As you’ve probably heard, there are a lot of changes coming to our nation’s health care system as a result of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). As someone who buys your own health insurance, the ACA changes will impact you and your policy choices for 2014. I want to be sure you are aware of the upcoming changes and important decisions you will need to make.
Here's what you need to know:
- Coverage is guaranteed – insurers cannot deny an application for age or pre-existing condition.
- How much you pay for health insurance cannot be based on your health status.
- Nearly everyone is required to have insurance or pay a penalty to the U.S. government.
- Health insurers are required to provide a comprehensive package of benefits (called Essential Health Benefits) in every policy, which may include more benefits than you have now.
- Some of the more affordable types of coverage – like those with very high deductibles – will be eliminated and replaced with plans that offer more extensive services, but also will cost more.
- Many people will qualify for federal tax credits to subsidize premium costs if they purchase their plan through the exchange.
- Starting Oct. 1, 2013 you can review and compare policies from different insurers through the new State Exchange on our website wa-exchange.com (website will be up and running by Oct 1)
- Only health insurance purchased through the exchange qualifies for the tax credit.
All health insurance companies will be required to update policies for people who buy their own coverage to include benefits required by the ACA. Each carrier has developed new health insurance policies to replace their current policies.
You will receive a letter from your insurance company around September with specific information about your policy options and costs for 2014. If you do nothing, your insurance carrier will automatically move you to the closest new health plan comparable to your current coverage.
As always, you can call me at 360-464-1622 to discuss ALL of your options to ensure you are on the best coverage to meet your needs and paying the lowest cost.
Please put a reminder on your calendar to call me in November to discuss your plan changes going into 2014.