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7 True Facts You Need To Know About Obamacare

Obamacare is confusing! We've got the straight facts on healthcare reform and what it means to you.

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By 2022, Obamacare is estimated to expand healthcare coverage to 33 million Americans. But the law is 11,000 pages long -- exactly 11,000 pages more than anyone wants to read about healthcare reform.

With the law's many complexities, it's no wonder that 51% of Americans still don't know what Obamacare means to them. You and millions of others want your most urgent questions answered - like, can Obamacare get you better coverage? Do you have to buy an Obamacare plan? And most importantly, can you even afford it?

The Goal of Obamacare

Officially called the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Obamacare’s purpose is to allow tens of millions more Americans to get health insurance. It provides inexpensive plans for individuals who couldn't afford insurance in the past, or were denied insurance because of a pre-existing health condition. Plus, it expands coverage for certain preventive services and essential health benefits.

There's no denying that Obamacare has completely changed the face of healthcare. But that doesn't mean it's easy to figure out. If just thinking about Obamacare throws you into panic mode, keep calm and read on. Because we've done the research for you. Here's a list of true facts you need to know about Obamacare.

1) Plans Must Offer Preventive Care -- For Free

Under the new healthcare law, all healthcare plans must include free preventive services. So you won't be charged for things like annual checkups, immunizations, certain cancer screenings, and tests for diabetes, heart disease, and sexually transmitted diseases. Plus, women have even more free benefits. They'll be covered for mammograms, Pap smears, birth control, maternity care, and more.

2) You Can Get Help Paying For Your Plan

The high cost of health insurance is the No. 1 reason why uninsured Americans don't think they'll buy coverage this year. But what most Americans don't realize is that they might qualify for financial assistance. Of the 26 million uninsured adults who must buy health insurance (or pay a penalty), about two-thirds can get a plan at a reduced rate -- either through healthcare subsidies or public programs like Medicaid or CHIP.

If you qualify for a healthcare subsidy, the government will help pay part of your insurance costs, either by lowering your monthly premiums or out-of-pocket costs. To see if you qualify for financial aid, ask an insurance agent today.

3) You Can Buy Health Insurance, Even If You're Already Sick

Before Obamacare took effect, 25% of Americans under 65 had trouble getting covered because they had a pre-existing health condition. Thanks to the Obamacare, insurers can no longer deny coverage or increase rates for people with pre-existing health conditions. Instead, insurance prices are now based on four factors: your age, where you live, the number of people in your household, and whether or not you smoke.

So if you have a chronic illness, injury, or disability that has prevented you from getting insurance, you won't be denied any longer. Obamacare helps you get covered without making you break the bank.

4) You Must Get Health Insurance During Open Enrollment

Open Enrollment is the only time of year that you can buy an Obamacare plan, either on or off the exchange. However, there are exceptions to this rule. If you have a life-changing event (like getting married, moving, having a child, turning 26, or starting a new job), you can get health insurance outside Open Enrollment.

If you want to buy a plan outside Open Enrollment, and you don't have a life-changing event, you can still get short-term coverage. Just know that you'll have to pay a fine for not having an Obamacare-compliant plan.

5) If You Don't Buy Health Insurance, You May Have to Pay A Tax Penalty

If you don't buy health insurance, you might have to pay a fine -- $up to $325 per person or $975 per household -- so make sure you get covered!

6) You Have Even More Options This Year

This year, 25% more insurance providers will sell plans on the government exchange. And that's great news for you, because more insurers means more companies competing for your business.

To make sure you get the best deal possible, shop around. Talk to an insurance agent to get help finding the most affordable plan for your needs.

7) Only Insurance Agents Can Recommend The Right Plan For You

If you look for a plan on the government exchange, you can call the "navigators" for help. Navigators got their name because they can guide you through the process of applying for a plan. But they can't recommend specific plans to for you, or tell you about plans outside the exchange. And when you're sorting through tons of insurance policies, personalized recommendations are just what you need.

That's where insurance agents have the upper hand. They aren't affiliated with the government exchange, so they can give you advice on any plan in your area. Navigators show you a map of all possible routes to get to Your Perfect Health Plan. Insurance agents tell you exactly how to get there.

Get The Help You Need From The Experts

Obamacare can be confusing, but you don't need to be an expert on health insurance to find a plan. When you're ready to buy health insurance, get a health insurance quote from First Quote Health!

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