Some of the things being said about the ACA are not in line with the facts. If you have heard some of these myths, and want answers to you questions, get the facts below.
MYTH: “The ACA is going away.”
FACT: As of now, the ACA is still the law of the land. There have been significant efforts in Congress to repeal and replace this legislation, but so far, these attempts have all been unsuccessful.
MYTH: “Why would I sign up for coverage when it may not exist next year?”
FACT: Any insurer offering a 2018 plan on the Marketplace is contractually bound to provide that coverage through the end of the calendar year. As long as you sign up by the December 15 deadline, you should be covered for all of 2018, regardless of what happens in Congress.
MYTH: “I am signed up for a health plan now. Will I still be enrolled if anything changes?”
FACT: Again, any insurer offering a 2018 health plan is contractually bound to keep its clients covered throughout the calendar year. If you’re enrolled now, nothing has happened to your coverage, but make sure you complete your yearly renewal before December 15.
MYTH: “Do I really need health insurance?”
FACT: Everyone needs health insurance! Insurance opens up access to medical services which would be prohibitively expensive if paid for out of pocket. It allows you to invest proactively in your and your family’s health, and provides financial security so that if anything happens, you’re not stuck paying back thousands of dollars in medical bills on your own.
MYTH: “What changes have been made to the annual Open Enrollment process?”
FACT: Because the ACA remains the law of the land, enrollment operations will continue mostly the same as they have in the past. The biggest change is that the Open Enrollment Period is shorter this year, ranging only from November 1 to December 15. Sign up for 2018 coverage by December 15!
MYTH: “I keep hearing that the costs of health insurance are increasing more every day. Why should I sign up for such an expensive plan?”
FACT: While uncertainty about the future of the Marketplace does mean insurers may raise their prices, the ACA covers the difference in the form of tax credits and discounts. Regulations cap the amount you can pay on your premiums based on a percentage of your income. Over 80% of people who shop on the Marketplace qualify for tax credits – make sure you’re taking advantage if you qualify!
MYTH: “How can I learn more about what health insurance might cost me?”
FACT: We encourage everyone to meet with a health insurance Navigator or Certified Application Counselor, who can walk you through your options for health insurance coverage and help you enroll a plan. They can give you the most accurate estimates of what insurance would cost you based on your income, family size, and location. You can make an appointment to speak with a navigator in your community, free of cost, by using the “make an appointment” widget at HealthCare.gov.
MYTH: “Because of the ACA I’m going to lose Medicare benefits”
FACT: Medicare benefits will not be altered or cut due to the ACA. No Medicare money is being transferred to the ACA. The projections of reduced Medicare spending are based on cost-saving reforms in Medicare payments to doctors and hospitals. No cuts are being made to benefits. In fact, the ACA adds new benefits for seniors, including an annual wellness visit; and it will gradually eliminate the gap in coverage for prescription drugs.
MYTH: “People have lost good insurance plans because of the ACA”
FACT: The Affordable Care Act outlawed plans that did not provide a minimum level of coverage. Such plans seemed like a bargain because of the low monthly premiums, but if the patient had a serious illness or injury, the plan would only pay a tiny fraction of the cost, leaving them at risk for bankruptcy. Medical bills account for more than half of all U.S. bankruptcies.
MYTH: “The ACA is forcing people out of small business”
FACT: Companies with 50 or more full-time workers must offer employee health insurance that meets a set of minimum requirements or face a penalty. Smaller companies are not subject to this requirement, and in fact are able to obtain coverage for their employees through a new marketplace, where they may be eligible for tax credits.
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