Now that the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, is in full force, it's time to get up to speed on what it means for you. Here are the top five important facts about the law that everyone should know:
Fact 1. All health insurance plans must include 10 essential benefits.
These benefits include coverage for pre-existing conditions, preventative care, and maternity benefits.
Fact 2. You might qualify to enroll in health coverage even when enrollment is closed.
If you have a qualifying life event, such as getting married, divorced, having a child, or moving, you may qualify for a special enrollment period to apply for health insurance.
Fact 3. Depending on your income, you may be eligible for a subsidy.
Families earning up to 400% of the poverty level are eligible for monthly subsidies to help reduce the cost of health insurance premiums.
Fact 4. If you don't have health insurance, you may be penalized.
You may be fined $95 per uninsured family member or up to 1 percent of your household income, whichever is higher.
Fact 5. You can enroll in Medicaid or CHIP at any time if you are eligible.
If you have low income, you may qualify for health coverage through Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program. You can apply for these government programs at any time during the year.