Kamis, 24 Mei 2012

What Effect Will the Supreme Court's ACA Ruling Have on Me?

The United States Supreme Court ruled this summer that most of the provisions of the Affordable Care Act were constitutional. Unfortunately, with all the hype about the law, most people have no idea what the ACA actually means to them.

Denials for Pre-Existing Conditions

We've all heard the stories about people who simply could not get health insurance. Whether it was a heart condition diagnosed last year, childhood cancer, or some form of chronic illness, many insurance companies simply did not offer health insurance to some people. The bottom line for the insurer was that these people had already proven to be expensive medical risks. Their premiums were unlikely to cover the costs of future treatment.

Under the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies can no longer deny clients based on their previous health. They can, however, charge higher premiums based on your health history. The monthly premiums and deductibles may be high, but insurance companies must at least offer some form of coverage.

Keep Paying for Your Children

Many parents have decent insurance through their employers, but young adults, especially, those at college age or in their early 20s, may not have access to employer-sponsored healthcare. While they are getting started with their careers or paying off student loans, health insurance might not be a primary life goal. But with the Affordable Care Act, parents can continue to help their children out for a few more years.

Parents have the option to keep adult children on their insurance until the child reaches the age of 26. For young adults struggling to get by, this can mean the difference between regular doctor visits and no coverage at all.

Insurance Availability

Generally speaking, group health insurance is less expensive that individual policies, but for dozens of reasons, people might not be able to qualify for a group policy. Traditionally, most group policies were through an employer, but for the small business owner, work-at-home parent, and those with chronic diseases, an employer-sponsored plan might not be available.

The ACA allows each state to create health insurance group offerings for those who otherwise might not be able to find group insurance. The benefit of a group plan is that the risk is spread to all the group members, usually meaning smaller costs to each member. Under the Supreme Court ruling, the ACA allows states to create so-called insurance exchanges to allow people to find coverage at more affordable group rates.

Despite the Supreme Court's ruling, or maybe because of it, the ACA remains confusing. Hiring an insurance broker to help you identify the plan that best meets your needs is still a great option. A broker can help you look through the offerings and decide what is right for you.

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