Obamacare 2015 Facts
Obamacare, or the Affordable Care Act (ACA), is a fluctuating plan which changes to increase its parameters of care. Its implementation was confusing because there were a number of changes designed to help smooth out the problems with the plans. However, in 2015, Obamacare has had a few years to improve, and it has done so greatly.
For instance, there weren’t as many changes to the ACA in 2015 as there were in previous years. Open enrollment has not changed much; only small differences were necessary to improve the program.
Individuals still needed to enroll, switch plans, or adjust cost between November 15th 2014 and February 15th 2015.
Insurers offered over 25% more plans overall, which made shopping around better than 2014. If this was the case for 2015, perhaps 2016 will offer even more options.
Most individuals were automatically enrolled in their current plans, if they did not contact the marketplace to make changes.
Plans began on January 1st, 2015, the same as previous years, for anyone enrolling in 2014. Anyone enrolling later still saw their plans begin on the first of the following month.
Changes in Cost Assistance and the Federal Poverty Level
Cost assistance is a calculation based on the projected income for the full year. The eligibility levels for qualified individuals increases every year because they are based on the Federal Poverty Level, which increases every year. In 2015, it was ruled that access to tax credits and a premium capped at 9.5% of the modified adjusted gross income, the person must make no more than 400% of the FPL. Out of pocket subsidies saw that a person make no more than 250% of the FPL; Medicaid recipients must make no more than 138% of the FPL.
There are some changes in premiums, as the associated costs of ACA rises each year. Rates grow slowly, however, the consumer will still see a rise in health care costs throughout the year. This rise does not fall solely on Obamacare, in fact, Obamacare helps reduce large hikes in health care. Insurance providers, competition, cost of living, and health care providers contribute to the rise in cost.
Consumers were able to keep grandfathered plans in 2014, however, 2015 sees a significant change to this. Consumers cannot choose whether to keep their grandfathered plans; it is now up to the state and the insurance provider. If either of these entities will not support the grandfathered plan, a new plan must be chosen. Everyone with a grandfathered plan must check to be sure the plan will stay in place.
The employer mandate forced large employers to cover all full-time workers. This begins in 2015 for any employer with 100 or more employees. The same rule for those with 50-100 workers will be implemented in 2016.
Individual Mandate Tax
This fee is implemented for those who do not have coverage, and it is rising this year. It increases to $325 per person and $162.50 per child in 2015, or 2% of the total income, whichever is greater. Any person making less than 133% of the FPL is exempt from this tax.
Vancouver Home Health Care Agency is always available to go over Obamacare and personal options for our clients.
At Vancouver Home Health Care Agency, Caring and Compassion is our business.