Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell declared that “the Affordable Care Act is working” in a speech delivered at the Brookings Institution last week, in the process announcing a 25 percent increase in the number of insurers expected to participate in federal and state exchanges for next year. The number of insurers so far is up from 252 this year to 315 for next year. For the federal marketplace serving 36 states, the number is up almost 30 percent to 248 for next year. States seeing a substantial increase in the number of insurers include Indiana, Missouri and New Hampshire. Federal officials also announced that a redesigned Healthcare.gov will include a shorter, simpler online application form for the start of open enrollment in November.
Over the last several months, I wonder how many times you have heard to visit healthcare.gov for your health insurance? In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if you didn’t realize that you can purchase health insurance through private health insurance companies. And, I’d be willing to bet (if you don’t qualify for a subsidy) you may prefer plans through a Private Health Insurance Exchange.
Our friends at the Kaiser Heath Network published an article last week, outlining some of the “dangers” of the public health insurance plans, specifically in-network vs. out-of-network. The plans offered on the public health insurance exchange generally offer a trade-off… lower premiums for a limited network of providers. If you go out-of-network you pay. Here’s the catch. The Affordable Care Act limits how much you pay out-of-pocket for health insurance, but these limits typically only apply to providers in your network, which means if you go out-of-network your limits may not apply. Also, the law dictates that preventative, cancer screenings and annual check ups are covered, but if you go to an out-of-network provider you can be charged.
If you have or are considering signing up for a health care plan under the Affordable Care Act, we urge you to fully understand what you are signing up for. Health insurance is tricky to navigate. There are a lot of tricky industry terms and complex clauses. If you do not qualify for a subsidy, a Private Health Exchange will offer you a variety of plans with a larger network of carriers and providers to choose from.
If you are uninsured, time is running out. Get a free quote today!
Do you qualify for a subsidy? If so, access quotes and apply online through the button below. If you are unsure, explore the calculator below.
If you do not qualify for a subsidy access quotes and apply online here.
Are You Experiencing Healthcare Anxiety?
You did as you were told. You signed up for a qualified health insurance plan before the due date, and your check has been cashed. You have been contingently approved by your insurance carrier, but you don’t have an insurance card. Your level of healthcare anxiety may be higher than it was before the Affordable Care Act. You may feel helpless and confused. We, on the broker side, agree that the rollout of the Affordable Care Act doesn’t seem to be working for anyone. Our agents, friends and colleagues have horror stories surrounding call-in wait times, with some placing friendly wagers amongst themselves to see who can get through the quickest. Remember, we are here to help our clients as this process continues to unravel.
- Print any and all documentation from your insurance carrier that indicates you have approval even if it is considered contingent approval.
- Let your broker help you with communication between your doctors office and your insurance carrier. While we don’t have a secret number to access carriers, we know what to say and how to get your questions answered.
- If you don’t have a broker, consider appointing one for assistance with this and other issues you may experience down the road. Call us toll-free at 855-533-1776 for further discussion on how a broker can help you.
The government feels the blame for the current situation falls on the carriers. They knew there would be an influx in customers, so why weren’t they prepared to process the paperwork? And, the carriers like the rest of America simple utter heatlhcare.gov to show where they place the blame.
As we ride this roller coaster together, our advice continues to focus on education and awareness.
Every week we see media coverage surrounding the real and expected effects of the Affordable Care Act. A fundamental change for the American people, with a disastrous rollout understandably causes anxiety and concern. Current coverage focuses on the upcoming Affordable Care Act transition and expected challenges.
The Affordable Care Act requires individuals to enroll in a qualified health care plan by December 23 for a January 1, 2014 effective date. Originally, this deadline required first month premiums to be paid by the December 23 deadline. Last week, the Obama Administration required insurance providers to relax this payment deadline and now requires insurance carriers cover anyone that has signed up by the December 23 deadline and submitted their first premium payment by December 31, 2013 at 11:59 p.m.
The Obama Administration has requested carriers continue to cover prescriptions and other treatments for covered individuals transitioning to a state or federal plan through the transition period. The consequences could be grave for individuals on diabetes, heart or cancer medications seeking to fill their prescriptions or continue their treatment.
We are nowhere near the end of this fundamental change in healthcare for the American people. As the affects of the Affordable Care Act continue to make themselves known, we will continue to process and react to both the good and the bad. We will see changes in our health care experiences. On December 15, USA Today published an article explaining how the Affordable Care Act may provide positive benefits to us as consumers in control of our health care by placing more accountability on health care providers and your satisfaction.
As we navigate this new frontier, it is important to understand how you personally are effected by the changes. We urge you to contact your insurance provider, whether you have been covered with them for years, have recently or will soon enroll with them for coverage and discuss your personal situation.
AFFORDABLE CARE ACT – ACT NOW!
The countdown to health care reform law is quickly nearing 0:00. Are you ready. It seems as if every time you turn on the television, radio or browse to your favorite online news source you hear about the Affordable Care Act, but do you really know what steps to take to ensure you are following the law?
National Affinity Services offers an exclusive private health insurance marketplace as well as assistance and expertise with navigating www.healthcare.gov. We offer the following information and advice regarding the Affordable Care Act.
Enroll by December 23, 2013 for January 1, 2014 Coverage
- Act Now! Enroll by December 23 for coverage beginning January 1, 2014. All new individual health insurance policies will be guarantee issue January 1, 2014. This includes private health insurance plans.
- If you qualify for a subsidy/financial assistance based on your individual situation, please visit healthcare.gov to apply for your subsidy. National Affinity Services is available to assist you with navigating this process. For us to assist you with finding an insurance plan that is the best fit, please enter NPN #257278 in the agent section of the forms. Once a subsidy amount is provided, please call National Affinity Services toll-free 855-533-1776. We will assist you with selecting an insurance plan and completing the enrollment process.
- You have until 12/23/2013 to apply for a 01/01/2014 effective date.
- Enroll now! You must enroll in a qualified health insurance plan to avoid being fined as much as 1% of your family’s income.
Private health insurance = more plans and providers. For questions and assistance, please call National Affinity Services toll-free at 855-533-1776. Licensed insurance agents are standing by to assist you with the process.