Friday, November 22, 2013

What does the Affordable Care Act mean for you?

By: Edward L. Blais, JD, CIC
With valuable contributions by Hannah Wojcik of Brewster & Shuster

With all the political rhetoric and confusing amendments to the Affordable Care Act, citizens are becoming bogged down and frustrated.  At Blais Insurance, we work hard to ensure that your customers remain informed on important issues affecting their everyday life and are always available to answer any questions you may have.

In an attempt to clarify the basics of Obamacare, we offer the following information:

What Is Currently in Affect Under the ACA?
  • Young adults are covered under parents' plans until age 26
  • Free coverage is available for preventative services
  • Small business tax credits of up to 50% of employer's contribution towards premiums
  • Enrollment in Rhode Island's health benefit exchange, HealthSource RI, has begun

What is HealthSource RI?
  • A new way that Rhode Islanders and small employers can find and compare health insurance plans, and purchase the coverage that best fits their needs
  • All plans cover essential health benefits (doctors visits, prescriptions, hospital stays)
  • October 2013: Enrollment began
  • January 2014: Coverage takes effect
  • Participating carriers are Blue Cross Blue Shield, United Healthcare, and Neighborhood Health Plan
  • Only place where small employers can receive tax credits
  • Broker-friendly for existing clients
  • More information is available by visiting or by contacting 1-855-840-4774.

What Will Happen in 2014?
  • The individual mandate will take begin, requiring all US citizens to have health insurance coverage or pay a penalty
  • Exceptions would include individuals with low income, members of certain religious groups, Native Americans
  • In 2014, the penalty will be the greater of $95 or 1% of the individual's taxable income
  • No coverage discrimination will be allowed due to pre-existing conditions or gender
  • Elimination of annual and lifetime coverage limits
  • Small employers, those with less than 50 employees, are not mandated to offer health coverage
  • In 2015, large employers, those with more than 50 employees, will be mandated to offer health coverage to employees or else face substantial penalties

For more information on how health care reform and the ACA will affect YOU or your business personally, please contact Blais Insurance at 725.0070 or Hannah Wojcik of Brewster & Shuster Associates at 401-274-8770 or by email at