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10 Myths About Health Care Reform


9
All Americans Will Have Health Insurance
Insurance agents set up in a mall in Hialeah, Fla. on Nov. 14, 2013 assist people who wish to sign up for policies and better understand  the Affordable Care Act’s impact on their options. ©Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Insurance agents set up in a mall in Hialeah, Fla. on Nov. 14, 2013 assist people who wish to sign up for policies and better understand the Affordable Care Act’s impact on their options. ©Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Yes, it is true that under the health-care reform laws all Americans have access to health insurance. And yes, it's true that more Americans will have coverage because of the legislation. But notice we said "more" in the latter statement, not "all." Why? Because it's also true that not all Americans will be insured.

Most Americans -- as many as 3 in 4 -- will continue to be part of group insurance plans offered through their employers, or they'll be part of public health care programs (Medicare and Medicaid) [source: Sebelius]. The remaining 20 to 25 percent can use the state and federal health insurance exchanges (that includes Healthcare.gov) to sign up for coverage.

Health-care reform is expected to expand insurance coverage to about 25 million previously uninsured Americans by 2020. But 25 million doesn't account for all remaining Americans [source: Klein]. It may be that they won't find an affordable coverage option, despite subsidies -- and those who can't find a plan that costs less than 8 percent of their income are exempt from having to buy insurance. Some may not be eligible for Medicaid. Still, some may just choose to opt out of buying insurance -- that's right, you can choose not to buy coverage, but you'll be charged a tax penalty each year you're not covered.


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