Capitol Report – Countdown to Obamacare
By State Representative, Leon D. Young
The Affordable Health Care Act, known derisively as Obamacare in most Republican circles, has now morphed into a game of political spin.
Republicans openly deride the president’s signature legislation as a blatant attempt to socialize delivery of healthcare in this country.
While Democrats, on the other hand, proudly assert that this legislation now affords medical coverage to millions of Americans who previously fell through the cracks by being uninsured.
What you need to know:
Health care coverage, under the Affordable Care Act, starts January 1, 2014, if you signed up by December 23, 2013.
Open enrollment ends on March 31, 2014.
You can apply online, by phone, by mail or in person. The website should be fully functional soon.
Important facts about insurance plans:
· All insurance plans will have to cover doctor visits, hospitalizations, maternity care, emergency room care and prescriptions.
· If you have a pre-existing condition, insurance plans cannot deny you coverage.
· You may be able to get financial help to pay for a health insurance plan.
· All insurance plans will have to show the costs and what is covered in simple language with no fine print.
· Through the Marketplace you can apply, compare all your options and find out if you can get lower costs on monthly premiums or qualify for free or low-cost coverage.
Seniors and the Affordable Care Act:
If you have Medicare, you are already covered and do not need to make any changes.
Supplemental policies will NOT be sold in the marketplace.
You still enroll in Medicare, Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D the way you always have.
Medicare open enrollment is from October 15 to December 7.
Important Websites & Numbers for Enrollment
· www.healthcare.gov (Consumer Focused)
· http://SBA.gov/healthcare (Small Businesses)
· Toll-Free Consumer Call Center
1-800-706-7893 (Small Businesses)
With the advent of Obamacare, 2014 promises to be a good year for many in need of health care coverage.
Here’s wishing you a Happy (and prosperous) New Year.