ObamaCare for College Students
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Politics and Activism

ObamaCare for College Students


The 2014 reforms of Obama's ACA are set to come into place this May. So, what does that mean for us?Soon we'll be taking over current corporations as well as leading America's progress for the future. Wouldn't it help to know if we can see our own doctors first?

Classes, work and the woes of that treacherous transition into adulthood: college often seems like the ultimate balancing act. Our generation remains an age of consistent innovation, where free time is rare and if you get a healthy amount of sleep, you're clearly doing it wrong. With that comes the necessity to understand what we as students will soon take over: the American socioeconomic system. You know, that thing our parents talk about with words we hear all the time but never understand? As confusing and foreign as it may seem, American politics and its implications on healthcare is something we as legal voters and the future leaders must take the responsibility to understand. Here's a quick overview of the Affordable Care Act, better known as ObamaCare, and what it has to do with us. 

Following the enactment of the 2010 ACA, students have two options: stay on their parents' plan (legally allowed until the age of 26), or purchase a healthcare plan upon entry into college. Furthermore, the issued Individual Mandate imposes a tax penalty should neither option be fulfilled; however, with these recent reforms comes what are known as exchanges, thus giving students more options regarding their healthcare plans. Whereas students before could only get a new plan or stay on their old one, they now have 4 other 'exchanges' as well:

1. Purchase subsidized coverage: Students now have the option to buy under their state policy if facing a tight budget. If the household income calculates to 400% of the federal poverty level, students can save enormous amounts under this eligibility.

2. Purchase insurance under Medicaid: America has been recently expanding the eligibility of these benefits for low-income families, making healthcare more accessible to those who previously couldn't afford it.

3. Purchase a 'catastrophic' plan: Long story short, the coverage is designed to protect adults under the age of 30 from high medical costs. With low premiums and high deductibles, the 'catastrophic' coverage relies on upfront payments to be paid up to a certain amount. After that's paid, the student's covered, but these first costs can go upwards of thousands of dollars.

4. Take a risk and go without health coverage altogether: As a college student myself, this may not seem like of the most spectacular topics to be covered. But if we plan on leading a successful and prosperous generation, we must learn what this upcoming view of adulthood looks like. Registering for classes or applying to grad school may be stressful, but learning the art of filing taxes and paying hospital bills is in a whole different ballpark. We're not quite there, but it doesn't hurt to understand what we're going into before we're there.

Photo courtesy of 123rf.com/profile_rangizzz. 

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