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What is Obamacare and what does it mean to expats?

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, otherwise dubbed as ‘Obamacare’ is a new United States federal statue signed into Law on 23rd March 2013. 
The goal is to increase the affordability and quality of health insurance by providing better service and raising the standard of what the basic health care coverage provides. Obamacare is also setting out the lower the rate of uninsured people which in 2013, was estimated to be around 44 million Americans. The act aims to do this by expanding public and private insurance coverage. 
As of 2015, employers will also have to provide health coverage to all full-time employees and it has been estimated that most Americans will have health insurance by the end of March 2014. Enrolment for Obamacare opened from 1st October 2013 to 31st March 2014. It does not reopen until 2015. 
Under the new law, insurance companies are required to cover all applicants within minimum standards and are to forgo all pre-existing conditions and illnesses. This should be regardless of age or gender. Before, denial on these conditions was frequent. Women were generally charged extra too. However, Americans will now have access to a large number of new benefits. For those who do not want to join, a monthly fee is payable for every month they do without coverage. 
Expats seeking medical insurance will only need to join if they are planning to stay for over three months. If you are outside of the US for more than 330 days in a year, Obamacare will cease to cover you. 
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is a pioneering move in American health care, as is has been known to be very expensive in the past. 
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