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As of right now, the Affordable Care Act (also known as “Obamacare” or the ACA) still stands as the main method for millions of Americans to get health insurance. If you’re one of those millions — and chances are pretty good that you are — read on to learn a few points about the ACA that you may not have realized.

  • Small companies will still be able to utilize the ACA next year. Originally, any company with 100 or more employees had to have certain benefits and prices regulated within their health plans for full-time workers. In 2014 and 2015, the ACA changed it so states could lower that number to 50, which most did. That number was supposed to change back to 100 next year. In September of this year, something unprecedented happened: Both Democrats and Republicans supported a bill to keep the “small business” number at 50 or fewer; thus businesses just on the other side of 50 can (and must) still provide affordable coverage to employees.
  • You don’t have to use the marketplace to get insurance. During open enrollment (which began November 1), you can get insurance through the marketplace via HealthCare.gov if you qualify for cost assistance based on your income. If you don’t qualify, you can look around at private healthcare plans outside of the HealthCare.gov marketplace to see if you have better options. The ACA regulates plans so you won’t get gouged.
  • 6 out of 10 uninsured Americans can get coverage for under $100 a month. For anyone whose income is between 100% and 400% of the Federal Poverty Level, you can qualify for cost assistance on premiums and/or out-of-pocket costs. If you have affordable employer coverage, you cannot get cost assistance, although you can still get coverage through the marketplace. Admittedly, the more income you bring in, the more your coverage will cost, but the marketplace allows you to shop around for a plan that will work for you.
  • You have more control over your privacy. When you go on HealthCare.gov and sign up, you can opt out of having the site collect certain information, such as what site you came from, which parts of HealthCare.gov you visit, how long you spend on the site, where you leave from, etc. HealthCare.gov uses this information to improve the site and pinpoint digital advertising about deadlines and the like, but you can easily choose not to have the information collected.
  • Basics get covered with no out-of-pocket expenses. For almost all plans, standard immunizations, annual checkups, preventive care and the like are covered under the ACA with no co-pays or premiums to worry about as long as you stay within your network. Be advised that it’s only the basics that are covered. If, for example, a standard yearly visit finds that you need to take a certain type of medication, it may not be covered until you meet your deductible. For details, look at your specific plan.

For questions on how employers cover the Affordable Care Act, reach out to the staffing professionals at PrideStaff Thousand Oaks today.

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