Obamacare (formally known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act) is a set of newly-passed (2010) healthcare reform mandates that ultimately aim to provide insurance to the uninsured by lowering the overall costs of health care. The planned changes, which have already begun and will last until 2020, include:
- offering free preventative counseling and birth control to women (unless you work for certain religious institutions or possibly unless you work for a company that does not support birth control, depending upon how the courts interpret the Constitution on this one),
- guaranteeing that those who apply for insurance with preexisting conditions are not turned away,
- and an annual penalty to those who do not have insurance by the year 2014.
Many of the changes won’t go into effect until 2014 (or unless Mitt Romney wins the election and repeals Obamacare as he has promised, but some have already gone into action.
Here are some changes Young Politicas should expect to affect them immediately and in the future:
The end of ‘Gender Rating’ (2014)
Preexisting conditions (2014)
Aside from ‘Gender Rating’, which itself is practically considered a preexisting condition in the insurance world, other preexisting conditions—including coverage those who “previously gave birth by Caesarean section; are pregnant at the time they seek coverage; survived domestic violence and received treatment related to abuse; or received medical treatment after sexual assault” will no longer have higher rates or be turned away by insurers.
Preventative care and contraceptives without co-pay (August, 2012)
This newly rolled-out segment of the Obamacare entitles women to preventative care without having to make a co-payment as is necessary with most services. That includes counseling for domestic violence, breast feeding and STD prevention; as well as annual OB-GYN visits and pre-approved contraception.
Unfortunately, not every woman is currently covered for birth control because not all companies that provide private insurance cover contraception. Also, not all contraception is approved to be given without co-pays. Some popular methods, such as the patch (Ortho Evra) and the ring (NuvaRing) remain at their original costs.
Being covered by your parents’ insurance until you’re 26 (September 2010)
This plan, which is already in effect, is great for every college student. Instead of being kicked out of your parents’ private insurance plan just after you graduate from college, you can continue looking for a job or going to school without having to worry about getting sick and being unable to pay.
Paying a fine of $95 or up to 1% of your income for not having insurance (2014)
Depending on your age and what job you have in 2014, you may have to suffer a large dent in your wallet if you forgo insurance altogether.
So whether you’re no longer forking over $15 for your contraceptives, deciding not to get insurance because of the cost, or you get to stay on your parents’ insurance plan for another five years—Obamacare has or will affect you.
If you’re not quite sure how it will affect you, take the quiz.
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Maegan Vazquez, a Texas born sophomore at New York University, brings her young woman’s lens on all things political to Heartfeldt Blog every Monday. Send news tips to firstname.lastname@example.org