It’s hard to believe it’s been more than three years since the White House passed the Affordable Care Act, opening the door for millions of Americans without health insurance to obtain coverage, or else! 🙂 Regardless of the squabbling between the White House and Congress, it looks as if Obamacare is here to stay. Below are some of the very basics on what to expect in the months to come.
Although there are sure to be some hiccups as it is rolled out, many people across the country will have a great opportunity to find the right coverage to suit their needs. Consumers will have the right to choose between a private health plan or obtain a new health plan through the ‘exchange’ or ‘marketplace’, some people will even qualify for advanced tax credits that can be used to offset premium costs. Others will qualify for cost-sharing measures, and more people will now qualify for Medicaid and CHIP (depending on your state).
Open enrollment begins for ‘Healthcare Reform’ policies on October 1st, 2013 for policies that will go into effect on January 1st, 2014. Anybody that has any type of pre-existing condition MUST be accepted on all plans beginning January 1st, whether the plan is through an ‘exchange’ or private. Additionally, the insurer must charge an ‘affordable’ rate, meaning that insurers can’t discriminate on price based on health. Included on the governments’ list of pre-existing conditions is pregnancy, which is a really big deal. Currently, there are incredibly limited options on the individual health insurance market for pregnant women, and so this will open the door for young families to grow.
The plans offered through the exchange will be broken down by ‘metals’, (Platinum, Gold, Silver, Bronze). Platinum will be the most comprehensive of the plans with all the bells and whistles, with Bronze offering Essential Minimum Coverage. There will also be a ‘Catastrophic’ plan available to some young people, which will be very minimal coverage, but cover against a ‘catastrophe’. Agents, like myself, will not be authorized to determine eligibility for clients, but will be able to assist them in applying, explaining the pros and cons of each plan, and ensuring an smooth process overall.
The big question pertaining to Obamacare and the Affordable Care Act is still what the overall cost will be for the plans and this program as a whole and will it be executed properly and efficiently?
LionShare Insurance Group is positioning itself to be able to assist individuals and their families with all of their health insurance needs as we enter into this new era of healthcare in our country. Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions you may have, thank you!