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Obamacare upheld: What it means for YOU

  • Supreme Court upholds President Obama's health care law
  • We break it down for you!
 Obamacare upheld: What it means for YOU

Explainer: What is Obamacare?

Explainer: What is Obamacare?

Obama: Ruling is 'victory' for all Americans

Obama: Ruling is 'victory' for all Americans

Romney: As president, I will repeal Obamacare

Romney: As president, I will repeal Obamacare

So let's state the facts first: The Supreme Court upheld the controversial health care law spearheaded by President Obama and Democrats.

Read More: Obamacare upheld

Clearly, opponents were angry at the ruling today. Congressional Republicans even went so far as to say they would take a vote to repeal the entire law.

Politics aside, what does this mean for you? Here are some key things you need to know:

Will I still have to buy health care by 2014?

Yes. Today's decision means that the individual mandate -- which requires nearly all Americans to buy health insurance by 2014 or face a penalty -- remains in place. If you don't purchase health care by 2014, the penalty will be as follows: $285 per family or 1% of income; By 2016, $2,085 per family or 2.5% of income.

But I already have insurance -- does this affect me?

Because the individual mandate was upheld as a tax, there will be money coming in to help pay for the law (read: Americans buying health care lowers the costs for all). In essence, with nearly all having health insurance means your premiums won't likely skyrocket.

What about Medicaid?

The Supreme Court said in their ruling on Thursday that a part of the law pertaining to Medicaid has to change. Under the law, Medicaid would be expanded; States would have their funding cut if they don't participate. The justices said the government must remove that provision.

But I have a pre-existing condition ... will I still be covered?

The health care law made it illegal for insurance companies to deny coverage or impose costly rates if you had a pre-existing condition and wanted to buy insurance. It also established national high-risk pools that people with such conditions could join sooner to get health insurance. So you're not affected by the decision.

What about my kids?

They are fine. The health care law required insurance companies to cover their clients' kids up until the age of 26. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, nearly 2.5 million sons and daughters (ages 19-25) received coverage because of the law, which was a major help for college kids who were out of jobs and used their parents' coverage.

Greater accountability

According to CNN's Josh Levs, "The massive health care law requires doctors to report goodies they get from medical supply companies; demands more breastfeeding rooms; requires all chain restaurants to list calories under every menu item, and includes numerous other provisions, which now remain in place."

I'm a doctor... what does this mean for me?

No major upheaval in your office. If the law was struck down, many of the changes you were already making -- or a health care provider was making -- would have been in flux. With today's ruling, everything remains in place; your requirements under the law continue.


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