Now Open: Health Insurance Market

Oct 11th, 2013 | By | Category: Geri Roskopf's Blog

Geri RoskopfThe AARP Bulletin ran an interesting article about how millions of Americans will begin shopping for health insurance in a new way and contained the sentence: “Federal and State officials hope the experience will be as easy as shopping for a leaf blower on Amazon.”

Really?

In 2010, President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act — also known as ObamaCare — into law. Starting in 2014, most Americans and legal residents must have health insurance or pay a tax penalty. The law requires every state to have an online marketplace or exchange designed to be a one-stop shop where people can compare and buy health insurance coverage from a number of companies.

It sounds so easy. Go to the website, “shop” and click here, click there on the application and presto, you have health insurance coverage. Not so fast. I would suggest that — like any other major item you are shopping for — do your homework first.

I’ve been sent a lot of information on the Affordable Care Act, and I have truly tried to read through it and understand it, not only for myself but to help my employees too. I am really relying on the suggestions from my insurance agent, who admits even he doesn’t know all of the ins and outs of the Act.

The article also contained “shopping” tips: Make a list of your questions, such as “Can I stay with my current doctor?” Gather your key personal information such as a paycheck stub or 2012 tax return, Social Security number and policy numbers. Watch out for scammers and bring your patience. “There may be glitches,” the article admits. (Now that I believe.)

I just love how they make “shopping” for health insurance sound like shopping for a new pair of shoes. My head is spinning. To help me feel better, maybe I will go shopping for that pair of shoes.