Last updated on April 17, 2014 at 21:23 EDT

What a Texan Needs to Know About the Affordable Care Act

August 27, 2013

AUSTIN, Texas, Aug. 27, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — A 2012 Deloitte survey of U.S. businesses found that 9 percent of U.S. employers plan to drop health care coverage for their workers in the next three years, and that an additional 10 percent are considering dropping coverage. Meanwhile, major provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) take effect in less than five months, creating a new health care reality full of unknowns. As a result, many Texans may find themselves forced to make difficult health care decisions in an uncertain market amidst growing misinformation and warnings to avoid fraud artists attempting to cash in on their confusion.

“Many individuals will be making tough health care decisions on their own for the first time,” said Mark Bellman, president of the Texas Association of Health Underwriters.

“The Affordable Care Act is going to create a new health care reality in Texas, placing more responsibility on individual Texans,” he said. “Many may find themselves feeling unprepared to make these important, complex decisions in a time of uncertainty and change.”

What is a Texan who loses his or her health coverage, or never had it, to do? When major provisions of the ACA take effect on Jan. 1, 2014, uninsured individuals and families will be required to purchase or obtain health insurance or else pay an annual penalty — penalties that increase every year until 2016, when they cap at $695 per person or 2.5 percent of family income, whichever is greater.

Texans who lack employer coverage but want to avoid this penalty will face a series of decisions they may be unprepared to make. Some low-income Texans will qualify for Medicaid coverage; however, Texas has decided not to expand Medicaid, forcing thousands of additional low-income Texans to obtain coverage on their own. Texans who do not qualify for Medicaid can purchase insurance through health Exchanges, organized insurance marketplaces created by the ACA.

Deciding if the Exchanges will be right for you is no easy task, as they do not yet exist and even insurers are unsure …Click Here to Download Full Press Release.

SOURCE Texas Association of Health Underwriters

Source: PR Newswire