Enrolling the dice: Don’t gamble with health

Alycia Bacon, Staff Writer

Students at Hudson Valley have received emails encouraging them to sign up for health insurance in the marketplace created by the 2010 health care reform known as “Obamacare.”

The Affordable Care Act (ACA). The ACA makes it a legal responsibility for all those who are uninsured to get health insurance.

On Mar. 31, the enrollment period for this year ended.Those that did not purchase health insurance will have to pay a $95 penalty.

The ACA gives certain provisions for what insurance companies must cover. Things like preventative healthcare services and contraception must be covered by health insurance companies. It also makes it illegal for health insurance companies to deny coverage for preexisting conditions.

Three out of four Americans receive health insurance through their employer. However, millions of Americans who previously did not have coverage now have the chance to purchase insurance. Some people could not afford private insurance and still did not qualify for Medicaid, while others may have worked for companies that did not provide health insurance for its employees but now employers are legally required to provide health insurance to full-time employees.

Through the ACA, the government is not in control of citizens health insurance benefits. It simply provides regulations and rules the private companies and employers must abide by.

Companies like Bluecross Blueshield, MVP Health Care and CDPHP are privately owned and operate companies that manage individuals health care benefits. Every company, including those not in the health insurance business, must abide to HIPAA, or the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. This act is a provision that protects private information from being disclosed without the explicit knowledge and consent from the individual.

Individuals and couples that earn between $200,000 and up  will receive an increased tax to that will account for 50 percent of $930 billion that will be needed to keep the ACA up and running.

Those who don’t receive health insurance through their employers and do not qualify for Medicaid can go onto their state’s marketplace exchange.

The marketplace exchange is a website that each state sets up and individuals and go on and fill out an application. Once submitted, individuals will qualify for a certain amount of premium assistance. For some this could mean little to no cost health insurance. Those who cannot find an health insurance plan for less than eight percent of their income can decline.

New York’s exchange, at nystateofhealth.ny.gov, has enrolled 812,033 people as of March 30th.

Not all states chose to take full advantage of the government funding. Florida, for example, chose to not accept additional funding for its residents. Florida has 3.8 million uninsured residents, making them number two state with the largest amount of uninsured citizens. Florida declined to accept as much as $50 billion that would cover over one million residents.

Despite the efforts of some to repeal the ACA, in 2012, the U.S Supreme Court ruled the act to be constitutional.

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