ObamaCare in Arizona
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About Obamacare in Arizona
Obamacare in Arizona has been implemented to promote the availability and affordability of health care insurance. The Affordable Care Act has reformed the AZ law to ensure residents have access to public and private insurance. Most people are required to have some sort of health coverage by 2014; otherwise, they may be subject to penalties on their 2015 income taxes. You can search and compare health plans at the Health Insurance Marketplace. You can visit the official website at: https://www.healthcare.gov.
When you apply, you will determine if you qualify for a private insurance plan or Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). You may also be eligible for lower cost health plans or financial assistance based on your income and the size of your household. The Obamacare program also enables you to purchase your own health plan outside the Marketplace but you won’t be eligible for benefits like lower out-of-pocket expenses based on your income level.
Individual & Family Coverage
You can use the Health Insurance Marketplace online tools to compare plans before deciding which one meets your and your family’s health and financial needs. All plans offered through the Health Insurance Marketplace will provide the same basic coverage, known as essential health benefits. These benefits will be provided regardless of the plan you choose, regardless of additional services offered by specific insurance carriers. Preventative services are part of this core package and they include vaccinations, flu shots and screening at no cost.
Other essential benefits such as hospitalization, emergency services, mental health care and prescription drugs are also guaranteed in every single Marketplace plan. You will also receive coverage for maternity care, laboratory services, pediatric care and rehabilitative services. Marketplace plans provide you the option to choose any doctor, hospital and pharmacy of your preference; however, take into consideration that in-network providers most likely imply lower out-of-pocket expenses.
Small businesses in Arizona can provide affordable health insurance to their employees through the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) Marketplace. You will be considered a small business if you have fewer than 50 employees. The benefits of purchasing workplace health insurance through SHOP are remarkable. Small business owners have the ability to choose between four levels of coverage that have been denominated as Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum.
There is no correlation between the level designation and the quality of the services provided. They all provide similar benefits – the difference is the percentage of insurance coverage provided by the carrier. Employers can also decide what portion of the employee premiums they want to cover. Businesses with fewer than 25 employees may be eligible for health care tax credits when purchasing a plan from the Marketplace.
In the past, insurance companies could refuse coverage for pre-existing conditions. If you get a healthcare plan through the Health Insurance Marketplace, you will receive coverage for such conditions. Per the Affordable Care Act, insurance carriers cannot refuse treatment coverage for pre-existing conditions like diabetes or cancer. The only exception to the rule is grandfathered individual health plans acquired prior to March 23, 2010. In these cases, you can switch to a Marketplace plan that provides coverage for a pre-existing condition; this can be done during open or special enrollment periods.