What Obamacare means for you and your insurance policy

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The fact that Obamacare actually stands for the Patient Protection and Affordable Healthcare Act of 2010 illustrates the complexity of this massive initiative.

More than three years later, as the program moves toward implementation, confusion reigns. In the next few weeks, we’ll dissect Obamacare and answer questions related to how this act will affect you.

For specific questions regarding your own policies, please feel free to contact us. We would be glad to review your options.

We’ll start with an overview and, in future posts, we’ll delve into the exchange process, coverage options, lifetime limits, individual responsibility, the effect of Obamacare on your premiums and tax implications of the act.

Obamacare requires all Americans to have health insurance no later than March 31, 2014, or they will be subject to a penalty tax. The opportunity to compare plans on a health insurance exchange begins on October 1, 2013 and ends March 31, 2014, with coverage beginning January 1, 2014. Exchanges will be offered at the state level, although some state, like Wisconsin, will use the federal exchange at healthcare.gov.

  1. Approved plans must cover these 10 essential health benefits:
  2. Ambulatory patient services
  3. Emergency services
  4. Hospitalization
  5. Maternity and newborn care
  6. Mental health and substance use disorder services, including behavioral health treatment
  7. Prescription drugs
  8. Rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices
  9. Laboratory services
  10. Preventive and wellness services and chronic disease management
  11. Pediatric services, including oral and vision care

However, if you have insurance already and your coverage began before March 20, 2010, your policy may be grandfathered in. Definitely take the time to compare your policy with those offered on the exchange (also, and more appropriately, called the marketplace). We can help you with that, so please feel free to stop in.

Note: The government is releasing and retracting information as the process continues. We will continue to monitor the information and keep you as up to date as possible.