HEALTH CARE REFORM – WHAT IT MEANS FOR YOU
Health care is a hot topic. Changing health care to make it better, more affordable and within reach of more people is even a hotter topic. That’s why you hear so much about the Federal Government’s health care law. It’s all part of health care reform. But what does health care reform mean for you? Here’s a run-down of five key things to know.
1. Must have health insurance
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act put health care reform in action. This law makes it easier for people in the U.S. to get health insurance. Plus, it can provide federal financial assistance to those who need help paying for it. The law also makes having health insurance a must (with a few exceptions). If you don’t have it, you may have to pay a tax penalty. The Affordable Care Act pushes for every person to have health insurance. It doesn’t matter if you’re out of work or between jobs, if you own your business, left your job early to retire, or go to school full-time. The law says you need to have health insurance. The good news is you have lots of choices. So, finding a plan to keep you legal is easier than ever.
2. No matter where you buy your plan you get the same perks
Thanks to health care reform, you don’t have to worry about being turned down for health insurance if you’re sick or ill. This is exciting news for many people who've struggled with huge medical bills or were afraid to see a doctor because they couldn't afford it. Now, there’s no lid on yearly or lifetime maximum on benefits.
Besides having peace of mind about these things, you can count on every plan having standard features, known as “essential health benefits.” For example, annual check-ups and routine shots are 100% covered when you go in-network. Lots of other services are standard, too.
3. Can stay on a parent’s plan until age 26
The law makes it easier and less expensive for young adults to get health insurance, too. Now, children can stay on a parent’s plan until they turn 26. (In most cases. Check with the individual plan to be sure. Some states and plans have different rules.) Plus, kids can join or stay on a parent’s plan even if they are married, not living with their parents, going to school, not counting on their parents for money, and able to sign up for a plan where they work.
4. Can shop for and compare plans on the Health Insurance Marketplace
The Marketplace is an online shopping center based at HealthCare.gov. It’s a great place to start if you don’t have health insurance or want to find your state Marketplace, if your state has one. You can see what your options are, compare plans, and buy the plan you want. You can also find out if you qualify for federal financial assistance for your Marketplace plan.
Plans in the Marketplace are grouped by metal level and based on how much you and your plan pay together for your health care bills. For example, “Platinum” plans pay the highest portion of your health care bills (90%) and come with the highest price tag. “Bronze” plans pay 60% of your medical bills and come with a lower price tag. So, if you know you have a medical condition that will need care, you may want to shop around and check out all the Marketplace “Platinum” plans. If you’re pretty healthy and believe you won’t need much care, you may want to check out all the Marketplace “Bronze” plans. Once you review your options, you can buy the plan that’s best for you.
5. May be able to get federal financial assistance for your Marketplace plan
Health care reform also puts health insurance in reach for those who need help paying. Getting financial assistance depends on how much money you make and how many people live in your home. If you qualify, you may be able to get aid toward your Marketplace plan from the federal government. See if you qualify for financial assistance.
What plans does Cigna offer?
Find out about the plans Cigna offers:
If you think you may qualify for federal financial assistance, we can also guide you on what you need to do. If you have questions about signing up, check out the 2017 enrollment dates.
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