The Affordable Care Act, passed in 2010, is undoubtedly one of the most important landmark pieces of legislation in the history of the United States, rivaling the Social Security Amendments of 1965 that led to Medicare and Medicaid.
Now, almost three years after its creation, there are still many questions out there about the ACA and what it means for everyone – business owners, patients, and other citizens.
Here are five common – and important – questions about the ACA as we near the three-year mark of its implementation.
1. Will my boss have to provide for my insurance – my company employs less than 50 people. No, the ACA does not require businesses with less than 50 full-time employees to provide health insurance. The mandatory coverage provision only applies to businesses with 50 full-time employees (defined as employees who work at least 30 hours a week).
2. What are income requirements for low-cost health insurance?
One provision of the ACA called for an expansion of Medicaid eligibility – as well as a federal subsidy if a family does not meet the requirements for that eligibility. A family of one can make up to $14,856 for Medicaid and annual income from $11,170 to $44,680 for a subsidy. This scales up for larger families; a family of four can receive Medicaid with income up to $30,657 and subsidies for income from $23,050 to $92,200.
3. Everyone has to have insurance; does Medicaid count, or do I have to buy additional coverage?
Medicaid does count toward the individual mandate. You do not have to buy additional coverage from a private insurer to comply.
4. Does the new health care law offer insurance for illegal immigrants?
No; the law states that individuals must be “lawfully present” in the U.S. in order to receive any kind of federal assistance under the new regulations.
5. Will care be limited for those who are 76 years old or older?
No, the ACA will not restrict care for serious conditions as reported in a rumor that has been passed around since the law was signed two years ago. According to the rumor, cancer and other serious conditions wouldn’t be covered for people of a certain age, but neither the new law or existing laws call for that.