Another Health Care Deadline Approaching
Consumers who missed the first big deadline to get insurance through the Affordable Care Act have another chance to get coverage soon. Anyone signed up by Wednesday -- that is Jan. 15 -- will be covered starting the first of next month.
The latest figures of about 7,000 show far fewer Illinois residents than were expected signed up for a plan through the new federal health care law. That is the figure from October and November -- when Affordable Care Act website was plagued by problems that prevented people from buying plans.
Numbers for December enrollment haven't been released, though there are accounts of a last-minute clammer before Christmas. Anyone who had applied by then saw their coverage take effect at the start of the new year.
Organizations like the non-profit Get Covered America are working to get more people signed up before this next, Jan. 15 deadline. Kaitlyn Rowney said the campaign uses data to find people who are likely uninsured, and then help them get coverage,
"At this point it's about cutting through all the noise," Rowney said. "For people we speak to, this isn't political, it's personal. And they want to know how the Affordable Care Act, how the new marketplace is going to affect their wallet, and how it's going to affect their family's health."
Rowney said many low-income people don't know they can get a government subsidy to help pay for coverage.
Critics of the Affordable Care Act say it's a misnomer: that there aren't low-cost options. Enrollment continues through March.
The Obama Administration is slowly implementing mandates created by the Affordable Care Act but recently delayed one applying to some businesses. This hour on Focus, we’ll talk about what’s been delayed, what changes will be implemented as planned and what you should expect if you need to purchase health insurance through one of the exchanges this fall. Health insurance coverage through Illinois exchanges will be available for purchase October 1, and this hour on Focus, John Katsinas of Barham Benefit Group and Claudia Lenhoff of Champaign County Health Consumers join host Jim Meadows.
Do you have questions about the Affordable Care Act and how it’s going to affect you as more and more mandates take effect? We welcome your calls and questions this hour on Focus!
Last week the US Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services released a price list for services at hospitals across the country. In East Central Illinois, the data showed that prices for the same procedures vary widely depending on which hospital you’re at in the area. This hour on Focus, host Jim Meadows talks with two health care finance experts about why this could be and who determines the cost for health care.
John Katsinas is a broker with the Barham Benefit Group in Champaign and works with Champaign County Health Consumers. He'll be here to talk with us about local insurance markets and how that influences the cost of services at local hospitals. Jim Unland, President of the Health Capital Group and editor of the Journal of Health Care Finance also joins us. He says the variance in price has to do with a "cat and mouse game" between insurers and care providers.