Exploring health care options under Obamacare

Share via email

The California Health Exchange ­at www.coveredca.com opened Oct. 1, allowing millions of Californians the opportunity to shop for affordable health care under the Affordable Care Act.

Despite rumors of high premiums, on Sept. 25, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released a report and press release announcing “lower than expected premiums available in the new Health Insurance Marketplace.”

The report promises about a choice of two or more health insurance issuers for 95 percent of consumers.

California was the first state to implement the ACA in 2010 and establish its health insurance exchange. But with 2.1 million uninsured and eligible for coverage, it will be a challenge to make the coveredca.com site easy to understand and navigate for the millions that will use it, even given that the site provides information in 13 languages.

One of the biggest misconceptions about ACA is that it creates a government-run health plan; it does not. Another persistent misconception is that undocumented immigrants will be allowed to enroll, which they will not.

To further clarify the key reforms of the ACA, on Sept. 25, the White House released a statement that includes stronger consumer rights and protections to effectively put an end to coverage denial based on pre-existing condition(s), an end to lifetime caps on the amount of care received based on a maximum dollar limitation and coverage cannot be canceled due to illness.

Coverage is also more affordable in that it requires insurance companies to adhere to the 80/20 rule, meaning that if insurance companies do not spend at least 80 percent of the premium on medical care and health care improvements, they will be required to give the insured a rebate.

Page 1 of 3 | Next page