Don't have insurance? Like your employer-provided plan? On Medicare? Find out how the health care bill might affect you.
If you don’t have insurance …
- People who do not receive health insurance would face a penalty starting in 2014. That year, the uninsured would face $95 a year or 1 percent of a household’s income. The fine would increase after 2014, with some exceptions.
- Uninsured people would be required to buy insurance through one of the new state-run insurance exchanges. The insurance exchange will pool buying power and allow people to purchase private insurance plans.
- Insurance companies will no longer be allowed to simply tell you “no.” They will be required to offer coverage regardless of your health status, and they can’t increase rates or drop you from your coverage when you get sick.
- Insurance companies will no longer be allowed to deny coverage to children with pre-existing conditions. Uninsured adults with pre-existing conditions will have access to a high-risk pool.
If you have employer-provided insurance …
- Nothing in the health reform bill will require you to change your coverage. You will not have to switch doctors.
- Insurance companies will no longer be allowed to place a lifetime limit on the amount of care they pay for. And in some cases insurance companies with excessive overhead costs will be required to give you a rebate.
- The legislation will standardize forms to reduce overwhelming paperwork.
If you’re a student …
- Dependent children up to age 26 would be eligible for coverage under their parents’ plans. Current state-by-state rules sometimes cut off coverage for children at 18 or 19.
If you’re a business owner …
- Beginning in 2014, those with 50 or more workers could face federal fines for not providing insurance coverage.
- Small businesses will have the opportunity to buy coverage through an insurance exchange, a marketplace where you can shop for health insurance.
- Many small businesses will be able to get a tax credit to help cover the cost of the coverage they offer.
If you’re on Medicare …
- Guaranteed Medicare benefits will not be cut.
- The program’s “doughnut hole” will be closed. Preventive services like cancer screenings will be free, and there will be a substantial reduction in prescription drug prices if you fall into the coverage gap.
- The Medicare Trust Fund will be extended for more than 9 years.
- Nothing in the health reform bill will require you to switch doctors.
For more details and to read the text of the bill, visit www.whitehouse.gov/health-care-meeting/proposal