Changes to Healthcare


Lot of people are talking about the Affordable Healthcare Act/”Obamacare”.

Trying to sort through everything in the media can be a challenge.

I have often found myself asking “Why can’t somebody just make this stuff simple?”  The folks over at Consumer Reports have done just that!  They have a new website – https://www.healthlawhelper.org/ – which answers most of the questions many of us face about the upcoming changes.

This is all about changes to health insurance, how we pay for health care, not health care which are the services provided by trained professionals. From my own experience, while the insurance I have will be changing, I will continue (if I choose to) have the same doctor, pharmacy, etc. One of my favorite new features is the Summary of Benefits and Coverage. This form will make it easy for consumers to compare plans – just as nutrition labels allow us to make informed choices about the food we buy at the store. If you have tried shopping for insurance in the past few years, you know how helpful this is for consumers.

Did you know…

  • Most Americans are already covered – either through an employer or government plan – so the changes won’t apply to them
  • If the insurance is too expensive (more than 8% of your income) you may be exempt from being required to have coverage
  • The insurance may affect (in a good way) your taxes, including possibly a refund
  • If you want the new coverage to start as soon as possible, you must sign up by Dec 15th.

Some things will stay pretty much the same:

  • If you miss the “Open Enrollment” window, you might have to wait another year to get coverage. (same as most employer based health insurance now)
  • All plans will cover some specific things you don’t need or want (same as now).
  • You can choose your provider – based on your choice of plans.
  • Some people will like the changes more than others
  • Many people will see no difference at all once we get past the adjustment period.

Check out Consumer Reports new site and see for yourself how – or if – the upcoming changes to health insurance will affect you.