General Question

luke101's avatar

What is Obama care and how will it affect me?

Asked by luke101 (49 points ) September 13th, 2012

I am 37 years old without health insurance. I do have 2 dependents without health insurance as well. Will Obama care cover myself and dependents?

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24 Answers

Qingu's avatar

Why don’t you have insurance?

If you cannot afford insurance, the law will give you money to buy it. (It also expands Medicaid in many states, which you might qualify for.)

If you can afford insurance but choose not to, then the law will fine you via a tax increase.

josie's avatar

See above. If it were me, I would do anything in my power to buy it on my own terms. If the government gives you assistance, there will ultimately be provisions, restrictions, conditions etc. that you will hate. At this moment, most of the people who bitch about Obama care are the ones who will be affected least by it, and the ones who can’t wait for it will be it’s victims. In a few years the ones bitching the most will be the ones who thought they were getting a freebie.

jerv's avatar

It’s a rather comprehensive program that covers many things, including the cost of healthcare, and insurance eligibility. It also provides incentives for employers to offer health insurance, provides subsidies for small businesses that cannot afford to offer insurance, and provides subsidies to those individuals that cannot afford insurance.

How it will affect you depends on your circumstances. For instance, why do you not have insurance? That makes a difference. Pre-existing medical conditions no longer disqualify you from being covered.

Obamacare is also a favorite target of Conservatives, who will say/do anything to convince people that it is worse than pedophilia. Sure, it’s a government thing with red tape and all, but really no worse than any corporation has. The only difference is that business is allowed to do whatever they want for any (or no) reason while government isn’t. This will affect you by being bombarded with hate on one side and naive idealism on the other until you get a headache bad enough to require medical attention.

ETpro's avatar

@jerv has it about right. For the headache, take two aspirins and call me in 2014 when the full law goes into effect. For now, it doesn’t have much impact on you unless you do decide to buy coverage. In that event, the law mandates that your insurer spend at least 80% of their revenue on delivery of healthcare services. So for a fair number of Americans, it means that this year they got something quite unusual, a check from the insurance company they are in the habit of only sending checks to.

@josie is one of our resident government haters. I have medicare and it’s a Godsend for me. All the seniors I know feel the same way. It is so superior to the brutally expensive for-profit insurance I was buying while in my early 60s that it just makes me sad to read tripe like the right constantly pukes in our ears.

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_Whitetigress's avatar

.61 cents! Why thats about… 12 plastic water bottles for me in California :D I take every cent I can get while I’m in college. recycling will probably be a life time thing for me

To answer your OP I think this will be great. I’m trying to take good care of my body. I think as along as you schedule regular appointments you should be fine. The scary part is where the conditions of emergency patients are under government control and fine print. (We’ll probably hear a lot more Terr Schiavo stories except with the plug being pulled immediately rather than later)

People need to realize Obama Care isn’t 100% What program starts out as perfect anyways? I say it will create less stress for U.S. citizens in the long run and at the least everyone will have their health. I know I won’t be in a job that offers health insurance for the next 2 years until I get a degree, and I probably won’t qualify for Medi-Cal because my wife supposedly makes so much money she could afford to put me on her insurance policy. Currently, they aren’t taking into account the bills required to eat healthy. They want us to eat ramen high sodium diets so we can lose our health and not be able to perform at work before we can qualify for Medi-Cal. I applied for it last week, go in for an interview tomorrow. If I don’t get accepted I’m going to be pretty upset with the government right now. I saw a ton of junkies at the health center applying for cash aid, probably food stamps as well and they looked like regulars, talking to their friends when passing by them in the hallway. Also there were a ton of people who didn’t speak a lick of English applying. Now, I’m not racist or anything and if they qualify good for them. What I’m saying is, I’m a part time student, part time worker, 4 classes away from transferring, putting my self through college, I’m hoping I can get some goddamn slack while trying to climb to the top. If not, I’m going to be one upset liberal in this country.

sinscriven's avatar

What is Obamacare and what did it change?

