Contributed by Novant Health
A key component of the 2010 Affordable Care Act was the creation of Health Insurance Exchanges. These exchanges, also known as Health Insurance Marketplaces, were envisioned as online platforms for Americans to shop for coverage offered by private health insurance companies at four levels: bronze, silver, gold, and platinum. Although these four levels of coverage will vary quite dramatically in terms of premium amounts and out-of-pocket costs, they will each be required to offer a minimum level of benefits to include doctor visits, hospitalization, prescription drugs, and maternity care. They also can not restrict coverage based on pre-existing conditions.
For those between 133 and 400 percent of the federal poverty level, these exchanges also offer an opportunity to take advantage of federal subsidies towards the premium costs. A recent analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation estimates that 17 million people will qualify for premium assistance on an exchange. These are individuals who are now uninsured or who buy coverage on their own.
The healthcare industry has been greatly hindered by the rising number of uninsured and underinsured individuals, particularly through the recent economic recession. This lack of coverage presents huge challenges for Novant Health and other health systems throughout the country. Lack of health insurance often dictates an individual’s inability to obtain basic preventive healthcare services and leads to the seeking of care in an emergency room setting. Not only is the emergency room an enormously expensive way to obtain services, it is often at an advanced stage of the condition due to the individuals both perceived and real lack of access. Having access to health insurance, and therefore primary care services, can do a tremendous amount for both the physical and financial health of the individual.
While buying coverage on an exchange is the only option for those that qualify for premium assistance, they are open to anyone seeking to purchase health insurance that does not already qualify for Medicaid or Medicare. That same analysis from the Kaiser Family Foundation estimates that 29 million people across the country could use the exchanges as a way to purchase insurance.
Novant Health exists to improve the lives of our communities, one person at a time. To this end, access to information and health care services is critical. As a trusted agent to those we serve, we took the opportunity to host several information sessions throughout our service area to assist interested individuals in learning more about the exchanges and signing up for coverage.
Novant Health is committed to providing the most up-to-date information to our patients and will continue to do whatever we can to inform our communities of any opportunities that present themselves to better live a healthy life.
Information contained on this page is provided by an independent third-party content provider. Prince William Living Inc. and it’s staff make no warranties or representations in connection therewith. If you have any questions or comments about this page please contact [email protected]