Obamacare or The Affordable Care Act or the PPACA?
Obamacare or commonly called the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is really and truly The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). President Obama signed the law on March 23, 2010. The law is very controversial and is the largest overhaul of the United States healthcare system since Medicare and Medicaid laws came into existence in 1965 under Lyndon B Johnson.
Obamacare was passed to improve the quality and affordability of health insurance coverage. The law aims to lower the uninsured rate by introducing subsidies and the Health Insurance Marketplace. The law did away with declining people due to current health status and insurance companies are required to cover all preexisting conditions. The ACA projected that overall insurance rates would decrease, but has yet to be seen.
One added cost to the ACA is that hospitals and primary physicians have transformed their practices with technology that is supposed to aid in better health outcomes. The technology is to help Americans have better accessibility to the expected cost of their healthcare.
Is Obamacare and the Affordable Care Act Working?
In the case of King vs. Burwell, the Supreme Court confirmed that the ACA subsidies would be available in all states. However, in 2015 much of the ACA bailout provision was de-funded. Insurance companies were expecting $2.7 billion in bailout money but only 360 million was available. This led a dozen government funded co-ops to go bankrupt, including Louisianan, Nevada, Oklahoma, and Tennessee to name a few.
In late 2015 the largest health insurance companies in America announced the possibility of a billion dollar loss on health insurance plans being offered to individuals and families. This announcement set off a chain reaction in the industry and now most individual health insurance carriers are avoiding the marketplace and state based exchanges and are now focusing on alternative health insurance options.
The only thing certain at this time is Obamacare will see a face lift in coming years. It is yet to be known if Obamacare will survive or not in coming years. All Americans can expect some growing pains as the US healthcare system continues to develop.
Who Can Enroll In Medicare Supplement Policy
When US citizens turn age 65, they have the option to enroll in Medicare and a Medicare Supplement Policy. Some people are able to apply before age 65 if they are disabled. Traditional Medicare includes Part A and Part B. Part A provides some hospital coverage. Part B provides some doctor visits and outpatient coverage. While Medicare is an excellent foundation to a health plan, most Americans find great value in adding some type of Medigap coverage to supplement their basic Medicare. With the increasing expense of hospital care and outpatient treatments, many hard working Americans want to not only protect their assets, but also secure quality coverage. The good news is there are hundreds of private plans designed to help provide coverage where Medicare does not.
When can I Enroll in a Medicare Supplement Policy?
There are three key times to purchase a Medicare supplement product. During these times it is unlikely to be required to answer any health questions. Essentially, the insurance companies do not review your overall health. This is a huge benefit to most enrollees.
- Within 6 months of turning 65
- Within 6 months of receiving Part B coverage
- Prior to losing your group health insurance plan
If these times apply to you, please contact us now, so we can provide a clear overview of your Initial Enrollment Period and get you headed in the right direction.
If none of the three times listed above apply to you, you still may be eligible to purchase a Medicare supplement policy or to change policies.
For example, if you purchased your policy in the past and it is not the policy you intended, then you still may be able to enroll in a different policy. Depending on your situation you may or may not have to answer health questions and go through the underwriting process. If this applies to you, it is imperative to speak with our staff sooner than later. We possess detailed knowledge of the underwriting process and can shed light on expected outcomes and add insight on the insurance companies that may be more welcoming to applicants with preexisting health conditions.
What is the Best Medicare Supplement?
There is not necessarily a best Medicare supplement policy available today, but there certainly is a best practice to purchasing a Medicare product, which we implement with all our clients. After a decade of offering policies our reviews have proven that our clients are most satisfied with their Medicare coverage when a few things happen through the enrollment process.
Key Points to Obtaining the Best Medicare Supplement
First, we try our best to begin by working with Medicare beneficiaries 2 to 4 months in advance of their Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B effective date. This allows us the time needed to educate, assess one’s health needs, and help beneficiaries make a well-informed plan selection leaving ample time to enroll and receive plan materials prior to one’s effective date. We normally have between 3 – 5 calls with all our clients.
Second, we urge our clients not to shop around too much. Our organization has found that some people will spend all day, all week, or even all month talking to numerous agents and organizations about Medicare. In our experience this complicates the process. Essentially, it is information overload. As authorized independent agents we can shop everything for you.
Our surveys also found similar results regarding all the junk mail that arrives as one approaches their 65th birthday. Many Americans get a stack of mailers three feet high. Our clients who threw it all away scored more satisfied than the clients who sifted through it. While some of the advertisements may be products that fit your needs, a majority of them will simply not be a good fit. Talking with an expert sooner than later, allows you to spend your time studying the products that are a potentially good fit. For example, suppose you live in Ohio and winter in Florida. Right away this simple fact eliminates several policies as viable options for quality coverage.
Lastly, it is important to genuinely want to build a friendship with our staff. At this point our organization does very little advertising as we mostly work through referral business. The referral business learns from the referee that we are here for the long run and at age 65, 75, 85 or older, you or your caretakers will have questions about your coverage. We take great pride in accountability and friendship. Some of our proudest moments are when an adult child calls us to learn about their parents’ coverage. We review it with them and explain why their parent chose the plan they did and how the benefits work. The peace of mind we provide a family during a time of need is of incredible value to our clients and to our profession. We want to do the best job possible for our clients, and we want them to feel the value in what we do.