Myth or Truth: Debunking Common Affordable Care Act Misconceptions


On Oct 1, the healthcare exchange went live and media coverage on the Affordable Care Act significantly increased. Despite the influx of valid information from reputable news sources, some myths have begun circulating about the Affordable Care Act. Below are some common myths and the reality associated with them.

Myth: People on Medicare will have to buy additional insurance.

Reality: People receiving Medicare have health insurance and have complied with the law. Those individuals will not be required to buy additional insurance. However, there will be some changes to Medicare. Click here for more information.

Myth: The government will tell you what doctors you can see.

Reality: The insurance plans sold on the exchange are private insurance plans from private companies. Each has its in-network and out-of-network doctors. This is typical of many insurance plans. It may be wise to see if your current health care provider is in-network before you choose an insurance plan. Your health care provider may be able to provide you with this information.

Myth: The Affordable Care Act and Obamacare are two different things.

Reality: The Affordable Care Act is the official name of the act that requires Americans to have health insurance, while Obamacare is a less formal reference to the Affordable Care Act.  

Myth: I have to buy my health insurance plan in the exchange.

Reality: You can purchase your health care plan from anyplace you choose. However, you may not receive government assistance to help make that plan more affordable if you purchase outside the exchange. Please note that it is possible to find affordable health care options outside the exchange. It is important to research all of the options available to you and make an informed decision on which insurance provider you choose.

Myth: If I don’t buy insurance, I must pay a penalty.

Reality: If you already have insurance through your employer that meets the minimum essential coverage , you are not required to purchase or change your insurance plan. However if you are not insured and you do not buy health insurance you may be subject to a penalty of a maximum of $95 per person or $285 per family in 2014. This penalty will increase in the years 2015 and 2016. Moreover you will be subject to 100% of your health care costs. To learn more about penalty increases and what circumstances qualify you for an exclusion from the penalty click here .

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