2010 was the year of change in health insurance. It became law that every person and family must have health insurance. The penalty for not covering the family would be evident at tax time, costing over $300 per uninsured adult. Whether you agree or disagree with the law, it is a law and must be followed. There are many benefits to Obamacare, or the Affordable Care Act, such as guaranteed coverage for anyone, no matter their health, guaranteed coverage for mental health issues, and guaranteed pediatric dental coverage, to name a few. However, with the new mandates, it is important to sort through all of the available options of family health insurance to find the one that fits your family best.

What Are Your Family Health Insurance Options?

There are several health insurance options available for your family. The one most commonly discussed is the healthcare marketplace offered through Healthcare.gov. Healthcare.gov offers both private and employer options for healthcare through the government portals available in each state. Those who qualify may obtain a subsidy to help pay for their family healthcare. The standards are above the welfare poverty level, but not quite middle-class standards. More importantly, if you may receive family coverage from your employer, you will not likely qualify for a subsidy. The marketplace offers a variety of insurance options for your family from well-known companies at a variety of price points. In addition, if you qualify for completely subsidized insurance, rather than being forced to take Medicaid, you can still have health coverage from the exchange. Another option is employer-based insurance. Those lucky enough to have a job that offers family coverage for a percentage of the premium may be able to have a premium health plan for a fraction of the price. Most employers must offer insurance to employees at a competitive premium, especially if the employer has 10 or more employees. Typically, the employee is able to cover his entire family through a reputable carrier at a relatively small fee. If you lose your job for any reason, this coverage can be continued through COBRA. The final option is private insurance. Those with the means can purchase health insurance for their family directly from their preferred provider. The coverage offered in this arena is typically a premium coverage at a premium cost.

Benefits Under The New Laws for the Family

Under the new laws, your family will receive a better standard of healthcare, or at least that is the intention. To begin, no one can be denied insurance or charged an exorbitant rate as a result of a diagnosis. Therefore, if you and your spouse have a child with a health issue, your child will receive the same coverage as any other child at the same rate for the plan you have chosen. The same applies to cancer patients, heart patients, diabetics, and any other medical conditions your family may face. Another amazing benefit is free wellness checks for the entire family. Anyone with children knows that a newborn and infant must go every month to three months for a wellness check. If you had to pay for these, you could end up spending several hundred dollars going to the doctor during a time when money is already tight as you are adjusting to life with another member of your family. Those appointments and all subsequent wellness checks into adulthood are covered 100%. This includes annual gynecological exams, mammograms, prostate screenings, and physicals. In addition to wellness exams, health insurance for your family means preventative medical measures are covered completely. This refers to the flu shot for the whole family, as well as all immunizations, which are covered 100%. This also extends to family planning measures, such as birth control pills. Being that mental health has been a hot issue, it is reassuring that health care plans must now cover mental health care as well as physical healthcare. Therefore, no plan available to anyone will be devoid of mental health coverage. Finally, as the last preventative measure, pediatric dental coverage is mandated to be part of every health insurance plan. Families with children understand the benefit this offers, considering the expense of helping children maintain a clean and healthy mouth.

Do Not Go Without Family Care

The government has set into place measure to ensure everyone complies with the new laws. Now, not only is the benefit of carrying family healthcare a no-brainer, but the penalties will force you to comply. If you choose not to cover your family with the proper insurance in 2016, the IRS can penalize you $695 per adult over the age of 25 in the family, $347.50 per child or 2.5% of your income, whichever is more. While this may seem like a drop in the bucket in comparison to the premiums of family health insurance, it is actually quite costly and could result in owing money to the IRS instead of receiving a refund. The Affordable Care Act may not be the perfect answer to the epidemic affecting health care in the US, but it is a much better alternative to going completely without insurance. It helps those who truly need coverage to not be singled out or denied and left to handle the bills on their own, while potentially claiming bankruptcy. In the meantime, it ensures the necessary coverages are available to all people, because while it may seem unnecessary at the moment, you never know when you may need the mental health coverage or the free immunizations, to name a few. No family should ever have to go without family health insurance in the United States. Whether you are a family of two or a family of 10, you are entitled to have the means to pay for necessary life-saving measures and the right to protect your overall health. The Affordable Care Act has recognized this basic human right and provided an answer to the problem of underinsurance and uninsured families. To put it into perspective, imagine your child needed medical help. You would do anything to provide it. Now, all you have to do is present your insurance card.