There’s a lot to the health care law. But it’s based on a few simple principles, which we’ve described below in a mere 214 words. Follow the links for more details.
- If you have health coverage you like, you can keep it. Children under 26 can stay on a parent’s health insurance plan.
- If you don’t have coverage, you can use the new Health Insurance Marketplace to buy a private insurance plan.
- Pre-existing conditions are covered. So are many preventive services and 10 essential health benefits.
- Depending on your family size and income, you may get lower costs on monthly premiums and out-of-pocket costs.
- You may also qualify for free or low-cost coverage from Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Many states are expanding Medicaid to cover more people in 2014.
- If you don’t have coverage in 2014 you’ll have to pay a fee. In 2014 it’s $95 per adult ($47.50 per child) or 1% of income, whichever is higher. The family max is $285.
- If you have coverage and want to explore Marketplace plans, you can. But if you have an offer of insurance from an employer, you may not be able to get lower costs on Marketplace insurance based on your income. It depends on whether the insurance you’re offered is considered affordable and meets minimum standards.
- Medicare isn’t part of the Marketplace. If you have Medicare, keep it.
- Marketplace open enrollment starts October 1, 2013. It closes March 31, 2014.
Share your story
Now that we’ve told you about the health care law in 214 words, tell us why health insurance is important to you. Are you looking forward to getting covered in 2014?
- See what Jaime, Lupita, Howard, Mailk, and Alejandra have to say.
- Share your thoughts in a Tweet using the hashtag #GetCovered
- Leave us a comment on Facebook in 14 words or less
- Submit a comment below
And help us spread the word! Open enrollment begins on October 1, 2013. Coverage starts as soon as January 1, 2014.