WHAT ARE THE IMPORTANT DATES IN NATIONAL HEALTH CARE
by Heather Mosher

WHAT ARE THE IMPORTANT DATES IN NATIONAL HEALTH CARE


With so much information out there regarding national healthcare or Obamacare, it is very hard for individuals to comprehend what information is relevant to them.  We’re currently experiencing heavy incoming calls due to current clients but also the general public wanting to know what they should be worried about.  There are a few key points to be concerned about regarding how health care reform or national healthcare is going to impact you.  Let’s review two of those items right now:

What does October 1st mean to you?

Even though it’s the first of two noted calendar dates, it’s the second most important one.  For the sake of this being the first “try” at national healthcare, the federal government has opened a very lengthy “initial enrollment period” for individuals to determine what health care coverage is right for them.  This initial enrollment period means exactly what it sounds like.  It is the FIRST or INITIAL specific period of time whereby Americans can opt into a health care plan.  There will be specific plans to pick from and you will be responsible for choosing the one best suited to you and/or your family’s needs.  This initial enrollment period will start on October 1st 2013 and extend all the way to March 31st of 2014.   It is important to remember that once March 31st passes by, you will not be eligible to get into a health care plan nor will you be able to make changes to your plan until the next year rolls around.  (As a side note, there will be special enrollment periods during the year which could give an individual this opportunity.)

If this seems a little overwhelming or confusing?  We can help you.

Then what does January 1st mean to you?

Okay guys, this is the big one.  Even though you can start picking a health care plan on October 1st2013, that plan does not become effective until January 1st of 2014.  January 1st is technically the launch of the Affordable Care Act or National Healthcare Reform.  Many changes will become effective on that date both from a group and individual standpoint.  However, for those purchasing individual coverage, that is the date on which that plan you so carefully picked, goes live.

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