Breaking Down the Affordable Care Act

, Posted: Fri, June 29 2012 at 5:41 PM, Updated: Fri, June 29 2012 at 6:14 PM

In the wake of the Supreme Courts ruling of the Affordable Care Act, many are asking what is going to happen to me.

In one fell swoop the nation's health care system is going to experience momentous changes. The real question, how will it effect the everyday American?    
 
Here's how it works:
Americans will have to obtain insurance or pay penalties.
Insurers will be banned from denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions.
States will have to decide whether to expand Medicaid or create new insurance exchanges...that's a marketplace for lower cost insurance....   
Many small businesses will have to cover workers with help from  tax credits or pay penalties.  

Here are some frequently asked questions:
Suzi Ott asks,"For the people who can't afford it how are they able to afford to pay the tax that they will put on you if you don't get insurance?"

If you're at or below poverty level, which is around 30 thousand a year..you'll get insurance at no cost.

According to the Census Bureau... in Jackson County the median income is around 44,000 dollars.
For instance, lets say Joe Smith makes $44,000 is 40 years old and has a family of four.
If his employer does not offer insurance he can buy it through the new exchange. His out of pocket will be roughly $2500 year or $210 dollars a month for a family of four.

But the plot thickens-- if Joe Smith's employer does offer insurance, he does not get government assistance unless he pays 9.5 percent of his income for it. In that case he'd get a waiver from the state exchange.

According to Oregon.gov four types of state plans will be offered:  bronze, silver, gold, and platinum. In addition to their own plans...private insurance companies will be required to carry the bronze and silver state insurance plans, which offer lower premiums.

This is just a simple run down with estimated averages. I spoke to several insurers and state officials to come up with these figures...
The actual numbers won't be available until the value of exchange plans becomes clear.

Many websites are offering calculators for the 2014 required insurance changes.
The Oregon Health Insurance Exchange is offering one online at http://www.orhix.org/calculator/

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