The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act– more popularly known as “Obamacare”– was passed into law in 2010 and includes a multitude of different provisions that are set to go into effect gradually over the next few years through 2020. The complexity of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has left many Americans somewhat bewildered as to what will be expected of them in the coming years regarding their responsibilities to acquire health insurance. It is important that state residents understand the impact of “Obamacare” on Florida residents.
There are so many different provisions in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that it is hard to summarize. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has undeniably benefited many Americans who have a pre-existing medical condition by implementing a nationwide state-sponsored program that allows such individuals to acquire insurance. Also, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act works to increase the accountability and transparency of private insurers by requiring that they notify the public when they increase rates by a significant amount and by prohibiting them from enforcing spending caps on a policy or dropping an enrollee after the onset of an illness.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has already implemented a provision aimed at tackling one of the most significant health insurance problems in the country– young adults. Since September of 2010, private insurers have been forced to continue providing insurance benefits to dependents on a plan until they reach the age of 26, regardless of whether or not they are still students. Also, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act assists young dependents under 19 by prohibiting insurers from excluding such a dependent under a plan due to a pre-existing condition.
In 2014, one of the most significant aspects of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will come into effect. As of 2014, every state is required to have a health benefit exchange in operation. These exchanges will act as online marketplaces where uninsured individuals can shop for health insurance. The impact of “Obamacare” on Florida residents will include access to a federally-run health benefit exchange that will provide them with health insurance options.
One of the major fears that individuals around the country have had in relation to “Obamacare” is caused by the “individual mandate,” which requires that all individuals be insured in some way and that those who are not insured under a group health insurance plan acquire coverage through a private insurer or state sponsored program. Although the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will require some to pay a fee for not being insured, it also expands coverage through Medicaid and other state sponsored programs. It is estimated that only about 2% of the population will have to pay such a fee.
The impact of “Obamacare” on Florida residents will no doubt be large, but hopefully the health care reform brought about by the changes will benefit Florida residents and bring them improved access to health care. It may be worth visiting a lawyers FAQ on insurance to better understand how it may affect you.