With the complexity of health care on the rise and open enrollment nearly upon us, here is some timely Affordable Care Act enrollment advice from Sarah O’Leary, CEO and Founder of ExHale Healthcare Advocates.
Watch this recorded interview to learn what you need to know and how to be prepared for enrollment day for Obamacare and the start of Covered California, the state’s marketplace to shop health care.
Sarah addresses the common misconception of whether individuals enrolling in Obamacare are exposed to being required to secure their own insurance at higher costs in the event that Obamacare gets de-funded.
Another topic covered is how consumers can protect themselves from online fraud during the open enrollment process.
Viewer Questions on Open Enrollment
Question: One viewer question addressed is “What if your income is 0? Do you still need insurance under Obamacare? How will you pay for it and will they fine you?”
Answer: You should have already been picked up by MediCal if you have no income, but you can still go to CoveredCalifornia.com and they will either put you into the MediCal stream or the put you in the Affordable Care Act enrollment stream.
Question: Another viewer asks, “What about higher copays, especially with the Bronze Plan?”
Answer: Actually, across the board what we are seeing is that people that are going into the Affordable Care Act are going to pay less for their individual and family policies. Everybody will get a free healthcare checkup no matter what plan they are on.
There is a series of screening preventative tests for diabetes and breast cancer, immunizations for children, a whole host of services that you can find on healthcare.gov, all for free.
There are many, many more things that people will get for free, but like with anything, when you pick the Bronze plan and you get into things like hospital care, you are going to pay more.
Question: Another viewer asks, I am a student at a community college. We pay a small health fee every semester. As a student, I have access to student health service. Do I still need to get other coverage?
Answer: Yes. We encourage it. We recommend it. Unless you are still covered under your parent’s plan, because of the Affordable Care Act, if you are under the age of 26, you can be on your parents plan. If you are currently on it, then stay on it.
Otherwise, go get on it [Affordable Care Act Coverage]. There are many initiatives on the campuses in LA, especially UCLA to get these students enrolled. It’s a great idea for them to get coverage. The student health center isn’t enough.
Question: Another viewer asks, “Is the preexisting condition abolishment for getting health insurance already in effect?”
Answer: The preexisting condition is what kept people out of existing health care policies where the insurance companies would say you are already sick so we don’t want you. The preexisting condition, as of 2014, January 1, if you are enrolled in the Affordable Care Act, is gone. So it is great news for people that have had to worry about that.
Question: Another viewer asks “Do you have to supply your last tax return and social security card to enroll?”
Answer: No, but you do have to provide your social security number as that is how they figure out the system because a lot of this is done in conjunction with tax rebates and tax credits. It is really the identification that our government gives us so don’t be worried about providing your social security number on a website because that is a government website.