Archive for October 2013

Obamacare: What It Means For You

Health care costs from drugstore items, insurance premiums and co-payments, to emergency room and hospital visits are one of the largest expenses American’s face, and picking up the tab for the uninsured results in a considerable financial drain on everyone and the government. Today marks the start of The Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, which hopes to aleviate much of that financial burden.

Despite the government shutdown, one of the most critical elements of the health care law, open enrollment, begins on 51 different state-based, online insurance marketplaces.

How will this affect you and your family and/or your business? What should you do? What paperwork, forms, proof of income, etc. will you need to sign up? What is covered, what isn’t?  How much will it cost me? Where do you go to find out more?

In brief:

You don’t have to do anything right now if:

  • You already have insurance
  • You have insurance through your employer
  • You are on Medicare, Medicaid
  • Your child is covered by CHIP
  • You are on COBRA

If you do NOT have coverage of any kind right now – this IS for you. You can begin shopping for health care coverage plans on Tuesday, October 1, 2013 ONLY through HealthCare.gov. This is where you can compare costs and choose the coverage plan you want. 

This is the portal through which you will be directed to your state’s listing of available plans. Each state has something different. For those who live in states that are not offering plans, you will be directed to a federal government site for coverage options. In either case, you’re going to see different types of coverage plans — say like covering 60 percent to 90 percent of your health care costs. You can choose the plan that you prefer.

There are subsidies and tax credits available for those with qualifying income levels.

You have from October 1, 2013 until March 21, 2014 to enroll in a plan during this first enrollment phase.

January 1, 2014 – health coverage starts.

This Open Enrollment period closes, March 21, 2014.

There are penalties for those who do not enroll in a plan by March 21, 2014. The fines will go up over time, so should you choose to not enroll, you should know an estimate ahead of time as to what penalties you’ll be facing now and in the future.

Here are five videos that explain and clarify in more detail.

UPDATE: Medical Insurance Shopping Site That Works – With the Obamacare website (healthcare.gov) non-functioning, these three San Francisco techies in their 20’s created a site in one weekend that brings you all the comparison insurance shopping you need, and it’s free. 

5 Things About Obamacare’s Open Enrollment –  What you should know about the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance coverage and open enrollment (aka: Obamacare) and what will be available to you.

Obamacare Insurance Enrollments – Open enrollment in the health insurance exchanges begin October 1st and it is the first opportunity to shop for comprehensive health care plans under the Affordable Care Act. More about  what this mean for you in this clip.

 Obamacare Starts: What It Means For You – Starting Oct. 1, Americans looking for health coverage are able to enroll in a private insurance plan through a state-based exchange – online marketplaces where consumers can comparison shop for health coverage, “Just like you would for cell phone plans or plane tickets.” President Obama said. What you need to know about Obamacare  and where you go to find out more in this clip.
What You Need to Know About Obamacare Scams – The launch of the Affordable Care Act begins on October 1. PROTECT YOURSELF AND WATCH OUT FOR SCAMS… Get important details to protect yourself in this clip.
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