The Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, will begin to roll out next month. There are still many of us out there who are unsure of what it is, or how it will affect us. We’ll be providing local residents with all the info you need about Obamacare in the downtown areas of Troy, Albany, Schenectady and Saratoga Springs on October 1st from 11:30am-1pm. Here are some basic bullet points that explain certain aspects of the new system.

• Insurance companies will not be able to discriminate against US citizens based on domestic violence or disability.

o Insurance companies can currently deny enrollment based on a preexisting illness or disability.

• It will eliminate lifetime limits on coverage.

o If a baby or young child is terminally or critically ill, some insurance carriers can currently cap services after a certain limit.

• There will now be a tax on tanning salons.

• Employers will need to provide a list of benefits offered on employees’ tax forms.

• When companies turn down a claim, there will be an appeal process.

o An additional option added other than a lawsuit.

• Citizens making over $200,000 yearly will have increased personal taxes.

• The FDA will be able to approve more generic drugs.

o This will increase rebates and decrease prices on drugs people get through Medicare.

• Insurance companies will have less ability to change the dollar amount that customers pay for plans.

• Insurance companies will not be able to cancel your insurance once you get sick.

• There will be a cap on the profits an insurance company can make.

• National food chains will be required to display the calorie content for each menu item.

• All new health plans must provide preventive care, i.e. mammograms, colonoscopies, without requiring a co-pay or charge.

• People will be charged the same regardless of medical history.

• If you can afford insurance but do not get it, you will be charged a mandated fee.

o You don’t have to get insurance, but you’ll have to pay the fee, unless you’re not enrolled because you can’t afford it.

• Businesses with over 50 employees must offer health insurance to full-time employees or pay a penalty fee.

• Businesses don’t have to provide insurance to you if you work 29 or less hours per week, or else they will have to pay a penalty fee.

• Lower and middle class will have an easier time getting affordable medical coverage.

Hopefully you find some of this information helpful!