Nanny Health- What Obamacare means for women
Being a nanny comes with a wonderful and unique set of rewards, but healthcare is not always one of them. That’s why the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, is so important for people without employer-sponsored health benefits, especially nannies. According to the American Community Survey, women make up about 95 percent of nannies, caregivers and house cleaners, which means the major changes relevant to women involve a majority of domestic workers and their ability to obtain or pay for health insurance. Here is a list of five exciting advances that could affect nannies:
1. Women can no longer be charged more for health insurance.
Nannies love the kids they care for equally, whether male or female, but insurance companies used to prefer men. Pre-ACA, insurance companies could charge women higher insurance rates just for their sex. Not anymore. Insurance rates and premiums must now be equal for men and women.
2. All plans must provide maternity coverage.
‘Minimum essential coverage’ is now required for all health insurance plans, including maternity coverage and other basic health care services like newborn care, prescription drugs, pediatric services and more. That means nannies can care for their own children as thoroughly as they take care of other kids.
3. Preventive care will be provided at no cost-sharing.
Copayments are more than a chunk of change, even if you’re a nanny in a Beverly Hills mansion. Health plans created after March 23, 2010 must cover preventive care such as health screenings, vaccinations and more without charging a copayment, which is estimated to grant 47 million women access to these services.
4. No longer turned down for coverage due to pre-existing conditions.
Previously, individuals with pre-existing conditions could be turned down by insurance companies. Now, women can’t be denied coverage based on previous or current medical conditions. If only there was protection against being constantly covered in finger paint…
5. Eligibility for Medicaid.
Medicaid expansion is a crucial part of the ACA and is estimated to help seven million women become eligible. In 2014, individuals with incomes up to 133 percent of the federal poverty line will be eligible for coverage, which includes many low-income, single women. According to a study by the National Domestic Workers Alliance, one in four domestic workers are paid below their state’s minimum wage. Live-in nannies average only $6.76 per hour.
6. Women will also be eligible for subsidies to help buy health insurance.
Tax credits will be available in 2014 to people who cannot afford quality health insurance. Nannies purchasing insurance starting January 1, 2014 through a marketplace are eligible for subsidies or cost-sharing if their income is less than 400 percent of the federal poverty level. According to a survey by the International Nanny Association, 8.71 percent of nannies reported receiving $300 or less per week in 2010.
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