Congressman Jim McDermott: what you need to know about the Affordable Care Act

Monday, August 12, 2013

Congressman Jim McDermott

In just 50 days, one of the biggest and most important reforms from the Affordable Care Act will be implemented. Starting October 1st, eligible Americans will be able to enroll in their state’s health insurance marketplaces, sometimes called “exchanges.” Through this new marketplace, individuals without affordable employer coverage will be able to access affordable insurance, and, depending on their income, even subsidies.

Get Covered

Once the marketplaces are open, millions of uninsured citizens will be able to purchase insurance, but there is still a great deal of misinformation circulating around the new law.

Here’s what you need to know:
  1. If you already have coverage that you like, you don’t have to change it. In fact, with new regulations and standards, the insurance you currently have will include new consumer protections like no lifetime limits, minimum coverage standards, and limits on administrative costs. Already, insurers in Washington State who haven’t met efficiency standards have refunded families an average rebate of $499 in the individual market, the highest in the country.
  2. If you don’t have insurance or your employer coverage is unaffordable, Washington’s exchange will be a one-stop-shop for insurance plans from various private insurers. In one place, you’ll be able to compare prices and plans that all meet certain coverage minimums. Options will be grouped into simple, easy to understand levels of price and services covered: bronze, silver, gold, and platinum. You’ll be able to apply online, on the phone, or in person, and the application process will automatically determine if you qualify for cost-sharing subsidies or tax credits.
  3. Open enrollment begins October 1, but you can sign up for email updates now at the Washington Health Plan Finder. You can also find more information on this simple process, the Affordable Care Act, and calculate your costs.
  4. Those who still can’t afford subsidized plans from the marketplace might be eligible for expanded Medicaid. The online marketplace process will direct applicants to that option as well. It’s a “no wrong door” system that will automatically save you money if possible.

As always, my District office is prepared to answer questions you may have on this legislation and other Congressional matters. Contact us at 206-553-7170. I will continue to send you updates and more information as the marketplace comes into effect to make this process clear and simple.
Congressman Jim McDermott

Congressman McDermott represents Washington's 7th congressional district which includes all of Shoreline, Lake Forest Park, Edmonds, Vashon Island, and north, central, and SW Seattle.


Anonymous,  August 12, 2013 at 10:33 PM  

Funny . . . this so called "Affordable Care Act" just cost my family a minimum of $5,000 in additional costs per calendar because my employer provided health insurance was deemed a "cadillac" type plan. This act is all smoke and mirrors. Why are we suffering when members of a union or members of Congress are exempt from it?

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