Countdown to ObamaCare (Part 2): Will ‘healthcare exchanges’ affect me?

With the exchanges called for in the healthcare law about to launch, it’s critical to know that not everyone will have to get involved.


by Chris Woodward

Source: One News Now

The exchanges under the Affordable Care Act ("ObamaCare"), which are scheduled to begin October 1, will involve Americans going online to acquire health insurance on an electronic exchange in their state. But not every state has opted to run an exchange - so what does that mean for consumers?

Devon Herrick, senior fellow with the nonprofit, nonpartisan National Center for Policy Analysis, explains both state and federal governments will be involved.

"In those states that have declined to have their own exchange, the federal government will operate it for them," he says. "So essentially there will be a lot of outreach by the respective state and the Department of Health and Human Services explaining to consumers where they can buy coverage."

It will be essentially a "one-stop shop," he says, that is "designed to tell you if you qualify for, say, Medicaid or if you qualify for the state children's health insurance or whether or not you will qualify for a subsidy in the exchange

According to Herrick, individuals who are qualified to enroll in Medicaid won't be allowed to go to the exchange. The same goes for someone who has Medicare coverage or someone with access to employer coverage that is deemed affordable.

The government plans to offer subsidies to qualified individuals who do go on the exchange in order to help cover the expense of the health plan.

As for individuals and families who don't have Internet access, Herrick says there will be outreach by state and federal agencies with phone numbers for people to call.