Health care reform enacts the requirement that United States citizens and legal residents have “minimal essential coverage.” Individuals must provide insurance for themselves as well as their dependents, either through their employer or purchased through new government insurance “exchanges.” This means that an additional 32 million people nationwide will be insured.
Government subsidies as well as expanded Medicaid options will be available for low-income families and individuals.
Exceptions to the Required Health Coverage
Exceptions will be granted for certain financial hardships as well as religious objections. Native Americans, undocumented immigrants and prisoners are exempt as well.
Beginning in 2014, individuals will face repercussions for not having health insurance. Fees will start fairly small, increasing in amount until 2016. Insurance-less individuals will face fees of $695 per person (no higher than $2,085 per family) or 2.5% of the household income, whichever is greater.