The Affordable Health Care Act also known as Obama Care is now law. Health care reform is to help all. If you are one those people who has no health care coverage because you can't afford it, you will be mandated to get coverage by Janurary1, 2014. If you do not have coverage by that date you will be fined at tax season. You will soon find yourself under a mountain of debt imposed by the US government if you choose to go without insurance. If you are already in a financial bind, the smart thing to do is to find health care coverage..do due diligence.. and re-allocate funds to help pay your way. The fines will continue to increase during the times you are not covered. Ask yourself, do you want to pay monetary fines from your own pocket and give it to the US government or do you want to be pro-active and accountable for your own health and finances and get health care coverage?
While insurance premiums continue to increase at a faster rate than personal earnings, one of the provisions of Obama Care includes reforms such as reducing the amount by which insurance companies can increase their premiums. Insurance companies can easily hide those fees in other benefits of the policy such as increasing co-pays, limiting office visits and/or decreasing benefit coverage.
Additionally, radiological facilities that offer CT scans, X-rays and MRI's will collect their fee from you first before rendering services. So will outpatient laboratories. They will do this if you have not met your calendar year deductible and/or the benefit coverage you have is significantly limited. This can quickly add up to thousands of dollars coming out of your pocket. Need to be admitted to the hospital? You will receive a bill from multiple sources above and beyond what the insurance will accept. If coverage is thin now for you, a financial catastrophe from medical bills is sure to come.
If you decide to follow through with a medical treatment plan your physician prescribes and you lack coverage...YES... you are financially responsible for making payment. If you choose not to pay health care bills, your credit will be ruined. Where will the money come from? A coin jar in the local coffee shop? Health care in the US is expensive and continues to increase in cost. Someone somewhere along the way pays for someone else. When the wallet is pinched, nothing more can be squeezed out.
While laws are complicated to understand as are insurance policies, take time to learn all you can to protect yourself. Everyone will benefit when you take measures to financially protect yourself.
Visit www.healthcare.gov to learn more about the timeline, read the law, review and compare insurance policies in the marketplace.
Trisha M. Pacenti RN,BSN