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Affordable Care Act

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What the Affordable Care Act (aka “Obama Care”) means to you and your family…

Many people have a lot of questions about the Affordable Care Act (aka “Obama Care”) and the impact it will have on the lives of Americans.  We can relate to the frustrations! 

As we are learning, regardless of your opinion on health care reform, it is so very important to stay informed about things that can impact your daily life! 

Common Questions:

Do I get to keep my current plan?  In certain circumstances you may not be able to keep your current plan.  Last month (October 2013) there were many news reports about people receiving cancellation letters from their insurance companies.  It is because of these notices that a temporary extension was signed into law allowing the insurance companies to extend their offering of those individual plans that were being canceled.  If you receive your insurance through your employer you should check with your human resources department.  If you purchase your insurance individually in the open market your situation may be different. 

Am I still going to need referrals and authorizations for medications and specialist visits?  This will depend on the service you are getting and your individual plan.  Many HMO (Health Maintenance Organization) plans still require referrals for specialist visits. 

What about my deductible; how much is that going to be?  This will vary based on the amount of premium and metal level insurance you buy, regardless of where you get your insurance.  (Special Note:  Deductibles must be met BEFORE the insurance will cover your claim.)

What about copays; will my copay change?  Every year that your insurance plan renews brings a different copay or premium amount.  Your copay will most likely change; check with your insurance company.

How much is the penalty for not buying insurance? This is based on your income but starts at $95.00 and $47.50 per child in 2014.

 If your insurance is changing for 2014 you shouldn’t wait until the last minute to start your renewal.  Your benefits need to be verifiable in January (if app.), and with all of the change you should expect delays.  Waiting too long to complete your renewal could cause you to pay for your visits to doctor’s offices unnecessarily.

 

FREE Resources for information:

Check with your current insurance company for answers!  Blue Cross Blue Shield has a great tool online:  www.healthcarereformbasics.com

Consumer Reports has a couple of great guides for health care reform and Medicare patients online:  www.consumerreports.org

Go straight to the source:  www.healthcare.gov