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Health Reform

Much-awaited healthcare reform is underway, as individuals and families prepare for new laws availing affordable health insurance to everyone. The Obama administration's Affordable Care Act (ACA), set as law in 2010, is set to "roll out" in January of 2014.

While "Obamacare" faces some logistical challenges and impediments regarding the ACA mandates to business owners, the benefits of ACA health insurance laws will be available for individuals and families in January 2014. The Obama administration's purpose in writing the law was to address the problems associated with the large percentages of under-insured and uninsured Americans.

Some Benefits of ACA Health Insurance Plans

Benefits of ACA health Insurance plans will include, but will not be limited to:

• Free Preventative Services - These include screenings for early detection of disease. Charging co-pays, co-insurance and deductibles will be illegal.

• Guaranteed Insurance Regardless of Pre-existing Conditions - Insurance companies will no longer be able to deny insurance for either adults or children with pre-existing conditions.

• Tax Credits for Small Businesses - Tax credits are offered to compliant smaller businesses in order to mitigate the cost effects of the ACA.

• Senior Discounts – Seniors (or retirees) dependent upon Medicare will receive discounts of up to 50% on name-brand drugs.

• Student Dependents Guaranteed Coverage - Young adults can "stay" on the parents' packages up to the age of 26.

Affordable Health Insurance Rates

The "bad" news: if you happen to have health insurance, it will not be "grandfathered in," on January 2014. In fact, it will be rendered "null and void." The "good" news: your previous insurance will be replaced by a more affordable plan under ACA. These new plans will be subject to the Minimum Loss Ratio (MLR) law. It requires that for every $1.00 in insurance premiums collected, $0.80 must be paid out in medical claims. And further, if any more than $0.20 per $1.00 (or 20 percent) of your insurance premiums are spent on "administrative" fees, your insurance provider must send you a rebate for the difference in the mail.

Easily Accessible Health Insurance Quotes

One other mandate of the ACA is that the federal and state governments provide easy access to plans. Most plans will be available online through an official "exchange" website. On these, you will be able to quickly apply for healthcare.

Once you have applied, you will receive a variety of plans for which you qualify, based on information that you would have entered on your application. You will, then, be able to select the coverage and provider most appropriate for you. While the benefits of the ACA won't "roll out" until January 1, 2014, enrollment opens as early as October 1, 2013.

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