The government may have shutdown this morning, but the healthcare marketplace instated by the Affordable care act still opened today. The marketplace allows you to shop for health insurance much like you would shop for many other things. After setting up a profile, the site lets you know what you are eligible for, and gives you different places and plans to choose from. Those who want to sign up have between today, October 1, 2013 and March 31, 2014 to do so. Some plans are expected to kick into effect as early as January 1, 2014. What changes will we be seeing across the board regardless of if you will be buying a plan through the market place or if you are staying with your current insurance?:
-You can no longer be denied for a pre existing condition
-No lifetime limits on coverage
-No loss of coverage if you get sick
-Many preventative care procedures will no longer require a co-pay or deductible.
Regardless of what is going on within the government, this is a time where everyone needs to work to educate themselves on what these changes are going to mean. Healthcare and public health professionals should be knowledgeable on the basics to help communicate these changes with patients. And Patients (which is everyone at some point) need to utilize the many ways you can find out information (listed below) about the Affordable Care Act, to better understand what steps they need to make next.
What do you think about these changes? Let us know!
Healthcare Marketplace online: https://www.healthcare.gov/
Healthcare Marketplace by phone: 1-800-318-2596
To find a location near you for assistance, call the number above or search your zip code under the "find local help" section of healtcare.gov by clicking here.
More info on health reform:
Also, here is a link to short video that that explains what we can expect starting today.