Got Questions About the Affordable Care Act? Get Them Answered Here

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    Anton J. Gunn, Director of External Affairs in the Office of Intergovernmental and External Affairs (IEA) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, answers your questions about the Affordable Care Act aka “Obamacare”.

    What is the web site for young folks to receive more info on the Affordable Care Act?
    You should know that thanks to the Affordable Care Act, young people under the age of 26 are eligible to stay on their parent’s health insurance plan. Both young people and parents interested in learning more should visit www.healthcare.gov/young-adults or use the free call center at 1-800-318-2596.

    How does the Affordable Care Act help people like me?
    Whether you’re uninsured, you’ve been denied coverage in the past, or you just want to explore new options, the Health Insurance Marketplace will give you more choices and control over your health coverage. The Marketplace will operate in all states, so no matter where you live you’ll have access to coverage.
    In the Marketplace, you can compare coverage options based on price, benefits, quality, and other features important to you and your family. You can choose the combination of price and benefits that fits your budget and meets your needs. You can find out more information by going to www.healthcare.gov or using the call center at 1-800-318-2596.

    Would I be able to cancel my current high cost insurance and sign up for the government plan?
    If you have job-based health insurance you like, you can keep it. You’re considered covered. You may be able to change to Marketplace coverage if you want to. Any job-based health plan you currently have qualifies as minimum essential coverage. You don’t need to change to a Marketplace plan in order to avoid the fee that uninsured people may have to pay for 2014. You can find out more information by going to www.healthcare.gov or using the call center at 1-800-318-2596.

    Is it true that everyone is required to have a plan? And if not, will we have to pay a penalty?
    If someone who can afford health insurance doesn’t have coverage in 2014, they may have to pay a fee. They also have to pay for all of their health care. If you’re unemployed you may qualify for Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, or lower costs on Marketplace insurance based on your income. Your household size and income, not your employment status, will determine what health coverage options you’re eligible for and how much help you get paying for coverage. You can find out more information by going to www.healthcare.gov or using the call center at 1-800-318-2596.

    I’m self employed and have been denied for health insurance due to precancerous cells and want to make sure there are no income restrictions for government health plans.
    If you’re self-employed with no employees, you’re not considered an employer. You can use the individual Marketplace to find coverage that fits your needs. Starting in 2014, health insurance plans can’t refuse to cover you or charge you more just because you have a pre-existing health condition. If you’re self-employed, you’ll have more health coverage options in 2014.

    Starting October 1, 2013, you can use the Marketplace to find health coverage that fits your budget and meets your needs. You can compare important features of several plans side-by-side, all of them offering a full package of essential health benefits. You can see what your premium, deductibles, and out-of-pocket costs will be before you decide to enroll.

    You can’t be denied coverage or charged more because you have a pre-existing health condition.

    If you currently have individual insurance–a plan you bought yourself, not the kind you get through an employer–you may be able to change to a Marketplace plan. You can find out more information by going to www.healthcare.gov or using the call center at 1-800-318-2596.

    Can you ask If you already have coverage do you still need to register?
    If you have job-based health insurance you like, you can keep it. You’re considered covered. You may be able to change to Marketplace coverage if you want to. Any job-based health plan you currently have qualifies as minimum essential coverage. You don’t need to change to a Marketplace plan in order to avoid the fee that uninsured people may have to pay for 2014.

    Whether you need health coverage or have it already, the health care law offers new rights and protections that make coverage fairer and easier to understand.

    Some rights and protections apply to plans in the Health Insurance Marketplace or other individual insurance, some apply to job-based plans, and some apply to all health coverage.

    These rights and protections provide even more choice and control over your health coverage when key parts of the law take effect in 2014.

    Does the affordable heath care act have policies for individuals with pre-existing conditions?
    Starting in 2014, health insurance plans can’t refuse to cover you or charge you more just because you have a pre-existing health condition. Once you have insurance, the plan can’t refuse to cover treatment for pre-existing conditions. Coverage for your pre-existing conditions begins immediately. This is true even if you have been turned down or refused coverage due to a pre-existing condition in the past. You can find out more information by going to www.healthcare.gov or using the call center at 1-800-318-2596.

    Will there be a plan cheap enough for people who have no income?
    If you’re unemployed you may qualify for Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, or lower costs on Marketplace insurance based on your income. You can find out more information by going to www.healthcare.gov or using the call center at 1-800-318-2596.

    When can you sign up for Obama care?
    Open enrollment for the health insurance marketplace starts on October 1, 2013 and ends on March 31. 2014. Outside of open enrollment, you can’t enroll in Marketplace coverage unless you have a qualifying life event. You can find out more information by going to www.healthcare.gov or using the call center at 1-800-318-2596.

    As a small business owner with 10 full time employees, how will the Affordable Care Act affect my company?
    Starting in 2014, businesses with 50 or fewer full-time equivalent (FTE) employees can use SHOP to offer coverage to their employees. This applies to non-profit organizations as well. You control the coverage you offer and how much you pay toward premium costs.

    Health coverage through SHOP starts as soon as January 1, 2014. Open enrollment begins October 1, 2013. You can sign up and begin offering coverage any time during the year. For more information on SHOP visit: www.healthcare.gov/marketplace/shop/ or call1-800-706-7893 (TTY users: 1-800-706-7915). Hours: Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST.

    If I enroll today do I have to pay money?
    No, if you enroll at healthcare.gov today, you have until December 15 to pay for your coverage to start on January 1, 2014.

    Does health care affect college students with part-time jobs?
    Young adults can go to healthcare.gov and find an affordable plan for you as a full-time student. If your parents have coverage, you are able to stay on your parents plan until age 26.

    Will Obamacare Cover Braces?
    You can go to healthcare.gov and find a plan that covers dental services or you can purchase a stand alone dental plan. Contact our call center 1-800-318-2596 for more information.

    What website can I go to and see what plans I qualify for?
    Go to healthcare.gov, create and account fill out an application to see what you qualify for and begin shopping for health coverage.

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