What You Must Know About Health Reform

Wesley Watkins
Wesley Watkins

Don’t worry if you feel like you don’t know how the Health Reform (ObamaCare) Law is going to affect you in 2014. Over 75% of Americans don’t understand any of it according to certain reports. One reason why people don’t understand is because the law itself is over 2,000 pages long with over 20,000 pages of regulations that detail the law! Another reason is that, basically, Americans aren’t concerned with things that don’t directly affect their income or lives. The closer we get to the end of this year, the more people will be concerned with this law and how it will affect them. I have listed below a few points that you must know and understand before you jump into the details of the law:

• Everyone must have adequate health insurance or pay a penalty. The penalty is in the form of a tax that increases each year, so be aware of which choice you are going to make—pay a penalty, or buy a health insurance policy with adequate benefits.
•The federal government is creating a Marketplace for Louisianans to have additional options that will include tax credits (subsidies) for many qualifiers.  This concept is probably one of the biggest changes starting in 2014. You will be able to buy an insurance policy from my agency and 60% up to potentially 100% will be paid for through tax credits (subsidies), if you qualify.
•Many people will qualify for Tax Credits (subsidies). The numbers are mind-boggling, and many people question how our federal funds will afford such costs, but the fact is many Americans will qualify for tax credits to pay for most of their health insurance premiums. Take a look at the chart below to see if you qualify for a tax credit.
•If your employer offers adequate coverage at a reasonable price, you will not be eligible for any tax subsidies.  One most important item that every individual must remember is that if your employer offers a health insurance plan that meets certain federal guidelines, you won’t receive any tax credits to buy health insurance. Some people will try to get the tax credits, but it will catch up with them when they pay taxes, so don’t do it.

  1. Talk to a health insurance agent that is certified in this law. Not every health insurance agent will be knowledgeable about this law, yet some will act like it. My agency went to great lengths to make sure we provide the right information to our clients. We have studied the law and even earned certification. Only 10 agents in Louisiana have earned this certification so far. Be sure you seek advice from credible sources before you make a decision.


January is fast approaching. If you or your company needs more information regarding Health Reform, please contact me at (318) 445-9359. I will help you make the best decision regarding your benefits.