Affordable Care Act
Obamacare gives you the freedom to pig out during ice cream month…or does it
Published on July 31, 2015
In 1984, President Ronald Reagan designated July as National Ice Cream Month and the third Sunday of the month as National Ice Cream Day.
Did you know 87% of Americans have ice cream in their freezer?
Or that an American will enjoy 48 pints of ice cream on average per year?
While ice cream is an undeniably delicious treat, too much of it can lead to potential health problems or put you at risk for illnesses such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity.
Obesity and the Affordable Care Act
Did you know that before the Affordable Care Act (ACA), you’d pay 22% more – on average – for health insurance if you were obese (link).
In fact, your application for coverage could even be denied based on your BMI, or because of a pre-existing condition like diabetes or high blood pressure.
Beginning in 2014, the ACA did away with pre-existing conditions. Currently, no one can be denied coverage for a major medical health plan because of their health status. Your health also can’t be used to charge you more for the same health plan, unless you’re a tobacco user.
Are Pre-Existing Condition Exclusions REALLY gone?
Before the ACA pre-existing conditions were used by insurance companies to make sure people didn’t wait until they got sick or injured to buy a health insurance policy – imagine how quickly insurance costs would rise if people could buy a plan on their way to the hospital in an ambulance.
However, there are still types of insurance that CAN decline you for pre-existing conditions like obesity and diabetes.
Those types of insurance are:
- Short-term insurance is health coverage typically available for periods from 30 days through 12 months. These plans can give you some protection for limited periods while you are between standard health insurance coverage, also known as major medical insurance.
- Short-term plans generally have lower premium prices than major medical plans. But, short-term plans usually offer more limited coverage than major medical.
- Short-term health plans typically don’t cover pre-existing conditions, preventive care, pregnancy and maternity, immunizations, dental appointments, vision care, foot care, and certain other services.
- Critical illness insurance pays you a cash sum for covered illnesses like cancer.
- Be aware that a critical illness insurance plan generally does not conform to the Affordable Care Act (ACA or “Obamacare”), because it doesn’t provide the minimum essential coverage required by the ACA. This means that you may still be subject to an Obamacare tax penalty if you purchase a critical illness insurance plan.
- Accident insurance helps you pay for the medical and out-of-pocket costs that you may incur after an accidental injury. This includes emergency treatment, hospital stays, and medical exams, and other expenses you may face, such as transportation and lodging needs.
- Travel insurance coverage can offer peace of mind if there was situation in which you needed medical attention overseas.
- Keep in mind, you can only get a Medicare Supplement Plan only if you already have Original Medicare. Medigap covers Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) and Medicare Part B (medical insurance), but it does not cover Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage plans), Medicare Part D (prescription drug plans), or any other private health insurance, Medicaid, Veterans’ Administration benefits, or TRICARE.