Here are 5 things you need to know about pre-existing conditions under the new health care law (aka Affordable Care Act), for plans effective beginning January 1, 2014:
1. You cannot be denied insurance because of pre-existing conditions
All new health plans will be guaranteed issue. This means health insurance can be purchased by anyone, regardless of health status.
2. You cannot be charged a higher premium if you have pre-existing conditions
Not only will everyone be able to get health insurance, premiums will be no different for someone with pre-existing health conditions than for someone without them.
3. You can be charged a higher premium if you smoke
Insurance companies will have the legal right to charge higher premiums — up to 50% higher — for smokers than for non-smokers.
4. You cannot be charged a higher premium if you are obese
Although early discussions amongst politicians and experts suggested allowing for higher premiums for those above a certain body mass index (BMI), the final law does not do so. However, overweight individuals may be able to take advantage of wellness programs in order to reduce their premiums.
5. You can begin shopping for health insurance on October 1, 2013
Open enrollment for coverage beginning on January 1, 2014 starts on October 1, 2013. If you are currently uninsured, we suggest you not delay; start shopping for coverage as soon after October 1 as possible. Coverage becomes mandatory for all Americans on January 1, 2014.
When you do start looking for coverage, give us a call. Choosing the right plan can be difficult and confusing. But when you get your insurance through Virginia Medical Plans — whether it be on or off the exchange — you also get the benefit of our 20+ years of experience and knowledge to guide you through the process. And best of all, you don’t pay any more for your policy than if you purchased coverage on your own.
Give us a call today!