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Health Care Reform

Learn about the Affordable Care Act and healthcare reform in the United States. How will Obamacare and healthcare reform affect you?
  1. Doctors and Reform (3)
  2. Health Care Reform 101 (14)
  3. Medicare and Health Reform (2)
  4. Penalties, Exemptions, Being Uninsured (8)
  5. Subsidies & Help Paying for Health Insurance (8)

I Missed Obamacare Open Enrollment. What Now?
Missed Obamacare open enrollment? Find ways to avoid being uninsured, what will happen if you are uninsured, and how to avoid the tax penalty.

Uninsured? What You Need to Know About Obamacare
Wonder if you’re required to have health insurance? Not sure what will happen if you remain uninsured? Find out, plus learn how to sign up for Obamacare insurance and how to get a subsidy to help pay for it.

What Exactly Is Obamacare, Anyway?
Confused about whether Obamacare is health insurance, a social welfare program or a law? Don’t understand what people mean when they say “enroll in Obamacare”? Find out what Obamacare is, what it isn’t, and what it means when used in different ways.

How Much Is the Health Insurance Penalty for an Individual?
How much is your penalty for not having health insurance? Learn to calculate your individual mandate penalty accurately so you'll know exactly what you owe. Don't rely on simple charts and estimates that can be off by hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Figure out your individual penalty based on your own specific circumstances. See examples of how to calculate the health insurance penalty.

How Much Is the Family Health Insurance Penalty?
How much is the penalty tax when your family doesn't have health insurance? Learn to accurately calculate your family’s health insurance penalty so you’ll know what you owe. Don't rely on simple charts and estimates which can be off by hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Figure the penalty accurately based on your family's unique set of circumstances.

Why Not Wait Until I'm Sick to Buy Health Insurance?
Want to wait to buy health insurance until you need to use it? Think you’ll save money? Think because the Affordable Care Act guarantees you the right to buy health insurance, this plan is foolproof? Think again. There are three reasons why waiting to buy health insurance won’t work.

FAQs About Obamacare—What's True & What's Not
These FAQs about Obamacare address controversial aspects of the Affordable Care Act. If you're not sure what's true and what's an urban legend, get the facts here.

Can I Get Help Paying for Health Insurance?
Cant afford health insurance? Because of the Affordable Care Act, you might be able to get help paying for health insurance premiums. Find out if youre eligible for a health insurance subsidy. Learn about programs to make health insurance more affordable like the premium tax credit and decreased cost sharing subsidies.

Can You Get a Health Insurance Exemption?
If you dont want to pay a penalty, youll either have to have health insurance after December 31,2013, or youll have to get a health insurance exemption certificate. Learn who qualifies for a health insurance exemption, how to get an exemption certificate, and how to avoid the Affordable Care Act's health insurance penalty.

How the Cost-Sharing Health Insurance Subsidy Works
Need help paying your health insurance deductible, copays, and coinsurance? Learn how the cost-sharing health insurance subsidy works, who’s eligible, how to apply, and how it lowers your deductible, coinsurance and copayments. Reduce your cost-sharing so you don’t go broke using your health insurance.

How Does the Health Insurance Subsidy Work?
Health insurance subsidies can help you pay for health insurance. The premium tax credit subsidy will decrease your cost for health insurance premiums. Learn who qualifies, how to apply, how much you'll get, and what to beware of.

Bronze, Silver, Gold & PlatinumUnderstanding the Metal-Tier System
What does the bronze, silver, gold and platinum metal-tier system really tell you about a health insurance plan? How do metal tiers work? Which metal tier is the best fit for you?

Affordable Care Act What You Should Know About the Affordable Care Act
The purpose of the legislation is to assure that all Americans have access to affordable health insurance. The key reforms in the Affordable Care Act should significantly decrease barriers for obtaining health coverage as well as accessing needed health care services.

Free Birth Control—Maximize Your Affordable Care Act Benefit
Take advantage of the Affordable Care Act's free birth control benefit. Find out if you're eligible for the free birth control benefit, which contraceptives are covered, and how to maximize your benefit.

Health Insurance Mandate
One of the more controversial parts of the health reform legislation is the issue of a health insurance mandate – the requirement that, starting in 2014, all Americans must have healthcare coverage. The vast majority of people in this country have health insurance through work or a public plan such as Medicare and Medicaid.

Understanding the Affordable Care Act & Obamacare—an Index of Health Reform Info
All Americans are affected by the Affordable Care Act. Learn how you're affected. Do you have to buy health insurance? Can you get a subsidy to help pay for health insurance? What will happen if you don't get health insurance? What does the law really say, and are all the Obamacare rumors true? Find out here.

Health Reform: How Will It Affect Me?
Almost every American will be affected in some way by health reform. How you are personally impacted will depend on the final details of the legislation signed into law and your age and employment status.

Health Reform Lingo
Many people who read newspaper articles, listen to the pundits, or get information about the Affordable Care Act from online resources may be confused by some of the jargon used to describe some of the act’s provisions.

Medicare Changes and Health Reform
Many seniors are concerned that the new health reform legislation – the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act signed into law on March 23, 2010 by President Obama – will decrease their benefits or somehow weaken the program. For the most part, the changes will be beneficial for most seniors.

