The Affordable Care Act – often referred to as “Obamacare” – is the most sweeping change in the nation’s health care system since Medicare, and it has generated a lot of controversy. Inevitably, some of the things being said about it are not in line with the facts. If you have heard some of these myths, get the facts below.
MYTH: “ACA plans are not affordable”
FACT: The ACA makes health insurance more affordable by providing financial assistance based on income. Four out of five people who bought a plan on the marketplace received financial assistance, in the form of tax credits and cost sharing subsidies. The law also protects consumers from high costs by placing caps on consumer out-of-pocket spending.
MYTH: “Because of the ACA I’m going to lose Medicare benefits”
FACT: Medicare benefits will not be altered or cut due to the ACA. No Medicare money is being transferred to the ACA. The projections of reduced Medicare spending are based on cost-saving reforms in Medicare payments to doctors and hospitals. No cuts are being made to benefits. In fact, the ACA adds new benefits for seniors, including an annual wellness visit; and it will gradually eliminate the gap in coverage for prescription drugs.
MYTH: “People are losing good insurance plans because of the ACA”
FACT: The Affordable Care Act outlawed plans that did not provide a minimum level of coverage. Such plans seemed like a bargain because of the low monthly premiums, but if the patient had a serious illness or injury, the plan would only pay a tiny fraction of the cost, leaving them at risk for bankruptcy. Medical bills account for more than half of all U.S. bankruptcies.
MYTH: “The ACA is forcing people out of small business”
FACT: Companies with 50 or more full-time workers must offer employee health insurance that meets a set of minimum requirements or face a penalty. Smaller companies are not subject to this requirement, and in fact are able to obtain coverage for their employees through a new marketplace, where they may be eligible for tax credits.
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