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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Licensed Auto Insurance Agent Daniel Walker

UPDATED: Apr 3, 2022

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One of the major issues President Obama has taken on during his presidency is a health care reform bill known as ObamaCare, which focuses on health care funding, increasing coverage, reducing cost, and removing the social burden that health care has become. While we wouldn’t want to call this article, “ObamaCare for Dummies” we are sure it will provide you with all the information you need to understand Obama’s health care law.

You can still get online health insurance rates by entering your ZIP code now!

The changes are in the 2010 US Health Reform Bill. Some of the changes will take place immediately, while others will take years to come into effect.

If, like many others, you have been wondering to yourself, “What is ObamaCare?” then look no further. This article will provide more information on the ObamaCare facts and provide specific details of  what exactly is ObamaCare so that as a consumer and United States citizen are aware of the impending changes.

What changes will happen immediately due to Obama Care passing?

There are many changes associated with the over 2,000 page “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” that is now being called ObamaCare. With such a large file comes hundreds of details concerning changes, dates of changes, and requirements that must be met by insurance companies, individuals, and health care professionals. Some of the changes will take place when the Obama health care law officially takes effect in September 2010. A few of the big ones are as follows.

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1. Patients Cannot Be Dropped

The first change that will immediately take place is that health insurance companies will no longer end or refuse to renew coverage unless you have misrepresented yourself or your medical situation, if fraud has been committed, or if you have not paid your premiums. With most employers providing healthcare for full-time employees, premiums are generally paid by employers or through COBRA. If you’re a contractor or otherwise don’t have employer-based insurance, you can go through the health insurance marketplace.

This means that if you have a certain illness or file a large amount of claims with your health insurance company, the health insurance company cannot cancel your coverage.

Whether you pick your plan through the health insurance marketplace or an employer, you cannot be denied due to preexisting conditions. If you have a history of a certain condition and you’re going through the health insurance marketplace, your premiums could be subsidized based on your income. This financial assistance would not apply if you have employer-based healthcare available to you.

2. Immunization and Preventive Care Must Be Covered

Another change is a section of the bill that requires all health insurance companies and all health insurance plans to cover both immunizations and preventive care. The idea is to reduce the barriers to basic patient care that can address problems before they turn into emergencies.

If people are getting their immunizations, immunizing their children, and taking steps to prevent disease and illness through preventive care, it will cost health insurance companies less in the long run.

Preventive care can spot a potential problem before it becomes a full-blown disease that the insurance company would then have to pay for treatment. Unfortunately, things like infections that could be treated with a simple antibiotic when caught early could develop into life-threatening emergencies if left untreated, which is exactly what the affordable care act is looking to prevent.

3. Dependents Can be Covered Until Age 26

A third change has to do with dependents. It used to be that unmarried children could be covered under a parent’s health insurance plan until the age of 23 after which they’d have to get insurance independently or through an employer. if needed, younger adults can still go through the health insurance marketplace. Financial assistance may kick in for low-income adults or those aging out of the foster care system, for example.

Under Obama Care, Obama has changed the health insurance age for children to 26 years of age as long as the child remains unmarried.

This is due to the fact that more grown children are taking longer to complete college or are staying in college to complete both an undergraduate and a graduate degree. This allows college grads and other young adults to establish their own employment and income options before being responsible for their own health care costs.

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4. No Lifetime Caps on Health Care

The last notable change that goes into affect immediately has to do with limits. Health insurance companies can no longer put an annual or lifetime limit on a health care plan that is not reasonable. A limit is an amount of money predetermined by the insurance company. Previously, when it was instituted, the limit was typically high enough that the average person didn’t know or didn’t worry about reaching it. Unfortunately, people did reach this limit when they were in the worst times of their lives.

Once an individual reaches this limit, they have to pay all other medical expenses out of pocket. This practice was put into place by insurance companies due to the rise of cancer. What is considered reasonable will be based on income, family size, and past usage of medical benefits. With the rise of Obamacare, insurance companies cannot stop payment in this manner.

What changes will occur in the long run?

There are many more changes that will go into affect over the next 5 years due to Obama Care. The most significant change for the average American is the removal of pre-existing conditions. For years, pre-existing conditions have caused millions of Americans to be without adequate coverage for diseases. ObamaCare requires the removal of pre-existing clauses from all health insurance plans by 2014.

Another significant change is that Americans who do not obtain minimal health insurance coverage by the year 2014 will have to pay a penalty of $95. This penalty will rise every few years.

This is supposed to be a motivational tool to get those who aren’t even sure what coverage they qualify for or how to get that coverage to start researching. Americans who can afford it, will need to get a health care plan or pay the penalty. This parto of the legislation has been ruled by many as unconstitutional and as such has been touted as the main reason  as to what is wrong with the ObamaCare bill. The Supreme court is expected to make a decision as to the legality of the health care reform bill June, 2012.

Getting Coverage Now

This ObamaCare summary doesn’t highlight every details in the 2,000 page health care bill, but it does provide you with valuable knowledge as to what you need to know as US citizen. Keep these changes in mind as you search for a health insurance plan for yourself and your family. Searching online will provide you with a lot of helpful information such as rates and quotes. These can be obtained by using the free online comparison tool. Now when you friends and family ask you, “What is ObamaCare about?” you can proudly tell them what they need to know.

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