Chelsey Tucker graduated with a Bachelor of History degree from Metropolitan State University in 2019. She now writes about insurance with her specialty being life insurance and has been quoted on Help Smart Phone and MEL Magazine.

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like Reviews.com.

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Mar 19, 2020

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National health care

National health care insurance is insurance that is provided for a whole country rather than an individual. It is also referred to as universal health care.

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The UK and Canada, for example, have national health care and in the US a national health care program was recently voted into law as the 2010 US Health Reform Bill.

This recent reform has brought up a lot of questions for Americans, especially considering how big the bill was and all of the controversy that surrounded this health care reform bill. If you are looking for a better understanding of America’s national health insurance options, then you have come to the right place.

The Goal of the Health Care Bill

It is the goal of the national health insurance plan to ensure that every American has health insurance of some kind. To do this, they will require businesses that have more than 50 employees to pay 60% of health care coverage.

Employees who work for companies with less than 50 employees will receive a subsidy from the government to pay for their health insurance. To that end, the government has decided that they will apply penalties to both businesses and individuals who do not comply with the national health care plan (discussed in the next section).

In addition, the Obama administration believes that by enacting this national health care plan, the overall cost of insurance rates will come down because the insurance will have to be purchased through private insurance companies. The idea is that insurance companies, in order to get all of this new business, will reduce their prices in order to be more competitive. In addition, it is supposed that health care providers will also reduce their prices for the same reason.

Some health care providers argue that costs will increase because of supply and demand, placing a bigger financial burden on businesses and on the government. Hence, the controversy. Only time will tell.

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Penalties and Subsidies

As mentioned above, every business with more than 50 employees will be required by law to provide health insurance for their employees. They will be required to pay 60% of the cost of coverage with the other 40% being covered by the employee. If the company doesn’t pay for the insurance, they will be fined $2,000 per worker annually.

In addition, the government will subsidize any person or family whose insurance costs are more than 9.8% of their annual income. What this means is that if you make $40,000 a year then your out of pocket health insurance expenses cannot exceed $3,920. If it does, you will receive a subsidy for the difference from the government.

Here is where things get muddy for businesses. If they have a single employee who qualifies for the subsidy, then the government will fine them an additional $1000 for each employee that they have. Not for each employee that qualifies for the subsidy, but for every employee in the company.

This means that if a company has 5,000 employees and one of them qualifies for the subsidy, then their fine will be $5,000,000. This means that an entry level worker with a family would have to make $46,000 annually in order to not qualify for the subsidy.

This is why many companies are saying that they will stop providing group health insurance altogether. If they don’t provide insurance, their fines will be less expensive than paying for the cost of health insurance for their employees. Since the average cost of group health insurance is $12,298 and 60% of that cost is $7,378, an annual fine of $3000 per employee actually is far less expensive.

This can create many problems for people around the country because buying private health insurance requires physicals. If someone has a preexisting condition, then the insurance company won’t cover them. These individuals will have to join high risk pools, which usually equates to lower caps on health care coverage as well as fewer options for care.

You can’t decide for yourself that you don’t want health insurance either. If you don’t purchase health insurance once the national health insurance plan takes affect, you will be fined $695 annually per person with a max of $2,250 for families. The fines will not exceed 2.5% of your annual income.

NOTE: It is important to note that until the national health insurance becomes available, much of what is discussed is speculative. Employers are saying they will drop health care and pay the fines, but that hasn’t happened as of yet. The government believes that costs will come down, but that remains an assumption. In addition, the idea of costs increasing has merits based on the supply and demand concept, but again, there is no way to gauge this until the health care plan actually becomes available.

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When the Plan takes Effect

There are several phases to the new health care reform law. First of all 90 days after the bill was signed, the government required every state to provide high risk pools for people who cannot qualify for private health insurance because of pre-existing conditions. Six months after (September 24, 2010), it will become against the law for insurance companies to exclude children with pre-existing conditions. In addition, the insurance companies cannot put caps on care for children and parents can keep their children on their insurance plan until they are 26 years old.

The actual subsidy and laws don’t fall into place until 2014, at this time companies and individuals will have to pay fines, as mentioned above, if they do not fall within the confines of the law.

The government projects that it will take until the year 2019 before the 32 million people they plan on subsidizing will actually be covered under the national insurance plan.

During this time, the government is raising the money to start paying for this plan. They are doing this by raising taxes. The taxes on health care products increased immediately after the law was signed.

In 2013, the government will raise Medicare taxes for people who make $200,000 or more a year ($250,000 for families). In 2018, a 40% tax will be placed on any health insurance plans that cost more than $25,000 a year. These plans are called Cadillac plans.

As you can see, there is a lot of information and speculation about the national health care plan. You don’t have to wait for it to take effect to find health insurance, however. You can use our free quote tool right now to find health insurance that you can afford.

Click on the online health insurance tool at the top of this page and answer the questions provided. Once you are done, you will be shown quotes from several companies. Since the information is side by side, you can do an apples to apples comparison to ensure that each price reflects the same quality insurance coverage. In 2014 you may receive a subsidy to pay for your health insurance, but can you really afford to wait that long to get the coverage you need to pay for accidents or illness?

Get insurance quotes for health premiums by inputting your zip code now!