What Obamacare Means for You

obamacare, affordable healthcare act
Photo: 401K 2012, Flickr

It's been about three years in the making, and today, President Obama's hotly anticipated Affordable Healthcare for America Act (aka Obamacare) was upheld by the Supreme Court. Now, tens of millions of Americans without health insurance are expected to have better access to medical care.

So what does this landmark decision mean for you (and your significant other)? Here are some of the ways Obama's Healthcare Act may affect you:

1. You're entitled to health insurance without a rate increase — even if you're preggers: Well, technically this rule applies to all pre-existing conditions. Pregnancy is one, but other conditions that qualify you as a high-risk patient include high blood pressure, asthma and even cancer. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports that between 50 and 129 million Americans have a pre-existing condition that would qualify them as high-risk.

2. Your employer has to provide you health insurance — or the company will pay: If your company has an annual payroll of $500K or more, they're required to pay a surtax of 8% per employee if they don't offer health insurance.

3. You have to have health insurance — or you will pay: If you don't have health insurance and neglect to purchase it, you'll pay a penalty.

4. Don't worry: The government will help you afford to buy health insurance: Low-income citizens — depending on how close you are to the poverty level — will be entitled to affordability subsidies and lower premiums.

5. Doctors will be rewarded for their results: No longer will doctors get paid based on how many tests they perform, but instead, how many patients whose conditions they improve. So we, as patients, stand to have healthier minds, bodies and bank accounts.

What are your thoughts on Obamacare?

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