Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Health Care Reform Bill....How Does This Apply to Me?

   Today the Health Care Reform Bill has been signed by President Obama. As I see it a STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION!
   If you have been living under a rock the past couple days, then I am sure you have missed the big controversy surrounding the Health Care Reform Bill. It was a close vote, and people who oppose it are calling it socialist and unconstitutional. The part they are calling unconstitutional is that with this bill by 2014 there is a mandate that we must have health insurance or you will have to pay a  $95 fine or 1% of your income (whichever is greater). People are saying this is crossing lines, and that it offends the constitution.
   However, there are some great things about this bill, that I think most people will agree.
   First, Children can stay on their parent's policies until they are 26. This is a great thing for students going to college, or who have just graduated and are starting out on their own, and can not afford their own insurance.
   Second, there will be prescription drug discounts for seniors, I believe it was $250, and this will be effective this year.
   Third, their will be no cancellations and no denials for pre-existing conditions. This to me is the most important. I was diagnosed with Asthma at a young age, and I could not have imagined if the insurance would have denied me coverage, because I was ill. Also, with a Lupus and Myasthenia Gravis diagnosis, and several medical treatments including a Thymectomy all by the age of 19, if it weren't for my father's excellent insurance (he is a teacher) I would be drowning in debt from medical costs. I think that this is a wonderful thing, and defnitely a step in the right direction.
    There are a few other things that this bill includes. If your income is less than $29,327 you qualify for Medicaid. If your income is between $29,327 - $88,200 you qualify for the state insurance exchange.
    If you are a family of 4 or more your premums will be subsidized.
    Now, if you are wealthy (over $250,00/year) you are going to have to pay an additional 3.8% tax on investment income.
    If you have "cadillac coverage" there will be a 40% tax on premiums exceeding $27,500.
    For most of those who are insured presently, your premiums should stay the same.  Effective in 2013 there will be a flex spending account limit of $2500.
    If you pay more than 9.5% of your income on your premium you can buy insurance through the state exchange program.
   These are a few points of what is covered in this bill. I know that President Obama is going to travel around the nation answering questions and trying to "sell" this as best he can to America. I do not consider myself very knowledgable on this subject by any means, and have a lot of questions myself. What do you think about the Health Care Reform Bill? Please leave your questions and comments.

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