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While the Affordable Healthcare Act has stalled some of the items changing in the American healthcare system, you will soon begin to notice some come about in 2014. Below are the changes that will occur in 2014.

  • Insurance companies no longer have the right to deny individuals coverage due to medical conditions or because previous claims were submitted.
  • New healthcare “exchanges” created for individuals and small business to purchase coverage. Tax credits based on household income offered for those purchasing through the exchange. Subsidies will end once household income exceeds 400% of the poverty line, or $88,000 for a family of 4.
  • The exchange will offer four tiers of coverage: 60, 70, 80 and 90 percent of health service costs respectively. Employer coverage must meet these same standards.
  • All group plans will have to be certified as “qualified health plans” with a minimum table of benefits to avoid employers offering low level benefits.
  • Qualified health plans must eliminate annual coverage limits and pre-existing condition exclusions, while extending coverage to children up to age 26. They must also consult with the federal government on premium rates.
  • Medicaid expanded to assist families 133 percent of the poverty line, or $29,300 for a family of 4.
  • Childless adults meeting low-income standards will be covered by Medicaid for the first time ever.
  • U.S. citizens and legal residents will be required to have and maintain healthcare coverage. Those who choose to not have coverage will be fined $95 per uncovered person in 2014, with the fine increasing to $695 by 2016.
  • Employers with a workforce of over 5o employees will be fined for any employee that purchases healthcare through the exchange in place of their employer-sponsored coverage. The penalty will be $2,000 per individual, with the first 30 employees exempted. Full-time is defined as working more then 30 hours per week.

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