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Understanding ObamaCare

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On October 1st, online insurance exchanges will become available for those who are seeking insurance or interested in making the change to insurance plans provided by ObamaCare. Individuals will have the opportunity to log on to exchange sites created for their state and input their personal information to determine what type of insurance they will be eligible for. No one will be denied based on their income or their previous illnesses. Since the concept of ObamaCare coverage is still fairly new for many people, the following overview provides more insight into some of the basics of what you can expect.

If you already have health insurance, you will be able to choose to stay with your current plan or seek out a new option. If you do not have health insurance, then you will either be covered by expanded Medicaid or you will be able to buy a plan through one of the exchanges without being turned down. Depending on your income, you might be eligible for government subsidies to help you pay down the costs. If you choose not to have any insurance, you will have to pay a penalty that could range from a minimum of $95 to $700, depending on your income.

Those who have a medical condition would still be able to purchase insurance. Companies will not be allowed to reject their applicants based on health status once the exchanges start operating in 2014.The law would provide for more people to find insurance coverage in two ways. This would include the expansion of Medicaid for those who are in low income brackets and also the development of insurance exchanges, which would be available online and allow people to find and purchase plans that would best suit their needs.

Verification would be used on the sites to ensure that people are purchasing their insurance coverage under the correct identity. Individuals might be asked about addresses that they previously lived at, the color of their car, and other identifiable information that most people wouldn’t be able to provide. The system would be similar to what is used to verify the identity for accessing personal Social Security information. If someone got a question wrong, they would be referred to Experian’s help desk. If that failed,then they may be asked to submit some documents to prove their identity. To determine if the customer is eligible for federal subsidies to pay for the insurance, the exchange will be pinging the “federal data services hub”, which is currently being built by Quality Software Services Inc under a $58 million contract with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. If someone is a citizen and their income is less than four times of the federal poverty level, then they would be considered to be eligible for the government subsidies to pay for the rates of the insurance program. The query would arrive at the hub, which would not store information, and would be then routed to online services that are located at the IRS for income verification. There would also be information being pinged to the Department of Homeland Security for a citizenship check.