Q: I'm a part-time worker from home and my hours are variable, at times more than 40 hours a week but usually more like 25 hours a week. How does Obamacare apply in my situation? I'm a diabetic and support a family of five, so affordable health insurance matters a lot to me.
You have to hand it to the foes of the Affordable Care Act. They've been hugely successful at "educating" the public on all the unpopular parts, including some that don't even exist. Meanwhile, public awareness of the law's popular provisions, such as the end to pre-existing-condition exclusions and subsidies to help people afford health insurance, has actually dropped in the three years since it was signed into law on March 23, 2010, according to a new tracking poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation.
Q. My Medigap policy was cheap when I bought it but it's expensive now that I'm 76. I tried to switch to a cheaper plan but was turned down because of some health conditions. Will health care reform prevent Medigap plans from doing this?
Recently, consumers nationwide have received a phone call from federal employees, informing them that they're among the first Americans selected to receive health-insurance cards as part of the Affordable Care Act.
Q. Our family of four gets coverage through my wife's job. This plan costs nothing for my wife alone but family coverage eats up 22 percent of our annual income. Can we get a subsidy to buy a cheaper plan on our state's exchange?
Q. I make about $35,000 a year, and my employer doesn't provide health insurance. I barely make it through the month as it is, and I definitely won't be able to afford health insurance or a fine once the Affordable Care Act mandate starts. I'm afraid of what will happen.
Q. I'm confused about CEOs claiming that Obamacare will force them to reduce employees' hours due to the cost of insuring them. Aren't large employers already obligated to provide health insurance to full-time employees?
My employer told me she will soon have to pay $1,800 per employee annually for Obamacare. Does that sound accurate? She doesn't provide us health insurance right now.
Q. My wife just got laid off from her job, which has been supplying our health insurance for the past 15 years. I'm switching to my employer's plan but it says that pre-existing conditions won't be covered for the first 12 months. My wife needs a $2,000 monthly infusion of a drug to control an autoimmune condition, and we can't afford it on our own. What recourse do we have?
Still got some money stashed away in a health-care flexible spending account? If so, you might want to put a trip to the pharmacy on your day's to-do list, or at least check your plan's paperwork to see if you can take advantage of the IRS's optional grace period, to March 15, to spend those funds. Otherwise, after today you'll lose those savings for good.
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