Most Americans who can afford coverage will be required to purchase health insurance or pay a tax penalty that starts at $95 ($285 per family) or up to 1% of income, whichever is greater.
Up to 17 million Americans under age 65 could be eligible for Medicaid. States that choose to expand their program will receive federal financial aid for the increased payment rates. California will expand its program.
Depending on which state you live in, you will have access to a Health Insurance Marketplace(formerly called an exchange) administered by your state or by the federal government acting for
your state. California's marketplace, Covered California, is scheduled to open on October 1st. You'll be able to shop for coverage by phone or online. Covered California's website - www.coveredca.com - is already up and running and has lots of detailed information about how the program will work. Other states have similar websites and there is also information available at the IRS website - www.irs.gov/aca.
Four different options, called Metal Plans (Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum) will be offered through the Marketplaces. Subsidies and tax credits will be available based on age, income and geographic location.
Starting in 2014, the law makes it illegal for any health insurance plan to use pre-existing conditions to exclude, limit or set unrealistic premium rates on coverage for adults. The requirement to cover children under age 19 for pre-existing conditions began in 2010.
The provision that required employers with 50 or more workers to provide health care
coverage or face fines has been postponed until 2015. This action was taken to allow payroll companies and providers of payroll software adequate time to modify systems in order to provide information required by the
More and more information will become
available about the details of the ACA once the Marketplaces open and I will
post updates as I become aware of them.