Here's a an expansion of primer I wrote for Twitter, covering some of the basics. To get specific questions answered, go to the website listed below for instant chat or call the toll-free number, 24/7.
Q. I get insurance at work. What do i need to do per new law?
A. Absolutely nothing! You are already insured. Stay well!
Q. I am on Medicare. What should I do on October 1?
A. Enjoy a good walk in the park. You are already insured.
Q. I just changed jobs and my new boss doesn't offer insurance. What to do?
A. Buy discounted insurance through your state exchange. Or, see if you can join an association that will insure you.
Q. I'm a cancer survivor with no insurance. What can I do?
A. Starting January 1, 2014, insurers cannot turn you down. Get insurance now through your state exchange Oct 1, for coverage beginning Jan 1, 2014. If you need help before then, there is a bridge-program designed for such situations. Ask an exchange navigator for more information.
Q. I'm insured but my 20 year old son needs insurance and can't afford it.
A. Insurers now must let him stay on your policy until age 26
Q. I heard insurance rates are going to sky rocket.
A. So far, that is not the case. See http://nyti.ms/15THiyg
for sample costs. (Note: If you haven't shopped for insurance lately, these prices may seem high, but they are discounted compared to today's premiums. Also, like all insurance, the broader the coverage, the higher the premium. You might be able to get away with a cheaper plan to start with, then upgrade next year when enrollment re-opens in the fall.
Q. What happens if I don't take out health insurance? Can they make me?
A. You'll pay a penalty when you file your next income tax. That penalty will increase every year you are not insured.
Q. Where are these state exchanges?
A. Online or through your state offices. See http://HealthCare.gov/
for more info.
Q. I don't make much and need insurance. Can I get Medicaid?
A. A state insurance exchange navigator can tell you if you qualify.
Q. I'm on Medicaid. What do I do?
A. If you still qualify, you will stay on Medicaid.
For answers to your own questions about Obamacare, see http://HealthCare.gov/
or call 1-800-318-2596, for live responses in many languages, 24/7.
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State-by-State Premiums Under the Health Care Law
New data from the Department of Health and Human Services outline how much monthly health care premiums will cost for individuals and families buying insurance through new exchanges in 36 states.