Time to Get Ready for Next Year’s Healthcare Changes

As 2014 approaches, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will bring many changes not only for American citizens, but also for doctors and insurance companies.

How it Impacts You

If you already have health insurance, 2014 will proceed normally. If you don’t purchase health insurance, you could incur a penalty. If you purchase health insurance through a state exchange, you may qualify for a federal subsidy if your income is less than 400 percent of the federal poverty level. That’s around $43,000 per year for singles, and $92,000 for families. There are two types of subsidies:

Premium Assistance Tax Credit: These reduce the amount you pay for healthcare through tax credits. The amount is determined by a sliding scale based on income.

Cost-Sharing Assistance: This subsidy lowers your out of pocket cap based on your income.

How it Impacts Doctors

Primary care will be the focus in 2014. Financial incentives will be offered to primary-care doctors. Overall, medical facilities will be pressured to keep practices cost effective while encouraging patient health. Funds have also been dedicated to healthcare innovation studies.

How it Impacts Insurance Companies

Insurance companies can no longer deny citizens with pre-existing conditions healthcare or charge higher premiums. Lifetime limits are banned and insurance companies must spend 80 percent of premiums on actual medical care. High-dollar advertising budgets and administrative costs will feel the crunch, but it also means lower premiums for you.