Understanding the Affordable Care Act

November 9, 2015



by Tom Hershewe

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, more commonly called the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or “Obamacare,” was signed into law in 2010. This statute continues to have an effect on healthcare coverage in the United States. Some of the more notable provisions in the act include:

  • No lifetime or annual limits.
  • Extension of dependent coverage to age 26.
  • Prohibition on exclusions due to preexisting conditions.
  • No excessive waiting periods for eligibility.

These provisions (some more controversial than others, depending on who you ask) have prompted many Americans to take a harder look at their own insurance policies. As a personal injury lawyer, I know all too well the importance of maintaining, and understanding, health insurance policies.

If you choose not to carry health insurance, you’ll pay a fee to the U.S. government. If you’re involved in an injury accident or incident and you don’t have a policy, you may also be subject to court-mandated liens. These liens may mean that you will be held responsible for covering medical costs and damages. Charges can be quite large and could have an enormous effect on the financial futures of those involved.

Enrolling for health insurance, whether through a private company or through the ACA, may save participants from this kind of financial stress. Enrollment for 2016 began Nov. 1, 2015, and goes into effect Jan. 1, 2016. The website healthcare.gov has a wealth of information regarding the different levels and types of plans and networks. This is just one of many considerations when exploring your choices regarding health insurance coverage.

If you or a loved one is involved in a personal injury case, it’s important that you work with a law firm that understands the nuances associated with these ongoing legislative changes. Depend on the attorneys of Dollar, Burns & Becker to do the proper research for the best representation.