How Health Care Reform Could Affect You

By Thomas Cazneau

The Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act could have varying effects on Americans. Below is a summary of how health care reform could affect you, your family, or your business. For details, click Health Care Reform: Your Options Now and in 2014.

The Uninsured
One of the main mandates of the Health Care Reform is that, starting January 2014, most Americans and legal residents must obtain medical insurance. Affordable Care Act the UninsuredOtherwise, those who are uninsured will receive a penalty of $95 for one person or $285 per family or 1% of the income, whichever amount is greater. By 2016, the Health Reform penalty would go up to $2,085 per family or 2.5% of the income. For large companies of 50 employees or more, the penalty is $2,000 after the first 30 employees. Small businesses (less than 50 employees) are not required to offer health benefits.

Young Adults
If you are under 26 years old, you may currently get health insurance coverage on your parents’ group health insurance policy, or private medicalYoung Adults Affordable Care Actplan. Some states do not offer family plans on a private level, so you may need to apply as an individual. Beginning in 2014, health insurance will no longer be optional; the Affordable Care Act requires you to get coverage. The difference is that in 2014, people age 19 to 26 can no longer be denied coverage due to medical reasons, whereas now, only those under 19 are exempt from medical underwriting. If you don’t make a lot of money, like most young adults, you could qualify for a Health Reform subsidy from the government and pay less for your medical premium.

People with Pre-Existing Conditions
Starting in 2014, the Health Care Reform Bill makes it illegal to deny or limit coverage because the applicant has a pre-existing condition. Affordable Care Act Pre-Existing Conditions This is huge for Americans with medical issues who have a major pre-existing condition often denied by insurers currently, or who are not eligible for employer benefits. In 2014, the Health Reform mandate allows insurers to charge higher rates only when the applicant is or was a recent smoker. The rate-up can be as much as 20 percent of the base rate. So if you quit smoking, it could save you from paying higher premiums in 2014.

Small Business Owners
Presently, businesses can offer health benefits to theiSmall Businesses Affordable Care Actr employees on an optional basis. In 2014, it’s still optional for small businesses with less than 50 employees. However, groups with 50 or more workers must provide healthcare or pay a penalty under the Health Care Reform.

In 2014, qualified groups with less than 25 employees may be eligible for the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit. The most that a company could qualify for is 35 percent of their share of the employees’ premiums. The credit increases to 50 percent in 2014.

Kaiser Permanente Health Insurance
For increased peace of mind, getting health insurance now is highly recommended. For information on getting Kaiser Permanente health insurance in your area, visit or call 1-800-514-0958.


Comment from John Hansen
Time: September 25, 2015, 9:28 pm

It seems that Health Care Reform, “Obamacare” has really helped the poor and the uninsurable. People with pre-existing conditions were in rough shape before the ACA, but now you can’t be denied health insurance coverage. So that’s a big help for people with serious health problems. However, for healthy middle class and up people, the rates have gone way up. People are paying more for less coverage. Some who wanted just major medical coverage are being forced buy richer medical plans and pay a lot more.

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