What Happens October 1?

You may be hearing about a big October 1 start date for Obamacare.
Does it go into effect October 1? Sort of, but not really. Let me explain:
The vast majority of the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) is set to take effect on January 1, 2014. Starting then, you will be able to buy individual health insurance with no issues related to your medical history. Nobody will be declined. Nobody will have pre-existing conditions excluded. Nobody will see their premiums increase because of health factors (other than tobacco use).
In other words, the system is changing. Big time. And a lot of people who have been previously unable to get coverage will now be able to do so.
October 1 marks the beginning of the “open enrollment” period for these new plans. The government has theoretically given people more time to get set up in the new system because of the sheer number of people they are expecting to see enroll; hence the early open enrollment period.
There are other significant changes to health insurance in 2014 as well:

  • There are new rules about what has to be covered.
  • There are new rules about deductibles and out-0f-pocket maximums (what you pay for care) on policies.
  • There are new subsidies to help a lot of people pay for the (higher) premiums that go along with all of this.
  • Everyone will be required by law to purchase coverage or pay a fine.

We’ll spare you the details (for now). But the long and the short of it is that every insurance company is rolling out new plans that comply with all of these new rules. So it’s a crazy time in this industry.
Here’s what you need to know for now:

  • If you’re healthy, you should consider buying a 2013 plan NOW to lock in lower premiums. You won’t be under contract so if you get a better deal in 2014 we can switch you then.
  • If you can’t get coverage now, you will be able to do so with an effective date of January 1, 2014. Try to put off elective procedures and care until then. We can help you pick a plan and get signed up beginning October 1.
  • You will want expert help navigating the new system. So, this is self-serving, isn’t it? But it’s true. There will be a LOT to digest as you consider your options for health insurance. Will you qualify for a subsidy? How much? Should you enroll through the government exchange or a private exchange? What’s the difference? What’s with these new plans?

Stay tuned. We are committed to explaining these changes in a simple, straightforward way. Ask us anything. We hope you’ll trust us to help you make the transition for your family and/or business. Contact us to ask questions or talk more.
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