Note: This is not a post to debate whether the health care law is good or bad, or how to best fix our health care system. I’m not interested in a political discussion. Also, I am by no means an expert on the law.
As most of you have probably heard, President Obama’s signature legistation was upheld 5-4 by the Supreme Court last week. Barring any repeal, the law seems set in stone. The law overhauls many aspects of the US healthcare system, but what does it mean for my pocketbook?
Right now, my employer covers half of my health insurance premium, so the new law does not change anything for me dramatically. I think the biggest change would be higher premiums, since the law doesn’t allow too much of a premium differential between age groups (I was hoping that the gender gap in premiums too, but it doesn’t look like that was even discussed). I’ve already seen my premiums increase 7% this year.
The biggest benefit of the act for us is the provision that allows people to remain on their parents’ health insurance plan until they are 26 years old, regardless of their marital status and whether they are a student or not. Before the Affordable Health Care Act passed, in order for someone to stay on their parent’s plan, usually the person had to be a student and single. Without this, we would have to purchase an individual plan for my husband, which would be expensive (my company doesn’t cover spouses). Instead, my husband is able to remain on his parent’s plan, which is cheaper since they have a large group policy with his father’s company. And as a bonus, his parents offered to continue to pay my husband’s premium as a way to help him through school.
How does the the Affordable Healthcare Act affect your finances?