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Affordable Care Act: The Basics Jon Bailey, Director Rural Public Policy Program Center for Rural Affairs.

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Presentation on theme: "Affordable Care Act: The Basics Jon Bailey, Director Rural Public Policy Program Center for Rural Affairs."— Presentation transcript:

1 Affordable Care Act: The Basics Jon Bailey, Director Rural Public Policy Program Center for Rural Affairs

2 Disclaimer The Center for Rural Affairs does not offer or provide legal advice. CFRA is not an insurance agency, broker, or consultant; does not recommend any health insurance product or policy or provide any advice on the purchasing of health insurance; and does not accept any compensation or consideration from an insurance company, insurance broker, or insurance consultant.

3 Health Care Reform Law Actually two bills adopted by Congress Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act – Public Law 111-148, signed by President Obama on March 23, 2010 Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 – Public Law 111-152, signed by President Obama on March 30, 2010

4 Health Insurance Reforms Under the law, a new Patients Bill of Rights reforms key aspects of health insurance Provides Coverage to Americans with Pre-existing Conditions Keeps Young Adults Covered -- If you are under 26, you may be eligible to be covered under your parents health plan Ends Lifetime Limits on Coverage Ends Pre-Existing Condition Exclusions for children under 19 Ends Arbitrary Withdrawals of Insurance Coverage -- Insurers can no longer cancel your coverage without evidence of fraud Insurers can no longer cancel your coverage

5 Health Insurance Reforms Reviews Premium Increases -- Insurance companies must now publicly justify any double-digit rate hikespublicly justify any double-digit rate hikes Helps You Get the Most from Your Premium Dollars – 80% or 85% of premium dollars must be spent on direct health care costs or consumers get a rebate Restricts Annual Dollar Limits on Coverage -- Annual limits on your health benefits will be phased out by 2014will be phased out by 2014 Removes Insurance Company Barriers to Emergency Services -- You can seek emergency care at a hospital outside of your health plans network seek emergency care at a hospital Covers Preventive Care at No Cost to You -- You may be eligible for recommended preventive health services with no copaymenteligible for recommended preventive health services Guarantees Your Right to Appeal All apply to most health insurance plans beginning January 1, 2014

6 Health Insurance Requirements Individuals Starting January 1, 2014, all U.S. citizens and legal residents are required to have some form of health insurance Exemptions – financial hardship, religious objections Penalty – Phased in starting in 2014 ($95 or 1% of taxable income) to 2016 ($695 or 2.5% of taxable income) MARCH 31, 2014 – Deadline for 2014 insurance to avoid penalty

7 Health Insurance Requirements Employers Employers with fewer than 50 employees (FTEs) – No requirement to offer health insurance (96- 98% of all US businesses) Employers with 50 or more employees (FTEs) – Required to offer health insurance Employers with more than 200 employees (FTEs) – Required to automatically enroll employees into health plans offered by the employer. Employees may opt out.

8 Health Insurance Marketplaces ACA = Exchanges Now = Marketplaces Will be the new way health insurance is purchased on the individual and small group markets Focus = Those who purchase their own insurance, small businesses and small groups

9 Health Insurance Marketplaces Choice of plans in Exchange Platinum – 90% cost of care coverage Gold – 80% cost of care coverage Silver – 70% cost of care coverage Bronze – 60% cost of care coverage Catastrophic – limited to those under 30, exempt from individual mandate due to affordability

10 Nebraska Marketplace Insurance companies participating: Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska Coventry Health Care CoOportunity Health Alliance Midwest, Inc.

