Article | January 2, 2014

What Does The Affordable Care Act Mean To You?

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By Bob Goldberg, RSPA General Counsel

It does not seem that a day goes by with out something in the news about the Affordable Care Act. As a small businessperson what does this legislation mean to you? At this point, probably not a great deal, however, you likely have already missed the single requirement imposed.

The Affordable Care Act was passed with clear goals in mind. The intent of the legislation was to provide health insurance to the millions of Americans that did not have it. The law seeks to control the escalating cost of health insurance, create a more competitive marketplace, emphasize disease prevention, and eliminate certain factors that previously disqualified applicants. The Affordable Care Act will certainly change the face of medical insurance, how medical providers are paid, and standardize benefits under medical policies.

Since most RSPA members provide health insurance for their employees there should not be a concern that after January 1, 2014, there will be a penalty for not having health insurance. The penalty amounts to $95 per adult family member or one percent of family income, whichever is greater. With penalties in place on individuals the law guarantees that individuals will be able to obtain insurance. The only variables an insurance company may consider in establishing rates are age, geographic area, family composition, and tobacco use. Missing is preexisting conditions that have precluded many individuals from obtaining insurance in the past.

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