One of the major developments stemming from the election is that the health care law will go forward. In Colorado, up to half a million more people are expected to get health insurance. But there are still many Americans who don’t understand what it means to them. From Colorado Public News, Carol McKinley reports on what to expect.
The new health care law can be confusing, even without those campaign ads. Michele Lueck, CEO of the Colorado Health Instuitute, says the law won't change your insurance if you already have coverage.
"For the 60 percent of Coloradans who get their health insurance through
their employer, not much is going to change for you. If you don’t have
health insurance you’ll have a lot of options."
Families of four who make less than about $100,000 a year can get a tax credit to reduce the cost of health care. Almost everyone will be required by law to buy health coverage, or pay a tax. But the tax is a lot less expensive, says Lueck.
"We are going to have people who decide they’d rather pay the fine than buy
Lueck says having more Americans covered is key.
"Getting young, healthy people to buy insurance is the lynch pin of this
But one important part of the program is uncertain due to tight budgets. It's the plan to extend free government Medicaid insurance to people earning up to $16,000 a year. That's close to what someone earns full-time at the minimum wage. In Colorado, that's 200,000 people working in jobs like fast food and retail. Their fate is up in the air.
For more details on what’s in health care reform, go to www.ColoradoPublicNews.org.