Yes, in most circumstances, insurance should cover the genetic test for breast cancer.
The Affordable Care Act includes substance use disorders as one the essential health benefits. This means that all health insurance sold on Health Insurance Exchanges or provided by Medicaid to certain newly eligible adults starting in 2014 must include services for substance use disorders. The types of services covered must have evidence of effectiveness. All newly insured individuals will be eligible for these services.
Hi Tana, unfortunately, your state is among those not expanding its Medicaid program -- given your financial situation you most likely would have qualified. But you may qualify for deeply discounted health insurance through the marketplace, so I urge you to shop (head to Healthcare.gov). If it turns out the lowest cost plan available to you amounts to more than 8% of your income you will not be held responsible for having coverage and will not pay a penalty.
Bill, in most cases, you will not be eligible for tax subsidies through the Affordable Care Act's exchanges is you have employer provided coverage. And, in many cases, the coverage available through an employer may be more affordable because most employers help subsidize coverage for their workers. If a spouse or dependent is not covered through your employer plan, and if they meet the income thresholds (adjusted gross income below 400 percent of the federal poverty level), then they should be able to shop in the exchanges and receive a tax subsidy. One caveat. There are some instances where even when an employer offers coverage, where you can shop in the exchange because the employer coverage may not be deemed "affordable." The law contains certain guidelines as to what "affordable" employer coverage means. Your employer is required to give you notice if the coverage they offer is not affordable. So, check with your employer. But, if they have not provided this notice, it is most likely that only your spouse and other dependents may be eligible for tax subsidies through the insurance exchange.
Hi Ginny, it's essentially your taxable income. You can confirm the income that will be counted by checking your tax form. Here's where to look:
If you use form 1040 EZ - line 4
form 1040A - line 22
form 1040 - line 37
If you are laid off you could shop for coverage on the exchange. COBRA will remain an option for you, but depending on your income, and the ages of your family you may be able to find more affordable coverage on the exchange.
Susan, it is probably best to keep your COBRA in place but, at the same time, it is absolutely a good idea to look at your state marketplace, check out the coverage options available online, and see whether there is a more affordable option that covers the doctors he sees. If he has no income, you may also want to see whether he qualifies for Medicaid coverage in your state. That may also be an option that is more affordable than COBRA.
Hi Abby, take a look at Healthcare.gov. You'll be led to your state's page and you can start to take a look at health plans and costs. With the income you've stated you'll no doubt qualify for subsidized coverage. In addition, you'll qualify for lower out-of-pocket costs each time you go for medical care.
Our reader, Mary, asks: "I am a 73 yr. old female. Primary insurance is Medicare; secondary insurance is USAA. Will I be forced to change secondary insurance and if so when? And at what cost? Will my coverage change? I have a primary care physician; a cardiologist; a pulmonary physician; and a GYN physician. Will I lose my doctors?"
Mary, a lot of seniors who have Medicare coverage have questions about the impact of the Affordable Care Act. The new law does not make major changes to the traditional Medicare program. It does add some new coverage for preventive benefits and make some other changes—but nothing that should affect your Medicare coverage. In addition, nothing in the law will require you to change your secondary insurance from USAA. So, you should not have to change coverage or change doctors.
Yes, in Arizona plans are available for a person of your age for considerably less. I would check Healthcare.gov to get an idea of the premiums you would face for a similar plan. Based on the report on premiums for Arizona released by the Federal government you should see premiums about 60% of what you are paying now. You should shop carefully though because you may find that your choice of providers will be different under plans sold on the exchange.
Hi Rick, that's a big concern for many people. The Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services has taken steps to reassure the public that data security and privacy on the new health insurance exchanges are strong. These efforts include a public education campaign to help people avoid scam artists taking advantage of the public’s confusion about the Affordable Care Act. In fact, many experts on the subject I've talked to say that a bigger threat to the security of our personal information is human error, specifically, falling prey to common scams that have cropped up in response to the law. The scams range from fake websites claiming to sell Obamacare health insurance policies for under $30 a month to scam artists trying to get consumers to reveal personal information. The best we can do is to be vigilant about our own information. Remember that the federal government never calls or emails so if you're contacted by someone claiming to be from the government asking for information, don't respond.
Deborah, it is true that there are several new fees under the law that may increase coverage for insurers and employers. And, as with your employer, in many instances, these fees will be passed along to covered workers in the form of higher health insurance premiums. And, yes, these will be applied across the board to all consumers covered by the employer-sponsored insurance policy.
And the transcript of this event will be continue to be available here.