How To Help Your Patients Choose Among ObamaCare’s Options

As patients continue to hear news about glitches with the ObamaCare website, patients may be confused about enrolling in health insurance. Your staff can provide some  helpful basic information.

First, there is no need to rush to get coverage today.  Coverage doesn’t begin until January 1, 2014.  Therefore, patients have plenty of time to sign up.

Next, it’s important for patients to know that if they are at a very low income level they can sign up for Medicaid in states that have decided to expand their Medicaid program.  Currently, if a patient has income less than $13,000 per year they will qualify for Medicaid.  Michigan, for example, is expanding it’s Medicaid program and the expansion will begin April 1, 2014.

Next, the patient can enroll by phone by calling 1-800-318-2596, thus, avoiding the necessity of using the Federal health exchange website.

Patients have choices in different ObamaCare plan levels.  Each plan will cover the same basic items but the difference is the cost sharing by the patient.  A platinum level plan will provide the least cost sharing by the patient but will have the highest patient premium cost per month.  The bronze plan will be the cheapest premium payment, but the patient will share more of the incurred medical costs.  The plans offered in each state will vary.

If the patient’s state is operating its own health exchange, the patient should use the state health exchange.  Most state health exchanges are operating smoothly.  As time goes on, there will be more and more places that the patient can shop for coverage.  Web based brokers like Ehealth are planning to provide consumers for shopping for coverage.  Again, patients should be reminded that they have plenty of time to sign up.

Patients have also been given an extension until March 31, 2014 to sign up for coverage due the the federal health exchange problems.  More options will become  available.  It is also important to remind patients that if they already have Medicare or Medicaid they do not need to do anything.  Also, if they are already covered by an employer based health insurance, they do not need to shop for different coverage.

Tell us how you are informing patients about ObamaCare?   Share your ideas with us by clicking on the comment button below.  We’d love to hear from you.

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