If you have somehow missed all recent headlines about the Affordable Care Act (ACA), otherwise known as Obamacare, a quick peek at our Daily News page should convince you that news is coming in fast and furious.
With less than a week until Open Enrollment begins, our phone has been ringing off its hook (as well as our email box filling up) with questions, the gist of which are:
Will I Be OK Under Obamacare?
(Please imagine the above question being asked while the caller is pulling out his/her hair!)
(And please know that if you’re asking that same question, with that same level of panic, you are not alone.)
At an Anthem agents’ meeting last week, we learned that big changes lie ahead in the plans the company will offer. And we believe that this will be true for most carriers.
Here are some of the things we are watching out for:
- narrow provider networks – some of the doctors, hospitals, and other facilities you currently use may not be covered in a new plan’s network;
- regional differences in network – depending upon where you live, your available provider networks may or may not shrink;
- changes in prescription drug coverage;
- an increase in premiums for some, but a decrease in premiums for others, depending on your age, income, and where you live;
- possible higher deductibles and co-pays, leading to greater out-of-pocket expenses at the time of service;
- glitches in the computer systems running the states’ exchanges, as well as carriers’ sites, causing headaches for those trying to access the system that first week in October;
- scams whereby con artists try to take advantage of the public’s confusion over ACA;
- notifications coming from your current health insurance carrier offering the option to renew your policy early;
- offers from your current carrier to be “mapped” to what the company deems to be a comparable, ACA-compliant health insurance plan, when your current policy term ends.
The bottom line is this — choosing the best option will be complicated. Because an insurance professional understands the nuances of provider networks (by region), co-pays and deductibles, coverage options, etc., it will be more important than ever to call on Virginia Medical Plans for assistance.
Please let us know how we can be of help. But, remember, we are expecting a continued high volume of calls and emails, so please be patient!
Most importantly, don’t panic! We will help!