WPS Health Insurance Blog

2013 year in review: Health care reform resources

Posted by Marie Puissant

Dec 26, 2013 9:02:00 AM

Health care reformWe’ve written a lot in 2013 about health care reform and what it means to you in 2014. From the Marketplace to subsidies and back again, we hope you’ve learned the basics to get you through this transition. Since the end of the year is a good time to reflect on things you’ve learned throughout the year, we’ve compiled this list of helpful health care reform blog posts from 2013 as a handy resource for the new year, not to mention great reading material over the holidays!

Small Businesses and the Affordable Care Act

This blog post explains why small businesses, those with less than 50 full-time equivalent employees, aren’t required to offer health insurance to their employees. However, small businesses who do offer health insurance to their employees are eligible for tax credits. Check out our handy 7 Things Small Businesses Need to Know About the Health Care Reform brochure.

The Marketplace

This blog post outlines how the marketplace, initially called the health care “exchange,” rates and offers health care plans under the four metal tier levels. Did you know, under the Affordable Care Act, all health plans sold on the marketplace must offer “essential health benefits,” including preventive and wellness services, chronic disease management, pediatric services, and more?

No Health Insurance in 2014?

This blog post discusses what it means if you don’t have health insurance beginning Jan. 1, 2014. Essentially, the individual mandate requires everyone to have health insurance, or they must pay a penalty fee on their 2014 tax return. Learn more about the individual mandate and why having health insurance is so important.

Essential Health Benefits

This blog post lists out the essential health benefits that health care plans on the marketplace are required to provide for you. It’s a fantastic list. Really, you should see this list. For another blog post on preventive care coverage, click here.

Subsidies and Penalties

This blog post talks about your income tax return from 2012. Confused? Don’t be. The 2012 tax return that you filed this year serves as a baseline for whether you qualify for a premium, tax credit, or subsidy for your 2014 health insurance coverage. The premium tax credit is refundable, which means that it is available even if you have no tax liability. It is also advanceable, which means it is available as soon as you enroll in a qualified health plan. The premium subsidy can be paid directly to your insurance company to offset your premium. And the penalty? Well, you’ll just have to keep reading to learn more.

Women’s Preventive Coverage

This blog post relates to the essential health benefits post. It explains in more detail the services available to women under preventive coverage.

New Graduates’ Health Insurance Options

Since the Affordable Care Act’s passage in 2010, children have been allowed to be covered under their parent’s health insurance plan until age 26. Additionally, graduates can choose their own short-term health plan, an individual health plan, or a catastrophic plan. Options, guys! Plenty of options.

Seniors and Health Insurance Options

Speaking of health insurance options, adults age 65 and older have quite a few good health insurance coverage options as well! From original Medicare, to Medicare Advantage, to Medicare supplement plans, employer health plans, and more, seniors can get comprehensive health care coverage to fit their needs and budgets.                                                       

Health Care Reform Comprehensive Brochure   

This is a shameless promotion on our excellently researched and written brochure on the 9 Things You Need to Know About the Affordable Care Act. Do you know what they are? Guess you’ll have to read more to find out!

The Individual Mandate

Do you know what the individual mandate is? We talked about it further up in this list, but the individual mandate essentially requires everyone to have health insurance beginning 2014 or they could be subject to penalties on their 2014 tax returns. Read more for the good news and the not-so-good news.

Pre-existing Conditions and the Guaranteed Issue Clause

Guaranteed issue simply states that people with pre-existing conditions can still get health insurance coverage from plans on the Marketplace. Anyone can purchase a health plan regardless of health status or other factors and they can’t be denied.

More on the Marketplace

Like the title suggests, this blog posts presents you with everything you need to know about open enrollment, which started Oct. 1, 2013, and how the Marketplace works for searching and choosing health insurance plans.   

Short-Term Health Insurance

You’ve got it, folks! Short-term health insurance could be exactly what you need, especially if you still don’t have a health insurance plan coming up to Jan. 1, 2014. A short-term health plan from WPS offers coverage for your choice of 30-364 days. It covers you in case of illness or injury, provides you time to research other options, and is called the WPS Alternative Choice plan!

There you have it! All the winter reading you could want on the Affordable Care Act and the Jan. 1, 2014 deadline. Hopefully having this list all in one place is a useful resource to you! If you want to read even more, check out our Health Care Reform Information Center.

As always, WPS wishes you and your family a very happy holiday season and a wonderful New Year!

Topics: health insurance