The Kaiser Family Foundation says there are about four main ways we will all experience healthcare once the law is in effect. Half of all Americans will still have insurance coverage through their jobs. One third will be on Medicare or Medicaid, one in 10 will purchase private insurance through a healthcare exchange and one in 10 will still not be able to get coverage.
On Oct. 1, unless something changes, you have the first opportunity to sign up for the act. So here are the top five things we think you need to know before Tuesday.
- Don't panic, plan: While nearly everyone will be effected by the act - if you have insurance, it will likely change, if you have been uninsured, you will need to sign up - panic is not the answer. Instead, do some research. Starting at the Kaiser Family Foundation Web site is a great idea.
- Find someone local to help: The Will County Health Department is currently training six counselors for in-person outreach and education. The program was funded by a grant. For an appointment call 815-727-5990. For more information on the program, click here.
- Act Earlier Rather than Later: After the law is in effect, you will not be able to sign up for insurance coverage at any time. Instead, you’ll be able to sign up only during specified open-enrollment
periods. This year, a special six-month period lasts from Oct. 1 to the end of March 2014. Later enrollment periods will be shorter. Earlier purchasing for private insurance might also turn out to be less expensive.
- Here is a simple way to look at the changes, thanks to the Seattle Times:
- If you make less than $15,856 ($32,499 for a family of four) you
likely will qualify for Medicaid, the federal-state plan that has been
- If you make up to $45,950 ($94,200 for a family of four) you may get a subsidy that will reduce your premiums.
- If your income is low enough, you can qualify for a second type of subsidy to help with cost sharing (out-of-pocket costs). It also will link you with various other services, if you qualify.
- If you make less than $15,856 ($32,499 for a family of four) you likely will qualify for Medicaid, the federal-state plan that has been greatly expanded.
- Although part of the law originally included a requirement that businesses with more than 50 employees had to insure or pay a penalty, the federal government delayed that requirement to 2015. So if you work for a small business, you might have to insure yourself for 2014.