by EZRA KLEIN, Washington Post
In the past week, both Alec MacGillis and Sabrina Tavernise have written articles touching on how little the uninsured actually know about the Affordable Care Act. Given that polling shows the law remains unpopular even as its component parts — with the notable exception of the individual mandate — are very popular, it seems they’re not alone. So here’s a refresher on some of the law’s most significant policies and consequences:
- By 2022, the Congressional Budget Office estimates (pdf) the Affordable Care Act will have extended coverage to 33 million Americans who would otherwise be uninsured.
- Families making less than 133 percent of the poverty line — that’s about $29,000 for a family of four — will be covered through Medicaid. Between 133 percent and 400 percent of the poverty line — $88,000 for a family of four – families will get tax credits on a sliding scale to help pay for private insurance.
- For families making less than 400 percent of the poverty line, premiums are capped. So, between 150% and 200% of the poverty line, for instance, families won’t have to pay more than 6.3 percent of their income in premiums. Between 300 percent and 400 percent, they won’t have to pay more than 9.5 percent. This calculator from the Kaiser Family Foundation will let you see the subsidies and the caps for different families at different income levels.
- When the individual mandate is fully phased-in, those who can afford coverage — which is defined as insurance costing less than 8 percent of their annual income — but choose to forgo it will have to pay either $695 or 2.5 percent of the annual income, whichever is greater.
- Small businesses that have fewer than 10 employees, average wages beneath $25,000, and that provide insurance for their workers will get a 50 percent tax credit on their contribution. The tax credit reaches up to small businesses with up to 50 employees and average wages of $50,000, though it gets smaller as the business get bigger and richer. The credit lasts for two years, though many think Congress will be pressured to extend it, which would raise the long-term cost of the legislation. [MORE]