The U.S. Supreme Court on June 28th issued its decision regarding legal challenges to President Obama’s Affordable Care Act. The court’s ruling was a milestone for the law, allowing almost all the Act to move forward to become law. Several portions of the Act have already been put in place in the past two years, and more are on the way. Ultimately, it is intended to end the United States’ status as the only rich country with large numbers of uninsured people, by expanding both the private market and Medicaid.
If you have health insurance, you will benefit from steps to stop insurance companies from cancelling your coverage if you get sick. The law will also require insurance plans to cover your out-of-pocket expenses for many preventative screening services, such as mammograms or colonoscopies, to catch problems at their earliest, most treatable stages.
The Affordable Care Act is a health care law that aims to improve our current health care system by increasing access to health coverage for Americans and introducing new protections for people who already have health insurance. The most important part of the Act is the individual health insurance mandate, and the Court ruled that this mandate is constitutional.
The mandate is included in the Act as a way to encourage Americans who are currently uninsured to get health coverage. The idea behind it is to have everyone participate in the system or pay their fair share. Immigrants who are living and working legally in the United States are subject to this health insurance mandate. All aliens who are lawfully present are covered by the requirement to maintain health insurance. Unauthorized (illegal) aliens are exempted from this mandate. Here is a quick description of the mandate:
If you have insurance—either through your employer or through a plan you purchased outside of work—you don’t have to pay a penalty or worry about the mandate because you are already covered. If you do not have health insurance, starting in 2014, you will need to get it or face paying a tax penalty. If you fall into the uninsured group, there will be new ways to make it easier for you to find and pay for health coverage.
Based on their income, certain individuals may qualify for a tax credit toward their insurance costs available only through an exchange beginning in 2014. All lawfully present aliens who meet specific qualifications are eligible for the tax credit. Unauthorized (illegal) aliens are ineligible for the tax credit.
In upcoming issues of The Voice of the Fields, we will explain the new health care law, and the individual mandate in more detail. We will keep you updated with the facts and, most importantly, what it means for you and your family.
To learn more about the Affordable
Care Act, please visit: http://www.healthcare.gov/law/index.html.