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10 of the Most Popular Obamacare Questions Answered

The Affordable Care Act (ACA), known in some quarters as Obamacare, is a law surrounded by confusion and mistaken perceptions. It’s often hard to find a straight answer about some of the most common questions, so we took the time to answer a few.

I already have health insurance. How will Obamacare affect me?

Largely by changing how your policy is administered. For example, your insurer can no longer deny you coverage due to a pre-existing condition, and your children can stay on your insurance until they’re 26. You’ll also find that the amount of preventative care and other services will expand in your insurance.

Am I going to lose my insurance?

It’s extremely unlikely your insurance – whether provided through an employer or through the government – is going to be “revoked.” In fact, Obamacare makes it harder for insurance companies to take your insurance away.

Do I have to get health insurance under the law?

Technically, yes. However, it’s important to note that you can apply for a hardship exemption, and you don’t have to get health insurance if you’re a member of certain religious sects. In most cases, you can qualify for subsidized health insurance if you can’t afford to meet what’s called the “individual mandate.”

What does my health insurance have to cover?

Your health insurance needs to offer services in 10 categories defined by the government. Most plans will tell you directly if they conform to Obamacare mandates.

What happens if I don’t get health insurance?

You have to pay a tax penalty of 1 percent of your taxable income or $95 per person in your household, $47.50 for any children who aren’t insured, whichever is higher. The tax penalty will increase over time.

How do I find insurance?

Under the law, marketplaces or exchanges have been set up for each state. Just go to the exchange and find a plan that works for you. The exchange will also tell you if you qualify for a federal subsidy.

Do I need to use an exchange?

Not at all. In fact, most people will simply keep their insurance through their employer and be covered. This is really only for those who don’t currently have insurance.

I’m on Medicare. How does Obamacare affect me?

It expands your Medicare coverage. You’ll have access to more preventive care services, and the law is designed to address gaps in how Medicare assists you in paying for medication. Otherwise it will be unchanged.

What if I lose my job? Will I still get COBRA?

COBRA benefits remain largely unchanged and COBRA will still be offered to you. If you decide not to accept COBRA, you can simply get insurance from your state’s exchange.

I got a check in the mail from my insurer. What’s that for?

Under Obamacare, insurance companies are required to spend 80 percent of the money they collect on healthcare and health services. Only 20 percent can go to profits and overhead. If they don’t hit that 80 percent threshold, they need to refund you the difference.

These aren’t the only questions, of course, but count on us to answer them as they come in!

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