Affordable Health Care Act

The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, starts in earnest on October 1, 2013 when the marketplace exchanges, where individuals can purchase health insurance, go online.  Although there is a delay (due to computer glitches) with respect to the group exchanges  and the exchanges translated to Spanish, those exchanges should be up and running by November 1, 2013. 

The purpose of the Affordable Care Act is to insure that all Americans can purchase affordable health insurance.  Some states have established their own exchanges, and residents of states who declined to participate can shop on national exchanges.  The national exchanges can be reached at  The insurance plans are offered by insurance companies and there will be a choice of four levels of plans:  Platinum (90% benefits, 10% copay); Gold (80-20); Silver (70-30); and Bronze (60-40). 

In addition, shoppers under the age of 30 can purchase a Catastrophic plan. Lower income individuals and families will receive financial assistance through tax credits.  The initial enrollment period extends from October 1, 2013 through March 31, 2014. Anyone purchasing insurance in 2013 will have coverage on January 1, 2014.  For those purchasing in 2014, the insurance start date probably will be the first of the following month. 

During the first year of the Affordable Care Act, there is a penalty for uninsured individuals who do not purchase health insurance:  $90 or 1% of the annual income, whichever is more, to be assessed on one’s tax return.

Currently, no one really knows what the actual cost will be to purchase insurance on the exchanges until they go up so stay tuned and as soon as we know something, we will share it with you.

ALERT!  Open Medicare Enrollment
 Period Approaching

From October 15 through December 7, 2013, Medicare beneficiaries may make changes to their Medicare plans with changes effective January 1, 2014.  This is the time when  you can review your Part D drug plan to ensure that it will be the most effective plan for you in the coming year.

Remember, there are two variables with respect to Part D:  the drug plans changes and so can your drugs.  Your prescription drugs will determine what plan will work best for you.  Call us if you need assistance is assessing your current Part D plan or finding a new one.

In addition, this is the time that a Medicare beneficiary can change his medical coverage from traditional Medicare A and B to a Medicare Part C Advantage plan or vice-versa.