Students begin seeing effects of Obamacare

James Scott

President Barack Obama’s biggest piece of legislation has been the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare. This bill was put into place as an attempt to reform the health care system.

Many students are already seeing what Obamacare can do. For example, students are now allowed to stay on their parent’s or guardian’s plan until the age of 26.

“This is hugely important, especially in this economy, where they may not immediately get a job with health insurance,” said Steffen Schmidt, university professor of political science at Iowa State.

This bill prevents health insurance companies from denying coverage to someone with a pre-existing condition. It also requires coverage for preventive care, like cancer screenings and women’s contraceptives.

No longer will insurance companies be able to drop customers without a right to appeal.

According to a survey from 2012 by the American College Health Association and National College Health Assessment, and conducted by Thielen Student Health Center’s Prevention Services Department. The survey reported 93 percent of students already have heath insurance.

Starting Jan. 1, every U.S. citizen will be required to have health insurance. If citizens choose not to, starting on March 1 they will be taxed. The tax starts at one percent of taxable income the first year and gradually increases.

Since most students already have health insurance, this new mandate will have no effect on them. Students without health insurance will have a number of options.

Beginning Oct. 1 the marketplace, also known as the exchange program for insurance companies, will begin. The marketplace is designed for small businesses, customers without employee insurance or new customers to compare and contrast healthcare plans that fit their needs.

The marketplace will be a collection of insurance plans run by insurance companies. The federal government is simply subsidizing health care coverage, so it is more affordable for all citizens.

“There will be a bronze, silver, gold and platinum Health Insurance Plans,” Schmidt said. “Each with their own set of deductibles and copays, under the marketplace model.”

Platinum would give the most coverage, bronze the least. Many low to middle class citizens will qualify for subsidies on their health insurance, lowering the cost of their healthcare.

“In terms of health care reform, we don’t expect it having a big impact on us at Student Health,” said Michelle Hendricks, director of Student Health Center at Iowa State via email.