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With the Affordable Care Act being enacted, the premise is that health insurance should be freely available and affordable to all Americans, while dispensing higher quality and more stable coverage that it has previously. This will go a long way toward a comprehensively insured population, eliminating the tough choice of whether or not to visit a doctor for uninsured individuals. An insured population equals a healthier nation.

The design of these new healthcare plans is regulated, but they are still sold by private insurers. All plans must now offer comprehensive benefits including doctor visits, preventative care (many services are now free), prescription drugs, mental health services, maternity care and hospital stays.

There’s been a lot of talk about rising healthcare costs with this new law. However, individuals and families who earn lower incomes may be eligible for tax credits to lower the cost of healthcare. This may apply to individuals who earn below $45,960 and families (of 4 people) that earn below $94,200. However, you are not eligible for tax credits if you receive employer-subsidized healthcare.

Everyone is now required by law to purchased healthcare, but what happens if don’t have a healthcare plan yet? If you do not have a health insurance policy, you can now be fined by the government. This penalty will come in one of two ways: a percentage of your annual income (increasing from one percent in 2014 to 2.5 percent in 2016) or a specified dollar amount (beginning at $95 in 2014 and exceeding $695 by 2016).

The price of the penalty fine may be less than the cost of healthcare for the first few years, but the fine will increase over several years. Not to mention, you’ll still have to pay for medical expenses 100 percent out-of-pocket, which, in itself, can exceed the cost of purchasing a healthcare plan. The best thing you can do is buy a healthcare policy as soon as possible to avoid exceedingly high future expenses and to ensure your comprehensive health coverage.

We’ve got you covered. Call Sound Benefit Solutions at (925) 244-1330 for more information on San Francisco health insurance.

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