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Health Care Reform: What It Could Mean For Your Family

Healthcare reform, known as the Affordable Care Act, is being decided by the Supreme Court and the impact the reforms can have has everyone talking.

Recently GiveForward’s founder, Desiree Vargas Wrigley and user Shannah Rodriguez-Torres were interviewed on CNN about the rising costs of health care, healthcare reform and how families are utilizing crowdfunding within their personal networks to raise money for medical expenses.

GiveForward and Health Care Reform on CNN

Like many Americans, the GiveForward team is wondering just how we will all be affected by the reforms, so we put together some highlights of the reforms to give you an idea of what this might mean for you.  Again, these are just a few major points in the reform, for a full breakdown of the reforms, please visit: http://www.healthcare.gov/ OR check out this awesome animation from the Kaiser Foundation.

Changes that became active starting in 2010 to 2011

If you have Insurance:
For all new or modified policies active as of March 23, 2010

  • Adult children up to the age of 26 can be covered under their parent’s group health care policy.
  • Children can not be denied health care coverage because of pre-existing conditions.
  • No more lifetime coverage limits for essential health services.
  • The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act requires health plans to cover a broad selection of free preventive services including
    • Blood pressure tests and tests for cholesterol and diabetes
    • A range of cancer screenings
    • Well-baby, and well-child care up until the age of 21.
  • Insurance companies in individual and small group market will be required to spend  at least 80% of premiums dollars on clinical services and wellness activities, 85% for larger group markets.

If you are on Medicare:

  • If the cost of your prescription falls within the “donut hole” (wherein Medicare covers no medical expenses between $2,700 and $6,154.), you will receive a 50% discount on brand name drugs.
  • The gap in prescription drug coverage will start to shrink by $500 each year until it is gone.
  • You will receive  a free preventive health screening  and wellness visit each year.

If you don’t have insurance:

  • If you’ve lost your job, you may keep Cobra coverage until the State Health Care Exchanges (2014 deadline) are set up.
  • Tax credits for small business may encourage more employers to set up insurance plans

Changes you can expect to see in 2013

Your medical expenses must exceed 10% of your income in order take advantage of tax deductions. Until 2013, the amount is 7.5%.

Changes you will see from 2014 and beyond

If you have Insurance:  

  • Income-based sliding scale subsidies will be provided to help people pay for health insurance premiums.
    • Check out this handy calculator from the Kaiser Foundation to estimate your subsidies.

If you are on Medicare:

  • The “donut” gap will have disappeared, ensuring full prescription drug coverage.

If you don’t have insurance:

  • It will be a requirement that everyone buy insurance: or pay penalty The penalty starts at $95 (or 1 percent of your income, whichever is greater) for a single person in 2014, goes up to $325 (or 2 percent of your income) in 2015, and levels out in 2016, when you’ll pay either $695 (or 2.5 percent of your annual income).
  • Anyone making up to 133 percent of poverty, (or approximately $14,400 in 2009) will have access to health care under Medicaid.

If you have pre-existing condition:

  • Beginning in 2014 insurers will no longer be able to deny you coverage because of a pre-existing condition.
  • The high-risk pools will end, people with pre-existing conditions will be required to purchase insurance.

Again, for a full breakdown of the reforms, please visit: http://www.healthcare.gov/.

If you think someone you know is eligible for a high-risk pool and could use some extra support to pay for the higher than average premiums and other out-of pocket expenses, visit GiveForward.com to set up a fundraising page today!

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