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*** Updates – wow, since I posted this summary of the Affordable Care Act almost 3 months ago, quite a bit has changed. Firstly, today is the “deadline” to sign up for health insurance if you don't have it through your employer. Note that I put deadline in quotes… why? Because the March 31 deadline has been extended, sort of. Today, you may have seen reports of the healthcare.gov website crashing throughout the morning and afternoon.
Well… the administration saw this coming and prepared a solution for those who had begun the process but were hung up due to technical delays. They said that the new deadline is mid-April, and all you would have to do is check a box claiming that you began the process but couldn't finish. But the administration has also said that they will not verify whether or not you actually started the process prior to March 31.
How are Lauren and I doing with all of this? Fine. We are participating in a faith-based healthcare sharing program called Christian Healthcare Ministries, and all is going well so far. These types of programs are available and can be a very affordable alternative, particularly for the self-employed.
Whether or not you are for or against the Affordable Health Act (ACA), 2014 is here; and healthcare is different this year. It might affect you in a big way, and it might not affect you at all. You may have heard about huge premium increases, people getting dropped from their insurance, news about the Martketplace enrollment (formerly called the Exchange)… I will try to sort it all out for you (leaving the politics out of it!) and help you determine how you can expect to be financially impacted in 2014 and beyond.
Firstly, people have been asking Lauren and me what we are doing for health insurance since I have recently left my job. [Speaking of which, my previous job was as a healthcare consulting actuary, and I've spent literally hundreds of hours over the past couple years reading regulations and discussing the ACA with clients and how to prepare for it]. Yes, my previous employer had a great group health insurance plan, and no, ‘I am THAT Lady' currently doesn't offer coverage. That was obviously a huge consideration for us when we made this decision. Throughout the post, I'll share what we are doing. But yes, we are certainly covered.Secondly, I will define a few terms that will be used throughout the post:
Now that the boring stuff is out of the way, here are some common questions:
That depends on your situation:
Again, that depends.
We enrolled our children in Child Health Plus, and are paying a very reasonable amount per month for all 4 children.
Lauren and I are using Samaritan's Ministries since we do not go to the doctor very often. Lauren opted to pay out of pocket for her monthly medication that will cost us around $50.00 per month. We are working on an article about how to save on medications that should be up shortly.
Sorry for the long-winded post! This is a very complicated issue, and a new landscape for everyone this year.