Despite the fact that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) was intended to provide a public option, or an affordable means of obtaining health insurance coverage for millions of uninsured Americans, the implementation of this healthcare reform has not been without its hiccups. In truth, there are still many Americans who can’t afford the coverage they’re deemed eligible for, despite the fact that there are mandatory minimum requirements for coverage. So you might be asking yourself, “why can’t I afford Obamacare?”
The answer isn’t simple. Anyone that has gone through the process of applying for federal financial aid to help pay for college is aware of the fact that their income, and/or their parents’ income will be taken into consideration. And those that lie within set brackets for earnings will be expected to pay a portion of their tuition and other expenses on their own. In other words, the more money you make, the more you’ll be expected to contribute to your education. The same principle applies to Obamacare. When you fill out your application through Healthcare.gov or your state exchange, you’ll be told what you’re eligible for in terms of coverage, as well as what you’ll be expected to pay.
You’ll likely have some latitude to select an affordable plan for coverage, including details like the policy you choose, your deductible, co-pays, and so on. But unless you meet the parameters for low-income or other specialized circumstances (pregnancy, disability, etc.), you will likely find yourself on the hook for at least a portion of the cost of coverage. Unfortunately, you might not be able to afford the level of coverage you’re assigned, even though you should be able to on paper.
This could be partially affected by the state you live in. The federal government provides funding for Obamacare programs, but states are also expected to pay a portion. And in some instances, state governments have elected to go above and beyond requirements to ensure that their residents have every opportunity to receive affordable care, including preventive services like check-ups and testing, for example. But not every state has jumped on the bandwagon. Some have failed to provide additional funding, meeting only the bare minimum required. And other states have openly fought Obamacare in the courts.
This isn’t the only reason you can’t afford Obamacare, though. You may be dealing with debt, as many Americans are in the wake of the recession, or perhaps you’re dealing with job loss or the inability to get a job that matches your earning potential. You might have both minor and adult dependents in your home for whom you’re responsible. Whatever the reason, you simply may not be able to afford coverage under Obamacare.
Regardless of why you can’t afford Obamacare rest assured that you still have options. If you decide to go without health insurance there are many ways to get an exemption from the tax penalty. Also, if you are relatively healthy, there are many health insurance options that are not under Obamacare; and these plans are significantly less expensive. Speak with a licensed broker or agent who works with both Obamacare and non-Obamacare policies to get all the options available to you.
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