The Affordable Care Act makes health insurance available to more people; so more people will be able to get the care they need. While health care reform has been a hot topic this year, many people are still confused about what it is and more importantly, what will and will not happen on October 1, 2013, which begs the question of “Will I have health insurance on October 1, 2013?”
Our government passed the health care reform law, or the Affordable Care Act, in March of 2010. Many of the law’s provisions have already gone into effect, but the individual mandate for insurance and access to financial support from the government won’t kick in until the end of this year.
Starting October 1st, Florida Blue can work with you one-on-one to help you buy a new plan. Whether you go through the health insurance Marketplace or not, we’re here to answer all of your questions and help you get the plan that best meets your needs.
Here’s what happens on October 1st:
- The health insurance Marketplace opens. You will be able to shop and compare the new health plans available under the Affordable Care Act.
- You will be able to visit healthcare.gov to see if you are eligible for government help to pay for part of your monthly health insurance premiums. If you qualify, you will receive a tax credit (or subsidy) called the advance premium tax credit. Florida Blue can help you access the site to find out if you qualify.
- While you will be able to sign-up for one of the new health plan on October 1, you won’t be able to start using your new plan’s benefits until January 1, 2014.
You will be able to buy a health plan through the Marketplace starting October 1, 2013 through March 31, 2014. Most people will need to have a health care plan by January 1, 2014 or they may have to pay a tax, however there are some exceptions.
If you have insurance through your job, you probably won’t need to do anything, as most companies will continue to offer insurance to their employees.
If you have Medicaid now, you do not need to do anything. But you should be aware that if you buy any other type of health insurance, you may no longer be able to get Medicaid. To get more detailed information about this, you can call Medicaid at 1-866-762-2237.
If you have Medicare benefits today, those benefits will continue under health care reform, so there is not need to do anything. To learn more about Medicare, contact Medicare at 1-800-Medicare (800-633-4227) TTY 877-486-2048, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week or visit www.medicare.gov.
Even though you can sign up on October 1st, 2013 and qualify for a premium tax credit, you have to wait until January 1, 2014 to start using your health plan benefits.
We encourage you to talk to us one-on-one for answers to your specific health insurance questions. We can explain your options and walk through the next steps you may need to take, so you can make the best decisions for you and your family.
To learn more about your specific options visit us in person at your local Florida Blue Center. Call us at 1-800-633-6808 or call your local agent, or go online at FloridaBlue.com. We are always here to help you understand the Affordable Care Act.
This information is for illustrative purposes only and is being provided to help increase understanding of the impacts of some of the provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). It does not attempt to cover all of the law’s provisions and is not intended as tax or legal advice.