Several parts of the Obamacare will go into effect in 2013. Knowing what is to come is the best way to prepare yourself, both financially and mentally. Big changes start in July. The Consumer Operated and Oriented Plan Program (Co-Op Program) should be up and running. This program will allow for non-profit health insurance issuers to offer small group or individual plans at competitive rates.
By October the larger scale insurance exchanges should ready to go. Consumers will have a chance to shop for their insurance coverage as easy as though they were shopping online for an airline ticket. Obviously health insurance is more complicated than buying a plane ticket, but the theory behind the exchange is a one-stop shop where people can price out all the plans available and easily compare one to another. The exchanges will standardize plans making them easier to compare.
By the end of 2013 the penalties for not maintaining insurance will get underway. At this point individuals are not yet required to have insurance or pay a fine, but employers will be required to provide it as a benefit. For those employers who have 50 or more employees, they will need to at least offer the insurance as a benefit. If they fail to do so, for every employee they have over 30 they will be imposed a $2,000 fine. This means and employer that has 50 employees that does not offer insurance will be required to pay $40,000 in penalties each year until he or she offers health insurance.
Beginning in 2014 the law will be in full effect. Each individual will be required to have insurance either through his or her employer or purchased on the private market. Those who opt not to insure their health will be fined 1% of their adjusted gross income, or $95, whichever is greater. There are subsidies based on income levels. They taper out at 400% the poverty level.
There are big changes coming for the way this country provides health benefits for its citizens. The new laws will affect everyone, but just how it will affect you is determined primarily on your economic situation. Throughout 2013 new mandates will start getting in place, and by 2014 the law should be in full swing.