FAQ Obamacare, There are big changes coming to health care in America, as more parts of the so-called Obamacare kick in.
Most people who have health insurance through their employer will not have to do anything different, but very soon, people who don’t have health insurance will be able to get it through an insurance exchange.
Under the Affordable Care Act, the uninsured will have to buy insurance on so-called exchanges, which are online marketplaces that allow them to compare prices and choose policies. If they don’t buy insurance, they will face an annual penalty on their taxes.
Every state must start offering insurance to those who don’t have it on Jan. 1, 2014; enrollment begins Oct. 1.
States can build an exchange that’s all their own, operate it in partnership with the federal government or simply let the federal government do it for them. The Department of Health and Human Services is required to set up an exchange if a state can’t or won’t do it, then will handle the consumer help functions, in part through its own call center at 1-800-318-2596.
Fifteen states have approval to do their own exchange, the federal government is running 27 and eight others are different versions of federal and state partnerships. Here’s a look at who’s running the exchanges. in each state.
The call centers have their work cut out for them explaining the confusing and still-changing details of President Obama’s health care law. During September, the first question may well simply be “huh?” or at least “What’s an exchange?”
Slightly more than half of 1,500 people polled by the Kaiser Family Foundation in August said they didn’t know enough about the law to understand how it will impact their families. And 44% of 1,000 people polled separately by Kaiser in August said they weren’t even sure the law is in effect after all of the political fighting and a Supreme Court challenge that was rejected.
Many people “know something’s coming, but they don’t know how it works,” says Karen Pollitz, a senior fellow at the Kaiser Family Foundation.
That has triggered a lot of questions, and from 7 to 9 a.m., 9NEWS viewers can get them answered by calling Health Insurance Line9. For those who missed the call line, they can call Connect for Health Colorado at 1-855-752-6749 or Metro Denver Association of Health Underwriters at 303-745-4600.
Members of the Metro Denver Association of Health Underwriters answered phone calls Thursday morning, trying to help consumers understand Obamacare and how it will affect their lives.
Not everyone is excited about the prospect of Obamacare.