What is Obamacare?

Obamacare is the commonly used name for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) which was signed into law by President Barack Obama on March 23, 2010. Obamacare is the biggest change to health insurance since Medicare and Medicaid was established in 1965.  Here’s a brief summary of some of the major provisions of Obamacare.

Quick and Easy Summary of Obamacare.

Starting in January 2014 individuals and families will be able to buy health insurance on their own without being declined or rated up for pre-existing medical conditions.  There is also an individual mandate that requires everyone to have health insurance or pay a tax penalty.  For individuals and families with low to middle income there will be premium subsidies available.

Obamacare is the biggest change to health insurance since Medicare and Medicaid was established in 1965. Rob Cavaness, Santa Barbara Health Insurance

Web based state exchanges will be set up where you can buy health insurance and, if your income qualifies, receive premium subsidies.   The state exchange in California is called Covered California.  To take advantage of a premium subsidy you must buy your health insurance through the exchange.  If you do not qualify for a subsidy you can buy your health insurance on or off the exchange.  There will be more plans to choose from  so buying on the exchange will make the most sense for people that qualify for subsidies.  Regardless of where you buy your insurance we can assist you at no additional cost to you.

When is enrollment?

The initial open enrollment period to sign up for Obamacare is October 1, 2013 to March 31, 2014 and the earliest effective date is January 1, 2014.  Due to the individual mandate the tax penalty in 2014 for not signing up for health insurance will be $95 or 1% of your income, whichever is greater.  The penalty for not signing up for health insurance will increase each year after 2014.

Other provisions of Obamacare include keeping dependents on their parent’s health insurance policy until they turn 26.  Preventive benefits like annual physicals and mammograms are free of charge.  Maximum benefit limits on policies are removed and Medicaid is being expanded to cover more low income Americans.

It’s a huge change.

Obamacare is a huge change for health insurance in America and there will be a lot of questions and confusion.  Please feel free to use us as a resource for all your health insurance questions.  You pay the same premium if you use us as your agent as you will if you go direct to Covered California or any insurance company.  Why not have someone help you with the process for no additional cost to you?   That includes applying for coverage and any service issues that may arise after the policy is in force.   At Santa Barbara Health Insurance Solutions, we have your best interest at heart.


Here at Santa Barbara Health Insurance Services we know that no web site can substitute for courteous service from an experienced professional. Our staff is always happy to help with your California health insurance, California dental insurance, or term life insurance needs. Feel free to call us any time at (800) 765-1540.