Local healthcare expert explains mandates of Obamacare

POSTED: Tuesday, September 24, 2013 - 6:33pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, September 24, 2013 - 8:04pm

The Affordable Healthcare for America Act, or Obamacare as it has come to be known, is a nearly 3,000 page bill.

It requires all Americans to have health insurance, and the first day for uninsured to enroll is October 1.

Tuesday, at Scott and White Healthcare in Temple, Dr. James Rohack, who is the Director of Healthcare Policy, explained the most important parts of the law.

1) All Central Texans, starting January 1, 2014, are required to buy health insurance. If you are not insured by March 31, 2014, the IRS will penalize you $95, or 1% of your income- whichever is higher in 2015.

2) Kids can be covered on their parents plan until they are 26. If you or your parents do not have insurance, you are required to purchase some.

3) Those with Medicare, and anybody with insurance through their employer is not affected.

4) If you make less than roughly $11,000, you qualify for Medicaid and are not affected.

5) If you do not have insurance, and your annual income is more than $11,000 but less than $45,000, the government will give you money to help you buy some.

Rohack said, “The bottom line to the viewer out there is that on October 1 there is not a requirement to do anything. The requirement is, as of January 1, 2014, you need to have health insurance. Som the decision is if you don’t have health insurance, and you do get sick, you are still going to have to pay for your healthcare too.”

But the future of the program is unclear.

“What will happen in five years is that we will have our American experiment of democracy in full bloom; We will have a new president, and two new congresses. So, we will have a process that continues to evolve," said Rohack.


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