Renovating Health Care – Benefitting Uninsured, Low Income People

  • Date: March 23, 2010
  • Source: Admin
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The new health care legislation in USA is promising a brighter and better future for the uninsured and low income people.  

The Uninsured 

According to federal law, Americans who do not opt for health insurance will face a federal penalty starting in 2014, although the strictness of the enforcement of that penalty is still being questioned. 

In the first year, uninsured consumers would owe $95, or 1 percent of income, whichever is greater. In the following years penalty would increase, reaching $695, or 2 percent of income. 

Sara R. Collins, a vice president at the Commonwealth Fund, an independent nonprofit research group, says families which fall below the income-tax filing level or people, who cannot find a policy that costs less than 8 percent of their income, will not owe anything.


Medicaid, the federal health insurance plan for the poor will be given to lower-income individuals under the age of 65. According to the new rules, households with income up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level, or about $29,327 for a family of four would be eligible for Medicaid. 


Most other uninsured people would be required to buy insurance through one of the new state-run insurance exchanges. People with incomes of more than 133 percent of the poverty level but less than 400 percent (that’s $29,327 to $88,200 for a family of four) would be eligible for premium subsidies through the exchanges. 

Premiums would also be capped at a percentage of income, ranging from 3 percent of income to as much as 9.5 percent. 


People who have lost, quit or decided to start their business venture will also benefit from the exchange scheme.  People, who have lost their employer-related insurance, can now move to into the exchange without any further complication.

In addition, people of any age who cannot find a plan that costs less than 8 percent of their income would be allowed to buy a catastrophic policy otherwise intended for people under age 30. 

People with Insurance 


For people who receive coverage through large employers will not see any major changes, nor will their premiums or coverage be affected. 


Expensive gap of insurance coverage used to affect millions. The new health bill will introduce changes in the Medicare prescription drug program and will eliminate the problem of expensive gap by 2020. 


Starting in 2018, employers that offer workers pricier plans — or those with total premiums of $10,200 or more for singles and $27,500 for families — would be subject to a 40 percent tax on the excess premium. Retirees and workers in high-risk professions like firefighting would have higher thresholds ($11,850 for singles, or $30,950 for families). 

According to Bill Vaughan, a policy analyst at Consumers Union “…it’s a big step forward,…It’s going to provide a peace of mind that many Americans who really want or need health insurance will always be able to get a quality product at a reasonable price regardless of their health or financial situation.” 

The new health bill will make the affluent families pay additional taxes. Buying health insurance policies will be mandatory for most of the Americans as they may face federal penalties if they do not buy it. 


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