Understanding the Affordable Health Care Act - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Understanding the Affordable Health Care Act

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The Affordable Care Act launches a new healthcare marketplace online Oct. 1 under the goal to give most everybody health insurance by 2014.


 "The uninsured are going to be immediately impacted. starting October 1st, they'll have an option to buy and it's a great opportunity to get covered," says Andy Hetzel of Blue Cross Blue Shield.

The poor will likely be eligible for government subsidies. Hetzel recommends people get their taxes and financial information in order now so they're ready to apply come October.

People can sign up now at healthcare.gov for updates but the options won't be available for view until Oct. 1st. Think of it as a supermarket with lots of products - 13 providers and dozens of plans - from generic to gourmet. But all plans have to provide 10 essential benefits.

"Things ranging from hospitalization to prescription drug coverage, to coverage for your children. And these essential benefits are going to be required across the board, so health insurance is going to pay for a lot more stuff than it is today," Hetzel says.

Right now it's not clear just what the cost will be, depending on your family size and income and your situation.

 "If your employer chooses to drop its employer-sponsored health coverage, you become immediately eligible to buy coverage either directly from an insurer like Blue Cross or if you might qualify for federal subsidies to help you buy it on healthcare.gov starting October 1st."

Open enrollment lasts until the end of March so you will not be penalized if you take your time and do your research. When doing your research, navigators are out there to help you through but no one should charge you to do this, and never give anyone your social security number.



Resources to understanding the Affordable Health Care Act:


HealthCare.gov: https://www.healthcare.gov/

Sign up to get e-mail updates on the Health Insurance Marketplace.  Learn how to find specific coverage plans for your life situation.  

Center for Healthcare Research and Transformation:  http://www.chrt.org/

The Center for Healthcare Research & Transformation (CHRT) illuminates best practices and opportunities for improving health policy and practice. Based at the University of Michigan, CHRT is a non-profit partnership between U-M and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan designed to promote evidence-based care delivery, improve population health, and expand access to care.

The Kaiser Family Foundation: http://kff.org/
Analysis on health care reform and comparison of insurance rates in 18 marketplaces.

Subsidy Calculator - Do I qualify for health care subsidies?

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