Monday, September 30, 2013
7 News Features: Health Care
October 1st is the day that the government's Affordable Care Act starts offering insurance policies. For many it will be the first time they can get health insurance. For others, it may be a chance to save themselves some money. For all, now is the time to prepare. 7's Craig Stevens is here to tell us what we need to know.
WSVN -- October 1st is the day the actual plans for affordable health care coverage will be unveiled. To make it easier on yourself, you might want to get your documents ready.
Marisel Losa, Health Council of South Florida: "Familiarize yourself with what you're going to need to enroll for affordable health coverage."
The HealthCare.gov website is where you will find information on what you need to qualify and what policies will be available for you and your family. And you should check it out even if you already have insurance.
Marisel Losa: "You may want to go online and see what you're paying through your employer versus what's available on the site. There may be an opportunity for significant cost savings."
For those who have never had insurance, the hard part is learning the language.
Marisel Losa: "So what is a deductible? What is an insurance premium? What is a co-pay? For the uninsured, they have never heard those words or don't have a full command of what that really is."
Experts say you have to understand what the policies mean because the cheapest price may not be your best option.
Marisel Losa: "You'll be able to go to any provider."
The Jesse Trice Community Health Centers are offering one-on-one counseling for anyone who needs help understanding what they are buying.
Annie Neasman, CEO of Jessie Trice Community Centers: "Sitting, talking to those individuals explaining the benefits of the Affordable Care Act will be key to the success."
The certified application counselors will help you get the right policy.
Annie Neasman: "The one-on-one counseling is very important."
In the coming days there will be more opportunities to get personal advice.
Marisel Losa: "There will be ongoing enrollment fairs. They'll start hearing those announcements."
For South Florida small business owners who will be deciding how they will provide health coverage to their employees, the website can help them navigate the new program.
Mario Roiz, HR Benefits Services: "It's actually one of the simplest websites I've seen."
It will guide them through their options to meet the government mandate, but experts say you could save money by meeting with insurance professionals.
Mario Roiz: "We use a tax professional legal and we do the insurance side. We provide a canopy and give the employer every aspect of the law."
Almost everyone will be required to purchase an insurance plan. If you are required and don't, you will face a penalty, which is either 1 percent of your income or $95 dollars, whichever amount is greater.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Official Government Website:
Toll Free Number For Questions:
For Personal Counseling:
Jessie Trice Community Health Center
305-637-6400 or 305-805-1700