Thank you for all the questions you have asked since the launch of Dear Addy in July of this year. Please keep them coming! HFA wants you to be able to make informed decisions about your health and the health of your family. To close out the year, I want to follow-up on the questions I received about the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and its role out this fall. The government has made a few changes and extended a few deadlines to make the transition to Marketplace insurance plans a little less burdensome. To date, the government is:
- Giving individuals until December 23 or 27*, instead of December 15, to sign up for health insurance coverage in the Marketplaces that would begin January 1, 2014.
*IMPORTANT: Some state deadlines have been extended until December 27. Check with your state to see which deadline applies in your state.
- Requiring insurers who provide insurance through the Marketplace to accept payment through December 31, 2013 for coverage that will begin January 1, 2014.**
**IMPORTANT: Many health insurers providing insurance through the Marketplace have decided to give you more time to pay your first month’s premium, extending the deadline until January 10, 2014. Not all issuers are extending the payment deadline and some may still require you to pay on or before December 31, 2013. Check with your insurance company to confirm the date your premium is due.
- Giving people enrolled in the federal Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP) the chance to extend their coverage through Jan. 31, 2014 if they have not already selected a new plan. PCIP is a transitional bridge program that provides quality, affordable health insurance for people with health conditions who could otherwise be shut out of the insurance market or charged more because of their pre-existing condition. The additional month gives this vulnerable population additional time to enroll in a Marketplace plan to ensure continuity of coverage.
- Strongly encouraging insurers to treat out-of-network providers as in-network to ensure continuity of care for acute episodes and/or if the provider was listed in the patient’s provider directory as of the date of an enrollee’s enrollment.
- Strongly encouraging insurers to refill prescriptions covered under previous plans during January 2014.
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Happy Holidays and a Healthy New Year!
HFA frequently receives questions from the bleeding disorders community related to advocacy issues. The questions often impact the entire community. In an effort to reach the largest audience possible with our responses to these widely applicable questions, HFA developed “Dear Addy.” Questions submitted to this column are edited in order to protect privacy and should be considered educational only, not individual guidance.