Much has been written about the Affordable Care Act in advance of the opening of the exchanges scheduled for October 1, 2013.
A recent article in the Wall Street Journal provides a terrific overview of what it will be like to buy health insurance after the exchanges open for business on October 1, 2013.
Here are some key points from the article, the full text of which you can read here:
- Beginning next year, Americans who do not have health insurance could pay a tax penalty of 1% of their family income, or at least $95. Those penalties are set to increase in 2015 and 2016.
- People who get their health insurance through their job probably won’t be affected by the exchanges. (Note, however, there is some indication that beginning on January 1 some employers will stop offering health care coverage to their employees.)
- New plans with effective dates January 1 and later cannot exclude pre-existing conditions and must cover essential health benefits.
- The Affordable Care Act aims to balance premium costs by setting limits on the amount of premium an older person can pay vs. what a typical young person might pay.
- Under the law, annual out-of-pocket expenses are capped at $6,350 for a single person and $12,700 for a family.
- Even though health care plans will be categorized into standard “levels” of insurance — bronze, silver, gold and platinum — it will be critical for buyers to carefully study and compare the provisions of specific plans (even if they are the same “level”) before making a purchase.
- Also critical will be for buyers to understand the network of providers offered under each plan.
The article suggests getting a head start to prepare for what is to come. That’s where Virginia Medical Plans comes in! Give us a call and we will help you understand your options. And if you find yourself in need of new coverage, we will help you select the plan that is right for you!