalized up to 2.5% of their Adjusted Gross Income for not having Affordable Care Act health insurance.

a. The repeal does not actually go into effect until 2019, so for those of you that dumped your ACA plan in 2018 when this was announced – you might want to talk with your CPA and prepare.

b. Repealing the Individual Mandate is great news for healthy people who do not utilize much health care on a regular basis. These “healthy people” are no longer forced to pay astronomical prices for insurance they don’t use.

2) Short-term health plans can now be extended to 364 days instead of ending every 90 days. Short-term health plans do not cover pre-existing conditions and may not cover routine health care. Typically, these plans cover hospitalizations and emergencies only.

a. Short-term health plans may be a fit for you if you don’t have any pre-existing conditions, and you typically only see a doctor once or twice a year.

3) Where does this leave Obamacare? The Affordable Care Act HAS NOT been repealed as of the date of this blog. Obamacare is still the best option for those individuals that have pre-existing conditions. The insurance rates are based only on your age and you cannot be denied coverage. Americans who have limited income may qualify for a subsidy to help pay your premium.

a. They way to enroll in an Obamacare plan is to enroll through www.Healthcare.gov. The site is very user friendly and will walk you though all the steps necessary to enroll in coverage, determine if you are eligible for a subsidy to help with the premium cost, and pick a plan based on where you live and what you can afford to pay.

Be careful when entering personal information on line. Never give your social security number or credit card information to someone calling you on the phone. Healthcare.gov is a secure website, and your information is as secure as it can be. If you need help creating an account and enrolling in healthcare.gov, we can help. Call us today.

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