Health Reform Timeline - Year-by-Year Implementation 2010 through 2014
Virtually all Americans will be affected in some way with the enactment of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which President Obama signed into law on March 23, 2010. The following timeline highlights some of the legislation’s specific provisions and an outline of when these requirements are scheduled to be implemented.

What Is Universal Coverage?
If you are following the healthcare reform efforts here in the U.S., you may want to learn more about universal coverage and what it will mean for you and your family. Find out more about universal coverage.

Health Reform and the Doctor Shortage in the U.S.
With the passage of health reform, many are concerned that adding more than 30 million newly insured people into our health system will make the shortage of primary care physicians (PCPs) worse. There will be many more patients and a lot fewer primary care physicians!

What Is a Health Exchange?
The health reform legislation (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act) signed into law in March 2010 by President Obama creates state-based health insurance exchanges. The purpose of the health insurance exchanges is to make health insurance more affordable and easier to purchase for small business and individuals.

Concierge Medical Practice
Faced with the burdens of an aging population and low reimbursement for their services, many PCPs are leaving primary care or switching to concierge practices, a growing trend, also known as retainer, boutique, or direct medical practices.

Am I Being Pushed Into Picking a Silver Health Plan?
Feel like you're being pushed into picking a silver-tier health insurance plan? Find out how the government may be influencing you to pick a silver health plan over a cheaper bronze plan or higher value gold or platinum plans.

How the Subsidy for Your Out-Of-Pocket Maximum Works
You may be eligible for a health insurance subsidy to reduce your out-of-pocket maximum costs. Learn how the subsidy works, whether you’re eligible, and how to get it.

Dependent Coverage for Young Adults
One of the significant provisions in the health reform law that is being implemented in 2010 is an extension of dependent coverage to assure that all young adults have affordable health insurance. Many parents and their young adult children who worried about losing health insurance after their children moved away from home or graduated from college no longer need to worry.

Top 5 Health Trends for 2010-2019
During the past decade (2000 - 2009) there has been tremendous progress in medical care. Our research and technology continues to improve the quality of life for people with chronic illness. In spite of advances in medical care, many Americans (perhaps more than 40 to 50 million) have limited access to the best we have to offer. Perhaps the coming decade will reverse these trends.

Concierge Medical Practice - A Doctor's Letter to Patients
The following letter was recently sent to more than 1500 patients who belong to an internal medicine practice in a northeastern state. The majority of the patients who received this letter are on Medicare and live in a community that has limited access to primary care physicians. The letter provides a good example of the issues surrounding concierge medical practices.

Early Retiree Reinsurance Program
Because of the economic downturn and increasing health care costs many large American companies have stopped providing former employees with...

Patients Rights – Health Reform and Patients Rights
The Patient Bill of Rights establishes a new set of rules made possible by the Affordable Care Act, which will take effect for most health plans starting on or after September 23, 2010. These rules will remove barriers between you and your doctor and help provide the peace of mind that health insurance will be there when you need it the most.

Medical Errors and Health Reform
Preventable medical errors kill and seriously injure hundreds of thousands of Americans every year. The Affordable Care Act has a number of provisions that may improve patient safety.

Health Reform FAQS - Answers to Your Questions About the Affordable Care Act
The Affordable Care Act (the health reform legislation signed into law in March 2010) has already made some significant changes to your health insurance. The law is complicated and phases in many of the changes over time. This article compiles and answers 15 questions that are sent to me by readers of this site or have been posted in health...

Public Health Reform and the Affordable Care Act
Stopping disease and illness before they start is better for doctors, patients, and our national balance sheet. That's why the Affordable Care Act prioritizes prevention, investing in the building blocks of a health-care rather than a sick-care system.

Affordable Care Act Tax Provisions
The Affordable Care Act contains several tax provisions that will take effect as different parts of the health reform legislation are implemented. The purchase and provision of health insurance is entwined with many people’s jobs and tax-related benefits. Because of this, almost all the new regulations involve the U.S. Department of Labor and the IRS.

Small Business Health Tax Credit
If you are a small employer that provides health care coverage to your employees and meet certain requirements you may qualify for a federal...

Open Enrollment and Health Reform
It’s important to understand open enrollment and health reform. Several of the provisions of the health reform law that took effect on September 23, 2010 impact group health insurance. Your health plan (or the ones you are considering) will outline in their materials the changes required, as well as any changes to your benefits. It’s important...

Flexible Spending Accounts & Obamacare
Find out about the changes made to flexible spending accounts, health reimbursement arrangements, and health savings accounts by the Affordable Care Act. Make sure you know your FSA, HRA, or HSA rules and limits under Obamacare.

What Is Automatic Renewal of Health Insurance & How Does It Work?
Learn what automatic renewal of health insurance is, how it works, if it applies to you, and how to avoid it.

Pros and Cons of Health Insurance Automatic Renewal
See the advantages of health insurance automatic renewal as well as why to beware. Learn how to avoid problems caused by health plan automatic renewal

Have Health Insurance From an Exchange? 5 Things You Need to Know
Get your health insurance through an Affordable Care Act health insurance exchange? Learn these 5 things you need to know to avoid nasty surprises.

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