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Health Care Reform : What Does It Mean To Me?

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Health Care Reform : What Does It Mean To Me?

Sunday, March 21st marked a long, tense and historic day for democrats, republicans and citizens of the United States of America.   The vote on health care reform was history in the making for the US House. The United States House of Representatives voted in favor of health care reform by a vote of 219-212 with Republicans unanimous in opposition. Many believe that this is a groundbreaking victory for President Obama and the many supporters who fought hard to get the Health Care Reform bill passed.   The bill covers 32 million uninsured Americans but the downside are the costs associated with it. The only thing that both sides can agree to is that this is history in the making.

The debate on whether to pass or deny the HCR bill has both sides so divided that while watching C-Span last night I was certain a fight would erupt from all of the tension in the room.

With the HCR bill passed, how will it work?  How will this bill effect us and what does it mean?

  • Insurance companies cannot deny coverage for individuals with pre-existing conditions.
  • Canceling coverage for ill people or charging them higher premiums based on gender or medical history would be barred.
  • Individuals would be required to purchase coverage or face a fine up to $695 or 2.5% of their income; whichever is greater. This will take effect in 2016.
  • The HCR Bill includes a hardship exemption for low income families.
  • Small businesses with fewer than 25 employees and average annual wages of less than $50,000 will be eligible for tax credits to cover up to 35% of their insurance premiums.
  • Banning abortion would be up to the state.  Anyone deciding to purchase plans through the exchanges, would have to pay for the abortion coverage out of pocket.
  • Reform legislation calls for a minimum basic benefit package that would include annual check-ups or emergency room visits and such perks as preventative care, mental health services, oral health and vision care for children.
  • Lower seniors’ prescription drug prices by beginning to close the donut hole.
  • Young adults can stay on their parent’s health care plans up to 26 years old.
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