The Affordable Care Act and ongoing healthcare reform have created an entirely new way of shopping for health insurance in Illinois and throughout the country. We understand that many aspects of the new plan are confusing, but we're here to help you better understand the changes that have been made to the US healthcare system.
Here are a few of the most common questions, regarding the process of signing up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act.
Question: Will the government now have the authority to make important health-related decisions without my consent or knowledge.
Answer: No, you will still be in charge of deciding the best course of action, when faced with making difficult decisions about your health or your family's health.
Question: What happens if I can not afford to purchase health insurance?
Answer: Medicaid has been restructured to provide health benefits to individuals and families on very low incomes, and others who are not able to work or earn enough for coverage.
Question: Under the new system of health care reform, will I be forced to select a new doctor, or see the doctor assigned to me?
Answer: No, you will retain the freedom to select the doctor of your choice, or keep your existing doctor if you so choose. It is important, however, to make sure that your physician and hospital are within your selected plan's network. This is something that a health insurance agent can help you find out quickly.
Question: If everyone is getting free health insurance, who pays for it?
Answer: That's where many people are confused, Health Care Reform does not simply "provide" free health care to every American; it requires that all Americans buy health insurance. For those who do end up receiving free benefits, the money used to fund these bebnfits will come primarily from: premium increases assessed to businesses, working families and individuals who are above the poverty line.
Question: What happens if I refuse to buy health insurance?
Answer: If you do not purchase health insurance, you will be assessed a fee by the government. The fees will vary greatly based on whether you're a family or individual, or a business. See our section on Obamacare Fines and Penalties.
Question: How do I find out if I'm eligible for a government health subsidy or tax credit?
Answer: There are a few ways. The easiest and fastest is to call a broker and they can find out for you. Information is also available online or over the phone through the healthcare marketplace.
Question: What Happens if I make a mistake on my health insurance application?
Answer: Unlike in the past, correcting mistakes made during the application process will require you to call either the carrier or the marketplace customer service line. We've been told that the wait to speak with someone during peak open enrollment can be exceptionally long. A much better option is to work with a broker, as they can cross check accuracy for a worry-free application.
Question: Will health insurance rates and premiums increase under healthcare reform?
Answer: Health insurance premiums are expected to increase as we get deeper into healthcare reform. These increases are imposed by the major carriers (not agents) and done to offset the cost of increased claims resulting from the Affordable Care Act.
Question: Why is my existing health insurance plan being cancelled?
Answer: Some carriers have decided in 2014-2015 to cancel non-grandfathered plans and plans that are not compliant with the Affordable Care Act. If your plan has been canceled, we strongly suggest reading this article on canceled health insurance plans to learn about your options.
Question: Is there someone I can talk to for free about health insurance and Obamacare plans?
Answer: Yes, health insurance agents can help you with all of your needs and inquiries, including the purchasing of new plans for families and individuals, plan renewals, subsidy applications, Medicaid eligibility and many other pertinent topics.
Still Have Questions on Health Insurance Reform or Obamacare?
As one of the most trusted health insurance agencies in the Chicago area, Premier looks forward to the opportunity to answer your questions and help you get the best coverage. Call our Lisle/Naperville office today at 800-369-0287, or write to us through our secure contact page.