Q. The Affordable Care Act has been upheld by the Supreme Court. Now what?
A. Starting in 2014, anyone will be able to get Health Insurance, which covers pre-existing conditions. In the mean time, various unfair Insurance Company practices have been banned.
Q. What’s a Health Insurance Exchange?
A. It's the same thing as an Assigned Risk Pool for automobile insurance. If you (or your employer) can't get real health insurance, then you go to the exchange.
Q. The Supreme Court also ruled on the “Medicaid expansion.” What does this mean?
A. Medicaid is health insurance for people on welfare. The new plan will make poor people who have a job eligible for it.
Q. I’m unemployed and can’t afford health insurance. What does this ruling mean for me?
A. Probably nothing. You have to be seriously poor to qualify for Medicaid.
Q. My employer already provides coverage for me and my family and I like my plan. Do I need to do anything differently?
A. Your employer will decide whether to change the plan.
Q. I just graduated from college and don’t have a job yet. How will I get insurance?
Q. I’m uninsured now. When am I required to get insurance, and what happens if I don’t buy health insurance?
A. January 1, 2014. If you make $50,000 per year, you will pay a fine of $500 per year in 2014, then $1000 in 2015, and $1250 after that. This is the "Healthy Young Person" tax, which is part of how the Medicaid expansion will be paid for.
Q. Why is there a penalty in the law?
A. The government needs the money.
Q. I’m covered by Medicare. What does the law mean for me?
A. Your Medicare benefits will continue and they will improve slightly. As long as you can find a doctor who takes Medicare patients, you will be fine.
Q. I own a small business. How will the law affect me and my employees?
A. There will be a lot more paperwork.
Q. Isn’t insuring all these people expensive? How can we afford this?
A. We probably can afford it, but the present bill makes unrealistic assumptions about where the money will come from. Most likely, there will be some mixture of tax increases and pay cuts for doctors and nurses.
Q. Will I have to pay more taxes under the Affordable Care Act?
A. Yes. People making over $200,000 will have their taxes increase in 2013. Everybody else will have their taxes increase in 2014.