The link above is a pretty comprehensive list of changes explained in simple plain language (with citations if you question it’s accuracy), including responses to frequently mentioned criticisms.

The mandate requiring healthcare is controversial but there is a good reason for it, since it keeps people from trying to game the system. Group health plans function by pooling the money of everyone in the group and then draw from it as needed, but if you have someone who wants to gamble with their life and never buy insurance and then all of a sudden wants coverage when they get cancer, then they become a full on loss for the group’s other participants and the insurance companies because that person didn’t pay into the system at all and is going to become a huge drain on it.

Qingu's avatar

@josie, can you cite what “provisions, restrictions, and conditions” people receiving subsidies are going to be subject to under the law?

tom_g's avatar

^^ And @josie, please outline how this will differ from your current health insurance.

I love when people use “if government got involved” comments and go on to describe what already exists. “If government got involved in making ice cream, it would probably melt if you were eating it on a hot day.”

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bkcunningham's avatar

@Qingu, can you please cite the page and section of the law that explains how, “If you cannot afford insurance, the law will give you money to buy it.”

Qingu's avatar

@bkcunningham, I can’t find an html version of the act itself, but the subsidies appear to be spelled out in Title II: The Role of Public Programs.

http://www.healthcare.gov/law/resources/authorities/health-reform-and-hhs.html

The subsidies work with insurance exchanges, to go into effect in 2014. Basically if you do not have insurance through your employer, you will be able to buy it through a competitive exchange and if you are poor (but not poor enough to qualify for Medicaid) you will be eligible for tax credits to help you afford it, on a sliding scale.

http://www.healthcare.gov/law/features/choices/exchanges/index.html

Here are some other sources about the subsidies:

http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/the-best-life/2012/07/27/how-new-health-insurance-subsidies-will-work

http://www.kff.org/healthreform/7962.cfm (contains link to pdf with more details)

jerv's avatar

@tom_g If business did a better job, government would not need to get involved, but the type of person you describe would never admit that. If they truly believed in a free market, they would go after private industry for dropping the ball, providing an inferior service, and making government intervention not only desirable, but necessary. Obamacare never would have happened if insurance companies met the needs and desires of the consumer, so they have only themselves to blame.

bkcunningham's avatar

@Qingu, I looked through the links and I still don’t see what you were referring to when you said, “If you cannot afford insurance, the law will give you money to buy it?”

Qingu's avatar

Really, @bkcunningham ? I don’t think you looked.

“Beginning in 2014, enormous insurance premium subsidies and payment supports will be available under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to millions of lower-income individuals and families.”

“The law’s consumer subsidies—premium tax credits and help with out-of-pocket health expenses—will be available to people who cannot meet its individual mandate to have health insurance, meaning they are unable to find affordable coverage from employers or other private insurance plans. Instead, they will turn to the new state insurance exchanges that are scheduled to be created next year.”

bkcunningham's avatar

I didn’t see it, @Qingu. Is that from one of the articles you linked? I was looking for it in the legislation itself to be honest. Unless it is a sourced news article with references to the PPACA, it isn’t going to be of any benefit to me. Thanks anyway though.

Qingu's avatar

@bkcunningham, just for you, I found it.

“Subtitle E—Affordable Coverage Choices for All Americans
PART I—PREMIUM TAX CREDITS AND COST- SHARING REDUCTIONS”

The relevant section starts on page 110. Here’s the PDF.

bkcunningham's avatar

Thank you very much, @Qingu. It is for someone else, but it is very much appreciated. Thank you again.

ETpro's avatar

@bkcunningham That’s why the major insurers eventually backed it. It is a huge new pool of customers for them, and while the law mandates the drop preexisting condition exclusions and lifetime caps, the 30 million new customers more than makes up for that.

snowberry's avatar

My doctor does not take health insurance, and I chose him because of that. I want a doctor who will actually help me rather than kowtow to the insurance system. Mostly he “prescribes” supplements, but every once in a while I end up with an actual prescription. Lately I’ve had some health concerns that require some technology that actually will be covered by insurance.

Years of personal experience has taught me to hate insurance companies. They are glorified scam artists.

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