How Health Care Reform Will Affect You

Photo (cc) by a.drian

Now that health care reform has passed the U.S. House of Representatives, odds are that it will soon be law. So let’s take a minute to see how the most sweeping changes in American health care in 40 years will change things for you.

Begin by watching the following news story that will give you a quick rundown of what’s in the healthcare bill, then meet me on the other side for more.

Now here’s a recap of those facts with a bit more detail.

For those that are uninsured

Without question, uninsured Americans will be most affected by health care reform. If you don’t have health insurance because you’re unemployed or don’t make enough to afford it, you’re going to get a subsidy to help cover the cost of coverage. The subsidy will be based on your income, but the result will be that at least 30 million people who couldn’t afford insurance will now theoretically be able to.

And if you have lingering doubts that this group of people really needed the government’s help, check out a couple of news stories we recently did about how the uninsured suffer:

So the news is good for uninsured Americans who needed and wanted coverage, but there’s another group of uninsured who may not be so happy: those that can afford insurance but choose to forgo the expense by going without. In an effort to encourage all Americans to have health insurance, beginning in 2014 these people will face fines for that kind of risk-taking. The proposed fine is 2.5% of income, up to $2,085, so the incentive to have insurance will be powerful.

That covers the uninsured minority. Now let’s take a look at the majority: those Americans who currently have health insurance.

For those who get their insurance at work

Americans who get their coverage through their employer are the largest group of insureds in this country. And ironically, considering all the bitter bickering over this bill, they’re probably also the least affected. If you’re the average Joe or Jane, you probably won’t see big changes in either cost or coverage from your employer-sponsored health insurance; at least not immediately.

If your employer doesn’t offer health insurance at work and they’ve got more than 50 employees, odds are they’re going to start. Because if they don’t, they’ll be facing major fines.

If your employer has fewer than 50 employees, they won’t be forced by fines to offer coverage; they’ll be encouraged by tax breaks to do so.

Self-employed or others who buy their own coverage

According to the Congressional Budget Office, those who buy their own insurance privately could face higher prices: up to 13% higher for a family policy. The increase would be less for an individual policy.

Whenever you’re considering these types of changes in prices (or lack thereof), keep in mind that determining cost going forward is far from an exact science. While the C.B.O. and others have estimated costs, nobody really knows the combined effects of adding 30 million new people to insurance pools, removing lifetime limits and mandating other changes that improve coverages. Further complicating the process is the fact that major changes are phased in over time, with many not taking place until 2014.

If you want to gain a greater understanding of changes coming under the new bill, go through the Congressional Budget Office report. or this 13-page publication from the Kaiser Family Foundation. Neither are written in legalese and both will help you understand a lot more.

And to see what other bloggers think of the new law, a couple more links: Stew over at Gather Little by Little shares his thoughts on the recent healthcare legislation and Mark Riddix of Money Crashers further describes how the new health insurance laws affect you.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
6 Types of People Who Can’t Count on Social Security
6 Types of People Who Can’t Count on Social Security

If you fall into one of these groups, don’t assume that you will receive benefits.

11 Signs That You Chose the Wrong Place to Retire
11 Signs That You Chose the Wrong Place to Retire

Health and happiness in retirement rely on some key factors.

16 Products You Absolutely Do Not Need
16 Products You Absolutely Do Not Need

There are plenty of great ways to spend your money, but you can safely leave these products on the store shelf.

13 Things Seniors Can Get for Free — or Almost Free
13 Things Seniors Can Get for Free — or Almost Free

There are many ways to get cheap or free services and goods after reaching a certain age.

Never Put These 8 Things in a Microwave Oven
Never Put These 8 Things in a Microwave Oven

A microwave can be a busy cook’s best friend. But heating certain things in a microwave can cause disaster.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
11 Things Retirees Should Always Buy at Costco
11 Things Retirees Should Always Buy at Costco

This leader in bulk shopping is a great place to find discounts in the fixed-income years.

Over 50? The CDC Says You Need These 4 Vaccines
Over 50? The CDC Says You Need These 4 Vaccines

Fall is the time to schedule vaccines that can keep you healthy — and even save your life.

9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again
9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again

The warehouse store offers an enormous selection, but these products aren’t coming back.

11 Senior Discounts for Anyone Age 55 or Older
11 Senior Discounts for Anyone Age 55 or Older

There is no need to wait until you’re 65 to take advantage of so-called “senior” discounts.

8 Things You Can Get for Free at Pharmacies
8 Things You Can Get for Free at Pharmacies

In this age of higher-priced drugs and complex health care systems, a trip to the pharmacy can spark worry. Freebies sure do help.

These Are the 4 Best Medicare Advantage Plans for 2020
These Are the 4 Best Medicare Advantage Plans for 2020

Medicare Advantage customers themselves rate these plans highest.

The 10 Most Commonly Stolen Vehicles in America
The 10 Most Commonly Stolen Vehicles in America

A new model parks atop the list of vehicles that thieves love to pilfer.

11 Household Items That Go Bad — or Become Dangerous
11 Household Items That Go Bad — or Become Dangerous

When you get the impulse to stockpile these everyday items, pay close attention to their expiration dates.

7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast
7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast

Your financial security might soon depend upon the strength of your credit score.

19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree
19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree

These jobs pay more than the typical job in the U.S. — and no bachelor’s degree is required.

5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free
5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free

Hesitant to drop $119 a year on an Amazon Prime membership? Here’s how to get it for free.

10 Reasons Why You Should Actually Retire at 62
10 Reasons Why You Should Actually Retire at 62

If you can, here are several good reasons to retire earlier than we’re told to.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

14 Things That Are ‘Free’ With Medicare
14 Things That Are ‘Free’ With Medicare

These services could save you money and help prevent costly health problems.

5 Keys to Making Your Car Last for 200,000 Miles
5 Keys to Making Your Car Last for 200,000 Miles

Pushing your car to 200,000 miles — and beyond — can save you piles of cash. Here’s how to get there.

26 States That Do Not Tax Social Security Income
26 States That Do Not Tax Social Security Income

These states won’t tax any of your Social Security income — and in some cases, other types of retirement income.

5 Things That Make Life More Meaningful for Retirees
5 Things That Make Life More Meaningful for Retirees

Retirees agree: These are the things that give them purpose and fulfillment in their golden years.

10 Things You Should Never Do With Bleach
10 Things You Should Never Do With Bleach

Does the pandemic have you reaching for bleach more than ever before? Learn the ins and outs of using this powerful disinfectant.

15 Amazon Purchases That We Are Loving Right Now
15 Amazon Purchases That We Are Loving Right Now

These practical products make everyday life a little easier.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.