- Getting health insurance will be compulsory. If you do not have health insurance you will be fined ($695 or 2.5% of income whichever is greater). This will take effect from 2014.
- Health insurance will be available to people who could not afford to purchase insurance.
- Employees will have to mandatorily buy health insurance for employees.
- If you are a senior citizen you will get $250 this year to help pay for prescription drugs.
- Young adults will be covered till age 26.
- Small businesses will get tax breaks that offer health care to their employees.
- Lifetime caps will be eliminated. There will no caps over the current policies as well.
Implications for new immigrants working in the tech industry
If you have recently moved to the country and are working in a tech company it is likely that your employer is already paying for your health insurance. This means that you are getting your insurance through your job. It is likely that the insurance premium that you are currently paying will remain the same.
If you are paying premium on your own
If you are paying for insurance on your own and earn more than 88 K per annum there will be an increase in the premium. The exact numbers will be disclosed in days to come but the increase in premium is certainly predicted according to the Congressional Budget Office. However, if you are paying for health insurance on your own and less more than 88 K per annum there will be a decrease in the premium.
Impact of the reform
- The reform is significant for people who were outside the insurance coverage. Many people do not have insurance as it is too expensive for them due to a pre-existing medical condition. Others simply cannot afford any kind of health insurance. This means that the new health care reform will significantly affect people who were outside the insurance coverage and not people who already had insurance wholly/partly paid by employers).
- A common factor for everyone would be easy access to hospital services and doctors. It is estimated that there is a shortfall of 40,000 primary care physicians. With 32 million people getting into the health coverage net over the next several years, there is an urgent need for more doctors and more health care facilities. Hence if you want to see your primary doctor in the near future, get an appointment as soon as possible.
Overall, the new health care reform is likely to benefit many. People with no insurance will get coverage. Small businesses that insure employees will get tax credits. Senior citizens will get $250 to pay towards prescription drugs. In short, wellness goals and health protection will get high priority in the next few years.