The Affordable Care Act, passed into law in 2010, requires that beginning in 2014, no one be denied insurance coverage or charged higher rates because of a pre-existing condition such as cancer. Patients also no longer have to worry about being dropped by a plan because they have gotten sick.
Patients who are uninsured and under-insured will now be able to purchase a plan sold in the new marketplaces. Each plan must offer 10 essential health benefits and patients with low and moderate incomes may be eligible for tax credits that reduce their costs. Open enrollment began October 1, 2013 for coverage that begins January 1, 2014.
In general, anyone who has an insurance plan that they like – and remains available to them – does not need to go to the marketplace. This means that people with private insurance through their employer, individual or family coverage they bought themselves, TRICARE and any other health plans can stick with their current insurance and don’t need to do anything. Additionally, those eligible for Medicare cannot purchase insurance through the public exchanges.
The IMF has created this page to provide you information and help guide those who will be purchasing a new health insurance plan.