How Does Healthcare Reform Affect Me?

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The Affordable Care Act appears to be here to stay, so it is important for us to understand what this means for us as individuals going into 2014! In 2014, most Americans will face a penalty if they do not obtain health care coverage. The Affordable Care Act will require individuals to either maintain basic health coverage or pay a tax penalty for each month that coverage is not in place beginning in January of 2014.

Health insurance exchanges have been launched this month in an effort to support this requirement for individuals. Beginning October 1, any individual can access and buy insurance through an exchange, but for Hannibal Regional Healthcare System team members, there are some very important things to know. HRHS offers health insurance that is considered high-quality and affordable, according to the Affordable Care Act. Therefore, if a team member chooses to buy health insurance from the exchange instead of one of the HRHS employer-sponsored plans, the team member will not be eligible for any federal subsidies or tax credits under the law. Additional changes take effect in January 2014, including a 90-day maximum waiting period, caps on out-of-pocket minimums, new wellness plan rules and elimination of pre-existing condition limitations.

Some tips that team members should consider when considering health insurance options for 2014 include:

  • Participate in the HRHS employer-sponsored plan open enrollment process
  • Review the coverage offered by HRHS before purchasing insurance through an exchange.
  • Reassess your healthcare needs and the healthcare needs of your dependents.
  • Evaluate whether a high-deductible healthcare plan is right for you.
  • Take advantage of wellness opportunities.
  • Review supplemental benefits and their costs.

Changes to the HRHS employer-sponsored plans take effect in January 2014, including a 90-day maximum waiting period, caps on out-of-pocket minimums, new wellness plan rules and elimination of pre-existing condition limitations.

Open enrollment meetings for the HRHS employer-sponsored plans will be held from October 25th through November 8th, with open enrollment November 11th through November 27th. All benefit eligible team members are encouraged to attend an open enrollment meeting this year so that the new plan designs and options can be explained.

Remember:

  • The coverage you get from HRHS is fuller and provides better value than anything you’ll get on an exchange.
  • You will not be eligible for the government subsidy.
  • Without a subsidy, you’ll pay more for less coverage on the exchange.
  • All HRHS plans are following the new rules of health care reform.

By: Susan Wathen, Vice President Human Resources,  Hannibal Regional Healthcare System

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