obamacare

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The Affordable Care Act's open enrollment which began October 1 is focused on individuals but its impact likely will be felt even if you get your insurance through your employer, or though your spouse's work.

Most Americans with private health insurance (not Medicare, Medicaid or veterans benefits) get their insurance through their job or their husband's or wife's company. Even as more people may sign up for health insurance coverage, the prices for that coverage are expected to keep rising. 

Some numbers to consider as open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) gets underway:

There are 10 essential benefits all insurance plans offered under the ACA health insurance reform law must have. They include hospital coverage, ER treatment and prescription drug benefits.

Many Americans got "please wait" messages Tuesday when they tried to start shopping for health coverage on the federal government's new health insurance website, healthcare.gov. A series of technological glitches, delays and crashes kept people from getting to several of the 16 state exchanges, too.

Well, today's the day health insurance marketplaces open for business. And despite a partial shutdown of the federal government and some technical jitters, they're available for insurance shoppers.

While Oct. 1 is a milestone in the implementation of the health law, other dates are likely more critical for consumers planning to shop for health insurance on their state marketplace.

The Sunshine Economy: Meet The Invincibles

Oct 1, 2013
Tom Hudson

The invincibles is a catch-all description of young adults, generally healthy, but who are living without health insurance.

This group is one of the particular targets of the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate, taking effect on January 1, 2014. By requiring most Americans to have health insurance, the strategy is to attract young and healthy people to help spread the risk of insuring older and sicker people.

Tom Hudson

These are the faces of the uninsured in South Florida. Eddie Escobar, Kwami Livingston and Jersey Garcia (left to right) are three of the more than one million people under the age of 65 in the counties of Miami-Dade and Broward who are living without health insurance.

Beginning Tuesday, they will be able to shop for health coverage and possibly qualify for a tax credit in order to meet the individual mandate of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which goes into effect next year.

As the federal government lurches toward a shutdown, there's one thing a lot of people in Congress actually agree on.

South Florida Insurance Rates Will Be Among Lowest In State, Report Says

Sep 30, 2013
Carl Juste / MIAMI HERALD STAFF

Miami-Dade and Broward County residents who buy health insurance through federally run online marketplaces opening Tuesday will be paying some of the cheapest rates available in Florida, according to federal data released Wednesday.  

A report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services shows how many insurance issuers will be offering plans in each county, what tiers those plans will be on and how much the average resident would pay before tax credits in certain tiers.

The Affordable Care Act Marketplace opens October 1. Despite considerable opposition from some residents and lawmakers, Floridians will be able to shop online for health insurance and compare rates for different levels of coverage.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) – also known as Obamacare - is for people who don’t have health insurance or those who buy insurance on their own instead of getting coverage through an employer.

On Tuesday, if all goes according to plan, the federal health law's marketplaces for individual health insurance are scheduled to open for business.

Nearly all Americans will be required to have health insurance starting Jan. 1, 2014, or else they'll be liable for a tax penalty.

PATRICIA BORNS / For Miami Herald

Broward County commissioners countermanded an order from the governor on Tuesday, throwing open its health department offices for meetings between the uninsured and trained Affordable Care Act advisers.

Governor Rick Scott had previously put the buildings off limits for Obamacare counseling, saying insurance seekers might become identity theft victims.

The Republican-controlled House has voted to keep the government funded but its "continuing resolution" comes with a poison pill to defund the Affordable Care Act that Democrats have vowed is dead on arrival in the Senate.

The nation's health spending will bump up next year as the Affordable Care Act expands insurance coverage to more Americans, and then will grow by an average of 6.2 percent a year over the next decade, according to projections by government actuaries.

That estimate is lower than the typical annual increases before the recession hit. Still, the actuaries forecast that in a decade the health care segment of the nation's economy will be larger than it is today, amounting to a fifth of the gross domestic product in 2022.

Under Fire, Feds Add Health Law Privacy Protections

Sep 19, 2013
PATRICIA BORNS / For Miami Herald

In the wake of criticism from Republicans including Florida Gov. Rick Scott, the Obama administration is beefing up security measures for data submitted to "navigators" by people seeking insurance under the federal health overhaul.

Sobel, Hudson Debate Obamacare Concerns Before Congress

Sep 19, 2013
news-press.com

Two Florida lawmakers --- one who supports the 2010 federal health-care law and one who opposes it --- testified in a congressional hearing about problems that states are confronting as a Oct. 1 deadline approaches for implementing a key part of the law known as Obamacare.

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