In the coming year, our nation’s health care system will undergo a major test. Many believe that the system will become more flexible as well as improve in quality under this new “Affordable Care Act”. One of the most significant aspects of this piece of legislature is the Health Insurance Exchange section which opens October 1st, 2013. The exchange will enable Americans to purchase their coverage from any private provider, weather its for a rehab 30 day center or a check up at the hospital. The following details are key to understanding what exactly these changes will look like.
Health insurance Mandated for all
One of the key steps to accomplishing this goal is the new option for states to form an online health insurance exchange. This allows states to either run it individually, or choose to let the federal government run it for them. By October 1st, 2013 all states will need to have their new online insurance platform up and running, ready to enroll millions of Americans. This will allow any American who is not legally impoverished to get their health insurance through an online market place that will be ran in a similar way to how buying car insurance online works. Each person will be able to compare their coverage choices using a provided online calculator. With this aid, it is estimated that up to 23 million people will be provided a more affordable health insurance plan.
Types of Plans Available
The new plans that will be available consist of three major categories. These are separated into a tier system ranging from the cheaper “Bronze plans” ,the medium priced “silver plans”, a slightly more pricey plan called “Gold plan” and finally the most expensive and highest quality “platinum plan”. However, all of these plans including those sold off and on the online insurance exchange will be required to offer a minimum set of services. Some of these include ambulance services, hospitalization, newborn care, and prescription drugs.
So how much do these plans cost?
The primary factors that will decide the price of your plan are of course your income. These plans range from a basic level of coverage to more high-end tailored plans. Though we do not yet know exactly how much these plans will cost, the exchanges should decrease costs by an estimated 7 to 10 percent. How to do they know this? The causal factors include an increased level of competition between insurance plans, an equal level of purchasing power between small and large businesses, and finally insurance companies will not be able to discriminate against those with pre-existing conditions.
Depending on your income, you also may only pay a percentage of the total cost of the plan. The lower end plans like “bronze” and “silver” will be capped off at 9 percent of your income, while the “gold” and “platinum” plans will be capped at 12% of your income.
Obama care is likely to make your health insurance premium cheaper, no matter your level of income. Depending on your state of residence, you will either use a state or federal run Insurance exchange to purchase your plan. And finally, all changes to your health care plan won’t officially begin until 2014.