Obama Care

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Welcome to Obamacare411

Obamacare411 is a suite of user-friendly informational and educational tools designed to answer questions and cut through the confusion of health care reform by explaining what the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), otherwise known as Health Care Reform or "Obamacare", means to you as an individual person or as a family; and what it means to business owners, including Independent Contractors.  

 

The suite of products was developed in partnership with Small Business for a Healthy CT to provide consumers and businesses with help understanding the changes.  The current resources are this web site, including the calculator linked at the top of this page, an iPhone app that includes a built-in calculator linked at the right side of this page, and a set of educational books and shopping guides available through Amazon as the Obamacare411 Handbook and the Obamacare411 Booklet brand name; and generically, as the PPACA Handbook and the PPACA Booklet.  The books can also be purchased directly from our publisher just by clicking on the book name: Obamacare411 Booklet: Individual & Family Guide; Obamacare411 Booklet: Business GuideObamacare411 Handbook: Individual & Family Guide; Obamacare411 Handbook: Business Guide; PPACA Handbook: Individual & Family Guide; PPACA Handbook: Business Guide; PPACA Booklet: Individual & Family Guide; PPACA Booklet: Business Guide

 

It is important to note that the major changes are still taking effect on January 1, 2014.   The cost of medical care does not significantly change; so Obamacare as it is being implemented is not a cure for health care expense reduction or control.  Obamacare has programs within it to try and control the long-term cost increases of medical expenses; and a way to make health insurance coverage more affordable so that more people can have health insurance.  

 

Interestingly, the greatest impact of Obamacare will be on the middle class, meaning the average worker that makes under $45,960 per year individually, or the 4-person family making less than $94,200 per year.  Obamacare will also significantly impact “Main Street” businesses, meaning the local “Mom-n-Pop” or local employer, including Independent Contractors, through the availability of Guaranteed Issue and Federally Subsidized “Private” health insurance plans.  Obamacare is not government insurance!  

 

The intent of this web site and the other resources is not to explain every single aspect of Obamacare; but it is to focus on how Obamacare will personally affect individuals purchasing health insurance and business owners that may offer or may be considering offering health insurance to their employees.  The information provided here is very basic and does not focus on whether or not one agrees with the program.  The information is focused on the basic pro’s and con’s of what you need to know related to:  

    • How does Obamacare change how I buy health insurance.
      How does Obamacare affect what I pay for health insurance.
    • How does Obamacare affect what benefits my health insurance covers.
    • What are my incentives or penalties related to buying or not buying health insurance.

Please keep in mind that there have been many changes covered in the media and that there are likely to be more changes as updates are released by the government on how the program is going to run; so some of the items here are subject to change as things move forward to a January 1, 2014 coverage date.  

 

States have Health Insurance Marketplaces {formerly called Exchanges} that are basically call centers and web sites where you can buy your health insurance.  There will be individuals and organizatons called In-Person Assisters (IPA's) and Navigators, as well as the traditional Health Insurance Agents that can help you with finding out what your helath insurance options are starting in January 2014.  

 

Since you will have to purchase your health insurance through a Government Health Insurance Marketplace in order to be eligible for financial assistance from the federal government; it is important that you pay attention to how your State sets up its own program.   You should be aware that if your State does not set up its own Health Insurance Marketplace; that the Federal Government reserves the right to establish its own marketplace in your State.  In fact, many states have decided to let the federal government set up and run health insurance marketplaces in their state's, at least for the first year, 2014. 

 

Both Medicaid and Medicare are significantly affected by Obamacare.  For Medicaid; the major change is the expansion of Medicaid Eligibility from 58% of Federal Poverty Level (FPL) income to 133% of FPL income.   The 100% level of 2013 FPL for a family of 4 is approximately $23,550 in income, and for an individual, it is approximately $11,490 in income.  Note that this will also affect the Dual Eligibility for Medicare enrolled individuals that will now qualify for additional financial assistance through Medicaid.  In addition, Medicaid will also begin expanding coverage for Preventative Care; such as Annual Physicals and Immunizations. 

 

However, please keep in mind that many state's allow higher income individuals to enroll in state based Medicaid programs.  This means that you need to check and see if your state is going to reduce the income level to qualify for Medicaid and cancel your Medicaid; or if your state is going to maintain the current income level and keep people enrolled in Medicaid. 

 

Individual Federal Medicaid Eligibility Annual Income:

New Maximum Annual Income (est) $ 15,280

Currently Maximum Annual Income (est) $ 6,400

 

Family of Four (4) Federal Medicaid Eligibility Annual Income:

New Maximum Annual Income (est) $ 31,320

Currently Maximum Annual Income (est) $ 13,300

 

The following are links to other web sites that can help you learn more about the changes to Medicaid and Medicare.  

Federal Medicaid Website Link

Federal Medicare Website Link

 

If you would like to research and learn more about Obamacare; the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation has an extensive web site discussing health care reform and will provide you with a wealth of information.  It is this author’s favorite web site for collaborating information from various sources.

 

 

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