Affordable Care Act – What to Know
The Affordable Care Act was passed by Congress and then signed into law by the President on March 23, 2010. On June 28, 2012 the Supreme Court rendered a final decision to uphold the health care law.
Quality, Affordable Health Care for All Americans
This Act puts individuals, families and small business owners in control of their health care. It reduces premium costs for millions of working families and small businesses by providing hundreds of billions of dollars in tax relief – the largest middle class tax cut for health care in history. It also reduces what families will have to pay for health care by capping out-of-pocket expenses and requiring preventive care to be fully covered without any out-of-pocket expense. For Americans with insurance coverage who like what they have, they can keep it. Nothing in this act or anywhere in the bill forces anyone to change the insurance they have, period.
Americans without insurance coverage will be able to choose the insurance coverage that works best for them in a new open, competitive insurance market – the same insurance market that every member of Congress will be required to use for their insurance. The insurance exchange will pool buying power and give Americans new affordable choices of private insurance plans.
Health Insurance Marketplace
In 2014 if you are uninsured, purchase individual coverage or believe your employer provided coverage is inadequate or unaffordable, you will be able to shop for coverage directly in the federal Health Insurance Marketplace — a new competitive marketplace where individuals can shop for and compare affordable and qualified health benefit plans. The Health Insurance Marketplace will offer you a choice of health plans that meet certain benefits and cost standards. Open enrollment is October 1, 2013 – March 31, 2014. For more information, visit: healthcare.gov.
Go to the website healthcare.gov to obtain health insurance beginning October 1, 2013. There is a “Live Chat” option to speak directly with a representative.
-How the Marketplace Works-
1. Create an account– Provide basic information. Choose user name and password.
2. Apply– INFORMATION TO HAVE HANDY BEFORE YOU ENROLL ONLINE:
· Social Security Numbers (or document numbers for legal immigrants) for all household members who need coverage
· Employer and income information from pay stubs or W-2 Wage and Tax statements for every member of your household who needs coverage
· Policy numbers for any current health insurance plans covering members of your household
· Completed Employer Coverage Tool. This form can be found at: https://www.healthcare.gov/downloads/MarketplaceApp_Checklist_Generic.pdf
(The form will not be submitted, but the information on it is needed to fill out the actual enrollment form. You will need to fill out a form for every job-based plan you or someone in your household is eligible for – even if you or a household member does not enroll in one of those plans.)
3. Pick a Plan – Compare all the programs you are eligible for. Also, find out if you can get lower costs on monthly premiums.
4. Enroll – Choose a plan that meets your needs and enroll. Coverage starts as soon as January 1, 2014.
IMPORTANT DATES TO REMEMBER:
· October 1, 2013 – Open enrollment for Affordable Health Insurance begins
· December 15, 2013 – Last day to enroll and have insurance start on January 1, 2014
· January 1, 2014 – Earliest start date for coverage
· March 31, 2014 – Open enrollment ends and after this date you can get coverage for 2014 only in a special enrollment period if you have a qualifying life event such as job loss, birth or divorce
Please be patient when this website opens on October 1, 2013. This site may experience heavy traffic in October. Website information may be subject to change. We will do our best to stay updated.
Library staff will help you to get to the healthcare.gov website and navigate the website up to the point of entering personal information. We have prepared this webpage to answer basic questions. We can help you print out pages at 15 cents each.
How to apply for the Affordable Care Act (ACA)
There are four ways people may apply:
1. By mail, using the paper form available at http://www.healthcare.gov
2. Online at http://www.healthcare.gov
3. Call the toll free number 800-318-2596
4. In person, using the services of an approved “navigator”.
Approved Navigators in Michigan
Community Bridges Management, Inc. (586)-741-8360
– Approved Navigators at this site will help you over the phone and in person. Please call for more information or to set up an appointment. They plan to have multiple sites up and running in the Metro Detroit area.
Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services (313)-945-8367
American Indian Health & Family Services of SE Michigan (313) 846-3718
– Approved Navigators at this site will help you over the phone and in person. Please call for more information or to set up an appointment. They will help all persons needing assistance. Visit their website for more information: http://aihfs.org.
Michigan Consumers for Health Care http://consumersforhealthcare.org
– Approved Navigators at this site will help you over the phone and in person. Please check their website for more information.
Wayne State University Physicians Group (248)-581-5840
Protect yourself from Fraud
You should never be asked to pay for services. Don’t give out your Social Security Number, credit card number, banking or tax documents to an unauthorized Navigator. Protect your private health and financial information at all times. If you suspect fraud, call 1-800-318-2596 or contact your local police.
AFFORDABLE CARE ACT GLOSSARY OF TERMS
A complete glossary can be found at: http://kff.org/glossary/health-reform-glossary
Health Insurance Marketplace
This website will guide you through the process from determining your eligibility, comparing healthcare plans, and enrolling in coverage.
Navigate Health Reform Michigan
A website that provides Michigan residents with information regarding local events, navigators, and news about the Affordable Care Act.
Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services
This government website is where you will find a list of locations offering presentations on changes to health care with the Affordable Care Act, as well as what it do if you suspect fraud.
Michigan Strategic Plan for the Affordable Care Act
The detailed plan laid out by the state of Michigan to coordinate and implement the Affordable Care Act.
Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation Health Reform
A user-friendly website that offers state-by-state information, FAQs, and a summary of the Affordable Care Act.
FamiliesUSA Health Reform Central
A resource that offers a variety of information regarding the Affordable Care Act including assistance with the understanding, implementation, regulations and guidance in accordance with the new law.
Blue Cross Blue Shield Health Care Reform Basics
For those seeking quick answers, this website offers basic information regarding the Affordable Care Act to users in a user-friendly, video-based format that does not require a great deal of reading.
Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation Glossary of Terms
An in-depth list of terms and their definitions in relation to the Affordable Care Act.
U. S. Department of Health & Human Services
Provides a full-text version of the Affordable Care Act as passed by Congress and the President on March 23, 2010.