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Navigating the Affordable Health Care Plan

Posted Sept. 23, 2013, at 9:39 a.m.
Last modified Sept. 28, 2013, at 1:45 p.m.

Looking for information on the new Affordable Health Care Plan?

Then start reading here.

According to the new law, health insurers can no longer deny people coverage because of their pre-existing medical conditions. In addition, young people can stay on their parents’ insurance plans until age 26, whether they live with their parents or not.

For those who need it, catastrophic plans are available for people 30-years-old and under and now, all health insurance will offer broader coverage.

The Affordable Health Care Law was passed in 2010 and it expands health coverage to more people in addition to improving medical care.

A new program called “The Marketplace,” is where individuals can shop for an affordable health plan. This program is for individuals who buy insurance on their own or currently do not have coverage. Those in need now will be able to compare plans, shop for coverage and find out whether they are eligible for financial assistance.

Under the new law, help comes in two forms: individuals can receive money in advance as tax credits, if their income is between 100 percent and 400 percent of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL); or they can receive assistance with out-of-pocket costs called “Cost Sharing Assistance” if their income is below 250 percent of FPL. Most people will be able to receive a break on costs through The Marketplace. Every health insurance plan in The Marketplace will offer individuals a choice of plans with multiple levels of coverage.

Help is just a telephone call away. Several Washington County Health Centers have joined together and below are the certified application counselors who can help with navigating The Marketplace plan:

Sue Mahar, St. Croix Regional Family Health Center, 796-5503 x 342, scrfhc.sam@hotmail.com

Kristi Parker, East Grand Health Center, 448-2347, kristiparker@eastgrand.org

Angela Dubey, Healthways/Regional Medical Center at Lubec, 733-1090 x 2135, adubey@rmcl.org

Susie Beal, Harrington Health Center, 483-4502 x 233, susie.beal@harringtonfamilyhealth.org

Deb Shields, Eastport Health Care, 853-6001 x 133, dshields@eastporthealth.org

The Marketplace opens Oct 1, and the policies will take effect on Jan. 1, 2014.

For more information visit www.healthcare.gov, or call 1-800-318-2596 for information on shopping for insurance.

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