Unless you live under a rock, chances are pretty good that you've heard all kinds of stories about what's going on with health reform. Here's a quick 101 on the Affordable Care Act, and some of the ways it could directly impact you.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) was signed into law in March 2010. The biggest changes to the current healthcare system will begin next month, as we kick off 2014. Because there is so much debate about the pros and cons of the ACA that the actual health reform changes tend to get lost in all the noise.Whether you are keeping your current healthcare insurance, have to switch providers, or if you are a first-time health insurance buyer, all of the following will apply to you beginning on January 1, 2014.
- Under the ACA, you cannot be turned down for a health insurance policy because you have a pre-existing condition.
- Insurance companies can no longer impose a yearly or lifetime limit on the dollar amount of coverage you receive.
- Your dependents can now stay on your healthcare insurance until they are 26. Previously, once a child graduated from college they were no longer covered.
- Under the new law, healthcare insurance policies must provide certain preventive coverage at no cost to you. These include prenatal care, colonoscopies, mammograms, mental health screenings and support programs for people who want to stop smoking or lose weight.
All of the above are mandatory changes for insurance companies. If your insurance company feels that it can’t provide these services, it may withdraw from the marketplace, or it may cancel individual policies. Employers with under 50 employees do not have to provide healthcare insurance, as employees can now buy their own policies through the Marketplace.Good or bad, it is safe to say that the ACA will bring about the biggest changes in healthcare since Medicare was introduced in 1965. Add to that the fact that ACA dates and requirements continue to change, and many portions of the law are still being debated, and it’s no wonder that consumers are at best, bewildered, or at worst, outright worried about how the changes will affect them.
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So what can you do to cope with the current situation? One thing that you can do, independent of any changes to your healthcare insurance, is to collect all of your previous medical records.
Why is this important?
- Your insurance coverage could change, so access to your past medical history will help you as you shop for new insurance that meets your needs.
- If your current providers are no longer in your network, you could be shopping for a new doctor. Sharing your past medical history with new providers will save you time and money.
- If you are buying insurance for the first time, having access to all of your previous medical records is the first step you can take in managing your own healthcare.
That’s where CareSync comes in. We help you gather all your medical records from all of your previous providers. For $99.
Having access to these records will not only put you in control of your own healthcare information, it will be an invaluable tool for any new providers you see after January 1. Having the ability to access and share your health information will save you time, money, and energy as you establish with new providers.
Don't forget to read our free 5 Critical Things You Must Know About Your Healthcare in 2014 by clicking here.