One thing, as I have listened to the debates and opinions, is that so many people feel fine paying out of pocket. As someone who has been immersed in ongoing health issues… YOU DON’T WANT TO DO THAT! Consider this: the average cost of a 3-day hospital stay is $30,000 and even something (relatively) simple like a broken arm can cost $2,500 or more without health insurance. And that is without surgery!
Why I want to write about the Affordable Care Act:
• 42% of Americans are unaware that the ACA is the law of the land
• 45% know nothing at all about the health insurance exchanges
• 75% of uninsured adults are unaware that they will have new insurance options
(sources: Kaiser Family Foundation and Enroll America)
Let me break this down for you!
Here are four options to get health insurance for the next year:
1. Continue purchasing insurance through your or your spouse’s employer
2. Buy health insurance yourself – either through exchanges, direct for insurance
companies or through traditional brokers
3. Enroll in government programs like Medicare or Medicaid plans – if you are eligible
4. Go without insurance – but pay a tax penalty
What is a “health care exchange”?
Health Insurance “exchange” is just another word for “marketplace.” Think of marketplaces you currently use like Amazon, Expedia or Travelocity. Instead of toasters or travel, the exchanges let you compare health insurance options.
Plans will be available for sale October 1 and end n March 31st, 2014, with coverage starting on January 1st of 2014. Each state will have its own exchange serving people who buy health insurance for just themselves and their families
Benefits of the act:
• You can get preventive health care at no cost
• You can’t be denied based on pre-existing conditions
• Help will be available for those people who make about $45,000 dollars a year and for
families of four who make about $92,000 dollars a year. Financial help will be offered on a sliding scale, meaning the more money you make, the less financial help you will get
• Insurance companies like Anthem BCBS are working with members and consumers to help them navigate through their options, including subsidies for qualified individuals and tax credits for small employers (later this fall, Anthem BCBS will have a Subsidy Estimator and Family checklist available online to help individuals estimate how much of a subsidy they may receive)
One last thing, if you are a small business owner, don’t be leery of the Affordable Care Act:
• Buying health insurance is an important way to protect you and your family in the event of injury or illness
• It is also essential to protect your financial future, as injury and illnesses can be costly without insurance