Confused About Obamacare? Here’s What You Need To Know About The Health Insurance Law

US Capitol, Washington DC, where Obamacare was passed

By 2022, Obamacare is projected to offer healthcare coverage to 33 million previously uninsured Americans. But if you’re confused by what Obamacare means to you, you’re not alone! The law is thousands of pages long — hardly the type of casual reading you want to do in your free time.

We won’t get into the nitty gritty of Obamacare complexities. We just want to help you understand a few key points. Check out these need-to-know facts about Obamacare.

1. Obamacare Is A Federal Law

Heard of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act? How about the Affordable Care Act or ACA? They’re all just different names for Obamacare — the federal law, passed in 2010, that requires every American to get health insurance.

2. Anyone Can Enroll In Obamacare

Eighty percent of Americans already have healthcare coverage. Obamacare provides insurance options for the tens of millions of Americans who don’t have insurance or need to change their current plan. Whether you’re unemployed, or your employer doesn’t offer health benefits, or you couldn’t afford insurance in the past, or you were denied coverage because of a pre-existing health condition, you now have access to affordable health insurance plans!

3. Obamacare Offers Free Preventive Services

The Affordable Care Act requires that all PPO and HMO plans offer free preventive services — which means you won’t pay extra for annual checkups, immunizations, health screenings, and tests for diabetes, heart diseases, and sexually transmitted diseases. Women get additional free services, including mammography screenings, and certain maternity care services.

4. Obamacare Can Help You Pay For Your Plan

The high cost of health insurance is the top reason that uninsured Americans avoid buying a plan. However, under the Affordable Care Act, the majority of Americans can qualify to get help paying for their healthcare coverage. These subsidies are forms of government-funded financial assistance that lower your monthly premiums or out-of-pocket costs.

Want to find out if you qualify for a subsidy? Talk to an agent today!

5. You Can Get Covered, Even If You’re Already Sick

Before Obamacare took effect in 2013, millions of Americans under 65 had trouble finding an affordable health plan because of a serious health condition. Now that Obamacare bans insurance companies from discriminating against Americans with a pre-existing health condition, no one — not even Americans with a chronic illness, injury, or disability — can be denied healthcare coverage.

6. You Have To Get Insured During Open Enrollment

Open Enrollment is the only time of year that Americans can sign up for a new PPO or HMO plan. However, there are exceptions. If you have a qualifying life event — like moving, having a baby, getting married or divorced, losing or starting a job, or turning 26 — you could be eligible for Special Enrollment. During this 60-day window, you can enroll in or switch to a new health plan, even if Open Enrollment has ended.

Right now, Open Enrollment is open. (It runs November 1, 2016 to January 31, 2017.) If you need health insurance after Open Enrollment has closed, talk to one of our licensed agents! They can help you find out if you have a qualifying event that makes you eligible to buy a plan outside of Open Enrollment.

7. You’ll Pay A Fine If You Don’t Buy Insurance

Uncle Sam can’t kick down your door and force you to buy coverage. But if you opt out of coverage in 2016, you’ll pay a tax penalty that equals 2.5% of your household income — whichever amount is greater!

8. You Can Search For A Plan Right Here!

Not sure which plan you want or where to even start? Get a quote from one of our licensed insurance agents at Regency West Insurance Services. These agents don’t work for the government or for a single insurance company. They represent all insurance providers on the market, which means they can show you plans from multiple insurance providers. When you search for insurance through an agent, you have more options!

Get Help Today, Find A Plan Right Away

Obamacare health insurance — you know you need it, but you don’t to waste your time trying to figure it out. You just want to find an affordable plan that suits your budget and your family’s needs. When you’re ready to shop for health insurance, look to Regency West Insurance Services. A friendly insurance professional will help you compare your options and find the right plan for you and your family.