How will the Affordable Care Act healthcare exchange affect you?

Like you, I’m interested in learning as much as possible about new regulations and legislation involving the Affordable Care Act, also known as ‘Obamacare.’

I’ve done some research, and here is what I know, so far. Even though this program has nothing to do with Long-Term Care, I’m sharing it with you to help answer some of your questions and clear up any confusion over what you may have heard.

Background: As of January 1, 2014, every individual and all employers with fewer than 50 employers will have to have federally administered healthcare. This is a part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

The intent of Healthcare Exchanges is to provide everyone with affordable health insurance. States that opt out of the federal program can set up their own state run health care.  Indiana has not opted out and will be using the federal program.

So what are these healthcare exchanges you may be hearing about? The government has set up a Health Insurance Exchange Marketplace. The Health Insurance Exchange Marketplace is a new application to use to find health coverage for diverse budgetary and personal needs. Small businesses and individuals can use the Health Insurance Marketplace to fill out an application and find out if you can lower costs on your monthly premiums for private insurance plans.

There will be a web site, a phone number to call, and an email to get information about what health insurance program (there are many to choose from) will serve your needs best. (To learn more on ongoing developments, click HERE for updates.)

When does enrollment begin? Open enrollment starts October 1, 2013. Coverage starts January 1, 2014. 

What about costs?  The Health Insurance Exchange Marketplace will help you determine if you qualify for lower out-of-pocket costs. It will also let individuals know if they qualify for free or low-cost coverage available through Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

There are many, many more details to understand – and I’m all about learning as much as possible to help protect my clients. If I can help you answer a question or better understand the new system – even though it doesn’t directly relate to Long-Term Care, please don’t hesitate to give me a call.                  ~ Elise

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