What Does the Affordable Care Act Mean for Me?
by Tim Murphy
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) was passed by Congress in 2010, and the majority of its provisions were upheld by the Supreme Court in 2012. With most of its big provisions going into effect in 2014, the ACA means that:
- Insurers can’t deny you coverage because you have HIV or any other pre-existing condition, or based on your health status or gender.
- Insurers can’t cut off your coverage when you hit a certain cost ceiling.
- States will set up health “exchanges” where you can buy insurance if don’t already have it. (If the state chooses not to set up such an exchange, one will be available through the federal government.)
- If you make less than approximately $45,000 for an individual or $92,000 for a family of four, tax credits and subsidies can make insurance coverage more affordable for you.
- You no longer have to have an AIDS diagnosis to qualify for Medicaid.
- If you are covered through Medicare, you will pay half of what you’re paying now for brand-name drugs. Plus, you’ll no longer fall into Medicare’s drug-payment “doughnut hole” where you have to pay big bucks for your meds until you hit a certain cost point.
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