Republicans are attempting to repeal the act for the 31st time, but the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) has been so far ruled constitutional by the Supreme Court.

One of the main points of contention is the clause requiring people to get insurance or pay a tax for when the government bails out uninsured individuals who wind up in hospital emergency rooms. It’s easy to rack up ten to a hundred thousand dollars in a single ER procedure, and it’s Uncle Sam that pays when someone declares bankruptcy.

So to cut a long story short, how much will it really cost you to sign up for insurance or pay the tax?

Let’s start with the tax. It will come into effect on 2014 and depends on your income, with $95 being the cheapest tax that you’ll have to pay if you don’t earn much and decide to skip out on insurance. The tax will go up the more you earn, though, so the penalty goes up relative to your income.

If you earn less than $15,000 and decide to get insurance, though, then you’re likely to be covered by Medicaid for next to nothing. If you earn more than required to be eligible for Medicaid coverage, then you can qualify for private policies for significantly less than full premium packages.

Another perk is that the ACA limits the out-of-pocket expenses from insurance to just $6,250 a year. So if you’re covered by insurance and break your wrist during a bad fall, then you will be safeguarded against getting slapped with a huge medical bill.

The best part is that you will now be able to access insurance even if you have a pre-existing medical condition. Asthma, diabetes, pregnancy – insurers won’t be able to exclude you or charge you extra for covering you.

Want to learn more about the Affordable Care Act? Visit the official Obamacare site to check out the key features and how they benefit you.

Last updated: July 14, 2012 by & filed under Blog

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