11 Nebraska Marketplace Find estimated insurance plan premium information at: Provides up you all estimated premiums for all plans in your county for individual and small business plans Actual premiums will be based on individual factors and choices

12 Nebraska Marketplace

13 How to apply for health insurance coverage: for-marketplace-coverage/ By Phone – 1-800-318-2596; TTY: 1-855-889- 4325 By Paper By Personal Help Online –

14 Nebraska Marketplace Purchasers through the Marketplace will receive premium assistance tax credits Those up to 400% of federal poverty level eligible for tax credits (approximately $94,200 for family of 4 in 2013 guidelines) Tax credit is a percentage of individual/family modified adjusted gross income May still purchase insurance outside of Exchange – generally not eligible for tax credit

15 Nebraska Marketplace Tax credit reduces the amount of your health insurance premium Specific amount of credit difficult to determine – depends on too many individual factors Credit can go directly to insurance company or can be claimed later on tax return Subsidy Calculators

16 Nebraska Marketplace Cost-Sharing Assistance – Out-of-Pocket Expenses Incomes below 250 percent of the federal poverty level (about $59,000 for a family of four, about $29,000 for an individual under the 2013 guidelines) Eligible for cost-sharing assistance for out-of-pocket expenses Compared to 30 percent for all other individuals and families purchasing a Silver plan – Must purchase Silver plan Out –of-pocket expense limit: 100-150% = 6% 150-200% = 13% 200-250% = 27%

17 ACA and Insurance Coverage Essential Health Benefits Ambulatory patient services, such as doctor's visits and outpatient services Emergency services Hospitalization Maternity and newborn care Mental health and substance use disorder services, including behavioral health treatment Prescription drugs Rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices Laboratory services Preventive and wellness services and chronic disease management Pediatric services, including oral and vision care

18 ACA and Insurance Coverage Essential Health Benefits Apply only to individual market and small group market (less than 50 employees) The essential health benefits are intended to mirror those provided under a typical employer-sponsored health plan. Insurance plans must provide a package that includes those benefits, at a minimum. The law does not define the specific services that must be covered or the amount, duration, or scope of services. HHS will define the specific benefits within each of these categories. All plans sold on the Marketplace will provide Essential Health Benefits

19 Small Businesses and Marketplace Small businesses may currently purchase insurance plans on marketplace For employers and employees Shopping feature on provides information on available plans SHOP exchange – special small business on marketplace; available November 1, 2014 For businesses with 50 or fewer employees May apply by paper for SHOP plans and tax credits Small business tax credits are available only for Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) coverage that begins in 2014 Self-employed and no employees = purchase through individual Marketplace not SHOP SHOP information = 1-800-706-7893

20 Marketplace Open Enrollment You will be able to enroll and purchase insurance in the Marketplace during certain times – open enrollment periods. You will be unable to purchase insurance in the Marketplace outside of these dates. Initial enrollment period – October 1, 2013 to March 31, 2014 Subsequent years – October 15 to December 7 (same as Medicare D) Exceptions to open enrollment period – changes in life circumstances – child, married, move, lose a job, etc.

21 Choosing Insurance in the Marketplace Key Decision Points #1 = How much coverage do you want? May depend on subsidies you receive #2 = Qualify for cost-sharing subsidies? Must buy Silver plan to receive #3 = How to apply subsidy #4 = Weighing risk vs. coverage – higher premium is more coverage; lower premium is more risk #5 = Weighing out-of-pocket costs – tolerance for risk #6 = Provider choice – Doctors/hospitals in network? Finally = Ask for Summary of Benefits and Coverage Buy!

22 Marketplace Help There will be people trained and certified to help you understand your health coverage options and enroll in a plan. Navigators Application assistors Certified application counselors Insurance agents and brokers can also help you with your application and choices.

23 Marketplace Help Need More Information? Website: By phone: 1-800-318-2596 (24 hours) 1-800-706-7893 (small businesses) TTY: 1-855-889-4325 Live chat:

24 Medicaid Expansion U.S. Supreme Court = ACA constitutional, expanding Medicaid a state option ACA Medicaid expansion – anyone up to 138% of poverty level eligible for Medicaid Adds childless adults as Medicaid eligible population 138% poverty level = $32,500 for household of 4; full-time minimum wage for single person (2013 levels) Governor Heineman = Nebraska wont expand Medicaid LB 577 filibustered in Legislature in 2013 Could be a big thing for small businesses LB 887 in 2014 Legislature Coverage Gap

25 For more information Jon Bailey Center for Rural Affairs 402-687-2100 care/research

26 Questions ?

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