Help to Understand and Choose Health Insurance

affordable health care act health insurance marketplace

The media has been abuzz about the Health Insurance Marketplace. January 1, 2014 is quickly approaching. Don’t be tricked, really you need to make your health care choice by mid-December, 2013 if you want coverage January 1st. Yes, the enrollment is until March 31, 2014. If you sign up coverage after mid-December, there will be a month lag before it is effective.
 
If you have questions relating to the Affordable Care Act and its effect on your personal finances. eXtension helps people to make informed health insurance choices and to plan for health care costs. https://ask.extension.org/groups/1790
 
One of the new terms we are hearing is Marketplace.  The Health Insurance Marketplace is a new way to find quality health coverage. It can help if you don’t have coverage now or if you have it but want to look at other options.
 
With one Marketplace application, you can learn if you can get lower costs based on your income, compare your coverage options side-by-side, and enroll.
 
A Navigator is an individual or organization that’s trained and able to help consumers, small businesses, and their employees as they look for health coverage options through the Marketplace, including completing eligibility and enrollment forms. These individuals and organizations are required to be unbiased. Their services are free to consumers.
 
A Certified Application Counselor is an individual (affiliated with a designated organization) who is trained and able to help consumers, small businesses, and their employees as they look for health coverage options through the Marketplace, including helping them complete eligibility and enrollment forms. Their services are free to consumers. The CAC will be more available in smaller communities.
 
All health insurance policies offered by the Marketplace are required to meet specific standards that include the Essential Health Benefits. The ten points are:

  • Ambulatory patient services (outpatient care you get without being admitted to a hospital)
  • Emergency services
  • Hospitalization (such as surgery)
  • Maternity and newborn care (care before and after your baby is born)
  • Mental health and substance use disorder services, including behavioral health treatment (this includes counseling and psychotherapy)
  • Prescription drugs
  • Rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices (services and devices to help people with injuries, disabilities, or chronic conditions gain or recover mental and physical skills)  
  • Laboratory services
  • Preventive and wellness services and chronic disease management
  • Pediatric services

 
Preventive Services include: Routine health care that includes screenings, check-ups, and patient counseling to prevent illnesses, disease, or other health problems. New plans must offer core preventive services with no out-of-pocket costs — no co-pays or deductibles.
 
Visit www.healthcare.gov for more information.
 
Source: http://blogs.extension.iastate.edu/moneytips

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