Affordable Care Act (ACA)

Elizabeth Brit… |

http://www.hhs.gov/healthcare/facts/timeline/index.html

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Dear Clients and Fellow Investors,

If you are under age 65 (Medicare eligibility age) and need healthcare, circle October 1st on your calendar.  This date marks the start of open enrollment in the new state-based health insurance exchanges created under the 2010 health care overhaul (“Obamacare”).   This marks a major change to health insurance in the Unites States.  We believe it is important that you understand the potential effects of this legislation on your individual health care choices.

Some Highlights:

  • For the first time, many consumers will have access to comprehensive health insurance regardless of health status.
  • Workers and early retirees offered only “skimpy” or no employer medical plans can shop for their own coverage on the exchanges. 
  • In many cases, not all, the cost of this insurance is subsidized by tax credits. 
  • Some, not all, current plans will be affected.
  • The types of plans offered in the state-based health insurance exchanges will be categorized as:
    (Note: the more the plan covers, the higher the premium cost)
    • Bronze – covers at least 60% of costs
    • Silver – covers at least 70% of costs
    • Gold – covers at least 80% of costs
    • Platinum – covers at least 90% of costs
  • Coverage will begin January 1, 2014, when most people are required to have medical insurance or pay a penalty. 

Some useful resources:

  • To help you navigate the state-based exchanges, the Kaiser Family Foundation has created a comprehensive site called “Marketplace Profiles:  http://kff.org/state-health-exchange-profiles/
  • Exchanges will have “navigators” to help consumers prepare applications
  • If you are enrolling, consumers nationwide will complete a single standard application found at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services website: http://www.cms.gov/cciio/
  • CFS Insurance Specialist, Andy Benjamin, is available to help.  He has been busy educating himself on the options available.

This brief communication is intended to give you a broad overview of the new health care program and point out various resources that might assist you.  We understand this legislation has been, and continues to be, politically charged – we are not taking a position for or against it, but apparently it's here to stay.  As with any insurance program, the information can be confusing and complicated, but if you need assistance, feel free to call us.  We will assist as appropriate or direct you to a professional that might be better suited help you. 

Disclaimer:  This is NOT intended to be a comprehensive analysis of the ACA.  Different states are taking different approaches, there are still unknowns regarding final implementation, there have been some delays in implementation of certain elements of the Act; and the choices/options available to each person or family will depend on many factors.