Taking Care of Business
Now is the time to prepare for the full implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which takes effect on January 1, 2014. The employer open enrollment period is just around the corner, getting underway on October 1, 2013 for most employer health insurance groups. During this enrollment period employees who purchase their health insurance through an employer sponsored group health insurance plan will likely be offered some new choices and may find their plans modified to comply with the ACA’s new provisions.
As with all change, many people will shudder at that last paragraph just for the sake of having to deal with something new. But, the changes don’t have to be taken as negatively as all that, and in fact, some of the provisions offer new protections that did not exist previously, including coverage for pre-existing conditions. But, what will it cost and how does it impact each individual? Well, let’s find some answers to those important questions.
One of the best and primary sources of information will be Healthcare.gov, a government website managed by the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, divisions of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. According to Healthcare.gov if you have job-based health insurance that you like, you can keep it and you are considered covered. If you don’t like your plan and want to look for something else, new health insurance Marketplaces, or exchanges, have been established and will be available on October 1, 2013.
If you are not covered currently, then you will be able to shop at the Marketplaces and select a health insurance plan you like. As always, health insurance premium costs will continue to reflect factors such as selected coverage options, gender, age, occupation, and health. Employer-based plans and the Marketplaces will provide specific quotations for monthly premiums. After January 1, 2014, individuals without coverage will be assessed a fee for 2014. That fee goes up in 2015 and 2016, if coverage is not purchased.
To connect library members with more information on this important topic, the Naperville Public Library has created a new page on the website highlighting some of the more commonly needed links to online resources. Please explore these resources at your convenience. The library has also scheduled a program on this topic for September 24, 2013 at the Nichols Library community room at 7:00 p.m. The public is invited to attend to learn more about the new ACA provisions and their implications.
Rest assured, as more information becomes available, NPL staff will continue to update the online access to unbiased and helpful information sources as well as prepare to assist the public in finding any needed health insurance information pertaining to the ACA implementation in 2014.