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and life along the winding road

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Affordable Health Care

So far, the Affordable Health Care Act seems to be more of a burden on the families it is supposed to help. Aetna  has stated that it will increase health care premiums on those currently insured with them as they are being forced to include additional coverage for existing plans.
Others who are healthy and might otherwise manage without health care insurance, are required to pay a penalty if they refuse to purchase health care for themselves. Those exempt from the penalty include undocumented/illegal immigrants and those in prison. Ironically, both of these groups who have broken the law already have free health care either through the prison system or by using the emergency room services for all ailments and not paying. Those undocumented often give fictitious addresses and their debts are not sent to the collection agency. These costs are simply written off by the hospital and passed on to other patients.

There are some subsidies for those with limited income, but in order to receive those you must purchase insurance through what is being called The Marketplace. (open enrollment begins October 1, 2013 and will become effective January 1, 2014.)

The info below was taken from the Healthcare.Gov site
While all insurance plans are offered by private companies, the Marketplace is run by either your state or the federal government. If your state runs the Marketplace, you'll get health coverage through your state’s website, not this one.

The Marketplace simplifies getting health coverage

The Marketplace simplifies your search for health coverage by gathering the options available in your area in one place. With one application you can compare plans based on price, benefits, quality, and other features important to you before you make a choice. You can also get help online, by phone, by chat, or in person.
The law states that no plan can turn you away for existing illnesses or charge you more because of a medical condition. Evening the field sounds good, but the catch here is that we are all going to be paying more to cover these costs so there are no breaks for being healthy.

This isn't a one size fits all for the whole country, and what plans are available in your state depends upon which insurance companies choose to be included in The Marketplace and what region you are located in. The premiums will also depend upon how many people sign up through The Marketplace. The fewer people participating will make the premiums higher, not lower. To find out what is available for your state, you can check on HealthCare.Gov.

For more news about changes in health care, take a look at the following sites:
States Control Health Care
Get Insured
Value Penguin

If you have any additional information, please leave a comment and I'll add it to the blog post. Unfortunately, everyone seems confused about this plan, including the government!!!!

For more help go to Consumer Reports  Health Law

November 2013 Update
The site still isn't working effectively. While we were promised that we could keep our original health insurance, that is not the case. Insurance companies are now required to provide additional coverage causing health insurance prices to rise. People applying for insurance are complaining that they are being asked for personal information unrelated to insurance that is then forwarded to the IRS. You can read more about current situations Here

More people are being dropped or "transitioned" to other health care programs even though they wanted to keep their initial plan as promised causing yet more expensive for Americans who are already struggling financially. 3 1/2million people have received cancellation notices from their insurance company. You can read the latest info. here

You may have heard references to "Death Panels". These are a group of doctors (Independent Payment Advisory Board) who decide which medical treatment is necessary. According to a report from www.LifeNews.Com  liquids and food are now considered medical treatment and can be refused to a patient - a scary thought:

No longer, for example, is food and water (via feeding tubes) considered basic and ordinary care. We now define food and water as medical treatment, and as such, depending on the state you live in, can make it rather easy to deny food and water to individuals, even when they have expressed wishes that they want food and water.
In fact, according to a recent report by the Robert Powell Center for Medical Ethics, “the laws of all but twelve states may allow doctors and hospitals to disregard advance directives when they call for treatment, food, or fluids.” So call them what you want, but the reality is that “ethics committees” are now empowered to deny even the most basic care from each and every one of us, if they decide that is what they want to do.

1 comment:

Tiffany Norris said...

So far, I've only seen negative effects as well. Of course, that's just personal experience, but I'm wondering if the administration even considered some of these reactions.
I agree that a better system is needed--just not sure it looks like this.