PLAY AUDIO

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.

Does the Afforable Care Act cover prescription drugs?
Yes, HealthCare.gov allows you to shop for affordable Health insurance or plans that helps pay for prescription drugs and medications.

If I already have health insurance do I need to switch to the Affordable Care Act?
If you are in the 85% of Americans that have health coverage through your employer. You can keep you coverage. If you shop for health coverage in the individual market, you can go to healthcare.gov and find an affordable plan that meets your needs and fits you budget.

If I don’t sign up for Obamacare is there a penalty? If I don’t pay the fine, do go to jail?
The Affordable Care Act requires all Americans to have health insurance coverage in 2014. If you don’t have coverage during the year of 2014, you could pay a tax penalty of $95 or 1% of your income (whichever is greater). This penalty is assessed on your 2014 Tax Return.

If we purchase insurance today through the Affordable Care Act, when will I be able to use it?
If you sign up and purchase coverage through healthcare.gov between October 1, 2013 and December 15, 2013, you coverage is effective January 1, 2014. You can enroll in coverage from Oct 1 – Mar 31, 2014. Your coverage will begin on the following month.

Can illegal immigrants get Obamacare?
No, only citizens and legal immigrants are eligible for coverage at healthcare.gov.

How will Obamacare impact African Americans?

  • 6.8 million uninsured African Americans, including 3 million African American women, will have new opportunities for coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace.
  • The Marketplace is a destination where consumers can compare insurance options in simple, easy to understand language. At the Marketplace, consumers will be able to compare insurance options based on price, benefits, quality and other factors with a clear picture of premiums and cost-sharing amounts to help them choose the insurance that best fits their needs.
  • Consumers may be eligible for free or low cost coverage, or advance premium tax credits that lower monthly premiums right away. Individuals with higher incomes (up to 400 percent of the federal poverty level, or $94,200 for a family of four) will be eligible for premium tax credits to purchase coverage from the Health Insurance Marketplace.
  • States have new opportunities to expand Medicaid coverage to include Americans with family incomes at or below 133 percent of the federal poverty level (generally $31,322 for a family of four in 2013). This expansion includes adults without dependent children living at home. These adults have not previously been eligible in most states.
  • Starting in 2014, over 390,000 African American women who currently buy coverage in the individual market will gain maternity coverage, as part of the Affordable Care Act’s requirement for plans to cover essential health benefits.

How can I join the Obama Healthcare Administration? I have a BS in Healthcare Admin and a MBA. I have always wanted to be a part of the administration.
If you are looking to work for the government go to http://www.usajobs.gov.

Is Anton sure I can’t get it? My job’s insurance for family coverage is $462 per pay period!!!
If you have coverage through your large employer, you should keep it. With most job-based health insurance plans, an employer pays part of your premiums. If you pick a Marketplace plan instead, the employer doesn’t contribute to your premiums. You should consider this carefully before comparing Marketplace plans. If you want to explore your options call 1-800-318-2596 and speak to a specialist about your specific situation.

I need insurance! Who can I call here in Texas?
Please call 1-800-318-2596 and speak to a specialist.

How much is the deductible?
You can go to http://www.healthcare.gov and see plans and prices in your area.

I work for the school system in Atlanta Georgia and my health care is not affordable any more because it is going up to five hundred and thirty dollars a month for family coverage. However, you say that it is not for people with insurance on their job but how does that work if its not affordable anymore?
With most job-based health insurance plans, an employer pays part of your premiums. If you pick a Marketplace plan instead, the employer doesn’t contribute to your premiums. You should consider this carefully before comparing Marketplace plans. You should call 1-800-318-2596 and speak to a specialist.

Will you go to jail in SC if you use the affordable healthcare act program?
This is not true. The Health Insurance Marketplace is for everyone in every state. If you need health insurance coverage call 1-800-318-2596.

I’m paying almost $600 month with my employee health coverage. Am I eligible to get something cheaper?
You can go to http://www.healthcare.gov and see plans and prices in your area.

What if you have no income, how can one pay for the insurance? If we do get it we will have to pay a fee?
You should call 1-800-318-2596 and apply for coverage, you may qualify for free health coverage. Some people with limited incomes and other situations can get exemptions from the fee.

How can you ensure that our health issues will be kept private?
There are no medical history questionnaires when you apply for coverage through the marketplace. You can’t be denied because you have had preexisting conditions. Call 1-800-318-2596 if you need coverage.

I’m in North Carolina and I have had the worst time trying to talk with someone. I need help bad with healthcare.
Call 1-800-318-2596 and speak to a specialist now!

I want coverage for January 1 and I plan to enroll. I’m self-employed. When do I have to write the first check and can it be on bank authorization?
If you want your coverage to start January 1, you have to apply and pay for coverage by December 15th.

I have health insurance through my job and I make less than 30000 a year and I’m paying like a one-hundred and sixty dollars every two weeks for my 22-year-old and myself. Is it worth for me to keep what I have or can I try to get the Obama healthcare?
Please call 1-800-318-2596, You may qualify for more affordable coverage depending on your household size and income.

My son is on my insurance until he’s 26, he is 23 right now, my question is, would he be able to apply for Obamacare when he’s no longer eligible to be on my insurance?
Yes.

Can you purchase insurance under the affordable healthcare plan if your employer offers health insurance?
With most job-based health insurance plans, an employer pays part of your premiums. If you pick a Marketplace plan instead, the employer doesn’t contribute to your premiums. You should consider this carefully before comparing Marketplace plans.

My question is if you are not making a lot bi-weekly and the insurance is 169.00, can you break the payments in half?
Please call 1-800-318-2596, You may qualify for more affordable coverage depending on your household size and income.

Anton, I am a veteran who has veterans disability and get my health care through the Veterans Administration, do I need to sign up for the Obama Health Care Plan?
No.

Good morning, my question is, I do not work, however, I receive public assistance with Medicaid. Am I covered as far as insurance?
Yes, you are covered.

I am a 61-year-old female with no income, what do I do?
Call 1-800-318-2596 and apply for coverage, you may be eligible for free or low-cost coverage depending on your household size.

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3 thoughts on “Got Questions About the Affordable Care Act? Get Them Answered Here

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