All you have to do is look at the full name of Obamacare – the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act – to see that it is meant to provide not free, but affordable care to all. Of course, there are exemptions for those who cannot afford to pay for health insurance (provided they meet certain criteria). And there are special circumstances under which some Americans may be eligible to receive low-cost or even free health insurance and medical services. But the average person should not anticipate such treatment. Here are some things you need to know before assuming you’ll receive free health insurance under Obamacare.
The first thing you need to understand is that coverage can vary by state. Yes, there are federal mandates in place to govern the program, including federal funding. But states have the power to make some determinations on their own. And while many states have decided to add their own funding to state-run insurance exchanges in order to provide medical services for low-income families or other special groups (children, disabled persons, pregnant women, etc.), others have taken only the bare minimum offered by the federal government while refusing to provide state funding for additional services or insurance options.
So before you set your heart on free healthcare, you need to look into what your state of residence offers. Your next step is to apply with a licensed agent. Once you have filled out all the appropriate paperwork and your application has been processed, you’ll find out what type of coverage you’re eligible for and how much it’s going to cost you.
If you are a member of a low-income household and/or you meet other criteria, you will likely be able to take advantage of low-cost health insurance options. This could include a low-cost insurance policy for you and your family. Or you may find that you’re eligible for low- or even no-cost coverage of some kind through Medicaid. Unfortunately, this option is not available in every state. In some cases, states have subsidized this program to ensure that people and families below a certain income level are able to receive Medicaid, but you’ll have to find out if this is true for your state of residence. Still, Medicaid should be available everywhere for certain undeserved groups like the elderly, the disabled, and/or pregnant women, just for example.
As for minor children, the CHIP program is an option your family might be eligible for. Some adults may also qualify for inclusion in this coverage. The idea is that children should be able to receive health services even if their parents can’t afford to insure them or pay for their medical care. But you will have to meet requirements to take advantage of these free or low-cost services. In other words, the average adult should not expect Obamacare to be free. But the program will provide affordable health insurance and care options for individuals or families that fit into the low-income category. So don’t hesitate to apply and see what kinds discounts you qualify for when it comes to health insurance.
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